The Wonderful World of Wool Sweaters

This is the time of year when people start thinking about buying sweaters. A good wool sweater can keep you warm on those cold winter nights. Imagine curling up with your significant other next to a roaring fire with a hot drink in your hands. Your wool sweaters make sure you don’t feel the chill of the night air.

Human beings have relied on wool as a clothing material for centuries. And even though we have access to plenty of synthetic materials in the 21st century, wool remains an old standby we haven’t forgotten about. It is as important today as it ever was in the past.

Genuine wool is a natural material provided by the animal kingdom and it is a fiber that is spun to create threads and yarns. Those threads and yarns are then used to manufacture the woolen clothing we know and love. A wool yarn might be used to create beautiful sweaters while threads are woven into fabrics.


Sheep, Goats, and More

Most of us understand wool as coming from sheep. We have all seen the documentaries depicting entire flocks of sheep being sent to the shears. All of the harvested wool fibers become threads and yarns. But guess what? Not all wool comes from sheep.

Some wools are harvested from muskoxen, camelids, and even angora rabbits. Cashmere is a specific fiber harvested from cashmere goats. Likewise, mohair comes from angora goats. As you can see, wool is not as simple as it appears. There are plenty of animals whose coats can be made into fabrics for our clothing.

The Shearing Process

At this point it is important to note that shearing doesn’t harm the animals. Shearing a sheep or goat is no different from you or I getting a haircut. As long as it’s done properly, the animals aren’t bothered by it, and once shorn, an animal’s coat begins growing again.

As for the wool, it is typically divided into four categories immediately following shearing: fleece, bellies, brokens, and locks. Most of it is fleece – the material from which we make most of our wool clothing.

Shorn wool must first be cleaned through a process known as scouring. It not only prepares the wool for spinning, but also harvests some by-products with other uses. Lanolin is a good example of one such by-product. Scouring is sometimes accomplished with nothing more than warm water. Other times, detergents must be used.

Following the scouring process, wool fibers are further classified by diameter. The smaller the diameter, the finer the spun yarn or thread. Smaller diameters create a higher quality product.

Wool’s Many Uses

Wool is such a versatile fiber that we can use it to make all sorts of things. This post started by talking about wool sweaters. You can find a full variety of wool sweaters here at The Stockist, as well as clothing boutiques and department stores around the country. Everything from luxurious cashmere pullovers to wool cardigans are readily available. But that’s not all.

Wool is a great material for making gloves and hats. Wool jackets are also fairly common. In fact, a lot of clothing was made of wool prior to the introduction of synthetic fibers and fabrics.


Elsewhere, wool is sometimes used to make carpeting and area rugs. A good wool rug will last hundreds of years with minimal care. Wool is a favorite among upholsterers as well as makers of saddle cloths, horse rugs, and other similar items.

So there you have it, the wonderful world of wool sweaters goes way beyond those wonderful pullovers that keep us so warm in the winter.

The Beanie: Centuries-Old Fashion and Function

It is hard to go anywhere these days and not see people wearing beanies. As far as headgear and fashion go, we can barely separate the two. Beanies have become the all-purpose headgear for both men and women. Moreover, they go with just about everything. But where do they come from?

Today’s youth might consider beanies a relatively new piece of fashion. After all, most Americans only wore them in cold weather prior to 2000s, whereas today, we are just as likely to wear them in the middle of the summer. Well, it turns out that beanies are a centuries-old item of clothing. Back in the day, they weren’t a fashion statement. Beanies were all about keeping warm.


The Early Years: Monmouth Caps

The term ‘beanie’ is relatively new. Way back when the caps were first invented, in the 12th century, they were known as Monmouth caps. They were named after the town in which they were first produced. Welsh hatmakers made two types of Monmouth caps at the time. One was a seamed cap with a button on top. The other was a knitted cap very similar to modern beanies.

As Monmouth gradually became famous for the caps, makers began using more expensive materials to construct their products. They also started adding beautiful embroidery as well. By the 13th century, Monmouth caps were all the rage among the fashionable in Wales.

