From the monthly archives:

June 2007

Gone to London, back soon

by Andy on June 15, 2007

I’m off down south for the weekend, partly to be a tourist, and partly to go see one of the biggest bands in the UK, Muse (as well as My Chemical Romance), at the new Wembley. Yep, I’m going to walk onto the pitch at Wembley, I’m actually going to live out part of many kids dreams.

I’m away until late on Monday night and won’t have any internet or e-mail access, but I’ve write up a review that will be auto-posted (hopefully!) on Monday, so please check back to see that.

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Time to take a look at the ‘mega’ version of the previously reviewed calculator watch micro tee. PDC are sticking to their tried, tested & trusted style of retro consumerism, except this time its been planted onto a loud and proud colourway of orange print on a yellow-tinged cream tee.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love their big prints, they dominate the tee and that’s the way it should be, especially when you’re using a one colour print such as this. A comment on the previous micro version of this tee said that “there’s more nerdlingery going on in this tee than just the Casio calculator watch… check out the time displayed.” I don’t really know the nerdiness of the time (forgive me!), but my very best googling did turn up a couple of lines from the bible, I wonder if that’s what Joe meant?

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I’m almost getting bored of saying this by now, since I know it and you know it, but the quality of Public Domains tees and printing is absolutely top-notch. The cut is similar to American Apparel, except slightly shorter and a little bit more stretchy.

Costiness=$25 URL

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Bad Planet @ Allmightys

by Andy on June 15, 2007

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I’m sure there’s a term for the art of giving a face to inanimate objects, and I should probably learn what that term is, because there are sooo many tees and hoodies out there in utilising whatever it is you would call that style. Usually, a tee that has some kind of political, social or environmental message isn’t that well designed, its often a case of substance over style, so its great to see that Allmightys used their design competition to get some well designed tees out there on the theme of ‘Mother Nature’, and they’re giving €1 to Friends of the Earth with the sale of every tee too.

Allmightys are pretty new to the increasingly crowded design competition scene, but I think they’re a pretty welcome arrival because they’ve actually got a decent roster of artists (I guess they set themselves apart by being quite picky about their artists) who are putting out some good looking designs, and if it looks good then I don’t think it would be fair to complain just because they’re another design competition style company.

Costiness=€25 URL

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Tired Feat by Sauerkids @ Designgive

by Andy on June 15, 2007

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Designgive are a company that I just can’t help but love, they have quality designs, their clothes are cheap, and they still manage to give away a portion of each sale to charity, and the customer even gets to choose where that charitable contribution goes to!

I think they manage to keep their costs down by having a set amount of time in which a design can be pre-ordered, and when that period has ended they print up the orders and ship them out, meaning there’s little-to-no spare stock that they’ve wasted money on. This process also helps to keep designs limited edition, which I’m sure will appeal to a lot of people.

I picked this design because it has a cute/ridiculous style to it, and I really like the way that the colours work together.

Costiness=$25 (hoodie version, $3 to charity) URL

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Review: Fold Laundry by Local Celebrity

by Andy on June 14, 2007

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I can’t believe that I’m going to hit the heights of fashion blogger cliché-dom, but Local Celebrity are so hot right now. I saw one of their tees on MTVs Real World, and they’re being worn by Pax Jolie-Pitt, Nick and Aaron Carter, and Carrie Underwood. I know those guys aren’t A-list, but it does get me a little excited that I get sent the same tees as a a freakin’ Backstreet Boy!

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In a lot of American sitcoms there seems to be a group of people that meet up once a month and play poker, it seems to be as much of an American pastime as baseball. It isn’t quite as big in the UK, but there’s been quite a lot of poker tournaments on our sports TV channels, and when I was at university quite a lot of people seemed to be into playing a casual game, even if we would often squabble about the rules. Whether the game/sport is popular in the UK or not, clothing based on gambling seems to be pretty big, cards and poker slogans seem to really lend themselves to vintage look tees and polo shirts. I can only presume that this kind of clothing is just as popular in the US.

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The tee has a good vintage look to it, and the two-tone printing on the orange helps to enhance that 70s feel. The stitching on the shoulders feels as if its a bit thicker than with a usual tee, and I don’t know why, but that kind of gives it more of a vintage feel as well. In terms of quality, it feels like an American Apparel tee, and its cut like an American Apparel tee, so it may very well be an American Apparel tee.

