Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or more likely a mountain of life/child admin that sucks up those minutes of the day when you might consider what you actually fancy wearing) you might have noticed that the humble slogan tee has had a major revival this summer.
Since the first indication that we were in the midst of a fashion ‘moment’, when Christian Dior’s ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ tee on the SS/17 catwalk went viral, the slogan tee’s popularity has skyrocketed. On sale since last month, fashionistas don’t even bat an eyelid at Dior’s $900 price tag. Most of us wouldn’t stretch to this, but the underlying message is clear: we are in an age where we want to wear our hearts on our chest.
Slogan tees have been around since the the 1960s and 70s, when emblazoning a message across your chest was a new form of self expression that could cover anything from politics to popular culture. In the 1980s the most iconic messages were Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s ‘Relax’, or Katherine Hamnett’s politically driven ‘Choose Life’ that George Michael made famous, while in the 1990s the brand logo took over as the slogan of choice (these have made a comeback, too). However by the early 21st century we had fallen a little out of love with the slogan t-shirt. Henry Holland kept the ball rolling in the noughties, but with various fashion columnists loudly protesting the death of the slogan tee it looked like it might be losing its battle.
Fast forward a few years, however, and a comeback is in full swing (we never said fashion wasn’t fickle). Perhaps linked to current political unrest, once again we seem to be wanting to align with ‘messages’ that the world can see. This season the penchant is for the politically-inspired statement with a side of female empowerment, with many designers donating a percentage of sales to the causes they promote.
But there is still room for the quirky phrase, the eternally chic French slogan, and the band tee. Anything goes as long as the statement is something you believe in. And should you (or fashion) decide the slogan t-shirt has exhausted itself, you can feel safe in the knowledge its time will ALWAYS come again, and our kids will be appreciating our ‘retro’ tees in the future.
Plus on a basic level this is a trend that works perfectly in our perma-summer. Easily throw-on-able, effortlessly current and able to be dressed up or down, you can try teaming with something unexpected in addition to the easy option of denim; a full midi skirt is my preference. Additionally, the donning of a slogan tee will always lend the wearer a touch of the youthful and the ever-so-slightly anarchic, so this is an easy style trick to avoid feeling mumsy without the worry of looking like mutton. Although frankly, mamas, who gives a damn. Put that on a t-shirt. Oh, someone already has.
MY TOP 5 SLOGAN TEES NOW (L-R)
‘Give a Damn’ The Deep End Club
‘Stand Up for Love’ Zara
‘Fearless Female’ Muthahood
‘Nevertheless she persisted’ Prabal Gurung