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Updated by Kendra Brea Cooper on Jun 10, 2014
Headline for Walking Canvas: 7 Ways to Wear a T-Shirt
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Walking Canvas: 7 Ways to Wear a T-Shirt

The t-shirt is the fashion world's blank canvas. It reaches out and grabs the Zeitgeist to put it on display. Here are 7 popular ways to wear the expressions of a culture on your torso.

1

The Band T-Shirt

The Band T-Shirt

The band t shirt is one of the most popular fashion expressions. They usually signal an identity made up in part by a certain artist, and put the wearer in a specific musical sphere of fans and culture. The band t-shirt has moved from merch tables to massive fashion runways, almost eliminating the fan exclusivity of it. Now people will wear a band shirt while not being able to name a song. The image of the band as part of the t-shirt has become more important than the music.

2

The Celebrity T-Shirt

The Celebrity T-Shirt

Recently,Macaulay Culkin started an internet frenzy when he wore a t-shirt of Ryan Gosling wearing a t-shirt of his own image. I imagine Culkin witnessing Gosling's t-shirt and thinking "this is what I've been carved down to?" I could be wrong, he may have totally enjoyed the moment. Culkin made a brilliant move by getting his own american dream within a dream t-shirt.

3

The Protest T-Shirt

The Protest T-Shirt

The t-shirt can be like a walking protest sign. It's easy to take with you, and because you're wearing it everywhere, it signals some kind of "deep" commitment to whatever cause you're thinking about. If you're going to wear it, be prepared for questions and offer a good explanation. The protest t-shirt can bring awareness to a cause, or it can suck the cause into the abyss of the trend; watering it down to be discarded as an old fashion statement.

4

The Icon T-Shirt

The Icon T-Shirt

The Che Guevara t-shirt is just his face disconnected from the history. The Cuban revolutionary is splattered all over products as a draw for consumption. Often seen as a romanticized version of rebellion, the Che t-shirt is one of the most recognized and ridiculed shirts out there.

5

The Literary T-Shirt

The Literary T-Shirt

You can wear the cover of the last book you read on the front of your shirt. The more popular ones are the classics like Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird. Show people walking by you on the street that you're part of a one person book club.

6

The Upcycled T-Shirt

The Upcycled T-Shirt

The sliced and diced D.I.Y. t-shirt is a way for wearers to take the construction (or deconstruction) of fashion back into their own hands. It's easy and you don't need a sewing machine or a pattern. Sometimes it is just fun, and other times it is anti-consumerist protest; but either way, it shows how versatile the t-shirt really is.

7

The Novelty T-Shirt

The Novelty T-Shirt

This t-shirt could be the tux shirt for a less than classy night out, or an offensive shirt for those people who want to take their obnoxious behaviour a step further. The novelty t-shirt is worn consciously to make the wearer feel part of the short-lived joke or story.