2009 October 26

fotl_layered_tshirtThe long sleeve T-shirt emerged in the 1970s, when it became popular with skateboarders as a way of protecting their elbows and shoulders from falls in a way that short sleeve T-shirts couldn’t. Since then, it’s become fashionable to wear a long-sleeved T-shirt under a short-sleeved T-shirt for a slim looking way of adding warmth to clothing. You can even buy two-in-one long and short sleeved T-shirts to make this appearance even sleeker.

Increasingly, long sleeve Tshirts have also been worn in summer, for two completely opposite reasons: air conditioning in offices, bars and restaurants has meant that people often need to wear more clothing indoors than out, and a teeshirt with sleeves that can be pushed up when hot, and lowered when cold is ideal but the other reason is the increasing public awareness of the risks of sunburn and sun cancers from prolonged exposure to the sun and as shoulders, and forearms often burn, people have taken to wearing long-sleeved T-shirts to protect delicate skin.

In addition, long sleeve T-shirts are proving popular in the workplace as they are cheap to buy, look good and last a long time. Hooded, long sleeved teeshirts are this year’s big hit as they offer style and warmth at a really good price.

2009 June 18

The long-sleeve T-shirt used to be the preserve of the Canadian joke (along with the long underwear with the flap at the back) which said it was so cold in Canada that even summer clothing had long sleeves!

Today though, the lonlongsleeveg-sleeved T-shirt has stepped out of the shadows and become one of 2009’s top sellers.

One reason for the long-sleeved T-shirt’s sudden popularity is the recession. People looking for work are being told by consultants and employers alike that certain things: piercings, tattoos, unkempt hair, can cost them a job at interview. And with it being a buyer’s market, even when an interview requires only casual wear, people are taking care to cover up tattoos when going for interviews.

Equally, once you get into the workplace, clothing is becoming more formal and this is again the effect of recession. When money is tight, customers like to be treated with courtesy and formality becomes more important. Long-sleeved T-shirts are becoming increasingly popular as work-wear because they give the impression of a more well-dressed work-force which in turn gives the impression of more politeness and – perhaps subconsciously – a greater investment in the company which implies a more substantial business in times where any straw in the wind can cause people to wonder if a company or organisation will survive the recession.

Finally, long-sleeve T-shirts have been popularised by bands like Kings of Leon, so they are considered cool as well as practical. And in a British summer, recession or no recession, that can be a good thing …