graphic tee clone wars

Is it just me or have the same graphic t-shirt designs been getting recycled, redone, mixed-up, remixed, and mashed-up for the past 2-3 years (in a fashion similar to those semi-synonymous words all used to describe such t-shirts in an ironic fashion)? You know what I’m talking about.  The cross images, the random bible excerpts, the rosary beads, the eagles, the generic royal-like crests, skull and crossbones (I may dedicate an entire post to this images’ overkill), etc.  On paper, you throw all these symbols and images together and its sounds pretty controversial, right? However, in practice, all you really get is a mixed message, a lazy approach to philosophy/art, and a cotton t-shirt.


My point here, be careful. I found these images in about 4minutes, downloading and uploading to the post included. Nordstrom, Kohls, JCPenny, anywhere where you’d expect uncreative generic t-shirts to be found, they were moving like hotcakes straight out of the Back to School Special sections. What I’m saying, essentially, is that further investment in this nature of shirting will result in you looking like a back-to-school kid and not the “I’m so above that” type that I’m hoping we all are pretending (or appearing) to be here at manshion.

Better graphic tee’s are out there. They involve different designs, abstract imagery, and are open to some interpretation. The ironic/artsy taste involved in creating such acceptable casual wear is absent from most of the aforementioned retailer’s suppliers, as they have no problem piggy-backing off the latest trend.

And further graphic t-shirt ranting here. Some good options thrown about there, too, by some classy folk.

OH! Let me not forget why I put this rant in the “Never.” category as well.

Graphic button-down shirts? Ridiculous, I hate these things.


Garbage, doesn’t matter the brand. A button-up, collared dress shirt, needn’t be screen printed upon with skulls, hawks, etc.  Perhaps a short sleeve version with distressed fabric, otherwise known as a work shirt, sure.  But when the company simply runs the printing press on a decent white oxford and thinks they’ve made for an “edgy night on the town,” I can’t help but shake my head. Never.

PS. I’ve recently phased out my generic graphic tee’s (that look oddly similar (read: dead-on) to all of these above) and opted for nothing but plain t’s when it comes to casualwear. Until the day I find some alternatives that really stand out, black and white crew/v-neck shirts will fill the void quite nicely. Plus, I’m going for the Classic American (easy, cheap, no gimmicks) look in the casual department these days anyway.

One Response to “graphic tee clone wars”
  1. Couldn’t agree more.

    v-necks = Uniqlo ($4.90)
    NOTE: Hard to find the size L in the store. Hopefully they have online ordering, especially for those of you that don’t live in NYC.

    Also, I tend to think the designs of graphics tees at Heritage (a Forever21 subsidiary), are a bit more fresh and worthwhile.

    Great use of the created verb – “shirting” – in this post.

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