From the monthly archives:

December 2006

Soft Touch Reviews: Dirty Microbe

by Andy on December 23, 2006

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*PLEASE LOOK AT THIS POST TO SEE WHY IT ISN’T A GOOD IDEA TO BUY FROM THIS COMPANY (HINT: IT INVOLVES YOU SPENDING MONEY AND NOT GETTING ANY TEES*

My mum may not approve of this tee (I put my thumb over the ‘shit’ speech bubble when I showed her it), but I think its pretty funny. I don’t know what it is, but it’s impossible for me to read it without adding in some kind of accent, which is a sign of a good design to me, because if in my head I’m turning two pieces of toast into characters then the guys at Dirty Microbe must be doing something right.

The design is pretty simple, although I would say that its so endearing because of the simplicity, which adds to the overall cartoon effect. I think that printing it on a bright blue tee is a bit of a masterstroke too, it’s a colour that seems to lift the spirits and make the image look a lot more fun, if it were printed on black I don’t think it would have had the same appeal. Then again, light blue is my favourite colour so you can take that previous sentence with a grain of salt.

The tee stock is American Apparel, so you know what you’re getting there, and the ink is pretty thick, it seems like it will last. In their FAQ they compare their printing style with Threadless, which is a pretty good reference point for almost anyone who’s bought tees off the internet before. There’s a custom label printed inside, with the company name and logo on it, and the American Apparel tag is in there too, just for good measure. There was also a little card inside my package that had pictures of their current line-up of tees on one side and a coupon code on the other for free shipping (I’d tell you the code but it’s downstairs and its far too cold to get out of bed), its a nice way of rewarding customers for loyalty. Although having said that, their shipping to the US, UK & Canada is an astoundingly low $1.99 no matter what size your order is, which is interesting because I know it cost more than that to send me a tee.

Dirty Microbe may well be focused on tees, they also sell a few weird Japanese items, like cellphones lanyards made of golden poop…

Costiness=$12 (currently on sale) URL

More pictures after the jump.

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I thought that after going to all the effort of asking if you wanted to see coats on here I should probably post at least 1 coat in 2006, and when I noticed this coat by Obey I thought it made the HYA grade. It seems like a pretty simple coat, but there’s a few little touches that make it a bit more interesting, like the unusual shape of the cuffs, the enlarged breast-pockets, and the use of sew-ons and printed letters. You all know a Karmaloop post wouldn’t be complete without a bit of blurb:

“Military Iggy Pop II Jacket (Jackets By Obey) If James Brown is the godfather of soul, and Elvis is the king of Rock and Roll, then Iggy Pop is sort of like the weird, strung-out uncle of punk and heavy metal. Maybe the weird uncle that was in the army and has never been quite right. That would explain the military styling of this jacket. Iggy: big fan of tweed, which happens to be the lining of this jacket. Hmmm, curious.”

Costiness=$100 URL

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They’re up in arms and I’m just hiding

by Andy on December 22, 2006

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Oh yes, this is one hell of a hoodie! There’s just so much great stuff going on. First off there’s printing on the front and back, and the design kind of wraps over the top of the hoodie. Secondly, the design of the girls arms runs through the pockets, and its pretty rare to see that in a design, so its good to see someone playing about with that as a design point. Thirdly, the arms glow in the dark, which I’m sure you’ll either love or hate. Fourth, the print makes its way onto the hood (even if it is just a brief appearance). This hoodie from INDVSL ticks most of the boxes for me, the only drawback is that its exclusively for the girls, oh well, maybe next time.

Costiness=$72 (on an American Apparel asphalt zip up) URL

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I get in at Euston (but I still love Waterloo)

by Andy on December 21, 2006

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You know what I love about this blog, it connects me with people from all around the world, and today I added another continent to my growing list of “have e-mailed” areas. South America. The Argentinian city of Buenos Aires to be specific.

My ocean skipping e-journey does bring me back to the UK though, at least spiritually, because this Argentinian outfit draws much of its design inspiration from us Brits and our many, many iconic images, heck, they’re even called Waterloo!

The overall feeling is somewhat retro in style, with designs being based upon movies or music. There’s a lot of companies out there that delve into the retro market and end up with unoriginal designs that have been needlessly faded. And here’s the thing about Waterloo, their designs are not original, that’s kinda the point, they’re twists on the originals, and they’re done very, very well. The tees all appear to have a vibrancy and freshness to them, which I think you’ll agree isn’t something you can often associate with the Rolling Stones!

