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Chris_S

Hands-on Review: 8BIT t-shirts

by Chris_S on April 14, 2013

Post image for Hands-on Review: 8BIT t-shirts

Retro has become a huge niche market in almost all areas – t-shirts included. And one t-shirt company out of Ireland are taking advantage of that rise in popularity of all things retro.

8BIT has a collection of carefully designed tees based on the glory days of retro gaming. The 8-bit era produced some of the best games and established the modern-day industry as it stands now. Their limited edition run of shirts (snap them up quick: there are only four designs, and each design only has 100 or 125 versions) appeal to the kind of person who lived through the 8-bit era the first time round, and now wants to show their love for their childhood with a beautifully crafted piece of clothing.

That care in the end product comes as soon as you receive the package. Your tee is encased in a brilliant white box, sturdy enough to keep the quarry inside clean and tidy but not too heavy.

And once you open the box, and take aside the tissue paper and the cool postcard with an old-school Gameboy on a washed out beach, you realise that the shirt inside is pretty great, too. The design I received was ‘001 – Grace’ (€30) which is a limited print run of 125 (mine was #19).

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It’s a luscious representation of the kind of huge sprites from the classic era of 8-bit games that you grew up with; this footballer performing an overhead kick could have been ripped right out of something like Amiga’s Sensible Soccer franchise.

The quality is great, as you’d expect from a company so invested in producing the great packaging they do. The tiny touches such as a nicely presented package are one of the best ways to separate the wheat from the chaff in an industry where the ability to enter it is becoming ever lower. Those who take pride in their work will make sure to present it neatly.

The tee is a thick, soft one, and it holds up well in a wash. Overall, if the bright lights of the 1980s and early 90s gaming world is your thing, you should head on over to 8BIT and grab yourself a tee.

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Hands on with a blu-boy tee

by Chris_S on February 4, 2013

Post image for Hands on with a blu-boy tee

This little package arrived on my doorstep a few days ago. In case you’re incapable of reading, it’s a package from blu-boy, a tee brand started up by Bev O’Shea when a freelance graphic designer in Ireland. “I guess it’s safe to say that I got bored of playing it safe and sticking to the norm,” Bev said in a covering email. Not sticking to the norm results in some brilliant t-shirts.

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Opening the package was great. For what is a relatively young brand, blu-boy have managed to put together a really professional style of presentation that makes receiving a tee more of an event. As a little attempt to bring something new I used Vine to produce a 6-second unboxing of the shirt itself here.

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The shirt blu-boy sent was their ‘Exquisite’ design (€25.00) on a black crew neck – and I can’t fault it one bit. It’s one of the least brash designs they do, and I think the sort of understated nature makes it excellent. I’m a strong type fan, and this is great use of it. It’s subtle enough that you don’t feel overly self-conscious wearing it while standing out enough that it’s not the sort of thing you find ten a penny on the racks at any high street shop.

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Everything about this seems well made, from the thick card stock used for the brand tag on the back of the neck to the printing itself (blu-boy use water-based inks, for those of you who are concerned about the environment and want your tees to have a green-friendly provenance).

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All told, this is a really great tee – which means I’m stuck for having much to say. What I will say is that this isn’t the only good design that the guys at blu-boy have online, and it’s well worth a look at their online store to see if there are any others out there you might fancy.

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Macaluay Culkin t-shirt from Worn By/LIFE

by Chris_S on December 17, 2012

Post image for Macaluay Culkin t-shirt from Worn By/LIFE

Name your favourite Christmas films.

Go ahead, name them.

Let me check them off my list. Muppets Christmas Carol. Miracle on 34th Street. It’s a Wonderful Life. And Home Alone.

When I was a kid I used to watch Home Alone endlessly. It was, to my 8-year old mind, the perfect movie. Funny, whip smart and with a message that said kids can outsmart adults and are fine being independent, it has made a big impact on pretty much everyone’s mind.

And now there’s a t-shirt, produced by Worn By in collaboration with LIFE Magazine. It’s arriving just in time for Christmas, and it looks amazing. I’m being told its going to be delivered by this guy in a red suit on a jalopy drawn by reindeer and placed under my tree. When it does, I’ll be back, telling you what I think of the thing in person.