From Monmouth Cap to Woolen Beanie

The Monmouth cap continued to evolve over the next several hundred years. By the time the 18th century rolled around, Monmouth caps were all about fashion for females. Because they were still mainly functional for men, there was less emphasis on fashion for the products made for them. Also notable at this time was the transition to wool.

Where silk, velvet, and even taffeta were acceptable materials in the 12th and 13th centuries, makers had transitioned primarily to wool by the 18th century. Moreover, almost all beanies at that time were single-piece hats of knit construction.

Makers in Monmouth also began exporting their wool caps at that time. By the 19th century, they were all over the world. Other makers began getting in on the game too, but Monmouth retained its reputation as being home to the best and most fashionable beanies.

The Modern Beanie

That brings us to the modern beanie, a knit cap that is both fashionable and functional. In the early 1900s, the beanie began infiltrating colleges and universities thanks to students looking to establish their own fashion trends. Many of those same college students went on to keep wearing beanies as adults. So much so that the beanie became an item of workwear in the 1950s.

Manual laborers turned to wearing beanies to both protect their heads and keep their hair out of the way. And of course, they really took off in northern environments because they kept the heads of outdoor workers warm, even on the coldest days. From the 1950s through the late 1990s, beanies were more functional to most of the people who wore them.


Today, beanies are for everyone. Men, women, and children wear them year-round. You tend to see them more during the winter months, but beanies are not restricted to cold weather wearing.

If you are looking for a new beanie, we invite you to check out our store. You will find a great selection of knit caps from manufacturers you have come to know and trust. Now would be a good time for a new beanie, given that Salt Lake City winters can get pretty cold.

Women’s Shoes: Which Pair Do I Choose?

Women everywhere know the undeniable truth that you can never have too many pairs of shoes. Shoes are more than just foot coverings. They are more than just protection against cold and moisture. Shoes are as much about fashion as they are protection. They are as much about outfit coordination as they are support.

The biggest difficulty for many of our customers is not the volume of shoes in the closet, it is choosing which pair to wear for each occasion. We do our best to meet a variety of needs by maintaining a good selection of women’s shoes in a range of styles and colors.

So how do you choose your next pair of women’s shoes? By thinking things through. Consider the following:

How You Will Use Them?

All women’s shoes start with function. Unlike men who can get away with one or two pairs for just about every occasion, women need different function for different scenarios. Ask yourself this: why am I buying a new pair of shoes? What will I use them for?

If it is mostly casual use, the door is wide open. Classic slip-on sneakers are an all-purpose choice that do not require a lot of detailed coordination. If you’re looking for something you can wear to work, think about the office dress code. You might find something like A Red Wing Heritage boot more appropriate.

Vans Classic Slip On

Your Personal Style

Function is just half the equation. Once you narrow down your selections by considering how you will use your new shoes, you can start thinking about your personal style. Let’s say you’ve settled on a pair of mid-top boots you can wear to work and out with friends.

Do you prefer a rounded toe or classic square toe? Are you more amenable to boots with laces, or do you want something you can just slip on and go? You need a pair of shoes that speak to who you are as well as what you do. Your shoes should convey your personal style like every other article of clothing you are going to wear with them.

The Rest of Your Wardrobe

The extensive nature of a woman’s wardrobe is one of the reasons she can never have too many pairs of shoes. As you are looking to buy a new pair, think about all the other things in your closet. Are you looking for shoes that go with a particular outfit? Or perhaps you want something that works well with most everything you own.

These days, athletic shoes are all the rage. They aren’t just for gym class and outings in the park. Some of the trendiest fashionistas have found a way to create fascinating combinations that were never before possible. For example, a pair of hi-top Converse sneakers no longer looks out of place with a knee-length dress. They look perfectly at home, complemented by a jean jacket and a nice hat.


One advantage of the sneaker set is color. Dress shoes tend to be fairly neutral and bland, but sneakers are an entirely different matter. There are bright oranges and pinks along with more sedate blacks, grays, and whites. And of course, patterned hi-top sneakers really make a statement.

