Popular Clothing Items That Should Be Familiar

popular clothing itemsMost of us take popular clothing items for granted. Some of the items that are popular today didn’t even exist a hundred years ago. Clothing tends to be more casual than it was as recently as the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although there are still people wearing attire that’s more formal, most of them are business professionals.

The Most Popular Clothing Item in the World

It’s the T-shirt! According to several of my sources, more than two billion of them are sold every year. Your definition of a T-shirt might not be the same as mine. I know people who call every kind of shirt a T-shirt, as long as it has sleeves.

Most Americans can recognize a T-shirt when they see one, whether it has short sleeves or long sleeves, a crew neck or a v-neck. If it has a collar like a regular shirt, it isn’t a T-shirt. T-shirts evolved from undershirts in the 20th century, and they’re never going to disappear. Undershirts as undershirts have evolved as well, no longer limited to white. Some people use undershirts on the outside as well as regular T-shirts. That’s the only thing I use them for nowadays.

Blue Jeans

While today’s jeans can be any color, the most popular color is blue. Blue jeans started to become popular in the 1950s, influenced by movies with popular actors. The United States Navy adopted the “dungaree” made of the same material in 1913. They were phased out sometime in the 1990s (I believe).

Sources say that the average American owns at least seven pairs of jeans. I checked my wardrobe cabinet and I have eight. I rarely wear them while I’m in the Philippines. Because of the heat and humidity, I usually wear basketball shorts and a T-shirt around home. I’ll wear blue jeans (or black jeans) and a polo-style shirt if I need to go somewhere.


Flip-flops are a light type of sandal. They’re called that because of the sound they make when walking in them. In the Philippines, they’re called “tsinelas” (the “ts” sounds like “ch”) in the Tagalog language, “slippers” in the English language. Filipinos only wear shoes when going to work, school, or on special occasions. They wear flip-flops, or nothing, the rest of the time.

Some flip-flops are the most inexpensive types of footwear you can buy. As recently as 2020, I saw them being sold for less than $5 USD. When I was in the military, white flip-flops were used as “shower shoes” and cost less than a dollar a pair. When I lived in Hawaii, while going through high school, flip-flops were the most common footwear. Most of them were “designer” flip-flops, costing a few dollars more than the least expensive ones.

Designer Boxer Shorts Is a Popular Clothing Item

It all started when sagging came into fashion in the 1990s. I won’t get into the details, but a lot of people took it to extremes. I don’t see it as much as I used to when I’m in the United States.

It’s not normally a fashion statement in the Philippines. A lot of the poorer people will wear trousers that sag simply because they don’t have trousers that fit them properly. Heck, they have shorts that don’t fit properly as well. I haven’t worn boxer shorts since the 1980s, when I was in the military. Briefs, and boxer briefs, are much more comfortable.

Undergarments are designed to protect outer clothing from perspiration, mainly. I will never understand why some men refuse to wear any at all.

Image by ArtMechanic, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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