Decal t-shirts / Iron-ons
“If Brains Were Dynamite, You Wouldn’t Have Enough To Blow Your Nose”
Forget about wearing your heart on your sleeve… in the 1970’s, decal t's let you wear your feelings front and center, on your chest. T-shirts, having all but disappeared in the 1960’s after their height of fashion in the 1950’s, were back with a vengeance.
No longer content to be the stark white flag of teenage rebellion, these crew neck knit tops were adopted by the new relaxed and casual lifestyle of the entire family. They came in every color, several styles (tank, muscle, baseball, traditional short sleeve), and were plastered with all forms of iron-on decals.
Also known as ‘journalism tees,’ these shirts were walking billboards from anything to Superman to Snap-On Auto Parts to Steely Dan. And demure they were not: emblazoned with glitter and sometimes bedazzled with faux jewels, these shirts were a fashion statement all their own.
They joked, they protested, they insulted and they advertised. And if you didn’t find what you wanted at the t-shirt shop, you could customize your own slogan and have it ironed on for you. Now that’s progress.
Like bumper stickers for your car, these decals proclaimed your favorite band (KISS), TV show (Dukes of Hazzard), lifestyle (“Keep On Truckin'”) who you loved (“Matt 'N Michelle Forever”) and even your worldview (“I’m #1. Why Try Harder?”).
During the 80's, t-shirts liked to tell the world what you were thinking: “I'm with Stupid,” “Don't Worry, Be Happy” and “Ask me if I care.” The 90's turned confrontational with “Girl Power” and “Gay Pride” or parodied corporate logos like Pepsi (Sexsi) or Crisco (Disco).
No longer just a crappy souvenir brought back from a really cool place you didn't get to visit, t-shirts were a way to express yourself in ways you normally wouldn't...”My friends went to Skooldays, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.”
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