From the monthly archives:

August 2006

On Top’O the World

by Andy on August 31, 2006

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I forgot that I had to blog today (even though I picked out the hoodie this afternoon from my big list) and now its almost 3AM, so I am pretty much phoning this one in.

Our zip-up hoodie is another super-soft but super-durable creation from our wringer-washed 380-gram fleece category. The Topo is discharge screen printed across the front of this jacket for a soft hand and features front and back Western yokes — a totally unique attribute for any hoodie. Topo signature stripe zipper taping and a custom zip-pull rounds out the look.

Check out the lines printed on the top of the hood, and that logo, it’s some kind of a rodent with wings, pretty bizarre, and yet pretty cool at the same time.

Costiness=$92 URL

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Soft Touch Reviews: Ban T-Shirts

by Andy on August 30, 2006

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Ahhhh, political t-shirts, my favourite. If people have the ideas and knowledge to back up their wearing of a politically orientated shirt, then I’m totally cool with them, but otherwise, I declare open season on phonies, and yes, I am talking to you, Hollywood (I presume that at least one A-lister reads the blog). And I feel this after having just spent 3 years studying politics, so I hope you can understand my frustration with people that don’t seem to understand the issues.

Luckily for Ban T-shirts, they shan’t face my wrath, I think that they ‘get it’. Also, their designs are pretty freakin’ sweet, so I was very pleased when a mysterious figure from BT known to me only as ‘the Dude’ offered to send a tee my way. This morning I found a little USPS packet on the kitchen table (same size as when you get 1 tee from Threadless), which always surprises me, because how can such a small packet contain something that fits me?

Anywho, it can, and of course it feels nice because its American Apparel (the 2001 tee if I’m not mistaken), and the printing feels solid, though obviously I can’t comment upon durability (but I will stick my neck out and predict that it will last for quite a while, despite only being thin lines).

The barbed-wire outline of the United States on the ‘Fortress America‘ tee works really well in my opinion, with a powerful sentiment over the current immigration debate that is raging in the US (and in my country – the UK). Though funnily enough I can actually see this tee being worn by both the Left and the Right, seriously, what Minute Man wouldn’t want to wear this on border patrol?

Check out the rest of the Ban T-Shirts catalogue, because they’ve got a wide variety of shirts covering a lot of issues prominent in topical debates, as well as a few classics.

Costiness=$15.95 URL

Coming up sometime in the near future I’ll be posting an interview with ‘the Dude’ from Ban T-shirts, which should be an interesting read.

Two more pics after the jump
[click to continue…]

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My baby shot me down…

by Andy on August 28, 2006

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Ok, I know I seem to post about Backseat Kiss almost as much as Naive or Oddica, but if they keep kicking out awesome hoodies, I’m not really in a position to stop posting their super-cute model now, am I?

You all know that I like to see innovation in placement with my cotton goods, so when I saw a six-shooter holstered in the pocket I was immediately impressed, and the “official backseat kiss cowboy badge” looks pretty nice too, incorporating the robot logo into a classic icon, though if I were to be particularly pedantic I’d have to say that it was a sheriff’s badge, yes?

I’m sure that some of you might have some reservations wearing a hoodie that gives the appearance that you’re carrying some kind of weapon, especially since you apparently can’t wear certain items of clothing in parts of America now, but you know what, forget it, if you’ve got a cowboy/sheriff badge you deserve a screenprinted handgun!

Costiness=$39 (and it comes with a free tote bag as part of the ‘Back to School’ promotion!) URL

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I feel like a salmon…

by Andy on August 24, 2006

… because I always seem to be flaking on you!

There’s no (real) post tonight or tomorrow because I’m heading down to the Midlands for a wedding tomorrow and I’ve got to be up early tomorrow for the 170 mile drive.

But I promise I will have an absolute doozy of a hoodie for you on Monday, and there should be a hands-on review next week, and possibly even an interview, so whilst the weekend may be starting early at HYA, next week should be awesome.

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All politics aside

by Andy on August 24, 2006

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I always feel a bit uneasy when I see clothing that has political meaning, especially if it is Che Guevara or something derivative of him, but sometimes these crazy activists and non-violent freedom fighters actually come up with designs that I quite like.

