An assortment of graphic tees for your delectation

41

I dig the blocky font on this one from Clare Vivier.

And I’m fond of the retroish font here.

A tank with a classic Who logo: you could do worse.

A cheery and clever option that’d be great layered under a black or dark grey blazer.

Here’s one with an inarguable sentiment.

The watercolor-y effect here appeals.

I really like the red letters against the heather grey on this cute option.

This Led Zeppelin tee is by a company that revives old band T-shirt designs and charges a lot for it, so I don’t typically link to them. But the truth is, these sell for a fraction of what an authentic vintage one will likely run you, so maybe it’s worth it?

This tee is such a great color, and I like the minimal design.

I don’t usually advocate the display of branding on one’s clothing—why should you have to pay for the privilege of advertising for a third party?—but this Coca Cola T-shirt is just so classic I couldn’t resist including it.

 

 

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41 Thoughts on An assortment of graphic tees for your delectation
    MaryAlice
    6 Aug 2021
    12:04pm

    I’m 62, and my uniform is a graphic T, jeans, blazer and sneakers. And I feel confident and look great!

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    Eloise
    4 Aug 2021
    10:59am

    I’ll wear the occasional graphic tee but it has to be super soft and look authentically worn-in. I I have a very stupid hard time passing up Coca Cola tees that pass those requirements – no idea why, especially since I gave up drinking soda a few years ago (hard to do but I actually prefer seltzer, now).

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      cw
      4 Aug 2021
      1:55pm

      I believe Coca Cola is one of the most addictive substances out there. BUT, for some truly weird reason if I feel a migraine coming on, I can drink six to eight ounces of Coke and the migraine will never materialize. However, I have to get the Coke in my system before I’m too far down the migraine path for it to work. Crazy, right?!

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        kimbersam
        4 Aug 2021
        3:11pm

        Junk food and a coke (full fat) are pretty much a classic migraine cure for lots of people. I get the pukes and spins w/ mine so it’s weed, Bonine and a Twizzler Pull and Peel for me!

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        Liz
        4 Aug 2021
        2:02pm

        It’s the caffeine!

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          cw
          5 Aug 2021
          7:14am

          I thought it was the caffeine, Liz, but other caffeine sources (like coffee) don’t work. Can not figure it out!

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            D.Morgendorffer
            5 Aug 2021
            10:29am

            I know cola can have stomach-soothing effects. So, maybe it’s the combination of their variety of cola combined with the caffeine?

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        Katy
        4 Aug 2021
        8:04pm

        Same – has to be a cold Mexican coke and ibuporen right when I feel the migraine starting.

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        Viajera
        5 Aug 2021
        1:08pm

        cw, did you see that piece in the NYT science section on Tuesday, about omegas and migraines? Maybe it could help. I guess science is finally paying attention. It would be great to get more options.

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        patty
        5 Aug 2021
        9:58am

        When my (adult) daughter wakes up cranky from an afternoon nap, a Coke is the cure.

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    Elisabeth
    4 Aug 2021
    11:13am

    I agree with Becca that graphic tees are tough past a certain age. Slogans are a little too on-the-nose for me, band t’s too boomer (I’m older Gen X), and I don’t personally promote brands if I can help it. So what does that leave?? I tend to go for indecipherable or obscure graphics, and further obscure them under a cardi or blazer or something.

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      patty
      5 Aug 2021
      10:00am

      Emerson Fry tee is really great.

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    Ann Fielder
    4 Aug 2021
    11:14am

    I tend to agree that Girls of a Certain Age look silly wearing a band’s graphic tee, however, I love these Oaxacan-style ones from a Texas vendor, Primavera Collection. (NO affiliation-I personally own the AC/DC one, tho)
    https://www.primaveracollection.com/collections/best-sellers/products/stones-t-shirt

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      kimbersam
      4 Aug 2021
      3:19pm

      I just bought the Hendrix T. Very cool. Thanks for the link!

      2

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      Liz
      4 Aug 2021
      3:49pm

      I’m 46 and live in band tees, but I’m a musician and music lover whose dad lived in motorcycle tees, so whenever I see an older person in band tees it signals to me that they are a cool older person with interests. Also, as an older woman, I’m often invisible at events until someone notices my Gene Clark/Townes Van Zandt tee and happens to be a huge fan. I love talking music, so it’s great. It also annoys me that whenever I go to shows, it’s common to see tons of guys my age in the crowd wearing band tees but very few middle aged women. I feel like I’m doing my part to equalize things 🙂

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        Liz
        4 Aug 2021
        4:39pm

        Also, I always feel like the “Am I too old to wear/do this” question is one that women weirdly obsess over and men NEVER think about.

