Tag Archives: Che Guevara t-shirts


Top 10 Things Che Did to Become a T-Shirt Legend


Born into an upper-middle-class family in Rosario, Argentina, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was to become a legendary figure in the history of Latin America. He rejected both capitalism and Soviet communism, eventually developing into a radical convinced that the only way to bring about social change was through violent revolution. His reputation as a rebel has landed his image on everything from coffee mugs to tattoos. His cult following continues even among today’s youth, particularly Latinos. Here are a few reasons Che Guevara became a t-shirt legend.

1.    Medical training. Unlike many guerrillas of the time, Che Guevara was educated at the University of Buenos Aires, graduating with a degree in medicine in 1953.

2.    His romanticism. Che grew up in a home  with more than 3,000 books, and was remarkably well-read. He was especially passionate about poetry, favoring poets such Pablo Neruda, Rudyard Kipling, John Keats, Antonio Machado, Federico García Lorca, Gabriela Mistral, César Vallejo, José Hernández and Walt Whitman.

3.    His intellectual idealism. As a youth, Che was exposed to the philosophies of influential intellectuals including Karl Marx, William Faulkner, André Gide, Emilio Salgari and Jules Verne. Additionally, he enjoyed the writings of Sigmund Freud, Jawaharlal Nehru, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Vladimir Lenin and Jean-Paul Sartre. The ideas of these thinkers greatly influenced the development of Che’s own distinct philosophies.

4.    Author of “The Motorcycle Diaries.” At 23, Che left his medical studies to travel across South America on an old motorcycle with his friend, a 29-year-old biochemist named Alberto Granado. His trip allowed him to witness the poverty and social plights of various groups, including mine workers, communists, lepers and the Latin American poor, which he documented in the book. It has been a New York Times bestseller several times, and in 2004 was used as the basis for a popular movie of the same name.

5.    Compassion for the poor. Che Guevara had tremendous compassion for the poor and sick, which led him to the field of medicine and also to travel extensively, witnessing the struggles of these groups.

6.    His rebel spirit. Undoubtedly the one characteristic that draws admirers to Che is his rebel spirit. He assisted Fidel Castro’s revolutionaries in overthrowing the Cuban government in 1958, gaining fame as one of the leading figures in Castro’s government. He later led guerrilla efforts in Africa and Bolivia.

7.    His appearance. Che’s rugged yet handsome face has become a staple on a huge variety of merchandise. The Alberto Korda photograph of him, taken in 1960, is the commonly reproduced version and was declared “the most famous photograph in the world.”

8.    His associations. Che was a diplomat for Cuban socialism, traveling widely in Russia, India and Africa, meeting the leading figures of the world at that time. He also orchestrated the close relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union.

9.    His contrasts.
Che Guevara was a study in contrasts. He once said, “the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love,” but he was also an expert in the dark tactics of guerrilla warfare. He was notorious as a ruthless disciplinarian who shot defectors without hesitation.

10.    His death. Che was executed in 1967 at the hands of Bolivian forces, assisted by the CIA. His death was considered a martyrdom by many, leading to his status as a revolutionary icon.

Che Guevara

Why Do People Wear Che Guevara T-Shirts?

Che Guevara

There are a lot of Che Guevara t-shirts out there, but there are perhaps even more reasons why people wear them. There are those who have seen the image and simply like it and want to wear it. There are also people who wear them because people they admire, such as professors, bosses, or parents wear them. Some wear Che Guevara t-shirts to express part of their own political ideas. Others wear them specifically because they admired some of the things that Che Guevara did during his own political and military career.

There is undoubtedly an international following for Che Guevara t-shirts. They are popular for their style as well as their statement. The t-shirts have become to many people a symbol of their own rebellious nature. To some people, a Che Guevara t-shirt is a symbol of rebellion against the constraints of the government, of society or of whatever it is they feel is too constraining

Some people feel that being passionate about politics or military actions is an important part of life, and that attracts them to the symbol of Che Guevara. He is seen by many to be a symbol of an overriding passion for change that can change the way whole governments and armies operate.

For some, the look of military style is what is appealing. Camouflage and Che Guevara t-shirts appeals to them for the image it conveys. The classic Che Guevara image is one in which he is wearing a military hat and coat. Someone wearing a similar outfit may enjoy a Che Guevara t-shirt because it fits into that image with its military style.

Other people are opposed to specific types of political parties or types of government. These may include conservative politics or communism in general. Some use it as a symbol of fighting against the ruling classes that they perceive as oppressing the poorer classes. The struggle of one class against another is one that interests many people in learning more about Che Guevara and wearing t-shirts that feature him.

In most cases, it is used as a symbol of revolution, rebellion and being true to your own vision. While not everyone who wears these t-shirts agrees with everything that Che Guevara stood for, for many it’s not about anything that he did specifically. For them, it’s more about symbolizing living life on their own terms rather than simply doing what they are told to do feeling true passion for a cause.

A Che Guevara t-shirt doesn’t have to be worn to symbolize anything that other people wear it to symbolize. If it appeals to someone, it can be worn for whatever reason has drawn them to it. It can be about politics, the military, fashion, passion or rebellion. It can be worn for a combination or some or all of these reasons. Whatever the reason, a Che Guevara t-shirt does stir up passions in those who are for or against him and what he stood for. And for many, that’s exactly what they want to accomplish.