MPR News with Angela Davis

What do your t-shirts say about you?

woman with drink in peace t-shirt
MPR News host Angela Davis wearing her favorite t-shirt. Listen to the show to hear the story behind it.

In the shift to casual clothes during the pandemic, many of us have been hanging out in our favorite t-shirts. Maybe you’re wearing one now. And it probably says something about you. 

Our closets are full of t-shirts connected to schools, past vacations and sports teams. Maybe you still have that ratty old tee from the first concert you attended. Some t-shirts drift into our lives from charity and corporate events. Others we carefully choose because a graphic or silk-screened slogan perfectly captures a bit of our life philosophy. 

How did what was once a men’s undergarment become a blank canvas to express our identity and affiliations, and for advertisers to use as walking billboards?  

MPR News host Angela Davis talks with a fashion professor and head of a local t-shirt screen printer about the history, appeal and production of the humble t-shirt. 


  • Jacque Lee is CEO of Silva Screenprinting, which prints about 25,000 t-shirts every day at its facility in Northeast Minneapolis.

  • Anupama Pasricha is a professor and department chair of  fashion design and merchandising at Saint Catherine University in St. Paul.

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