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Heather Abbott

Shirt Review: Mine is Yours Apparel

by Heather Abbott on August 25, 2013

Brooklyn-based clothing brand Mine is Yours Apparel has their branding and product on point. The moment I opened their package, I knew that was truth. From their shirt packaging to their branding to their extremely personal letter, everything about their mail package was well executed.



Mine is Yours works with original fine artwork and translates them onto cotton-based t-shirts. The idea is that one could take beautiful art with them anywhere, and not just hang it on their wall at home. The sample received was the “Rooster” print. The hand-printed graphic was originally a colorful acrylic painting, but it still worked well as the monochromatic screen print. The print even included the artist signature (Megan Dorien), a nice detail to the design.


The t-shirt was a Next Level men’s size medium. It’s known that Next Level has been popularly used by many upper-level brands looking to spend less than they would at American Apparel, and the tees still have a premium feel. This one did especially, because of the way it was packaged and branded. In fact, the only negative comment about the packaging worth mentioning would be that the shirt came extremely wrinkled.



Still, one interesting and incredible design detail was the bag of seeds attached to the center back main label. The bag read, “Germinate & Reciprocate,” meaning give back to the world, and inside the bag were random flower seeds for planting.


Receiving this tee from Mine is Yours didn’t feel like an every day purchase, but rather a real and positive brand-consumer experience. The simplest ideas, when executed with thought, can truly make or break a brand. Mine is Yours is doing it right.

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8&9: Premium Quality Shirt Review

by Heather Abbott on July 28, 2013

Apparel brand 8&9 is mostly doing it right. Their website is navigational, promotional, and well-supported by product and the brand story, their marketing is in the right places, and they keep their blog updated daily. Their mail package they sent my way was well-stocked with promotional gear, leave-behinds, and, well, free swag. 8&9 also sent not one, but two tees for review.

Right away, I was impressed with 8&9. Not many brands send as much “about me” info and gear for review. I’ve actually been surprised before on how little some brands send out (no note, receipt, or anything) in their packages. However, 8&9 had their brand story well included in their mailer.

The t-shirt design of the Premium Quality tee they sent was also well done. The design was full and detailed, perfectly fitting for the medium of a t-shirt body. The color choices in the design and tee body meshed well together. Other smaller details stood out, too, like the embossed hangtag, a personalized center back printed label, and the special woven hem label.

8&9 package

8&9 Premium Quality

8&9 tag

8&9 woven tag

The only real issue with the shirt was the weight of the cotton. The shirt felt like heavyweight cotton, and although a few brands print on tees of that weight, it’s not a usual a desired weight to consumers. Heavyweight tees can be especially uncomfortable to wear during summer days – a bummer for this design, because I was really stoked to wear it right away (but the Texas heat is quite a beast).



Still, even with the heavyweight shirt, since it carried such a bold design, I will most likely wear it in to a comfy state. 8&9 also sent an extra shirt, the Kill Squad Nunchacu Volt tee, but I was not as enamored by the design as I was with the Premium Quality tee. Even so, the Kill Squad tee caught my attention with the small details like the sleeve cuff print.

8&9 Kill Squad

Kill Squad Cuff

Overall, 8&9 had my support. After all, what good would a lighter, 6oz summer tee be if the design was poor? You can easily shop 8&9, here. They’ve got an array of designs, including v-necks and tank tops.


Graphic t-shirt brand My Main Man Pat just launched it’s website back in March 2013. My Main Man Pat makes nods to the golden era of hip-hop. The company accepts artist submissions for all of its t-shirt designs. Basically, each week only two different graphic tee designs are available, and they’re only available for that week alone. Thus, the tees are extremely limited in shelf time, but also in production. For example the tee we received was number 6 out of only 15!

This week, the two available tees are nods to the Wu-Tang Clan and the Beastie boys. However, due to the high-speed rate of turn in production, we will be reviewing a previously released design.