As an added bonus, if you buy this tee, you’re automatically entered into a prizedraw in which some people will be flown to either Los Angeles or Las Vegas to play in a private one table tournament with a pro-player called Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, pretty sweet, eh?

Costiness=$22.50 URL

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The Flip Tee by Rebel Ape

by Andy on June 14, 2007

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I always burn with anger (inside, I’d remain the consumate gentlemen on the outside) whenever I see anyone wearing a tee with Che Guevara on it. I get the feeling I may have mentioned this pet peeve of mine before, but this tee is actually pretty clever, so I’m going to let it slide just this once, especially since its based on Rebel Ape’s classic Planet of the Apes/Guevara mashup logo. I get the feeling this tee is reversible, because there’s a picture on Karmaloop‘s site of the ape logo itself that has the unusual label of ‘inside view’, and, well, it is called ‘The Flip Tee.’

Oh, and it has gold foil, so obviously I was going to give it a mention!

Costiness=$40 URL

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Wee Sack by Tee and Toast

by Andy on June 14, 2007

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Ahhh, sack races, one of the most pointless forms of racing at school sports days. I say pointless because I never really worked out how to move quickly whilst in a sack, thus I lost the races, and if I couldn’t work it out then I’m pretty sure that its a waste of everyone’s time. Nice graphic though!

Product Information
wee sackrace hoodie – every body jump!!! jump!!!

small print positioned on heart <3

hoodies designed by tee and toast: a funky t-shirt brand with a quirky sense of humour. unique, limited and independent!”

There’s quite a large colour selection for the ladies to pick from, and happily, it is also available for dudes.

Costiness=£42 URL

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I went on a shopping trip down to Manchester today, and I was actually surprisingly impressed with what I could find in the mainstream shops (I even bought rather a nice pair of shorts), but I particularly enjoyed visiting Wood, Exit, Westworld and a fantastic little bookshop called Magma where I spotted prints by Eboy and Kozyndan, as well as tees by Concrete Hermit and 2K by Gingham. I picked up a cheap copy of 200% Cotton, and almost got a tee-nerd-rection when I spotted the 2nd issue of T, the journal of t-shirt culture, I’ll give it a review later when I’ve given it a proper look. I know what you’re thinking, what does this have to do with this tee, well, fear not, I have an astoundingly ridiculous segue…

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One of my friends bought some vinyl records today! And this tee has lots of decks on it, so, the story is almost justified now… As ever, its a sweet tee, their micro line just keep growing on me, and the turntable cheqeurboard print looks great. The colourway is rather more subdued than some of their other efforts, but the grey/blue (Grue? Bley?) colour of the turntables is really nice, and a slight change from the regular white that I would expect most tee companies to use.

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The printing is sharp (as in, no errors or blemishes), yet the tee and print are still ever-so soft, with a slightly fitted cut that is also forgivingly stretchy.

Costiness=$25 URL: Mens, Womens

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‘tshirt15′ by Universe on a T-shirt

by Andy on June 13, 2007

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I was really in two minds whether I should run this tee, not because I’m ambivalent about their designs, but because they’re just so goddamn good, its so hard for me to choose just one, so there may well be an almost PDC-esque deluge of Universe on a t-shirt merchandise in the coming weeks (ha, take a guess who the next post is about?).

There’s been quite the dearth of cephalopods around here for quite a while, I hope it didn’t effect my audience! Seriously though, this is a very, very nice looking tee, with some original styling, and just for a change, they’ve actually taken some really nice product shots as well. Y’know, I know Dutch people are stereotyped as being laid back (UoaT is based in Amsterdam), but would have it really been so hard for them to give their tees a name?

Costiness=€34 URL [thanks, Stylehive user!]

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The Captain Hoodie by DC @ Karmaloop

by Andy on June 13, 2007

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Paint splatters are an oft-used design element in the clothing industry nowadays, but it isn’t every day that you see a hoodie that only has splatters on it, making it ever-easier for someone to think you’ve had a rather artistic painting accident on your clothes. I can’t really see any kind of pattern or join-the-dots type imagery in the print, so I guess that what you see is what you get with this hoodie.

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“Hooded sweatshirt with “bleached spots” detail and distressed logo on front; front kangaroo pockets; ribbing 5.5″ at cuffs and 3″ at waistband; 100% cotton.”

