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What's in a T?

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What's in a T?

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A quick word from member We Love our Beach...

As the weather warms up we turn to T-shirts. Yet What's in a Tee?

What's their origin? Why do we wear them? Who made them iconic? And what does yours 'say'?

Every icon has a story.

The practical, humble and now ubiquitous and unisex T-shirt is no exception. It also offers an impactful, cultural symbolism with the power to make a statement. 

The modern T-shirt began its journey in the late 19th century in the USA. Hot US labourers would cut their overalls (jumpsuits) in half to cool off in the warmer months. Commercialisation began in the early 20th century and by the 1930s it was advertised by retailer Sears as 'It's an undershirt, it's an outershirt'.

It took off in the 1950s when Hollywood's rising stars began wearing them to signal a rebellious character. Marlon Brando in 'The Wild One' and James Dean in 'Rebel without a Cause' gave T-shirts sex appeal and catapulted them to iconic status becoming truly unisex with actresses such as Jacqueline Bisset wearing one wet in The Deep and Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsborough, of Anglo-Franco fame, wearing them on holiday - at the beach!.  

Later, advances in technology and adoption by actors and actresses, fashion brands, artists and film producers, advertising Execs and creatives, writers and intellectuals, helped it become the 'Mini of fashion'. A classless opportunity for workers and the wealthy to stand out in a sea of sameness with individuality, personalisation and creativity. 

Katherine Hamnett described a T-shirt as "wearing a slogan as a way of people aligning themselves to a cause. They're tribal. Wearing one is like branding yourself".

Dennis Nothdruft, curator at London's Fashion and Textile Museum, described the T-shirt as:
"a really basic way of telling the world who and what you are.

We love our beach was set up to help beach-loving people to stand out in a sea of sameness with a sense of fun. Making memories on the beach with the ones we love is something that stays with us. Something we can take forward and helps develop creativity, balance and resilience. 

We all have memories of the beach as a child. It's a place that invites adventure, discovery and creativity - all life skills. Make memories with the ones you love. 

We love our beach care about happy times at the coast and on the beach, where the sand meets the sea, and memories are forged that can last a lifetime.

Offering circular fashion, recyclable* Organic-Cotton T-shirts and Hoodies with fun beach and marine designs for adults and children, cool Sunglasses by Waterhaul made from repurposed fishing nets, soft play Beach Play products by Scrunchkids, made from sustainable silicone, re-usable Bees Wax Food Wraps for picnics on the beach and beyond and beautifully illustrated Beach Books by renowned southwest Photographer, Nigel Hicks.

All products are delivered in plastic-free packaging.

FREE delivery on orders of £50 or more (net of discounts). And 10% OFF with code SOUTHHAMS10 at checkout (min. purchase £19)

10% OFF first order when signing up to the Happy Tides newsletter. *£5 credit off next clothing purchase when returned, after life use, for recycling.

We give 10% of profits to beach and marine conservation.

10% OFF for readers - Get 10% OFF orders with code SouthHams10.

‘Seas the day’, you might say.

Shop for a range of designs here.



What's in a T?
What's in a T?
What's in a T?
What's in a T?
What's in a T?

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