The have a promotion going on at the moment where you get a 4th shirt for free when you purchase three tees, and you don’t pay extra shpping on the 4th tee. You can also get an additional 10% off your order by using the following code: hideyourarms (oh, and this isn’t an affiliate code, so I don’t feel firty for posting it)

Costiness=$24.95 URL

Disclosure: Waterloo is a advertiser on HYA (although no money has changed hands).

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I’ve wanted to mention this hoodie for an absolute age, you all know how I go gaga for something a little bit different and this item really piqued my interest. You could say that the model wearing a cap in the picture kinda ruins the ambiance, but it’s still a good looking hoodie. I can’t decide whether the print would benefit froma bit of colour, perhaps it’s a bit too subtle in this monochrome colourway. Also, it might have been nice if they’d wrapped the print around more of the hoodie, because as it is the design stops rather abruptly at the upper sides, which lets down the effect slightly. BLURB!!!

“Not only does this hoodie have a very unique neckscarf printed on it, but that neckscarf looks to be billowing just a little bit; as you were swaggering into a saloon at midday, a stranger from another town.

Model is wearing size LARGE

Kangaroo Pocket,Drawstring hoody

80% Cotton,20% Polyester”

And now you know why I got all Sergio Leone with the post title.

Costiness=$58 URL

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Flying Faces from a Foreign Family

by Andy on December 19, 2006

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It’s really hard to keep up with Digital Gravel, they add new stock every day, and whilst some of it isn’t to my taste, they seem very passionate about their brands and it appears they set the bar high in terms of quality. I usually think its a bit of a cop out for me to post stuff from Karmaloop‘s RSS feed, or Digital Gravel’s ‘Daily Dig’ newsletter, but sometimes items really stick out at me, and ‘Flying Faces’ is one such item. Lets get blurb-tacular:

“A dope new hoodie featuring the Flying Faces design from Foreign Family’s talented Mr44 which merges two F’s (as in Foreign Family, I hope that didn’t need explaining) and two skulls. 44 says he wanted to rock some skulls but didn’t want to go the usual route. And we think he pulled off an original looking skull design very nicely – they look sick to us, and with the giant oversized print on the back it’s real eye-catching. Repeated smaller on the front, without the white details. Woven logo label on the waist.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself, literally!

Costiness=$70 URL

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Cotton Filter: 181206 (long edition)

by Andy on December 18, 2006

There’s a lot of good tee and clothes blogs out there, so I thought that instead of me writing a little bit of blurb about news items that aren’t about hoodies I’d just point you at what some other people think.

Ichabods: Some seriously good designs from New Orleans, they have a decent range of hoodies so I’ll be giving them a better look later. [see what the Tcritic had to say]

Owl Movement: Nico gives you the lowdown on Owl Movements new releases.

Click Tees: No idea how/where you buy these but they sure do look good. [via DESIGNSPOTTER]

Fantastic Bonanza: These guys have some schweeeet looking tees, and Nico has a good hands on review of their, ummm, goods.

SALES!: Rangga over at T-Shirt Island has a looooong list of stores with holiday sales, I’m sure the last day of posting has past now, but you can still get savings for yourself.

Azalea Online: A very comprehensive store that caters towards the higher end of the fashion market. Expect to see a few picks from here in the coming weeks. [via Josh Spear]

Imaginary Foundation: HipHipUK mentions yet more stunning work from the Swiss people who seem to operate on a level above me. Adam makes a good point though, it’s art, but would you wear it?

Indie Clothing Blog
: You know how long I spent thinking up ‘Hide Your Arms’? Hours, why didn’t I just call it ‘Sleeved Clothing Blog’, then you’d know what you were getting. My tongue-in-cheek bitchy comments aside, this blog is a good resources for anyone thinking of gettin in the tee printing game.

Tagged: Jason has a good rundown of the ruckus that went down at Threadless when they accidentally made a tee from unoriginal work. Seriously, if I ripped someone that badly at uni I’d have been thrown out.

Now don’t forget about Andy when you’re reading different clothes blogs (I promise a hoodie later tonight)!

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Cotton Filter: 151206

by Andy on December 15, 2006

Really quick edition today because I’m going to a birthday party 200 miles away (only to drive back the next day for another birthday party) and could do with setting off soon.

All Jelly No Toast
: The design may not be all that slick, but content is king and Mark has put together a shop with great quality items (including the recently reviewed Bean Dip), and his comments on each design have far more personality than most. Oh, and if that didn’t persuade you to check it out, the prices are pretty darn low (Bean Dip is available for less than on Karmaloop‘s Kazbah).