In the mail package I received, there was the shirt and also a thank you note from My Main Man Pat that included the shirt number and original artist contact info – a nice touch for sure. And, although the My Main Man Pat website FAQ stated that all shirts were printed on unisex garments, they did in fact label this specific style online as a “female fitted shirt,” so there was no surprise upon receiving the garment in the mail.

This sample was a size medium in a wonderfully soft 100% cotton fabric. The graphic on the shirt was based on the infamous “Fu-Gee-La” track from The Fugees’ 1996 album, The Score. The lyrics on the shirt read, “Find me in my Mitsubishi, eatin’ sushi, bumpin’ Fugees.” The lyrics are appropriate for a girls graphic tee style, as, according to the popular lyric-reporting site Rap Genius, they translate into, “[Lauren] will be partaking in ‘non-hoochie’ past times, like riding around the suburbs of Jersey in her Mitsubishi Eclipse, listening to her own CD and eating a California roll.”

bumpin fugees

The shirt felt great and the delivery and presentation of the package was fairly good, but the graphic content on the style seemed to be lacking something. The simplicity of the idea behind the My Main Man Pat brand – and, might I also mention, the website – was more than appealing. The site was clean, straight to the point, and easy to navigate. There are some strong points in the company. However, accepting artist submissions could be a tough process and being critical of what art gets edited in and what art gets tossed out for more revision (or for good) is important.

Most everyone can find in themselves a bit of, if not a helluvalot of, respect for hip-hop’s original icons and their lyricism; there are enough fans out there to support the idea behind My Main Man Pat. Perhaps with a little advertising and social media marketing, the company can attract more and more artists, and perhaps some who can bring a strong illustrative hand to the table. Still, there have certainly already been some winners in the My Main Man Pat weekly releases – like a Snoop Dogg one I would share here, but, it’s been slept on.


Hands on review: Patched Up with Patcht

by Heather Abbott on March 18, 2013

The crew over at Patcht are doing it differently. Buying a t-shirt (hoody, or tank top) isn’t as simple as clicking the product and adding to the cart, but that’s where the fun comes in.

Patcht makes patch-based garments. It’s that simple.

Patcht Two

When a customer goes to the Patcht website, they are able to choose a design they like (made in patch form) and a garment to add it onto (style, size, color, etc). The patches come in a variety of materials and are cut into different shapes (designs), allowing for endless combinations of design and style choice. Patcht believes in uniqueness and expressing individuality, thus their brand allows customers to order product that maybe nobody else has, even though they bought it from the same brand and/or store.

The idea of D.I.Y patching or ironing-on graphics may be off-putting to some, as this type of design could be regarded as poor in quality, having a harsh hand feel, etc.

However, based on the Patcht sample I received, I believe Patcht’s garments are nothing less than premium.


For my order, I chose a simple color wheel patch design and added it to a clean, white tank top. I found this design fitting for the approaching spring and summer weather.

I was curious as to what the garment would feel like (as previously mentioned, patched on designs are often not a good feeling on the skin). I was also scared, what with the seemingly D.I.Y nature of the production, that the actual garment (sans patch) may be a heavyweight cotton or another lesser quality. I was surprised when I pulled my tank top out of the package. It was lightweight and super soft to the touch. Even better – the sewn on patch did not have any backing and it still felt amazing on my skin. There were no loose threads and all stitches were finished off fairly well, so that there was no “poking” or “itching” feeling behind the sew-on. The threads used were also poly-cotton (or possibly 100% cotton), so the soft hand feel was consistent throughout the garment.



It was softer than any tank top I’d ever owned (and I am a big 100% cotton top fanatic). The bigger surprise was the hand feel of the patch design sewn onto the garment; it was equally as soft and comfortable.


In the end, the added bonus for me was that I was able to take part in the design of my order. I chose the body style, size, and color as well as the design. Although somebody else created the graphic/patch, I made the rest go together at my own free will. The product price depends on the type of patch design and garment chosen (a tank top will be less than a short sleeve, etc.) and the product seems worth the spending.