Now that is some sexy blurb-age.

Costiness=$33.95 (down from $50) URL

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Review: Dead Presidents by Bean Dip

by Andy on June 12, 2007

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Bean Dip have been along for the HYA ride since the beginning (technically since day 41 but that is pretty early on), so I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for them, but even if they were sending me a tee or a hoodie for the first time I think I’d still be just as impressed with the quality of their products.

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The design itself is pretty much classic Bean Dip, large print, bold and powerful colourway, and a graphic that’s inspired by a lyric from a Jay-Z song I’ve never heard of that’s probably really, really famous. Yeah, I don’t really get the context, but I do like the graphic. Like I already mentioned, Bean Dip aren’t shy when it comes to bright colours, and this white is bright, it’ll probably fade away a little bit after a few washes but it still gets you noticed. Usually I’m not a huge fan of white clothes, because I have an acute fear staining them, so I generally just didn’t wear them, but recently a few companies have sent me white goods and they’re really starting to grow on me, perhaps they have some sort of slimming effect?

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The interior hood print really adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the whole hoodie, and I think that the addition of another colour to the palette (especially gold on a hoodie about money) helps to break up the whiteness, whilst putting the print onto the interior of the hood helps it to remain pretty subtle.

In terms of sizing, it is a little bit over-sized when compared standard sizing, which fits in with their aesthetic, and fairly short, with the elastic at the bottom hugging in more than with most hoodies, but I know that the elastic on BDs hoodies lasts, so you won’t end up with a billowing garment within a couple of months.

Costiness=$56 URL: White, Green

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Compass & Stars by Discourse Clothing

by Andy on June 12, 2007

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Even though I can’t really make out the design all that well, the ever-shrinking emo side of me really likes this tee, and the text kind of squares off the design quite nicely.

One last thing; nipples!

Costiness=$15 URL

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Its quite a strange print, but they have called it ‘Abstract Teknique’, so I can hardly complain, can I?

I like the way that it’s layered, and the different colours are really complimentary, its not exactly a loud and proud kind of design, just nice and subtle.

Costiness=$64.99 URL

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I really love the idea behind the polaroid camera, when you take a picture with it you immediately have something tangible in your hands, and even though I don’t think I’ll ever buy or even use a film camera again, I enjoy having real prints of my photos, its not really the same telling people to look at my Flickr gallery when I can take an envelope of photos to someones house and we can look at them and talk about them together. Yeah, Flickr is social, but there’s nothing like getting together with real people to reminisce.

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That was a bit abstract for a tee review, but I think that key to PDCs designs is that they trigger a nostalgic reaction from people who are probably slightly older than me (yeah, I remember that polaroid model, but I love old tech).

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People really seem to like these micro prints that PDC are doing, usually my friends don’t take that much notice of my tees, except for saying “another new tee? When are you gonna get something that’ll fit me?” but these tees are actually generating quite a lot of interest, and whilst it is quite weird to be sat a table in a pub with people looking at your chest (unless you’re a girl, obviously) I think it says a lot about the quality of design in these tees.

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As ever, quality is top notch.

Costiness=$25 URL

Guess what you’ll see if you click through for more?

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The name says it all really. Bunnies. Chainsaws. Genius.

I guess the name doesn’t really say it all since there’s an eagle holding the chainsaw in its mighty talons, but then I wouldn’t have been able to use that zippy one-word sentence typing. The employment of a hand drawn style does suit this kind of surreal animal and object pairing, although I do find the way that there are three different drawing styles quite odd, they don’t seem to fit together perfectly.

Costiness=$32 (Canadian) URL

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XLA Coaches Jacket by X-Large

by Andy on June 11, 2007

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I dig this jacket, largely because it has the feel of an old-school training jacket from a football (… real football) team back in the 70s, yet I really don’t associate X-Large with football style or culture. Admittedly, its an odd reason to like a jacket, but its a reason nonetheless. I know that it says this is a track jacket, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the product pic is hiding a hood.

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Costiness=$59.45 URL

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Here’s something odd, every other day this week I’ve opened up the box from Public Domain, pulled out the next tee in the pile, taken it out of its plastic bag, taken some pictures, then gone to write about it. I usually go to PDCs website to make sure I get the name of the tee right, but this design isn’t listed on the boys section of their site, or even the girls section. So I guess you can’t buy this, maybe its a new design that will come on sale soon, or maybe its an old tee they had left over, who knows?

