Wear your heart on a T-shirt

Updated: 19 September, 2020 08:37 IST | Sukanya Datta | Mumbai

With actor Rhea Chakraborty's 'smash patriarchy' T-shirt creating a flutter, take a look at slogan tees that made a statement, and tips on how to style them right

Rhea Chakraborty at the NCB office. Pic/PTI
Rhea Chakraborty at the NCB office. Pic/PTI

Actor Rhea Chakraborty made headlines last week as she breezed past a mob of media crew, into the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) office for questioning in a drugs case, allegedly linked to the death of Sushant Singh Rajput. While Chakraborty was eventually arrested, it was her black typographical T-shirt that grabbed eyeballs, as it read, 'Roses are red, Violets are blue, Let's smash patriarchy, Me and you'. With a section of the society terming the aggression Chakraborty has been facing a witch hunt, her T-shirt found an echo among netizens. Several celebrities shared the quote, and Chakraborty's casual T-shirt was deemed as a subtle, but loud political statement.

But this is not the first time the humble T-shirt has caught the world's attention. In fact, Chakraborty's choice is part of a line of merchandise that The Souled Store made in collaboration with the NGO GiveHer5 to help make menstrual hygiene accessible to women in rural India.

the T-shirt was created by The Souled Store and GiveHer5. PIC/PTI, giveher5 on instagram
The T-shirt was created by The Souled Store and GiveHer5. PIC/giveher5 on instagram

Fashion activist and entrepreneur Aishwarya Sharma, who shuttles between Delhi and Mumbai, reminds us of the time British designer Katharine Hamnett met then-UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1984 in a T-shirt that read '58% don't want pershing', to drive home the public's anti-nuclear sentiment. "Since then, there's been no stopping. It was like revolution through T-shirt slogans; it gave people a voice," Sharma shares. From gathering support for those suffering from AIDS to standing up against gun violence, here's how the T-shirt has often been used as a fashionable tool of subversion and awareness.

Rebels with a cause

Miley Cyrus sports her ‘Protect kids/Not guns’  T-shirt. PIC/Instagram
Miley Cyrus sports her ‘Protect kids/Not guns’  T-shirt. PIC/Instagram

Amid increasing gun violence in schools and educational institutions in the US, Sharma points out how pop idol Miley Cyrus wore a T-shirt that read, 'Protect kids/Not guns' in December 2018. The star had layered the T-shirt with a plaid suit.

Log on to chnge.com

Matter of rights

Rihanna in a ‘We should all be feminists’ T-shirt. PIC/Instagram
Rihanna in a ‘We should all be feminists’ T-shirt. PIC/Instagram

Most prominently used as a title of the speech Hillary Clinton delivered at a UN conference on women in 1995, 'Women's rights are human rights' has become one of the catchphrases of the feminist movement, and made its appearance on T-shirts, too. Dior's 'We should all be feminists', inspired by the title of an essay by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Sisterhood series are also some of the popular T-shirts that helped further the cause. "Slogans on T-shirts are a simple way to add identity to one's look, to be seen for who we are, and to be known for our social and political stands," Sharma notes.

Log on to aaramkhor.com for various versions of pro-feminism T-shirts
Cost Rs 449 onwards

Language on their minds

MP Kanimozhi with youth wearing anti-Hindi T-shirts. PIC/Twitter
MP Kanimozhi with youth wearing anti-Hindi T-shirts. PIC/Twitter

The ongoing debate on the alleged imposition of Hindi as a national language took a viral turn last week when social media was abuzz with pictures of youth wearing T-shirts that read, "I am Indian, I don't speak Hindi" and "I am a Tamil speaking Indian". This included Thoothukudi MP Kanimozhi who tweeted a picture of herself with a group of youngsters wearing these T-shirts.

Log on to teez.in
COST Rs 449

Styled to the T

Aishwarya Sharma

  • With a blazer: A slogan T-shirt with shorts might read too casual; add a blazer and two-toned heels to elevate the look.
  • With a skirt: Dress up a simple yet strong slogan T-shirt by wearing it with a metallic midi skirt.
  • As a dress: You can go for a T-shirt in a larger size to elongate the hemline, or opt for a T-shirt dress. Slip into boots and get going.
  • With denims: Pair it with distressed jeans, and a top-handle bag, and you're sorted with a chic look.

Inputs by Aishwarya Sharma

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First Published: 19 September, 2020 07:33 IST

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