(Costliness = £28)

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Label profile: Danger of Death

by Chris_S on November 12, 2012

Danger of Death class themselves as being aimed at a “more alternative audience”, but as co-owner Nick explains – and I agree with – fans of top-quality illustration might still find something here for them.

The company’s been a year in the making, and they seem keen to do things right. Often, the sort of t-shirts you see at rock shows and clubs can be cheap, faded and poorly illustrated things. Jim and Nick have commissioned some great artists to put out some quality illustrations on tees, hoodies and sweatshirts for their debut line.

A lot of the time with alternative t-shirt designs, you’d feel ashamed to wear them out on the street or in shopping malls. But Danger of Death’s designs just toe inside the line of being too outlandish, while not compromising on the scene’s ideals. They’re not toned down in any way: they’re just admirable illustrations that ordinary people will look on with interest, rather than looking on askance.

Plus, the t-shirts, at £18 each, aren’t that badly priced. We’re going to be getting a review up of the shirts themselves once we get our hands on the product in a week or so. If Danger of Death have caught your eye, keep checking back with HYA to see how they stand up in the flesh.

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Review: Awake and Dressed

by Chris_S on October 26, 2012

Post image for Review: Awake and Dressed

Awake and Dressed is a motto for my life. I’m not someone who likes to faff about in the morning, lying in bed. I have to be up and about fairly quickly, otherwise the day’s not worth counting.

My Old Dutch (£29.99) is the sort of design typical of Awake and Dressed. It’s becoming increasingly fashionable, and (I mean this as a compliment rather than an insult) is the sort of thing you’d see in a branch of Triple S, or in a club on a weekend.

The design’s pretty great – and you’ve got to hand it to Jonny Wolf, because the whole thing is deliciously packaged. The print quality of the design is razor sharp, and has blended in with the shirt fabric brilliantly. This isn’t one of those designs that feels like it’s slathered on the shirt and is so thick that it artificially shapes it in perfect straight angles. The whole shirt is supple and giving.

In fact, it’s the shirt quality I want to talk about. I’ve got a lot of tees in my cupboard, and this one is – to my mind – the smoothest wear I’ve had. It’s so soft! I haven’t been able to put it to the test with several washes to see if that changes things, but certainly on first wear it’s like a second skin. Really, the only thing I can fault is the price – at nearly £30 it’s a little steep for my tastes, but then again maybe I’m just thrifty. Plus when you wear it you begin to realise that you’re paying for a premium product, not just an overinflated price tag.

These are the sort of t-shirts that people want to be seen in these days; they’re very fashionable. And I haven’t seen many brands doing it better than Awake and Dressed.

(Costliness = £29.99)

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Review: Tee Pony has a terrible name, good shirts

by Chris_S on October 14, 2012

Post image for Review: Tee Pony has a terrible name, good shirts

Andy already mentioned Tee Pony a little while back and had nice things to say about their designs – so naturally, we decided here at HYA to delve a little deeper and get hands-on with a review.

Tim from Tee Pony sent along release 014 – Gorilla for me to wrestle with, along with a nice little note, a business card and a handy carrying bag for the whole package. On a purely decorative note, it’s great to see tee brands putting this much effort into the presentation of their work. As Tee Pony say on their site, they’re a boutique, limited-run (500 pieces a pop) tee company and it’s good to have a little theatre introduced into the product. You want to have the anticipation of unwrapping the shirt. It makes it much of a bigger deal – and so the little touches add to the excitement.

The tee is a super soft stock, and the printing is great. The reason why I’m so keen on this design is that it’s one of the least outlandish on the site. Andy’s already made his views clear on a lot of the Tee Pony designs: the good, original ones are great; the lesser ones which rely on pop culture references kind of bring the brand down.

