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T-shirt as a Political Dress Essay

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Updated: Aug 26th, 2020

A T-shirt is one of the most popular pieces of clothing all over the world. Not only teenagers but also politicians and doctors tend to wear it in their workplace. However, is it correct to use this casual clothing taking into consideration one’s significant social position?

In the current globalized era, many British doctors differ from nurses only by the presence of a special badge or a stethoscope, so it becomes quite difficult for their patients to find them. Some people believe that by wearing T-shirts and jeans, these doctors undermine their status, while “a patient’s trust in his or her doctor is seen as a vital prerequisite for ensuring they follow expert advice” (Kremer par. 21).

Others, nevertheless, consider that a T-shirt is useful in building good relationships with patients as it helps to create an atmosphere of relaxation and fun. At this point, most of the US doctors still perceive the absence of a white coat as something odd. It should be mentioned that every state or region has its own clothing peculiarities for health care experts, be it a tie or an open shirt. Thus, it is possible to state that a doctor dressed in a T-shirt plays a crucial role in society, serving as a symbol of decreasing trust in health care and potentially improved relationships with patients at the same time.

Personally, I have no political T-shirts, yet I can suggest that this kind of clothing should reveal a certain message to the public. For example, doctors can express their desire to be friendlier with their patients, politicians can call to accept or reject a reform, or the ordinary people can identify their political preferences or attitudes to some social phenomenon.

Warren, a 60-year-old librarian, came to work dressed in a T-shirt and commented it in the following way: “I embraced a work world where I can dance around like a goofball singing to babies and toddlers at story time instead of striding, suit-clad, into court” (par. 19). This case clearly shows that people try to convey the way they feel through a T-shirt. In order to be understood by others, they wear T-shirts with certain prints, inscriptions, and colors. Thus, a T-shirt takes on the role of a communicator between a person and his or her environment.

Another issue related to political clothes is a hoodie. According to Patterson, a message reflected by a hoodie depends on a particular person involving his or her race, gender, and occupation (par. 10). For example, the working class hoodie is associated with tenacity, while Zuckerberg’s hoodie implies informality.

Furthermore, the fact that an African-American person is dressed in a hoodie is regarded as a sign of racial politics in the context of current events, namely, Beyoncé’s recent video for Formation song and others (Patterson par. 3). It should also be pointed out that a hoodie can be connected with sexism. Groth states that in Silicon Valley, people try to wear clothes that fit their technology environment. At this point, it becomes difficult for women to choose proper clothing to be a part of a group (par. 3).

As for the effectiveness, it seems that both a T-shirt and a hoodie are powerful tools, assisting to manage political issues. As it can be noted from the examples provided earlier in this essay, the impact of these clothes on society can be either positive or negative.

Works Cited

Groth, Aimee. “Quartz. Accessed 22 Nov. 2016.

Kremer, William. “BBC News, 2013.

Patterson, Troy. “The New York Times, 2016.

Warren, Roze. “The Huffington Post.

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IvyPanda. "T-shirt as a Political Dress." August 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/t-shirt-as-a-political-dress/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "T-shirt as a Political Dress." August 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/t-shirt-as-a-political-dress/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'T-shirt as a Political Dress'. 26 August.

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