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New Accessories from Southfresh!

by Heather Abbott on December 23, 2012

We mentioned not too long ago a new Fall line from clothing brand Southfresh and now they’re releasing a couple of new accessories, too.

Meet the Cima Desert bag and the Field Desert pouch – a collaboration between Southfresh and Arch. As the rest of the Southfresh line, these products are handmade in Italy.

The Cima is a waterproof top-loading backpack made of oil green PVC-coated fabric and premium leather with a desert camo interior.

It features a capacious main compartment that you can access via the roll-top or by the top-front zip. There is also a big back pocket with a soft touch interior that can fit a up to a 15″ laptop. You can find a similar and smaller pocket on the front, too. The drawstring closure allows you to fill up your bag to the brim with whatever you need. The details are also impressive; there product is finished with leather details and a desert camo patch with an embroidered Southfresh logo.

The Field  is an everyday use pouch that keeps your shoulders free.

It is also made of waterproof oil green PVC-coated fabric and premium leather with a desert camo interior. This pouch is perfect for fitting a compact camera, film rolls, a cellphone, or other personal necessities.

Both accessories were released in limited quantities on December 10th and are now available through the Southfresh online shop.


New Southfresh Cloth.thing Fall 2012

by Heather Abbott on October 25, 2012

Southfresh Cloth.thing hails from Italy and offers more than the usual indie t-shirt brand; they seem to stand for more than the stereotypical vector graphic screen prints and they instead focus on fine art photography, print-mixing, and cut and sew.

Southfresh Cloth.thing seems to hold true to the essence of street wear. In their look books and on their blog, you’ll see aggressive sport icons, tattooed models, and images of graffiti and art in general. They recently did a collaboration with street photographer Davide Bona

They do a great job outfitting their items, too – something most brands forget and that can be the key to communicating to the customer that the brand fits in with the rest of their wardrobe and accessories.

Southfresh Cloth.thing’s Fall seasonal release will include new 5 panel hats made with mixed materials and print. The branded leather label sewn onto the front panels of the hats take this already great product to a new level.

Most recently released is the TOOTH t-shirt. This new t-shirt has a sewn on camo print in the shape of a tooth and like most of the Southfresh Cloth.thing line, this shirt comes in either black or white on 100% premium cotton and made in Italy. Bottom line – this shirt probably feels great and fits well.

Southfresh Cloth.thing is a solid brand as far as product and branding goes. All that is lacking is there out-of-stock online shop, but it looks like it will be up soon.


Voy-Voy Makes Business Fun [Hands on Review]

by Heather Abbott on September 3, 2012

New York t-shirt brand Voy-Voy is making casual menswear fun while contributing to our global society.

Finally, an indie brand has taken the popular printed pocket t-shirt to a new and exciting level. The difference? Voy-Voy’s shirt pocketing (not the topped on pocket itself, but the inside) is printed, so it works as a colorful surprise detail, but also as a pocket square – just pull the pocket lining outward and style!

For every Voy-Voy product sold, 10% of the sale is invested in micro-lending projects around the world. Micro-lending like the kind Voy-Voy is practicing can help build profitable small businesses for low-income people and can even help send kids to college. So, while you’re purchasing your rad t-shirt, you’re helping someone else in the world afford something, too – and that something could be life-changing.

As for the shirts themselves, the designs are simple and clean. A single-screen print can go a long way, and the touch of upper class in the embroidered logo and the printed pocket lining easily takes this style from streetwear to menswear.

The prints are made of environmentally neutral dyes, which means they cut down on the amount of toxic effluent that results from the synthetic dye process. The shirts are also sewn with hand-selected Peruvian cotton which proves to be more lightweight and breathable while still remaining more durable than other alternatives.

Overall, the product and shipment from Voy-Voy is top-shelf. They even included a personal note and a few stickers – a total win on my scoreboard of personal branding.

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New Product from Random Objects!

by Heather Abbott on August 3, 2012

Random Objects released some new tees and a print that all live up to the expectations of the brand.