SA-K: A cool German e-label that I think is built around the Spreadshirt framework. The site is a bit pic heavy but it does look nice, and whilst I must admit that I don’t really get some of their designs (possibly lost in translation) they’re well priced, well drawn, and I know that Spreadshirt do quality printing work, so if you like it, buy it.

I know that this weekend is pretty much the last time that you will be able to order Christmas holidays, but I’m going to keep posting next week anyway, just in case you’re treating yourself this festive season and don’t care when it turns up.

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Cityscape by Exact-Science @ Fabric8

by Andy on December 14, 2006

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I was recently very lucky in getting a ticket to see Muse at the new Wembley Stadium in June next year. Even though Muse aren’t that big in America they are massive here, selling out the 75,000 capacity venue in 45 minutes (so they added another day and we had a mad phone-around whilst on a night out pleading with friends to get us tickets). So I thought this hoodie was fairly fitting, since I will be going to city (London) where hopefully the speakers will be the size of houses.

I didn’t just pick it for the loose tie in to a music related story, this is a great hoodie, the switching of visual imagery mixed with the graffiti style yields a really nice result. I quite like the blurb that the guys at Fabric8 have put with this

Wouldn’t it be sooo dope if the city’s skyscrapers were actually humongous speakers? The only problem is parties couldn’t exactly be underground anymore … but we could live with that.

Strange words, but still a cool hoodie.

Costiness=$50 URL

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Bean Dip Clothing were first on HYA more than half a year ago, and they seem to have gone from strength to strength since. I guess they realised that their success was almost entirely based upon my recommendation (wink), because they offered me a hoodie for review. Naturally, I accepted.

Read the review after the break.
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Chateau Roux has hoodies, huzzah!

by Andy on December 13, 2006

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It was great to hear that Reading based Chateau Roux had got around to selling some hoodies, because it give me another chance to tell you what so many Farmers Associations in the UK have been telling us for years. Buy British.

CR create fantastic clothes, they have an attention to detail that is pretty much unmatched by any store reviewed. As a testament to this, when CR gave me a tee review, I gave it to my brother (because I’m ever so nice and he gets jealous of all the stuff I get in the mail…. and it didn’t fit me) and he’ll only wear it when he’s going somewhere posh.

The hoodies are no less special, when I was looking at the pics first time around I figured they were pretty standard, with CRs typical print style. But I later found out that each hoodie has been shot with a 12 bore shotgun. They claim this is “something not seen before in the industry”, and whilst I’ve never seen a hoodie or sweatshirt that’s been given the treatment that only a shotgun can provide, I certainly have seen it done to tees before. Dubious originality aside, its a pretty novel technique for giving a vintage look, and providing a used shotgun shell with every item certainly does add something to the already superb buying experience that CR provide.

Considering their tees are around the £40 mark, I was pleasantly surprised to see that hoodies were a very reasonable £60, with sweatshirts coming in slightly lower.

Chateau Roux

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Naive’s Fall collection rocks!

by Andy on December 12, 2006

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I couldn’t really think of a clever title for this post, despite the scope that the term ‘naive’ gives me, and I was gonna drop the F-bomb but I don’t know whether I would be offending anyone (there’s an idea for an obscure poll!), so I just laid it out simply. The new releases from Naive are great.

The new stuff is very detailed, with lots of large artistic prints. There also seems to be some vintage Wild West flavour in many of the designs, or maybe I just think that because I’ve started watching Deadwood recently. It’s strong across the board, for both guys and girls, it’s quite a big departure from their old style, but I still like it and I can’t see their fanbase having too much of a problem with the changes.

One big change that I’m sure everyone will love is the new website. It looks great, the colour pallette reflects their new style (and is rather timely in its autmnal-ness), whilst still maintaining some of the visual flair which was exhibited in previous incarnations. Their store is now run by Downtown Rivals, a switch from their previous host, Merchline. Whilst I am a fan of the uncomplicated an intuitive system provided by Merchline I must say that Downtown Rivals are providing a very slick service, marrying functionality with style (and yes, it is quite web 2.0).

To fit in with the Naive ethos, they have changed to American Apparel tees and hoodies, and I know there are some people out there that will say that there are ethical reasons for not using AA, but in my opinion they’re doing a lot of good work, and their tees are pretty dang soft. Since we all know AA costs a bit more than your average tee it’s a real surprise to see that Naive have managed to keep their prices down, hoodies are $30 and tees are $15, you can even get some sale items for the wallet pleasing price $9.