Here at The Stockist we make it our mission to keep our selection of women’s shoes as versatile as possible. We want to offer something for everyone. If you are looking for a new pair, we invite you to browse our online inventory or stop in to our Salt Lake City boutique. You will be glad you did.

5 Pieces of Clothing Every Man Needs Heading into Fall

School is back in session, football is on TV, and Halloween decorations are starting to pop up. We all know what that means: fall is here. And with the arrival of the autumn season comes the annual wardroom transfer. It is time to put away the shorts and T-shirts in favor of warmer clothing.

What does your wardrobe look like these days? In anticipation of what lies ahead, here are five pieces of clothing every man should have as we head into the fall season:

1. A Flannel Shirt

The flannel shirt is synonymous with autumn. Flannel is a soft, woven fabric that can be made of cotton, wool, or synthetic fiber. Its claim to fame is warmth. Thanks to its density, flannel prevents excessive airflow without being too stuffy. It holds in heat and wicks away moisture simultaneously.

Flannel shirts can be either plain or patterned. For a formal look, go for a solid color like dark moss or cigar brown. Patterned flannel shirts are more appropriate for casual occasions.

Men's Flannel Shirt

2. A Knit Thermal

Most thermal shirts in the U.S. are made with a cotton or poly-cotton blend and a waffle weave. Thermal shirts and long johns are designed to be worn as an extra layer for warmth. A knit thermal shirt is the perfect complement for a flannel when spending time outdoors. And as the weather gets colder, a thermal could be a man’s best friend around the house.

3. A Hoody

What we call a hoody used to be known as a hooded sweatshirt among our parents and grandparents. No matter what you call it though, a hoody is one of the most versatile pieces of outerwear on the market. It is the perfect companion for those days when you are out hiking in the woods or playing touch football with friends. It can also be used to keep you warm on your way to and from work, even if you’re wearing a shirt and tie underneath.

A good hoody should fit well and be durable. Do not settle for something cheap. Invest in a quality hoody and you will get years of reliable service from it.

Men's Fall Hoody

4. A Pair of Jeans

Jeans are to slacks what hoodies are to outerwear: all-purpose garments with a variety of appropriate uses. We recommend at least one pair of high quality jeans for the autumn and winter months. Jeans are warm, they wear well in cold weather, and they work with all sorts of autumn and winter footwear. They are the perfect pair of pants for working around the house or hanging out with friends.

Men's Fall Clothing Jeans

5. A Formal Jacket

Finally, we round out our selection of men’s clothing for fall with a formal jacket. By ‘formal’ we do not mean a suit coat you would wear with dress slacks and a tie. Rather, we mean a jacket you could wear to more formal occasions like house parties and holiday gatherings. Our Iron Heart light kersey and Alex Mill blazer are two good examples. You wouldn’t wear these jackets while working on the car, but they are more than appropriate for an evening on the town.

Formal Jacket Men Fall

Some of us are lamenting the end of summer. Others are rejoicing at the cooler temperatures and beautiful colors of fall. Regardless of where you stand, there is no denying that this time of year demands a wardrobe change. Come visit us at The Stockist where we offer a complete line of men’s clothing for all seasons. We have just what you need to get your fall wardrobe up to snuff.

How to Rock High Top Sneakers like a Pro

There is one thing we can say about our collection of shoes for men and women: The Stockist will never be accused of not being a fan of Converse high top sneakers. We love them. We are especially fond of Converse Chucks and their retro 70s styling. 

Converse high tops were all the rage in the 1970s and early 80s. Basketball players wouldn’t be caught in anything else, and your average consumer thought they were pretty cool too. We don’t know why they ever went out of style. Thankfully, some of us are keeping high tops alive.

If you are looking for suggestions for how you can rock a pair of high top sneakers like a pro, we are here to help. Check out our top tips for high top mastery:

Keep the Colors Neutral

High top sneakers are, by design, more subtle in their use of color. You are not going to find extremely bright colors from Converse or another brand. So don’t wash out the muted tones of your shoes by wearing extremely bright colors everywhere else. You don’t want your high tops to stand out, but you also don’t want them lost in a sea of color above the ankles.