That’s a note that really can be carried over to other tee companies – and actually, to almost any company or brand there is. You don’t want your work to date – especially if customers are paying £29 for an exclusive tee. You want a lot of wear out of it, and you want to be able to return to it in five years time and not have it look dated (try wearing a Budweiser ‘Whassssup?’ t-shirt today without being laughed out of a club. The way fashion works you could stuff it at the back of a drawer for another five years and it becomes ironically retro, but still…)

In response to Tim from Tee Pony’s note, I am enjoying the tee. In fact, it’s had two wears (and a wash each time, thanks!) in the first week of owning it, and I’ve had a couple of positive comments about it. These guys are putting out a great product and are a brill new addition to the tee world. Keep checking back with them for their new designs each week: the current bike-based one looks superb.

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Post image for Gordon Holden is a little weird; we’re “magical”

We got an email from Gordon Holden recently. His site is pretty interesting (and, well, confusing), but from what I can gather he is an artist who also likes to design tees every so often.

Anyway, back to the email. It was short and sweet. “i like what you do. it is magical.”

After that, there was no way we weren’t going to check out his site. What we saw was interesting, and very well designed (though maybe beyond the price range of most people).

The tees look great. They’re a little strange, but this is a guy who sent us a two sentence email and called us magical, so you get what you ask for.

The problem is that this is art, really, and art ain’t cheap. You’re looking at $62-$66 for a single t-shirt, which is far from cheap. In fact, everything that I’m wearing right now (bar my shoes) didn’t cost that much. But if you’re interested in these designs, and have a little chunk of change spare, then there’s no reason not to buy one of these as a statement piece.

Just wash it very, very carefully.

(Costliness = $62-$66)

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Review: NoEmotion Clothing

by Chris_S on September 12, 2012

I got this t-shirt a couple of weeks ago.

I’m telling you that because I don’t want you to think this is a dashed off, unthinking review. Usually, I write stuff fairly quickly; this one I’ve thought about carefully, because it takes a lot of kindness and gumption to send out a review copy of a shirt and this review isn’t going to be a whitewashed positive outlook on it.

I’ve mellowed in the past couple of weeks to ‘She Loves Me’ by NoEmotion (£17.00). When I got it out the bag I hated it. Hated hated hated it. But since then, I’ve worn it a couple of times, and taken a better look at it. It’s not perfect, and I hope that Clarke and the team at NoEmotion will take this as something to build on rather than a shooting down of their tee brand.

If you look around their shop, you’ll see that NoEmotion sell a lot of great designs. I love ‘Hit the Bottle’ and ‘Rock Baby’, and the pictures on the site look great. But when I got ‘She Loves Me’ I got a closer look at the quality of the shirt and the printing and I’d say that – if like me, you like the look of some of these designs – hold back a couple of months until NoEmotion get a bit bigger.

It’s difficult starting out a t-shirt brand. You’ve got to invest in tee stock, printing, a website. It’s not a cheap thing, and it’s difficult to do. One of the biggest costs is the actual printing of designs onto tees. Screenprinting can be expensive when done in any sort of decent detail, and takes a big chunk out of the startup change you have set aside.

Which is why I was disappointed when I pulled the t-shirt out of the package. As far as I can tell, NoEmotion have chosen to put their design on the shirt via iron-on transfers. That’s absolutely fine if you’re just starting out and producing prototype designs. Heaven knows I’m aware that screenprinting can cost an arm and a leg. And though it’s well done…well, I was spending hours with an iron, an inkjet printer and a blank t-shirt when I was 12. It’s acceptable if you’re making shirts for yourself, but when you’re charging £17 for a shirt it might be a little less welcomed by customers.

The design is great, by the way. I’m not keen on the text itself (it’s very 90s anti-grunge, where you use a mix of caps and lowercase in a simple sans serif – the sort of thing you’d see in spreads in The Face or something), and think it detracts from an interestingly positioned and quite poignant graphic. But when you pull on the shirt, you get that crinkly, slightly starched feeling that comes from an iron-on transfer. (Full marks for having the patience to cut out around individual letters, though: my forays into iron-on designs were always scuppered when it came to text.)