Bureaucrash have achieved just that, and whilst I may well have picked their least obviously political hoodie, I still think it’s a bit of a winner. The symbols are apparently an ancient expression of liberty, if you’re willing to believe them, the only thing I can promise is that it doesn’t say ‘super homosexual‘. The blurb says that it’s printed on a 50/50 blend, which is usually code for Fruit of the Loom.

Costiness=$29.76 URL

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Death… and taxes… Well, I guess you can add a third one to that list, the continuing proliferation of design-submission-competition tee stores. There are a lot of them out there, and if the previous post about Threadless taught us anything its that as a business model it can be pretty darned successful, so I’m not one of those guys that rolls his eyes when I see another company that seems similar to the big T, because lets face it, it’s a good way to make sure you have quality (and commercial quality) in your inventory.

Styletax treats its artists a bit different to most of its brethren, instead one getting one lump sum as a prize for having a winning design, it’s possible that you could be earning cash off your design for the forseeable future. Styletax will give you €1 for every tee that they sell with your design on it, I think they do runs of 100 tees, so if you design a good seller then you’d get up to €100, but reprints are always a possibility. You also get a couple of free tees if your design is a winner.

There’s quite a lot of cartoony, bold vectored designs in the shop at the moment, but my favourites are actually the more intricate and subtle designs (such as ‘Drawing a Daydream’ and ‘Night Owl’), so there’s a nice variety

All the tees are a reasonable €15, but when you consider that worldwide shipping is €2.50 for 1 tee, then you’ve got a very good deal.

And if you were wondering why there is no picture or page links, it’s because the whole site is Flash and I’m not really in the mood to take a screen capture and crop it at 2am.

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Threadless is a giant

by Andy on August 22, 2006

Very interesting article over at the Crowdsourcing blog about everyone’s favourite user-submission and rating tee shop, Threadless. As you would imagine, the article is about the economics of crowdsourcing and something called ‘long-tail’, which are a bit over my head (though it is fun to learn about the business behind the cotton), but there are some very interesting numbers in the article:

  • They sell 60,000 t-shirts a month
  • The estimated gross for 2006 is $18 million
  • The user community amounts to about 350,000 people
  • When they do a reprint, they reprint at least 1,200 of the design (and remember how fast Flowers in the Attic usually sells out)
  • They’ve turned down offers from Target and Urban Outfitters and 99% of sales occur online.

I know it’s a subject a bit off the beaten track of HYA, but I’ve noticed a spate of articles recently about small and underground tee companies, and thought you might want to hear about one of the success stories.

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Oddica now Hides Your Arms

by Andy on August 22, 2006

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Thank God for that, I was starting to run out of excuses for running a tee company!

If there was ever a tee design that was destined to be turned into a hoodie and be worn by record store owners across the world it was the Exploded Turntable, if I remember correctly, the artist actually takes apart items (such as the turntable) and draws based upon what he finds, how cool is that? I wonder if he knows that you ca usually find these things in manuals?

Whilst I do see the exploded turntable as being one of the best sellers, ‘Can’t beat’em Sell’em‘ and ‘Ghost Camera‘ are actually my favourites, I just like the cutesy design of the former, and the idea behind the latter.

The hoodies sell for $38, but if you use the coupon codetell‘ (lowercase) then you will get $7 off your order.

In other Oddica news, they’re going to be sending out wallet-sized ‘tell cards’ with every order, so that when someone asks you where you got that awesome tee (which happened to me twice this weekend, whilst wearing ‘A Fathom Farewell‘ from Threadless) instead of you telling them, then them forgetting, you can just give them a little card, and then when they next go to the ATM and thumb through their cards they’ll be like, “oh yeah, Oddica, that octopus on a plane was awesome, what clever marketing!”

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Seibei reopens, with a coupon code!

by Andy on August 21, 2006

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Seibei seem like a really nice company to me, cute graphics, a regularly updated blog (which isn’t just filled with encouragement to buy Seibei clothing), they’re happy to link to their competitiors (and me, top o’ the list y’all!), they mow their lawn in a bunny suit (the grass stains must be a nightmare) and most importantly, they’ve got some great designs, like the infamously awesome Intramural Zombie Hunting League tee.

The shop at Seibei had been closed since the July 1qst, and after a number of setbacks David has finally managed to reopen the store at the weekend, all the tees are now printed on American Apparel, instead of the previously used Anvil brand, although I don’t think that the prices have gone up that much compared to how much more the tee stock costs. The tees have their own custom printed Seibei tag in them, which is cool since you don’t see that with too many small brands at the moment.

