If you were anything like me as a teen, the graphic tee was your best friend. Being a beanpole I'd rock mine cropped with the lowest slinging faded vintage flares I could find (my friends called them my "fanny flashers" - tame, till you remember the UK meaning of the word "fanny") and I'd pair the look with Converse, obviously.
Even at school, my Sixth Form (aged 16) required us to wear a suit, more freedom than a uniform but still "professional" - until your suit pants were as baggy and low slung as mine and paired with a graphic tee. I have a distinct memory of our Deputy Head calling me to him from across the quad, only to point out my belly button was on show and how entirely inappropriate that was.
In fact the only rebellion I ever had came in sartorial form (smoking and underage drinking aside...but that never even felt as rebellious to be honest)
Anyhow. My love for the graphic tee never really went away. My favourite Bond Girl tee (circa 1998) was replaced by my (home made...*cringe*) Dior tee (ala Carrie) and was followed up by the most expensive tee I ever bought from Wheels and Doll Baby, "Fuck off I'm With the Band" it read in shiny gold letters, emblazoned across baby pink (circa 2002) and then there was my "Someone in California Loves Me" tee purchased and customized within my first year of living here (circa 2005).
Most of these are still owned by me. There's something about a graphic tee that remains, even if I never wear them (most of them are too small) I keep them, something about what they said, or how they spoke to me when I purchased them makes me never want to throw them out.
According to my observations, the fact they're taking over my wardrobe again and this WWD Spring 2013 Trend Report, the graphic tee is back - and will be on the forefront of fashion for 2013. But not with "fanny flashers" - I've upped my game, now I pair my graphic tees with skirts and heels and boots.
This is the the re-birth of the graphic tee, with a grown up way to wear it.