Now, with the arise of Neon to main stream fashion’s forefront, with it comes reminders for those of us from a time of the Hypercolor Tee. The designers at American Apparel were so ready for this.
If you aren’t sure what Hypercolor or Thermochromatic is, it’s basically a top that has temperature activated pigment. When you put your hands on it, it changes color, between two colors, or sometimes just to white. Often they would use a cold and heat activated pigment so ice or cold water would change the tee’s color as well. In the late 80s, this was one of the coolest things you could buy. Read more…
American Apparel calls theirs the Thermochromatic top, probably a better name than “Hyper Color” anyway. The old Hypercolor tees used to stop working after a few improper washes, and can never be exposed to the high heat of a dryer. When I would find them as a kid, they would be at a thrift store and with good reason, they had all the right labels but none of the hypercolor magic left. The big problem then was improper care rather than manufacturing. People never took care to separate the shirts and wash them with cold water, and the dryer is murder to a Hyper Color tee. Because of the heat activated color change drying the tee on high is just too hot for the sensitive chemistry going on in the tee’s fibers.
American apparel has a few styles or Thermochromatic top so far, a unisex tank top, unisex tee, unisex grid top, a graphic tee featuring “Gay Beach” DJ and a kids & youth tee. All styles have up to 4 color choices, all neon pastels just like Hypercolor tees always were. Like a worn out beach top, they will be just as classic, especially if you take good care of them.
Get them here: