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What your T-shirt says about you (and you won’t like it)

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By Alan Stokes from smh.com.au
As sexy as they are, T-shirts are more than the pheromones of the fashion world. They are a statement about your mind.

 

Iconic Rolling Stones T-shirt. Photo: bfamouslondon.com
The problem with T-shirts is that you cannot hide in them. Unless you wear one five sizes too big and black as Sabbath, your T-shirt is showing the world all your bits.

That’s fine if you have some good bits to flaunt – like the Italian tenor Francesco Anile, who wore a T-shirt for his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York on Saturday. When the lead tenor lost his voice, understudy Francesco was rushed on stage without changing his clothes.

But take talentless old fat blokes like me. Please.

Our T-shirts lovingly grope our man-boobs as they bounce Addicted to Love style through the day. The back hair is tantalisingly exposed just below the erogenous zone at the nape of the neck where shaving cuts have drawn from the oily depths golden sebaceousness to form little red craters. Under the arms, welcoming wet patches and a sneak viewing through the short sleeve to curly moist hair. The love handles are defined to perfection. And down below – way down there where the sun don’t shine – the T-shirt rides high enough above the underpant elastic to reveal just enough bum-crack to appeal to the most discerning viewer.

 

As sexy as they are, T-shirts are more than the pheromones of the fashion world. They are a statement about your mind.

One smarty-pants British custom T-shirt maker at the website printsome.com offers even an online personality test so your tee can match your brain. Based on the Holland Codes personality types, the test claims to determine whether you are:

Conventional – an organiser. The maker suggests a “plain” T-shirt for you.
Realistic – a doer. You need a sporty T-shirt.
Investigative – a thinker. A geeky tee for you.
Artistic – a creator. A graphic one, of course. One option might be the design that lets you communicate in all sorts of languages by simply pointing to one of 40 logos of your t-shirt.
Enterprising – a persuader. A logo, like my “Blame Me, I Backed Turnbull” offering last week.
Social – a helper. Yep, seems that’s me. And my perfect T-shirt is meant to have a deep and meaningful message on it.
The maker’s website says what truly defines helpers like me “is the genuine and deep interest for the wellbeing of other people”. Aw shucks. “Thanks to their empathetic abilities, helpers are well suited for careers like nursing, teaching and counselling.”

Hence, I have attempted careers as various as grease-trap cleaner, barman in a bingo hall and a punk guitarist thrashing out Ramones covers.

But guess what? I have never owned a Ramones T-shirt. That makes me a member of a very small club.

The Ramones T-shirt design is everywhere, even on onesies for newborns. It regularly makes the top 50 T-shirt designs of all time and the top 10 of all rock T-shirts, alongside AC/DC, the Rolling Stones’ lips logo and of course the Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen.

See the problem?

Punks once made their own T-shirts and ripped them up. You don’t rip Sex Pistols or Ramones T-shirts now because they cost too much. Hard-rock fans once stood against the establishment and the older generations. Now they wear the same T-shirts. Similar arguments apply for radically individual nature-connecting surfers who wear global surf brand T-shirts.

Each to his or her own of course. And I concede that two T-shirts with messages embraced my curves for ages. The first was “Save the Planet: It’s the only one with beer”. The second was a promo for a Monty Python musical: “I’m not dead yet!”

In light of my newly discovered “helper” T-shirt status and associated deep interest in the wellbeing of other people, however, I need to order a new custom T-shirt online.

Size? XXXXXXL. Colour? See-through. Message? “I don’t wear T-shirts because my torso scares young children.”

Such is life ”_

astokes@fairfaxmedia.com.au
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on FacebookÊÊÊ

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