Neutral Color High Top Sneakers

Show a Little Skin

A great way to make sure your high tops get the attention they deserve is to show a little skin above the ankles. Nothing drastic here, just a bit of the calf exposed. Some shorter slacks are good choice for women, as are knee-length dresses and longer skirts that fall mid-calf. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of options here for the guys. Not to worry, though. You can cuff your jeans a little higher and let the sneakers speak for themselves.

Go for the Teen Look

If you are in your early 30s or older, you can rock high top sneakers like pro by going for the teen look. Throw on a pair of skinny jeans and, if you’re a guy, a tight T-shirt with a denim jacket. A little bit of 5 o’clock shadow reminds people that you really aren’t that young, you just feel that young.

Ladies, pairing high tops with a pair of cropped jeans and a flirtatious top is the way to go. Go light on the makeup and keep the hair simple and straightforward. High tops will perfectly accentuate the look without drawing too much attention.

High Top Sneakers for Teens

Go Full-On Athletic

Both men and women can rock high top sneakers by going full-on athletic. Wear your high tops with a good pair of sweatpants and either a sweatshirt, tank top, or tee. For the best effect, wear something light and neutral on the top with a dark, contrasting bottom. The idea is to direct the gaze gradually downward until your high tops get noticed.

5. The Perceived Big High Top No-No

Let’s close this post with something that used to be considered a big no-no for high top sneakers. Back in the day, wearing them with a full-length denim dress was considered a fashion faux pas. There were those that insisted it didn’t ‘work’. In fact, they said high top sneakers were inappropriate for any full-length skirt.

Well guess what, we say if you want to wear high tops with a full-length dress, go for it. Who’s to say what constitutes a fashion faux pas anyway? Make your own fashion; be that free spirit that doesn’t conform to conventions and norms.

Now you know how to rock high tops like a pro. If you’re looking for a new pair, stop by our Salt Lake City boutique and check out our full line of Converse Chucks.

It’s Goodbye Summer and Hello Fall

The days are starting to get shorter. Temperatures are not as high as they were back in the heat of summer. School has started and summer vacations have drawn to a close. It all points to one thing: the end of summer. That is not necessarily bad, especially if you are not a summer person. And if you’re into fashion, fall represents a whole new season with fantastic styles just waiting to be worn.

We say goodbye to summer every year. It is an annual seasonal ritual that captivates the fashion industry with new fall lines covering everything from casual clothing and formal wear to jewelry and accessories. This year’s fall fashions are a bit muted thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but there is still plenty new to look at.

Be True to Yourself

If we have learned anything from the pandemic it is the simple fact that certain things in life really matter while other things do not. We have all been forced to slow down and re-evaluate. We have spent more time at home, contemplating our place in the world and those relationships we hold most dear.

In whatever way you have fared over the last 5 to 6 months, we want to encourage you to be true to yourself. The clothing and accessories you choose to wear should reflect who you are as a person, not what you think others should think about you.

Paloma Wool Jumpsuit

If you are free and wild spirit, wear your Rylee and Cru dress or your Taylor Stitch short sleeve Hawthorne with pride. If you are more conservative, express yourself in a pair of Carhartt WIP slacks or a gorgeous Paloma Wool jumpsuit. You are what you wear.

Cooler Days and Crisper Nights

It will not be long before autumn makes itself known with cooler days and crisper nights. Shorts and tank tops will be stored away in favor of flannel shirts and long pants. Jeans will again return to the most prominent place in your wardrobe.

Here in Salt Lake City, the temperatures can get pretty cool during the autumn months. We encourage you to take a look through your closet to make sure you are prepared. A sweater or two is a good starting point. Maybe you are in the market for a new jacket as well.

Callahan Quinn Sweater

We carry all of your favorite brands including Alex Mill, Callahan, Bridge & Burn, Corridor, Katin, Knot Sisters, and many more. And of course, we have all the latest fashions for women, men, and the kiddos too.

More Time at Home

No one really knows if the coronavirus pandemic will continue to stretch well into fall. But if it does, that means more time at home this year as compared to previous years. We want you to be comfortable regardless. So take a look at our casual clothing selections as well. We have a good selection of tops and bottoms perfect for working and playing from home.