Random Objects produces designs that play on the relationship between literal and visual language. Generally, when t-shirt brands try to tackle typographic designs, they can turn out kitschy or juvenile. However, Random Objects does it on an elevated level, keeping designs classic and minimal and exploring old proverbs. The typefaces are bold, mostly sans serif, or cleanly handwritten without the overexposed Contino effect.

These new products are now available in the Random Objects online shop. For a limited time, you can also use the discount code – HOTSALE – for 20% off your entire order. Good deal for some great product!


Naturally Print Your T-shirt Using the Lumi Process

by Heather Abbott on July 18, 2012

Lumi App

Lumi, a Los Angeles based photographic studio and group, has introduced a new technology that enables artists to use natural sunlight to print on t-shirts. Jesse, head of the Lumi project, has been dreaming of and developing this project since her childhood. The Lumi process is incredibly simple:

  1. use the Lumi iPhone app to take your images,
  2. use a USB drive to upload your images into something as user-friendly as a FedEx Kinkos kiosk or other copier
  3. print the image onto a transparent film so you have a high-density negative
  4. coat your apparel or accessory with dye in the place you’ll be exposing your image
  5. place your transparent negative on top of the dyed area
  6. place the project outdoors in the sun
Pumi Print

The sun-printing process only takes about ten minutes and is permanent. All you have to do afterward is wash the garment with the Lumi detergent to remove any remaining dye. This process could really benefit indie brands in sunny climates. I can imagine a brand taking their original photography, up-cycling garments, and printing a special – not to mention eco-friendly – series with the Lumi products.

Lumi has a Kickstarter project that will end on Monday, July 30, 2012. Make sure you visit their site and contribute to their innovative project. There, you can also learn in detail about the full Lumi kit and the Lumi Starter Kits they look to release in the near future.


MyFight Empowers the World Through T-shirts

by Heather Abbott on July 13, 2012

Faded Hand shirt

“We are more than a t-shirt brand.”

You’ve heard that one before, but for MyFight, that line rings true. MyFight is a movement whose main goal is to abolish poverty by working with those impoverished. Through the sale of t-shirts as well as donations, MyFight is able to help impoverished people microfinance loans. These loans can empower them to make a a positive change and an eventual profit. According to MyFight, even a donation as small as $250 can bring a person out of poverty forever.

The microloans provided by MyFight are often given to women in developing economies and, with time, they become part of a global solution rather than a temporary social bandaid. The option to microfinance lets the impoverished culture get on its feet and cycle the money back into the society, rather than receiving a one-time donation.

Animal Tank

In nutshell: you buy t-shirts, they make loans, and the world helps itself go ’round. Check out what they have to offer, here, and if you’d like to submit a t-shirt design to them to sell, please visit here.


centre dallas t-shirt shop

In Dallas, Texas USA there is one shop t-shirt aficionados can always count on, and that’s the boutique Centre. Centre is clean and crisp, displaying some of the best premium street wear in today’s market. The store is beautifully designed, the products are detailed and worth the price, and there’s even a vinyl toy store, ATAMA, upstairs.

Centre supports big name brands like Play Cloths and Diamond Supply Co., but they also support independent North Texas brands like Sleepy Dan, Fur Face Boy, and Unkommon Kolor. Another thing Centre does is produce its own apparel under the Centre brand title. Their recent Triple D Tigers collection was impressive. Last weekend, Centre also released the Two One Four tees and tank tops just in time for spring.

The Two One Four series is inspired by Nike and Andre Agassi. Agassi is a retired American professional tennis player and one of the greatest to have ever played. The color choices and graphic application for the Two One Four pieces are a beautiful, simple homage to the bright neons in the Nike Air Tech Challenge shoe series. Agassi sported the Nike’s back in the 1990s.

This photo is taken from the Centre blog. Their marketing for the Two One Four release further compliments the product.

If you can’t stop by Centre’s brick and mortar store these styles are available for purchase until sold out, or you can also buy one in their online shop, here.


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