A lot of effort has been put into this shirt, which is what makes me so sad to be a downer. You can tell, from the fact that each letter’s been carefully placed on the shirt, to the way that the sleeves have been rolled up and stitched. There’s also an attempt at branding via two name tags – one at the bottom and front of the shirt and one at the back of the neck – which is admirable and has taken a lot of effort, but is a pet hate of mine.

In my experience, I’ve never seen a person carefully examine a brand tag attached to the outside of my t-shirt. I’ve seen people admire a design itself from afar, and come up to ask me where I got the shirt – and I’ve happily told them, giving the brand some more custom. Having not one but two tags on the shirt makes me a walking billboard for a company. Not only that, but the placement of the front tag ruins the flower design.

NoEmotion’s tag on the left, and a more subtle version on the right

If you really want a conspicious branding on a tee, either produce a logo tee or have a small loop tag that can be stitched into the side stitching on the shirt – the way a number of companies do it. I’ve shown how NoEmotion do it above, and how other companies do it: the tag is circled in red. That way people can eyeball it if they really want, or the wearer can point it out to an interested observer.

Andy recently wrote about the importance of (constructive) criticism, and why HYA isn’t just a senseless propaganda machine for tee companies. “Constructive criticism is very important,” he wrote, “and even insults can be useful. Getting a pat on the back is great, you feel good and it reassures you that you’re doing the right thing with your business, but what about when people keep telling you things are great when your t-shirts aren’t selling?”

I hope this hasn’t been insulting, and I hope that the criticisms levied against NoEmotion are helpful. They have a lot of great designs which would look great properly screenprinted and free of conspicious commercial interruption. The designs are worth your money – once the kinks are sorted out.

It’s difficult to commit the money needed to produce a professional product, I know. But if NoEmotion improve their printing process and tone down the tags, I’d be more than happy to come back, post and tell everyone at HYA that they should run – not walk – to buy these t-shirts.

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Post image for Mechanic Industries combines magic and gambling

Most people I know have a sideline these days. It might be that they clean cars on weekends from their day job; others might enjoy going to horse tracks and becoming a part-time professional gambler. So it’s encouraging to see a t-shirt designer who has a sideline too. We got an email from Jimmy K at Mechanic Industries explaining how his day job parlayed into a sideline (which then transformed into a tee brand. Stick with me!):

A Mechanic is a card cheat that utilizes advanced sleight-of-hand techniques to gain advantage over their opponents. Mechanic Industries give magicians the competitive edge with an arsenal of premium products. This advanced product line taps into the very essence of what Magic & Gambling is all about – advantage.
Appearing in June of 2012, Mechanic Industries Ltd is based in the UK and specializes in the design and production of the highest quality gaming & gambling products for use by magicians, flourishers, poker enthusiasts and avid gambling fans alike. We are fanatical card magicians, poker players and leading designers. It is our aim to become the premium retailer for all things magic and gaming. 
So of course it makes perfect sense for them to start designing t-shirts too. There’s only the one design at the minute (‘Work Wear’, £24.99) but I like it, and it comes in three different colours. These guys might be a brand to watch in the future.

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Unrefined or UNRFND?

by Chris_S on July 10, 2012

Post image for Unrefined or UNRFND?

We got an email from Drue at Unrefined Clothing a while back telling us about his new releases, with three separate designs in two different colours. We’ve only just got around to checking them out, and as you can see some of them are quite cool.

Drue tells us that he’s a student in Sheffield, and I think it’s really cool that he’s set up shop in the middle of his degree, though I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Gildan tees. In case you didn’t know, students in the UK have to pay a big chunk of change in order to get educated (and those going to university this year are paying even more), so if you want to help a guy be able to afford branded bread rather than the store-own value range, then head over to their shop and buy a £13 t-shirt. My favourite is ‘Waves’.

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Black Thunder are a first for HYA

by Chris_S on July 7, 2012

Post image for Black Thunder are a first for HYA

Portgual hasn’t given a lot to the world, to be honest. You’ve got a lot of salt cod (but that’s also popular – and more associated – with Scandinavian countries), and Christiano Ronaldo (who isn’t necessarily the best face you want to put forward). But now there’s another thing to add that Portugal has contributed to the world: Black Thunder Clothing Company.