Most of all, we hope you will embrace the coming fall season with joy and enthusiasm. Fall is a reminder of everything beautiful in the world. Between bright fall colors and cooler temperatures, the season is a time for individual renewal ahead of the busy holiday season.

You are welcome to visit our Salt Lake City boutique to shop for the latest fall fashions and accessories. We would love to meet you and get to know you a little better. If you are unable to visit, our online store offers all of the same great styles you’ll find in our boutique. Feel free to browse and order at your convenience.

Face Mask Fashions: The Latest in Boutique Clothing

Here at The Stockist, we absolutely love boutique clothing. We love the fact that men’s and women’s clothing at boutiques like ours isn’t the same generic, off-the-rack stuff you buy at big-box department stores. Boutique clothing is really that which makes the fashion world what it is. A great case in point during these troubled times is the cloth face mask.

Yes, face mask fashion is now a thing. As soon as manufacturers figured out that masks would be recommended for more than just a few weeks, they set about coming up with entire lines for the general public. And of course, every home-based seamstress started making cloth masks as well. It is all good.

There doesn’t seem to be any end in sight for state and local mask mandates. So we have decided to add face mask fashions to of our Salt Lake City boutique. As long as we are wearing masks, we might as well look beautiful doing it. Face masks do not have to be ugly or boring.

Masks with Beautiful Prints

The least exciting masks on the market are plain white or a pale blue or gray color. They do the job, but they are far from exciting. Why not replace that plain mask with a beautiful print? Our Garden Party face mask is the perfect mask to put a smile on everyone’s face. It is beautiful, playful, and upbeat.

Yellow Flower $12.00

If floral patterns are not your thing, maybe you like leaves. We carry a Leaf Lagoon mask that makes you look like you just stepped out of a lush, tropical rain forest. With plenty of splashes of green and teal in multiple shades, this particular mask screams vitality and lifeblood.

By no means are we minimizing the risks of coronavirus by promoting face masks with beautiful prints. Instead, face mask fashion is all about making the best of an uncomfortable situation. We all go out of our way to coordinate our outfits for work, play, and everything in between, why should we not apply the same good fashion sense to mask wearing?

Masks in Solid Colors

We also get the fact that not everyone is into floral or leaf prints. In fact, some are not into prints at all. That’s fine because we also have a collection of Baggu masks in solid colors. We sell them in sets of three for your convenience.

Maritime Mate $12.00

These particular masks are one-size-fits-all masks with adjustable straps and nose wires. They are double-layered masks with a filter pocket capable of accepting a carbon filter – which is not included. But we do sell the filters as well.

A Few Safety Tips

It would not be proper for us to publish a post like this without mentioning a few safety tips. First and foremost, we recommend reusable cloth face masks that can be washed regularly. And wash you should. The mask you use today should be thrown in the laundry with the rest of your clothing. Wear a clean mask tomorrow.

Also remember to avoid touching your face and frequently pulling down your mask while you are wearing it. When it comes time to take it off, remove it via the ear loops or straps. Do not touch the filter portion of the mask or else you risk passing any contaminants onto your hands.

It looks like face masks are going to be with us for a while. As long as we are going to wear them, we might as well wear fashionable masks when possible. We invite you to check out the face mask fashions that are now part of our boutique clothing inventory at The Stockist.

Why Every Woman Should Have At least One Jumpsuit in Her Closet

Browse the complete selection of women’s dresses in our Salt Lake City boutique and you will discover a number of jumpsuits included in the category. Jumpsuits are very popular for a whole host of reasons. In fact, we think it’s safe to say that every woman should have at least one in her closet. Two or three are even better.

Jumpsuits are not dresses, tops, or bottoms. A jumpsuit is a one-piece garment that covers you from shoulder to ankle. It features the sleeves of a shirt and the legs of a pair of pants, all combined into a sleek and slender piece that offers a unique look you cannot achieve any other way.

