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The Classic T-Shirt

Nigel Cox Loomstate organic-cotton T-shirt, $60.

Photo: Nigel Cox

From Brando to Dean, tie-dye to silk screen, the T-shirt was never just a tee: it’s always been a cultural message board, a banner for self-expression, with or without actual text. Brought home from Europe by U.S. soldiers after World War I, the “T-shirt” entered Merriam-Webster’s dictionary in 1949 and gradually evolved from under- to outerwear, making it ideal for rolling out of bed, off the plane, and around the world. Loomstate’s organic incarnation is defining sustainable style. The four-year-old clothing brand—cofounded by New York fashion designers Rogan Gregory and Scott Hahn—manages all stages of its production to ensure fair labor practices, and sources cotton free of pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers. There are no garish logos, no Frankie Say Recycle slogans, just striking monochrome graphics of landscapes and wildlife, and the occasional handwritten message, like a walrus asking Where my Cows at?It’s fitting to a tee.

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