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Mark Angelo Askew is the author of "Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake" and the founder and director of the Family Reunion Planning Group that established November as Annual Family Reunion Planning Month.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The T-shirt is now 100 years old.

T-shirts In The Mainstream
T-shirt's first entered the mainstream as a part of military uniform in the early 1900's. Since then it became a highly respected and essential part of the working man and womans wardrobe. 

Congratulations is certainly in order considering the fact that t-shirts or tees as most folks call them. are an icon in and of itself. T-shirt have not only defined the fashion of the military and working personnel but also the men and women of sport, entertainment and almost every casual affair. 

Thanks to hundreds of T-shirt presses online including the ever popular Customink we've been reminded of the contribution t-shirts have made to the growth and change of a nation. Here are a few interesting if not intriguing examples.

T-shirts In Entertainment
In the entertainment world four popular film stars don the shirt as a symbol of youthful masculine coolness and independence.  The shirt quickly hit the main stream in the 50's and sixties. 

The Marlon Brando character in a popular movie of the times wore only the undershirt and casual pants. James Dean, playing the misunderstood disillusioned teen was often seen wearing white tees and jeans. 

T-shirt Cultural Symbols During these days the t-shirt took on many roles, promoted many messages and took on a voice for many varied life styles including the tie-die flower child of the 60's. The upcoming rock stars who played in their parents garages and the computer nerds of the 80's who would soon seek their fortunes during the advent of the personal computers of the 90's.

Moving up the timeline to more cool idols take on the tee in John travoltas role as the Danny Zuko character in Grease of the late 1970's Travolta wears both a white and black tee adding a fashion flare and exuberance to the garb unlike any other personality has since. 

Moving  further up the timeline from 1974–1984 there lies the ever popular Happy Days sitcom starring Henry Winkler as The Fonz. The characters background may seem to borrow from the young t-shirt donning characters performed by Brando and Dean, but The Fonz, dress in white t-shirt, leather jacket and blue jeans was an icon all his own.  

The Fonz character became so popular and  influential  among young males that it's rumored that the writers decided to tone down his street wise, gang banger character making him less of a questionable influence and more of a last resort for much needed wisdom and compassing.

T-shirts For Movements
The birth of the t-shirt to foster unity and solidarity among it's wearers. Enter high profile movements such as the walk for cancer or the call for peace.  Union marches and other political campaigns carry the message not with picket signs but proudly on the chest of tees.

A Family History of T-shirts 
Of note are several decades of family gathering now called family reunions that promote the cause of family unity, encourage family values and provide a platform for presenting family history and genealogy as a cause for celebration.  These annual family gathering are becoming havens of security, nurturing and identity. 

Use of the t-shirt  over the past 100 years to celebrate family reunions, promote causes and inspire generations to raise the bar is unprecedented. That said,  spread the word at the office, in the neighbor across the national social net.  Post, Pin and Print  the adoring fact that the t-shirt is now 100 years old and still going strong. 

Celebrating A World of Tees
So how is the world celebrating 100 years of tees? You'll find hundreds of colorful designs on equally colorful shirts memorializing this year as the year of T-shirts. the Internet is teaming with stories and history about the t-shirt movement. 

You'll also find a boost in DIY t-shirt design ideas using homemade craft materials such as tie-die, iron ons and hand drawn letters and shapes accented with glitter. stickers and hand sewn patterns.

Pinterest and other social networks feature several specially designed infographics in timeline format depicting the history of the t-shirt.  an ideal way to promote history among students. In addition, many t-shirt presses and manufacturers are offering discounts on individual and bulk t-shirt orders while others are offering free shipping of select tees and t-shirt packages. 

Thanks Customink for your inspiring graphical works of art  printed on the chest of  millions of family reunion t-shirt wearers and family reunion planners. Go Tees!

On to the next 100 years! 

Learn how to design a custom family reunion t-shirt and sell them online via email to all your reunion attendees.  How to design family reunion t-shirts

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