Hanes Beefy-T Turns 40

A beloved apparel icon is marking its 40th birthday this year: The Beefy-T T-shirt from Hanes started life in the 1970s, when the company discovered its white underwear shirts were being screen printed and worn as outerwear. Hanes developed the Beefy-T, a roomier and heavier-weight tee, specifically to service the growing decoration industry.

“The Beefy-T was a game-changer for our industry,” says Rachel Newman, director of marketing and sales for Hanes Branded Printwear (asi/59528). “Like the iPhone is to smartphones, the Hanes Beefy-T defined the category and became synonymous with a great, high-quality printed tee.”

By the early 2000s, Hanes had made one billion Beefy-Ts. At the time, research showed that consumers 16 and older purchased at least four printed T-shirts a year.

Rick Roth, owner of Pawtucket, RI-based Mirror Image, calls the Beefy-T a “respectable platform for creating lasting works of art.” He adds: “I first used Beefy-T’s when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Seriously, I can’t remember ever not using them. Beefy-T’s have always been the gold standard for a T-shirt.”

Mark Kuli of Orange County, CA-based Kustom Imprints agrees, calling the shirts, made of a soft 6.1-oz. ringspun fabric, “the Babe Ruth of our industry.”

Event Calendar

June 1-4, Vancouver, BC; Calgary, AB; Edmonton, AB ASI Roadshow

(800) 546-3300,

June 15-18, Salt Lake City, UT; Denver; Albuquerque, NM; Phoenix ASI Roadshow

(800) 546-3300,

July 14-16, Chicago ASI Show

(800) 546-3300,

July 26-27, Nashville, TN Embroidery Mart – EAST

(800) 866-7396,