03 June, 2010

Tee Time:

Summer is here in its full glory and has ushered in heat, sweat and holidays. Summer vacations are the time for outdoor fun. And T-shirts are the hot favourite for a cool and casual look in this season. T- Shirts are a sign of comfort; most of the time expressing your free spirit, rebellious streak and casual self. Styles like Fashion Polo’s, Slogan T-shirts & Sweat shirts are much in demand. So let’s find out more about this comfort apparel which is popular with all age groups and sexes.


A T-shirt is usually a buttonless and collarless shirt, with a round neck and short sleeves typically made from cotton or polyester fibers (or a mix of both). Sometimes it is collared with buttons. T-shirts are knitted in a jersey stitch that gives it a distinctive soft texture.

At present many brands have customized fabric blends to keep them sweat free and breathable. Reebok has ‘play dry technology’ t-shirts for effective moisture management. Lightweight and stretchable Lycra fabrics are being used because of its excellent draping and fit on the body by many brands.

T-shirts were named as we know them due to the shape of the garment's outline.T-shirts were originally worn as undershirts.The oldest form of T-shirt can be dated back to late 1800s where miners and dock workers used it as convenient apparel in very hot environments. T-shirts were made popular by US navy as they used plain white tees under their uniforms. They brought the crew-neck style in vogue. T-shirts were easily fitted, easily cleaned, and were inexpensive, and for this reason , they became very popular among the masses.

As market is still recovering from recession, the fashion sense of consumers still echoes the need for more sober, comfortable and inexpensive choices. Mr. Kabir Lumba, Executive Director, Lifestyle International (P) Ltd suggests that they have launched low priced brand (Ginger) which is doing well and expect this segment to do well in future as well.


Smart one liner (inspirational and humorous): This category will never go out of fashion. It is a form of expression. It is about making a statement. It is popular with both young men and women, especially the collegiate who wants to have fun while wearing this garment. Ranjiv Ramchandani of Tantra states that “the t-shirt is just a means to laugh at ourselves.” Brands like Tantra are preferred by youngsters for its humour, uniqueness, colour and visibility. At present they are available with three different labels – Tantra, Barking Dog and Line Maro. Even Wrangler has a good collection in this segment.

Cartoon tees: Many love to watch cartoons irrespective of their age and many love the cartoons on their t-shirts as well. Market is flooded with Barbie, Bob the builder, Mickey Mouse, Donald and Tom & Jerry t-shirts. It is a hit with children and youth icons like Katrina Kaif have made this trend very popular among the teenage girls and young women alike. Apart from regular cartoons, other cartoon tees like Zoo-zoos by Vodafone etc are also popular with both boys and girls.

Graphic prints: Gothic and graphic designs are very much in vogue. 2010 is all about cleaner aesthetic and lesser bling. In this summer, look for interesting graphic prints of butterflies, flowers, Red Indian, wind swept maidens, fairies and demons on your t-shirts. Some even have devotional motifs of Om, Ganesha, Buddha and Krishna. All those who have grown out of cartoons can opt for a more rock-chic style. It is more popular with the urban consumers who are in their teens or early twenties.

Layering: This trend is hot with the uber cool collegiate as well as casual wear for younger men. Layering is a style where you wear half sleeve shirt or a t-shirt over a full sleeve t-shirt. Or you wear a round neck, half sleeve t-shirt under a full sleeve checkered shirt. Few garments are stitched in such a manner to give an impression of a dual shirt/ t-shirt combination. This is available in most of the leading brands and is aimed at younger consumers.

Sporty look: Sports T-shirts are the hot favorites this season. These t-shirts are sold as team merchandise, mostly with some number on the back or front like that of sportsmen. Many of these mimic the latest sports team’s uniform. Reebok is the official sponsor of Kolkata Knight Rider’s apparel. Puma sponsors the uniform of Deccan chargers and Mr Rajiv Mehta, MD of Puma India states that, “Puma brings a sense of fashion and flair to the kits with tailored jerseys, tracks, bags etc.” As India is a cricket crazy country, these are much in demand by a lot of men in all age groups.

At times names of players along with their numbers in the team are put up as designs; most popular being Ronaldo and Beckham. These are specially targeted for younger consumers. Puma collaborated with Giny and Jony to launch Puma kids wear in India. This was done to promote the sports collection to a wider range of consumers.

A lot of brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma and Proline have dedicated segment for sports and gym wear for both men and women. These are much in demand because of the latest fitness fad which has gripped the country. Few have involved renowned designers to make this segment a hit with the consumers. Subhinder Singh Prem, MD of Reebok India states, “We have done innovation in colours, styling, tying up with fashion designer Manish Arora to launch new collections.”


Colour blocks: Recently, colour blocks have been used in a lot of designs. These are simple patterns created by putting asymmetrical and abstract designs with colour blocking technique giving it a very edgy and geometric look. This is mostly seen in women’s t-shirts and t-dresses.

Soild colours: Solid colours are used to create plain t-shirts. Bright colours, non-family color combinations are the latest trends.

Stripes: Stripes can never go out of fashion. Parallel stripes, vertical stripes, pin stripes, big and small stripes, are found with almost all brands and is an ever green trend. It is mainly popular with men of all ages. Special brands dedicated to men like John Players by ITC, Fressco by Classic polo have amazing collection in stripes. Even women like to wear stripes for a casual and sporty look

Tie and die: This is one of the old styles which have been revived this season and many brands are producing t-shirts with this pattern. Mostly produced in candy colours, this style is much in demand.

Abstract: Another pattern which never goes out of fashion is abstract prints. This pattern is used in t-shirts for all ages and for both men and women. Customers looking for more young and unique styles with new color combinations instead of standard colors. Rajesh Batra, Chairman of Proline India Limited, states that casual wear line ‘Paint Can Media’ revolves around the graffiti splashed in day-to-day life on the urban streets and is much in demand.


V-necks, round necks, polo necks, half sleeves, full sleeves, Vests are the common cuts in which t-shirts are designed. For women, tank tops, halter neck, scoop neck, cropped t-shirts (revealing midriff) are also designed to keep up with the trends. Unisex straight fits are available with ‘Tantra’. Slim fits are being offered by almost all brands. Few like tall tees (the length can extend till knees) and t-dresses to get comfort in summers.


Price varies for each brand. For children, the t-shirts are available from Rs 399 onwards. For girls the price ranges from Rs 199 to Rs 1500. For boys the price ranges from Rs 499 and above.

Have fun this summer with your favourite tee.

Parimita Chakravorty

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