Black Thunder was founded in 2008 by the graphic designer and illustrator André Silva, and they put out a variety of brash and bold t-shirts which would look great on the streets of Lisbon or some other continental city. Oversized illustrations and ballsy type make this the sort of thing you wear if you want to get noticed, but it’s quite hedonistic (especially their lookbook for the Summer ’12 line). We’re pleased to say that they’re Portgual’s first entry on HYA, and we’re happy to welcome them.

If this sort of thing’s your style, then the shirts are priced fairly competitively, from €12.50 to €15. It’s maybe not the sort of thing I’d wear (I like my designs more subtle), but there’s definitely a market for this sort of shirt when done well – and to my eyes it seems that Black Thunder are doing precisely that.

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Regan Smith Clarke’s shirts are awesome

by Chris_S on June 28, 2012

Post image for Regan Smith Clarke’s shirts are awesome

It’s been a busy few days here at HYA – which is why though Regan Smith Clarke’s summer collection has been around for a little while, we’re only getting to it now. But what a doozy it is: well worth the wait. Regan designs shirts with a vintage art twist, with eye-popping designs which seem to have leapt from a 1940s newspaper comic strip. Coincidentally, that’s exactly the sort of thing that I love, so I’m craving these shirts very badly.

Trailblazer (above, $25) is a shirt which looks like it could well be at home on a wartime propaganda poster for kids, and would undoubtedly draw some looks for its big design and bright colours. Personally, it’s my favourite of the bunch.

But then you’ve got Lone Wolf ($25) – which comes in black and yellow – that manages to take the weird anthropomorphic animal thing that you see in all cartoons (Peppa Pig, Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny say hi) and create a new character. As you might tell from the two shirt names, Regan Smith Clarke’s all about giving the wearers of his t-shirts an identity and an ego boost.

Keeping the wartime propaganda look (and almost making me willing to buy a three-quarter length baseball tee) is the Stand and Deliver 3/4 length ($28). I personally think that wearing 3/4 length clothing on your top half is almost as dangerous as wearing 3/4 length shorts (it runs the risk of making you look like a baby) but the design on this is so beautiful that I’m almost willing to overlook it. Almost. Regan, if you’re reading this: put it on a normal tee. I’ll buy it in an instant.

Costliness = $25-28

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Random Objects ring in the summer

by Chris_S on June 9, 2012

Post image for Random Objects ring in the summer

I’ve just spent a weekend in a caravan in Wales, and though it rained solidly for one day, the other two days were bright, sunny and almost Mediterranean. That can mean one thing: it’s summer time.

Of course, the weather can be unpredictable, so it’s much better to rely on Random Objects’s summer line release. We’ve written extensively in the past about this brand, and regular readers will know we’re a fan. Luckily the Summer ’12 releases (or rather, the first part as the press release we were sent teases) look to validify our good faith.

‘Be Polite’ (up top, $24) is a great example of a strong typographic tee. In a bright blue, the white text really stands out and it’s the little details such as the highlighting of the “and” which really separates this from the sort of thing you can pick up for ten bucks on Cafepress. It also preaches a good motto too: if I could, I’d be asking Random Objects very poliltely if they’d let me do a wear test on this design.

The other three designs are a little less strong to my eyes, but are nonetheless something which would fit well in any wardrobe. I’m not a fan of tank tops, but for those who are ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ ($20) would be a great buy. It’s the sort of thing you’d wear in Instagrammed photos with the sun streaking across the sky behind you.

‘A Sailor’s Life’ ($24) looks like a shirt you’d buy in a high-end department store (which isn’t meant as a slight) and has an inspirational message; ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ ($24) is a smart play on the age-old turn of phrase which is equal parts cute and scary. Most importantly, I can imagine wearing all of them with some shorts while padding along the beach. Summer is here people! Enjoy it!

