Sartorial splendors of childhood
Whatever happened to striped T-shirts? Stores about with Ts. Some of them very classy, some of them relatively ordinary, some of them vulgar and distasteful enough that the designers should have their souls scrubbed with lye-soap and water. I like T-shirts and wear them a great deal of the time.
But, I still want to know what happened to striped Ts. When I was growing up, that was all that we had. We all looked like little jailbirds as we fooled around in the schoolyard or on the playground. I can look at class photos from elementary school, and every second kid at least is in a striped T. Yet, nowadays you never see them. I don't understand that. If you look back in the popular media, right back to the Our Gang films of the 30s and 40s, there the lads were, all be-striped. At a slightly later period of time, young Opie of Mayberry wore one, as did Beaver Cleaver, Dennis the Menace, and countless others.
The striped T was one of those rites of passage things. Past a certain age you graduated out of them and moved on into adolescent's estate. To still be wearing a striped T past the age of 13 or so, automatically labeled you to be a dork -- a square -- a suckhole -- or whatever other pejorative was operative at the time.
When I was growing up, the drive was to always look older than your age. The process began once you got past short pants. Jeans and a striped T were just a little more sophisticated than shorts and a striped T. And then, when I got into my early teens, the old T-shirts were kissed goodbye, and I never looked back.
Yet now, there is a whole generation of boomer males of roughly my age, who probably remember the old striped jobs with something resembling nostalgic affection.
So, here's my plan. I'm going to start manufacturing and selling striped T-shirts. There should be a fortune in them, if I read the nostalgia impulse correctly. And, if the Ts work, I'm going to move on to a line of Davey Crockett coonskin caps and Roy Rogers gun and holster sets. There could be a fortune in this for me.