Most of the tees are $16, but if that isn’t a sweet enough deal for you, HYA has been set up with its very own coupon code, so when you make and order just put HIDEYOURARMS (all one word, not case sensitive) in the box on the shipping page, which is the first once you’re in the checkout, and you’ll get $4 off your order.

*I forgot to mention it earlier, but the coupon is valid until September 10th, so you have 19 days(ish depending on time zone) to pick up a bargain.*

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The only Fresh thing in L.A.

by Andy on August 18, 2006

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This hoodie isn’t the kind of thing that I’d usually go for, fake vintage and a biker theme with trendy sewn on patches, but even I have to admit that it’s pretty cool.

And I wanted to do a recommendation from Revolve Clothing (just to avoid confusion, the hoodie brand is ‘Fresh’, Revolve is a store) since they’ve got a great range, admittedly it’s usually mainstream labels, and it ain’t exactly cheap (though there is a lot of sale items), but it still just ‘feels’ like a good store to buy from.

Costiness=$72 URL

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I pick Piqto

by Andy on August 17, 2006

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Quick post tonight because I’m so tired that keep hitting the wrong keys on the laptop (though it being dark and me being in bed may have contributed to that).

On this hoody the main motive of the winter series is printed: hummingbirds, flowers and alternate «Piqto» logo in a brown-grey tone – jets and sun in the background in bright blue (screen printing).

I like it, it’s cool.

Costiness=€38 URL

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Not a t-shirt blog: The Unknown t-shirt

by Andy on August 16, 2006

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Now, I’m sure that Nate from The Unknown T-shirt would be the first to admit that he doesn’t own the flashiest website in the world, but this guy is an artist, and I like his tees, so I ain’t going to rag on his site.

A lot of the tees have some kind of an animal theme to them, with a comic/cartoon style, and usually with a hand drawn look. There’s a lot of fun designs on show here, even if I don’t completely understand most of them ( maybe that’s the point?), and they’re offerend at a price that might persuade you that you don’t need another tee from Threadless.

The tee’s are printed on Gildan stock, which I personally like because it tends to be a bit heavier than AA (and the summer days are certainly getting shorter), and I’ve got a Gildan tee which is 4/5 years old and hasn’t got out of shape or faded at all.

Costiness=$12 (via Paypal) URL

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I don’t know when Digital Gravel decided that their store was big enough to warrant daily mail-outs, but I welcomed the spam today because it had rather a nifty hoodie in it.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, oriental themed clothing can look a bit cliche, much like your ill-advised tattoo that probably doesn’t say “peace. love. serenity”, but I’m always willing to make exceptions for quality. I’ll let Digital Gravel do the describing for me:

This is a new version of one of Sam’s most famous portraits, the semi-nude masked woman, clutching her hands up over her torso. All the graphics on this baby are embroidered. And what great embroidery work it is. Great placement too. The Chinese characters on the top left seem to be based on a traditional artist’s signature as can be found on many Japanese and Chinese scrolls. Heavyweight cotton/poly blend fleece.

Embroidered eh? I can’t really imagine how that will work, it seems like more of a screenprint job to me, but it does look mighty fine in the detail pic.

Costiness=$72 MEN’S URL WOMEN’S URL

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Threadless $10 sale

by Andy on August 14, 2006

Threadless are having another of their famed $10 sales, but with an ever so slightly different theme this time. It’s a back to school sale, buuuut…. school is evil.

Everytime that they have a sale the inventory seems to disappear within a matter of hours (well, that’s probably a bit exaggerated, but I need to illustrate my point) so this time they’re releasing new designs over the next few days which will hopefully extend the longevity of the sale and keep their servers slightly less on fire, and guess how many new tees are coming each day?

6! Because of the evil theme! 6 today, 6 tomorrow, and then finally 6 on Wednesday, so keep your eye out for the new designs.

Oh, and just in case you missed the affiliate link earlier: Threadless, Threadless Bo Bedless… Threadless!

