It seems that sometimes gradual changes can have a huge sociological impact. T-shirts have been around for some time now; they started becoming popular during WWI. As time and technology have progressed, t-shirts have become cheaper than the equivalent shirts. It’s now possible to buy t-shirts from a vast array of suppliers with logos, pictures, sayings, and other types of content (to borrow a Web word) pre-printed on them. Moreover, it’s become simple to order t-shirts with your own content printed on them for a reasonable price.
I’m sure this must have had an effect on society. As I wrote about a few weeks ago, I have a ‘Make Bono History’ t-shirt. As well as it being clothing, I, like many people, use it as a statement of my political beliefs, and it has started conversations (and arguments). Other t-shirts are funny, insightful, or just strange. One hundred years ago, clothing was (by and large) not adorned with statements about the wearer or their thoughts, apart from the subtle guesses that could be made from observing their satorial choices. These days, many items of clothing say something much more directly about the wearer - like a permanent advertising board - although, ironically, much of the actual advertising - slogans and brand names - is for the clothing brand itself, for which the wearer often pays a premium.
Whether there’s any more mileage in this trend of content on clothing remains to be seen.