Hopefully a little present from Naive will be arriving before Christmas and I’ll be able to give you a hands-on review.

Naive Clothing (or just go straight to the store)

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Streetwear-websites.com launches

by Andy on December 11, 2006

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One of my frustrations with internet-based clothes shopping is that there isn’t a big site that rates and ranks stores, and I was going to make one myself until I realised I had no idea what I was doing (no, really, I even made a sub-domain for it), but then along comes Streetwear-websites to beat me to the punch. Here’s some background blurb and a short explanation of the site:

Streetwear-Websites.com is the big brother of Sneaker-websites.com and is out there to collect the best streetwear related websites and resources. If you really want to know what’s up and what’s online check streetwear-websites.com. We constantly add new sites if you have any suggestions just fill out the suggestion form and fire it up.

There’s a fairly sizeable amount of brands (and blogs) on there already, including many that have graced these hallowed pages. Whilst I know peoples’ views on streetwear is largely subjective and highly opinionated, I think that rating stores and blogs is quite a good idea, it lets consumers know what’s ‘good’ out there. Just so we’re clear, I am in no way asking you to go and rank me as a perfect 5, you could, but my ego can handle the truth, we all know this blog is a 4.95 at its very best!

You can also leave comments about each of the stores/blogs which could provide a valuable tool for people researching whether they can trust a brand, and what others think of the style.

You may well notice that Streetwear-websites very much has the look and feel of a blog, this is probably because it is running on WordPress, I do wonder what this will mean for future expansion of the site since WordPress is more blog software than CMS software. Apologies for such a tech-oriented sentence, I know it isn’t really HYAs domain to comment on software.

That small concern aside, I’m really glad that there is a site like SW out there, and I encourage you all to check it out and submit your details if you own a streetwear related site and haven’t got in on the action yet.

Streetwear-websites

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Cotton Filter: 111206

by Andy on December 11, 2006

News you can use!

Oddica: I haven’t mentioned Oddica for a while, so you could say that I haven’t been ODing on ODdica (but that would be stupid). They’ve just had their biggest release of 2006 since their launch in May, including another great tee by Troy Paiva (the guy that takes electronics apart and gives you ‘exploded’ views of them). Oh, and they’ve got a sale on at the moment too.

False: I got an e-mail from Singapore based False saying “The new FALSE ish has dropped online.” Ish? Does that mean it’s kinda new, or that it’s kinda made by False? Anyway, it’s a fairly small collection that seems to be inspired by horror movies, and everything is black/white.

Resist Today (formerly Iron on Resistance): They’ve kept up their own ridiculously high standards with their latest releases, the mediums of which are more varied than most labels, tees, wallets, prints, pillows and… a painted spray paint can!

My way or the Hemingway
: This is a kinda funny t-shirt, although I’m not really impressed by the text style (capitalised + non-capitalised = a little bit messy). Oh, and the testimonials for the shirt are ridiculous.

All-Mighty: You know I love the AM, so even though this is tiny piece of news I’m still posting it. They’re doing free gift wrap on orders over $100 (or you can just pay $3.50 for it. Anyway, lots of cute items to pick up for girls there, and I think that their shop might have been redesigned too.

CIOOMOYOKO: Crazy name, brilliant t-shirts.

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Soft Touch Reviews: Junkfunk

by Andy on December 8, 2006

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I hadn’t heard of Junkfunk (a UK tee label based in the fashion hotspot of Brick Lane) until I got an e-mail from them asking if I wanted to review a tee. So I looked at their designs and decided that yes, yes I would like to review one of their fine tees.

And yesterday morning it arrived, along with a lovely hand written note and a promo sheet of their goods. The tee itself is the red version of ‘Shooting T.V.s‘, it is also available in grey but I’d say that the design would pop out more on the red.

The design wouldn’t feel too out of place on a site like Fullbleed, despite the very English looking gent taking aim at the defenceless TVs. The two visual styles (the photo style of the person and the 50s-inspired illustration of the TVs) are quite an interesting choice, perhaps its to emphasise oddness of the image, or maybe its a comment on how some people believe that television (especially American imports, which I love) has eroded a sense of traditional Britishness, which the shooter clearly represents. Ok, social theorizing over, let’s talk quality.

The tee is soft and flatteringly elastic, it might be American Apparel (as they proclaim that “we source our blank T-shirts from ethical non sweatshop suppliers”) but it’s fairly hard to tell since they’ve replaced the tag with a custom one.