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Post image for Understated ‘Karate Kid’ t-shirt from Last Exit to Nowhere

 

I try and ignore the fact that there’s been a remake of The Karate Kid, simply because it ruins the previous, original, excellent film from the 1980s. Because of the Jackie Chan remake there are a lot of Karate Kid-based shirts out there, but this one from Last Exit to Nowhere (who we haven’t mentioned in a little while here at HYA) is an excellent understated nod to the original – with a great, minimalistic design. It could theoretically be just a regular karate competition t-shirt, but the devoted and dedicated (read: those older than 12-years old) will enjoy the reference.

Costliness: £18 (Buy it here)

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All hail our robot overlords!

by Chris_S on May 21, 2012

Post image for All hail our robot overlords!

Robots are cool. I think that much we can all agree on, right? I mean, there’s been a fixation on robots for about the past 70 years, with sci-fi films and utopian visions of the future imagining that we’d all be living in space pods, served by robots wearing French maid outfits with pneumatic silver boobs. For some reason, robots just capture the imagination. They seem to connect with us as an image of our potential: eventually we will be able to master creating humanity (of sorts) and will render it in metal.

Which is why I like these two shirts by Design By Humans quite so much. They popped up in my inbox as part of a regular email from the site, and I was drawn to them immediately. You’ve got two separate designs here, I think. Halftone Robot by Old30Bastard is very much a hipster Transformer. It takes up the whole tee, and its shapes are angular and true to life. I particularly like that the robot’s head looks like its a repurposed boombox. At $15, you’d be criminal not to get this.

Then there’s the slightly more expensive ($20) Violin Bot. It’s cute, it’s quirky and it’s the sort of thing you’d see in Futurama. In fact, I’m not entirely sure a similar idea wasn’t in an episode of Futurama when Bender starts a band, playing himself like a washboard. BUt if anything that makes me want this thing more. It’s a beautiful design and it’s sure to bring a smile to people’s faces.

Costiness: $15/$20

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Post image for United Colours of Avengers t-shirt is awesome

 

I haven’t yet seen The Avengers. I haven’t yet seen half of the films which acted as 90-minute trailers for The Avengers Assemble. But yet I want this t-shirt. It’s a big deal, and it’s the sort of thing which is going to cross over into the mainstream from sheer nerdy geek chic. You’ve got to be careful with things that start in geekdom, though: often, what geeks wear isn’t what most of us (even though we’re at heart a similar breed) would wear in public.

But ‘United Colours of Avengers’ by Somethinggeeky does seem to bridge the gap. It comes in a t-shirt and hoodie, and at a smidgen under £12 it’s what I’d class as a bargain. Some people who know about The Avengers will get this; others who don’t will just see it as a cool, bold and colourful design. Whack it in your shopping basket and get it in your wardrobe rotation: that’s my assessment.

Costliness = £11.99/£19.99

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“Melting” Rubik’s Cube by Glennz

by Chris_S on May 2, 2012

Post image for “Melting” Rubik’s Cube by Glennz

Okay, so given the frequency of posts about Glennz you might think we have a little t-shirt crush on him. But we can’t help the fact that the guy turns out fantastic designs time and time again. This one’s another major hit.

“Melting” is something I sometimes wish I could do to the Rubik’s Cube sitting on my bedroom shelf. It’s been there for about 10 years. Every few months I pick it up and twiddle it, often messing up any good work I’d done before. Then it gets set down again, ready to collect dust. If the universe wants to combine to concentrate the sun’s power on the cube and melt it to save me the hassle of having to attempt to be smart every so often (and failing miserably), I’d not necessarily be angry.

Costliness = $21.95

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hhv.de: a German record store?

by Chris_S on April 24, 2012

Post image for hhv.de: a German record store?

hhv.de is seemingly some sort of music shop based in Berlin that does a lot of tees (2970, to be exact). Berlin’s a long way to go to buy a t-shirt, but thanks to the joys of the internet (uhhh duhhhh) you can actually get a lot of pretty good designs for relatively little money.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t a single label; rather, it seems a repository for a whole bunch of different labels. Some are big (Zoo York, Vans) and some are small. Similarly, there’s a lot of dross on the site – or rather, a lot of stuff that you can get elsewhere (I’m talking about band t-shirts here). But then there are also some absolutely stunning shirts that I’ve not seen many other places. Of course, everyone’s tastes are different, but there are seven that I whacked right into the basket in the vain hope that €144.48 + shipping would magically appear in my bank account (sadly, it didn’t). Of those, I’ve picked out a top four for you to take a gander at in case you have more money than me.