LACAUSA Phoenix Jumpsuist: Absynthe $198.00

If you are new to the whole jumpsuit thing, we can think of at least a few reasons to encourage you to buy one. We are also confident that our customers who own jumpsuits would probably say they don’t know how they ever lived without them.

Quick and Easy Dressing

How many of us have spent hours standing in the mirror trying to complete that perfect outfit? Jumpsuits eliminate that thanks to their quick and easy nature. When you choose a jumpsuit, getting dressed in the morning couldn’t be easier. You just put on your clothes and choose a few accessories.

Getting dressed quickly is important on those busy days you know will be spent on the go. Without all the fuss of coordinating an outfit, you can start your day earlier and get more done. That alone is reason enough to have a jumpsuit in your closet.

They Work with All Body Types

If quick and easy dressing doesn’t appeal to you, consider this: jumpsuits work with all body types. Your height, weight, and body shape do not matter when you dress in a jumpsuit. You can get dressed in full confidence that your choice of clothing will flatter your body type as well as anything else you could wear. And of course, do not forget comfort.

LACAUSA Lucky Jumpsuit: Panna Cotta $188.00

Jumpsuits are designed to be comfortable, all-day wear. Paired with sensible shoes and a loose fitting jacket, you will be free to move all day long without the restrictions that other types of clothing force on you.

They Work for Almost Any Occasion

We would not recommend jumpsuits for black-tie events or formal business meetings, but they work well for just about anything else. Wear a jumpsuit at home to do work around the house. Wear one out to have coffee with your friends. A jumpsuit works as well on date night as it does when you are spending time with family. Few articles of clothing are as versatile.

There Are No Age Restrictions

In addition to working for just about any occasion, jumpsuits also work with any age. You cannot say that about some other styles. For example, there are certain styles of pants that work better for younger people, and vice-versa. The same is true for dresses and blouses. Yet the jumpsuit covers all ages equally well.

Jumpsuits come in different styles, so that’s a plus. Different style selections give you the option to upgrade your collection as your preferences change. What you enjoyed in your 20s may not be what you enjoy in your 40s. That’s okay. There are choices that span all ages.

If you don’t yet have a jumpsuit in your closet, we invite you to change that. You will find plenty of great selections here at our women’s clothing boutique in Salt Lake City. And if you don’t live nearby, feel free to order online.

What to Look for in Your New Outerwear

It will not be long before the temperatures in Salt Lake City start falling. Even though we still have more than a month of summer remaining, fall will be here before you know it. And for many of our customers, that means some new outerwear to protect against those cool temperatures and inevitable precipitation.

The good news is that The Stockist has you covered. Our men’s and women’s clothing boutique offers a nice selection of outerwear for both sexes. Everything you find here meets our high standards of quality and workmanship. You can shop in confidence by visiting our boutique in person or ordering online.

Make Sure It’s Warm

Outerwear should meet at least a few basic requirements, beginning with warmth. Fall is the time when shorts and T-shirts get put away in favor of long pants and sleeved shirts. Outerwear provides that outermost layer of protection when you are outdoors. So, whatever you buy should keep you warm.

A nice fleece parka for the ladies is an all-purpose outerwear garment great for spending time in the park or strolling through the city center with friends. A denim work jacket might be the perfect partner piece for doing some of those outdoor chores around the house. For the men, we have everything from vests to fleeces and corduroy.

Gramicci Fleece Parka $64.80

All of our fall outerwear is designed to keep you warm on cool autumn days without being so warm as to make you sweaty and uncomfortable. And of course, every piece in our collection is heavy on the fashion.

Make Sure It’s Comfortable

There is a common misconception in fashion that suggests you cannot look good and feel good at the same time. We do not agree. Good looks and comfort are not mutually exclusive. Our outerwear selections prove that. Each of our jackets, fleeces, and vests are the height of modern fashion. But they are also comfortable.

We encourage you to make your outerwear choices based on what you will find most comfortable. After all, you won’t wear a jacket you find uncomfortable. It will sit in your closet and collect dust. Then what good is it? No, make sure your new jacket or fleece is something you will find comfortable to wear.