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A mixtape for Backseat Kissing to

by Andy on August 11, 2006

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Y’know, I’d love to be like John Cusack in High Fidelity and have a zen-like quality for crafting perfect mixtapes, but I usually find myself dumping a few recently downloaded MP3s (legal ones, well, as legal as Stereogum gets) onto a CD and burning it before I head for a night out (its a 20 minute drive to go see my friends). As such, my mixtapes are usually not well formed… (wait for the segue)

… unlike this form-fitting hoodie from Backseat Kiss Clothing (yeah, they’ve been featured before, but this is one sweet hoodie). I’m sure I’ve seen that style of design somewhere before, but knowing what retro-nostalgia fans people on the internet are, its pretty much guaranteed that I would’ve seen a tee in this style at some point. Regardless of originality, it’s still a very well made design, with a subtle working in of the brand’s name. Also, I’m a sucker for baby blue, but it does come in black if you like it that way.

Costiness=$29 URL

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Not a t-shirt blog: Zenorschnitzel

by Andy on August 11, 2006

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I don’t know when this blog was taken over by Mr. Listy McListerson, but here goes anyway.1. Zenorschnitzel is a great name.

2. The owner isn’t a tee artist, she’s an architect fresh out of college, but don’t all designers love putting things on soft soft cotton?

3. Firing a shotgun at a t-shirt sounds kinda stupid (and Gil Grissom will probably bust your ass for something… somehow), but I think it’s awesome, and produces a unique effect, although I’d probably prefer it if the animal prints were slightly bigger.

4. I like the idea of putting a map of America on a tee and telling me to fill colour in the states as I travel through them, it inspires the part of me that’s wanted to go on “The Great American Road Trip” (TM) since I was 18. It’s nicely designed and actually has an idea behind it, which I like to see, someone pushing the envelope (or at least trying to use a different type of envelope).

5. All the best lists have 5 parts to them.

URL

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The pain! The pain!

by Andy on August 10, 2006

I had to write the title twice for two reasons:

1. I’ve got a migraine so I’m going to skip the usual recommendation for the day, and give you a link so that your visit wasn’t a waste (my pain, your gain!).

2. The pain suffered by small independent designers all around thw world when big corporates rip-off their designs (though for legal reasons I should probably say that the designers are only very, very, very similar). Check out the Urban Counterfeiters blog for a load of examples of disappointing business practice, and it ain’t just Urban Outfitters being named and shamed.

*Just noticed that that blog hasn’t been updated since late March, so the author has probably given up, but it’s still an interesting read*

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Worse things happen at sea

by Andy on August 8, 2006

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Whenever Nico (or the talented contributor from stylebytes.net) from Teees does a post and mentions that the store he’s looking at sells hoodies, I always click those links, because a) he has taste, and b) it really helps me in finding new stores to check out.

And today tattoo-to-tee outift Sailor Jerry was up on the Teees smorgasbord of delights (geddit? Norwegian blog… smorgasbord? And yes, I know that word is primarily Swedish). SJ offer tattoo style designs on a wide variety of clothes, like tees, hoodies, long-sleeve tees, work shirts, there’s even tat-inspired even lingerie!

The hoodies are cool, they have kind of a biker feel to them, but I haven’t recommended a long-sleeve tee for a long time, and hey, that girl looks pretty hot (up the the nose at least). I really dig the classic anchor design, admittedly it might be a tad simple for some of you, but like their blurb says, “In a world loaded with bullshit, these shirts aren’t having any of it.” (I don’t really know what that means, but I think it illustrates my point)

The blurb also says that the shirt is manufactured in downtown L.A. (printed in Philly), so I’m gonna stick my neck out and say that it might be printed on American Apparel stock, though the price makes me wonder if that would be possible.

Costiness=$15 URL

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Old MacDonald, yadda yadda yadda

by Andy on August 4, 2006

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EIO Clothing is pretty new to me, I didn’t even know they existed until Addicteed pointed them out last week. They do have some pretty good tees and hoodies though, with a style that is more akin to the higher-class of British high-street designers, particularly with their sweatshirt designs. Which is nice to see considering how America-centric this blog is (what can I say? I like your style!).

The tree detail on the back of this hoodie is, er, detailed… but it is quite strange that the design comes from the side of the hoodie when from my understanding there isn’t anything on the front except for an embroidered logo, it would be nice if some roots wrapped around a bit to the front. Perhaps they do, my browser won’t open up the picture of the front of the hoodie (clarification in the comments would be appreciated).

Costiness=£49.99 URL

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