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Clearly, this tee is very much influenced by Hokusai’s famous colour woodcut ‘The Great Wave of Kanagawa’. Yes, parts of that last sentence wouldn’t have been possible without this page and google, but at least I recognised the image enough to google ‘famous Japanese art waves’. I like the way that The Great Wave looks, so quite naturally I like this tee, but I do think that it could be improved upon. One of my favourite things about the large prints in their current range is that they’re the full item and the prints don’t just cut off into thin air, but that doesn’t happen here, there’s just a line on the left. I guess I’m being unfair, because what else could they really do? That’s how it was in the original, so what was I expecting from a modern rendition?

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As ever, I’m extremely impressed with the quality of the print and the tee itself, but you’re probably getting bored of me saying that by now.

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Public Domain Clothing

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Seagull camera jacket by Vital @ Etsy

by Andy on June 8, 2007

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Look at me keeping promises, I said I’d try and get more track jackets on the site and I’ve followed through with this beauty I found on Etsy.

I’m about to head out, so after getting your hopes up with the previous sentence I’m going to let you down by just using the blurb to describe this jacket:

“This super light jacket features a Seagull TLR (twin lens camera) in all its glory – perfect for Lomo junkies. This jacket is very lightweight and would be great for spring or cool summer nights.

Hand screened on a super-soft Alternative Apparel 100% cotton fleece jacket with exposed seams and raw edge trim

color: black on army
size: Men’s M, L, XL. let us know what size you’d like in the notes to seller at checkout.”

Interesting fact (if true), seagulls don’t actually exists, they just happen to be gulls that are by the sea.

Costiness=$35 URL

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True Love & False Idols

by Andy on June 8, 2007

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I thought we’d take a look at a brand that’s on the slightly higher end of things since I was tipped off about them by Matt. True Love & False Idols don’t have an ‘about me’ page on their site, so I’m just going to have a stab at describing them myself. Lots of large, layered, vintage-look prints, some of which seem to have historical, religious and political connotations to their design, although nothing there’s nothing too in-your-face about the references.

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I must admit, their hoodies aren’t typically the kind of thing I’d wear, but I know that kind of style is very popular with some people, and I think this selection looks better than most of the other hoodies in this style that I’ve seen before. Most of their hoodies are reversible too, which is always a bonus!

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Like I said, TL&FI are a bit more on the high-end compared to HYAs usual assortment of college-kid-wallet friendly apparel, some of their hoodies are $235 (although you can basically half that if they’re reversible!), but a number of their tees and a few hoodies are on sale at Bazaar Adriatic at the moment, and with free shipping, which makes them rather more affordable. TL&FI are also available in a quite a lot of bricks & mortar boutiques, so look up the list on their site and go take a look if you get the chance (I’d love it if someone could report back about seeing these in the fleshcotton).

True Love & False Idols

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When I hear the word ‘aloha’, I immediately think of Hawaii. So quite naturally (I presumed), when I found out about Aloha Victory I thought I’d be checking out some designs from the land of grass skirts and drinks served in coconut shells. Oh, how wrong I was, Aloha Victory are actually based in Florida, but when I actually take a look at this design, both the Hawaiian and Floridian (is that even a word?) aspects are quite apparent.

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And when I say apparent, I mean it has both coconuts (Hawaii) and a space shuttle (Kennedy Space Center) on it. I know I probably should have picked up on that the second I pulled the tee out of it’s envelope, but I thought it was a pretty cool way to give a nod to both the geography and the spirit of Aloha Victory. I really like this design, all the elements seem to work so well together, the ‘A’ and ‘V’ that sit on either side of the space shuttle are a really nice touch. One of my favourite aspects of the design is the way that they’ve really brought a sense of perspective to it, which isn’t usually a feature of most tee designs.

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The print feels like quality, whilst I’m still not entirely sure about inks, I think that it is printed with plastisol ink, whatever it is, I think its printed to last. The stock tee is a Hanes Beefy T, and I do believe that its the first I’ve received since starting HYA. The Beefy T is, as the name suggests, a bit thicker than a standard tee, and the cut is a bit boxier than a standard American Apparel tee, it still feels pretty soft though, and I would imagine that it’ll last pretty well with it being a little bit thicker.

Costiness=$18 URL

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