At £22-26 for a tee the strength of the pound against the dollar may put off US visitors from making a purchase, which is a shame because Junkfunk are easily competing with the more well-known American labels in terms of design and quality. Though they are still cheaper than some of the mainstream UK labels that are producing designs of a similar style.

Costiness=£22 URL

Lots of pictures (and a special homage I whipped up in Photoshop) after the jump:

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Ooops, sorry

by Andy on December 8, 2006

I just noticed a few minutes ago that there are problems with the header if you were viewing the site with Internet Explorer. Firstly, that you got the title twice (which is now fixed), and secondly that the links in the top bar weren’t on top of the blue line (which I think I’ve fixed). Since I never use Internet Explorer I can only assume that it has been this way for weeks if not months, so I’m sorry about that, my ability to tinker with the layout of the site is pretty limited and it usually takes a lot of trial and error for me when playing around with the pages.

If you spot any more problems (or you think you can fix any existing ones) then please get in touch and I’d be very appreciative.

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They ship for free but you pay for the tank

by Andy on December 7, 2006

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Invicid are offering free shipping on all their products up until December 18th to their North American customers, and a reduced rate of $6 for us foreigners.

I think this ‘Tanks on Broadwayhoodie of theirs has been around for a while, but there’s no denying that it’s still a good design, even though I don’t quite understand why there’s a hear with a cross through it. It would have been quite nice if there were colours on the traffic lights, but I guess you can’t have everything. The tank has some great detail on it too, it looks kinda like a blueprint, so instead of the usual solid blob that looks like a tank you can actually tell which parts are which, and the boy in me that used to glue bits of plastic together in the hope of making something that looked like a car really likes that kind of approach.

Costiness=$58 (on American Apparel) URL

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Join The Hunt!

by Andy on December 7, 2006

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No 2 year old picture of me, that promotional map from NATO simply isn’t detailed enough to help us in The Hunt! Although I am actually quite close to 2 of the locations…..

Wondering what on earth I’m talking about? Read on…

Essentially, ‘The Hunt‘ is geocaching, except with tee’s instead of the usual little packages that you find at sites. I must admit that the two times I’ve attempted to find a geocache I’ve failed miserably (even though one of them was at a waterfall that was about half a mile from my house, I blame it on using a car sat nav for my coordinates). When you find the cache you’re meant to take the tee that’s there and leave another tee, which is a cool idea, except people aren’t all the same size, so a guy in Munich found a cache he left a gift certificate for his tee store (not exactly in the spirit, but a good gesture).

Unless you live in a major city then you probably won’t be able to go hunting, but I guess you’ll just have to console yourself that you don’t live in smog!

Another thing that I’ve noticed is that this promo from Spreadshirt hasn’t really had much, ummmm, promo-ing from the blog community (though Josh Spear picked it up yesterday), which is really surprising because it’s one of those weird things that can only happen with the internet.

Join the Hunt

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EIO floral hoodie (pretend its Spring)

by Andy on December 7, 2006

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So I’m lying here in bed trying to think up a creative description for this hoodie from EIO, and I’ve got nothing, which is funny because I watched Scary Movie 4 earlier this evening and the writers of that film couldn’t think of anything creative either!

Basically, this is a womens hoodie with a floral print on it, a cool little design feature is that the print seems to wrap around the body a little. There’s also the EIO logo emobroidered onto the ribbing at the bottom. It seems to channel the spirit of loads of surfing brands, since flowers seem to be ubiquitous in the surfwear world.

Costiness=£33 URL

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Don’t slip up on Roarin’ Euphony

by Andy on December 6, 2006

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This hoodie isn’t actually on sale yet, but you can get your orders in on the presale if you really like it.

This hoodie is another of those stealth hoodies that I seem to be so fond of, y’know the ones that seem really pedestrian till something pops out at you. Like if I was wearing this hoodie and it was zipped up, you’d think “dang, what’s Andy doing in something so plain, him and interesting hoodies are BFFs”

And then KAPOW! I unzip and you get lost in magic that is the Andy Warhol pink banana print in the silk(ish) lining on the inside of the hoodie. I mean take a look at it, it just screams quality, and silk(-esque polyester lining? That just screams class, not that classy things scream. You should also check out the rest of Roarin’ Euphony’s collection, I can honestly say that I would buy almost everything they offer if my wallet miraculously became stuffed with $50s.

Costiness=$125 (shipping included) URL

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