Stick with Your Budget

Last but not least is the amount of money you spend. As you look for your new outerwear for fall, be your own best friend by sticking with your budget. There is no need to get in over your head financially by spending more money than you can afford to spend.

Bridge & Burn Engelmann Jacket $134.00

To that end, browsing through our inventory of outerwear will reveal that we have reduced prices on most items. We want you to be able to get the new outerwear you need to make it through the fall season. Our discounts are designed to do just that. Take a look at our outerwear for both men and women. We suspect you will find something that fits into your budget.

Are you working on a limited budget? Then choose outerwear you will be able to get several seasons out of. What you purchase for this fall can also be worn during late winter and early spring. Then put it in the closet and pull it back out next fall. There is no better way to honor your budget then planning to buy and wear a jacket for multiple seasons.

Summer is waning and autumn is on the doorstep. For some of us, the best season is right around the corner. Now is the time to prepare with a new selection of outerwear from The Stockist.

How T-Shirts Became a Staple of Global Fashion

You can look through our inventory of men’s and women’s tops and find a generous selection of great t-shirts. Our clothing store in Salt Lake City represents but a drop in the global ocean of retailers that sell t-shirts. Everyone sells them because they have universal appeal.

T-shirts are more than just clothing. They are cultural icons in many places. Take London, for example. London’s Fashion and Textile Museum opened a show devoted exclusively to the history of t-shirts back in 2018. Imagine that. An entire exhibit devoted to an article of clothing that most of us take for granted.

A Fairly New Item

Tees are everywhere these days. But did you know that the t-shirt is a fairly new item by comparison? They weren’t even made until the late 19th century. T-shirts didn’t become fashionable as outerwear until the 1950s.

OBEY Sadistic Florist $23.80

The t-shirt’s history dates back to the Mexican-American war in the late 1800s when the shirts were issued to soldiers as undergarments. In 1913, the U.S. Navy began issuing t-shirts as standard undergarments to all sailors. Back then, the shirts were known as undershirts.

It was F. Scott Fitzgerald who allegedly coined the term ‘t-shirt’ in his novel This Side of Paradise. Yet it was Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire that turned the world on to the t-shirt as outerwear. His portrayal of the t-shirt wearing Stanley Kowalski was taken to the next level by James Dean in Rebel without a Cause.

These two films are credited with propelling the tee into modern culture as a garment that could be worn with nothing else over the top of it. From the 1950s through much of the 60s, plain white t-shirts were a status symbol among self-proclaimed rebels refusing to conform to the fashion standards of the day.

The Birth of Graphic T-Shirts

A few outliers tried printing graphics on t-shirts in the 1950s and early 60s, yet their success was fleeting. It wasn’t until Walt Disney licensed its characters that t-shirt makers began realizing the potential of graphic tees.

Roark Java Fever $35.00

Silk-screening and screen printing would change everything in the 1960s. By the late 60s and early 70s, t-shirts became message boards for every social cause under the sun. People were wearing t-shirts to promote flower power and protest the Vietnam War. Then the music scene got on board.

Rock bands began printing graphic tees and selling them at concerts. As the 70s rolled into the 80s, t-shirt messages began turning more positive and sarcastic. T-shirts became canvasses for spreading jokes and amplifying cultural trends.

T-Shirts in the 21st Century

If it seems as though things have come full circle with t-shirts, they have. The early days of tees were dominated by plain white garments that only became a fashion statement when two actors wore them in films. Multicolored shirts, silkscreen printing, and tie-dye trends transformed t-shirts into a way to spread a message.

Today, every kind of t-shirt imaginable is out there. You can buy solid t-shirts in plain white or any other color. You can find t-shirts with political messages and sarcastic jokes. Sports teams continue printing graphic t-shirts for their loyal fan bases.

T-shirts can even be considered formal enough to wear with expensive sport coats and business skirts. In essence, the tee shirt has become an all-purpose piece of clothing that says as much about the culture as it does about the person wearing it.

Here at The Stockist we sell a fine selection of t-shirts alongside our jeans, boots, tops, and bottoms. We invite you to take a look for yourself.