Above at the top is a shirt by Adam Hayes for 2K by Gingham, and I love the old-fashioned style text that’s on it. It’s the sort of thing you’d see on a 1950s poster for a speakeasy (I’m aware that’s historically impossible). For a smidgen under €14 it could be yours.

Another 2K by Gingham t-shirt, this is a mix of the geekiness of Threadless with the fashionable sort of tees you see people wearing in clubs. This one’s a little more at €16.95.

I wish I had €34.95 for this t-shirt – I really do. I love the typography on this, and the morose message that it gives off. It’s the sort of thing that people who live for Facebook will find amazingly cool from a distance, before realising what it says up close.

This is an elegant, springtime shirt from Sixpack France x Museum Studio, which is the costliest of the lot at €39.95 – but then again, it’s only been on the online store for six days. I like the colours and the gentle rose detail, and I think it’s the sort of thing which isn’t quite a brash statement t-shirt, but also isn’t your boring normal tee either.

Anyway, these is just the things I personally like. You really need to head on over yourself and take a look to find out.

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Literary tees from Truffle Shuffle

by Chris_S on April 21, 2012

'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte

I’m an English Literature graduate. It was a couple of years ago that I graduated, admittedly, but you’ll find that almost all bloggers on the internet are those who took an unhealthy obsession with books to the extent that they paid thousands of pounds to be taught it in tertiary education. And so this post is for all those who spent three, four or more years of their life reading 5 full novels a week and writing about them.

Truffle Shuffle have a brand of tees called ‘Out of Print’, which are based on some of the best novels in history. They’re beautiful, retro designs, slightly aged for that dog-eared effect that you get from the best-loved paperbacks in your collection (no word on whether the t-shirts come with the fusty old book smell though). I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t crave these shirts – and badly.

The one problem? Cost. At £27.99 a shirt, it’s something that a guy who took a non-vocational degree has to press his nose up to the glass for and save his pennies over the weeks. But save up I will, and end up splurging my cash on one. The question is which one to go for: ‘Animal Farm’, ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘Catch-22′ or ‘A Clockwork Orange’? (PS. Truffle Shuffle, what’s up with not putting ‘Wuthering Heights’ on a guy’s tee? We like Bronte too!)

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Barber Shop Window: cool wrestling t-shirts?

by Chris_S on April 19, 2012

barber shop window t-shirts



I don’t want to alarm you or anything, but the three words “cool wrestling t-shirts” can in fact be used in the same sentence without the world exploding. Seriously, it’s not a contradiction in terms. Admittedly, professional wrestling hasn’t been cool since about 1997, but that almost doesn’t matter. I haven’t watched wrestling since I was 16 – these things called girls got in the way – but I can still appreciate the smart, snarky designs which are a mile away from the stuff the WWE (apparently the WWF had to change their name after the World Wildlife Fund sued them) produce.

Barber Shop Window has a simple motto: “to create shirts that wrestling fans enjoy, would want to own, and wouldn’t be embarassed to wear to the bar.” I’d argue they go further. These things can be worn by non- or lapsed wrestling fans like me.

They take an increasingly standard model of selling. Shirts are available for a limited time period and on a short print run, before being taken off-sale. Any leftovers (usually in odd sizes) can be picked up for about $25 (first-run shirts usually run $20). The shirt stock’s good, the printing lasts and is clear. I’m currently wearing the ‘Monsoon-Heenan 2012′ shirt pictured above; it combines my favourite commentary team from my formative years with my love of American politics (fuelled by The West Wing). I wish I had the Fuji Vice t-shirt, based on this…unique vignette from the 1980s. If you’re nerdy like me, the chances are you’ll find something here for you.

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