Fun graphic t-shirts outside of hipster/geek culture?
July 11, 2016 12:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm in desperate need of some new graphic t-shirts. At first blush, it seems like we're living in a golden age of t-shirts! Yay! The only problem is that I hate them all. Help?

I am a cranky old lady and can't stand the twee-geeky strain of t-shirt designs that have taken over the web. You know -- mashups of Marvel Comics, Star Wars and Calvin & Hobbes, or things with robots doing something cute. Or a dinosaur/unicorn with a HIGH-LARIOUS speech balloon.

I also don't like the hipster trendy shirts where everything has twisty branches and swirly lines and antlers and birds on it.

What I DO like are:
- band names/logos
- logos of sports teams or other institutions
- product/company logos, if they're fun
- stuff related to movies, TV and pop culture, just NOT the "cutesy mashup" flavor.

Can you think of any good sources for T-shirts that would fit into these fussy constraints?
posted by overeducated_alligator to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (26 answers total) 63 users marked this as a favorite
Last Exit to Nowhere
posted by griphus at 12:47 PM on July 11, 2016 [5 favorites]

Uniqlo graphic T's.
posted by matildaben at 12:48 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Minor League Baseball T's?
posted by calgirl at 12:49 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

You should find a few tees that check most of your boxes at Cotton Bureau:
posted by busybee at 12:49 PM on July 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh, as well as Uniqlo (who are great for this but their stock sells out and varies quickly) the local Target here has been carrying some actually nicely-made pop-culture t-shirts for dirt-cheap. They have the standard "super hero logo on a black tee" but there's other ones that are great with actual thought put into the design, and they're all like $9-10. Last time I was there, they had Todd McFarlane's Spider-Man #1 cover on a t-shirt and I had to restrain myself.
posted by griphus at 12:58 PM on July 11, 2016

I like Homage. They're based in Ohio so lots of Ohio sports/colleges/etc., but everything they sell is made in the USA. The Mitten State is similar, everything's made in the USA but they are based in Michigan. They have some fun old beer logo shirts and that kind of things, or general Midwestern-ness.
posted by jabes at 12:59 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Society6 has a lot of designs that are appealing without veering into that played-out twee-birdy-tee aesthetic (although there is some of that).
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:07 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

seconding Last Exit to Nowhere, their shirts are fantastic
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:08 PM on July 11, 2016

Oh, how I know this pain. I will be stalking this thread so closely. And I can offer up my favorite: I can't even tell you how satisfying it is to wear the HERZOG shirt featured here, and there's a nice handful of weird band-logo/director varieties to be had. Mashups, yes, but as far as I'm concerned, they're kickass/clever and not cutesy!
posted by kittyb at 1:08 PM on July 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

i buy band t-shirts from the 'net. i can't really give you instructions because each band is different, but basically just search for the band you like, find their web page, and about 5 times out of 10 they'll have a link to a store with tees. bonus(?): it's not unusual to end up swapping emails with one of the band members as you sort out details, especially with smaller bands.

posted by andrewcooke at 1:10 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm guessing you'd have better luck looking for t-shirts with some of the particular bands/sports teams/brands that you like. However, use of Zappos filters turns up lots and lots of options that you may or may not like depending on the particular content.
posted by mchorn at 1:11 PM on July 11, 2016

I'm a huge fan of litographs
posted by Mchelly at 1:23 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Topatoco has some fun shirts. How about a MetaFilter shirt?
posted by General Malaise at 1:29 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

For band names/logos, I would check out Holy Mountain Printing and Relapse Records They both sell metal shirts, but metal bands have the best shirts, everyone knows that.
posted by dortmunder at 1:32 PM on July 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

This might fall under your twisty branches and antlers and birds heading, but just in case not, I got this great shirt from here last week.
posted by phunniemee at 1:52 PM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Bygone Brand is another Midwestern nostalgia brand, based out of Rockford, IL. Or do you like pinball?
posted by quarterinmyshoe at 1:52 PM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wear mostly American Apparel t-shirts these days. I typically find them on Etsy, which of course has a ton of what you don't want, but I think also plenty of what you do want. There are TONS of people making shirts. Just search for whatever strikes your fancy.
posted by ktkt at 2:02 PM on July 11, 2016

Defend New Orleans makes New Orleans-defence themed T-shirts. (Scroll down for the imo more radical designs, like the skull w/ mohawk.)

Urbanist website Planetizen offers the urban fabric of some large cities as seen from great altitude on their T-shirts.
posted by bertran at 2:35 PM on July 11, 2016

While buyolympia is kinda hipster, I have a few of their shirts that I really like. The recently started a Five Dollar Friday shirt deal where they pick a random shirt, post it to Twitter, and them you have all day or until they sell out to buy it. You can also buy mystery $5 shirts, which gives you less control but also a surprise.
posted by danabanana at 2:41 PM on July 11, 2016

You have probably already been to Target, but they do have some retro tshirts in their juniors and men's sections. Some of them are retro band shirts, and much cheaper than from the actual bands:

The Northern Sun catalog has been around for a long time and they have some cool shirts.
posted by bessiemae at 2:54 PM on July 11, 2016

Maybe some of these designs might be up your alley? (Some definitely fall under the "twisty branches and antlers and birds" category, though, but some are simpler designs and might work.) I don't normally like fandom-related stuff, because so much of it leans towards the too twee or way too obvious, but I did buy one of those (a limited-edition design based on a book series that's not available anymore), and am considering several others.
posted by sailoreagle at 2:57 PM on July 11, 2016

I too am a cranky old lady, but I am also a big fan of super-soft t-shirts and sports.

Red Jacket has great vintage hockey and baseball shirts that I like very much.
posted by duckus at 5:39 PM on July 11, 2016

Upper Playground & Atelier Amelot
posted by speakeasy at 4:05 AM on July 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you liked WWE in the WWF Attitude Era, they have decent vintage shirts. Here's a link to their webshop.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 8:15 AM on July 12, 2016

Dreem Street
posted by wcfields at 4:49 PM on July 12, 2016

Response by poster: Awesome suggestions! Thank you so much, everyone.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 3:08 PM on July 17, 2016

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