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      Elle
      4 Aug 2021
      5:20pm

      Agree and/but those tees are amazing!!

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      Mamavalveeta03
      4 Aug 2021
      12:41pm

      Those embroidered band tees are really cool!

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      cw
      4 Aug 2021
      12:14pm

      Love the Rolling Stones one. Thanks for the link, Ann Fielder!

      2

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    heartbeet
    4 Aug 2021
    11:19am

    Fewer $100 options please. There is no freaking way I’m spending that much on a tee.

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      Amy C
      4 Aug 2021
      12:01pm

      Old navy often has good graphic tees for $10

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    Joannawnyc
    4 Aug 2021
    11:24am

    Like most other wardrobe items, graphic tees are a personal choice. I have a few, but I am pretty picky about logos/design. The one I wear the most is from Uniqlo about 6-7 years ago, and features the label of a French thread company. I’ve had good luck with Uniqlo in the past for tees, but not so much recently. They seem to have backed off the quirky collabs. I also used to have a Springsteen tee from a gig in 1978 but I sold it and now it’s framed on the wall of an oral surgeon’s house in New Jersey.

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    Stephanie
    4 Aug 2021
    3:09pm

    I still want a Four Seasons Total Landscaping t-shirt. I know the moment has passed but still. It just seemed to sum up an era — its idiotic side, if not its malevolent one. And it’s funny.

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    Mae
    4 Aug 2021
    6:58pm

    If you are what you “eat”, I am Coca Cola down to my DNA, ya’ll. I’ve been drinking it my entire life, from childhood until now. It got me through my entire career, and it is still is the pickup I need every day around 2:30 p.m. I ordered the t-shirt and will wear it proudly.

    4

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    Gleaming the Cube
    4 Aug 2021
    12:02pm

    Oh, Kim, you’ve read my mind with this! One of my favorite items of clothing is a t-shirt from R13, purchased at 90% off (and still $30!) , that says “I used to be punk rock… and other lies.” Do I look ridiculous? Maybe? But I love it. I also have one from Unfortunate Portrait that says “French Kiss” and shows a someone dressed like someone from the band Kiss wearing a striped shirt and beret, holding a baguette. Again, I don’t care if everyone snickers at me.
    Last night, I spent quite a bit of time seeing how much it would cost to make my own graphic tee, because I have been playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild (I am depressed and it is my escape right now) and decided I wanted a t-shirt that says “Bolson Construction,” because I love all things Bolson in the game. There are such shirts available but all are over-designed and ugly. I’m still looking for a place to just print, on a high-quality t-shirt, in a non-tacky font, the words “Bolson Construction.” So I very much appreciate these because putting words on a shirt is apparently quite hard!

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      Viajera
      4 Aug 2021
      10:14pm

      See, now I wish I were into playing Zelda, if it inspires such devotion. I hope you feel better soon! If I see a screen printer that looks good, I’ll put it here. Maybe try Etsy though? There must be someone. I am not cool enough to be a font nerd, either… … … … The merch that I want to re-design, but won’t get around to any time soon, is the mug for the Global Public Square show on cnn. It should really be called “The Fareed Show,” and it needs a more exuberant mug. Also the mug shape is too boring. He is a good interviewer.

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    D.Morgendorffer
    4 Aug 2021
    12:31pm

    I love mushrooms while my husband is often ambivalent towards them, with the wonderful result being that I get all the mushrooms he doesn’t want. I feel warmly towards the anti-graphic tee people because y’all did not buy up the officially licensed Cowboy Bebop t-shirt I’d been wanting that’s currently sold out. I think my graphic t-shirt preferences correctly communicate, “Yes, I did eat lunch in the library in high school.” My ideal graphic t-shirt does not exist, an homage to my favorite character from Inuyasha, Lady Kaede. Lady Kaede is an unflappable, elderly priestess who wears traditional robes and an iron sword guard converted into an eye patch (having lost an eye as a child from fighting a demon). So, I want a future of graphic tees featuring older women worn by at least one older woman.

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      Gleaming the Cube
      4 Aug 2021
      1:32pm

      Ms Morgendorffer: since apparently our ideal shirts don’t exist, maybe we could go into a graphic tee business together? ??

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        D.Morgendorffer
        4 Aug 2021
        2:56pm

        I had a professor who named her only child, Zelda, as one does. Venerable nerd ladies unite!

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      Viajera
      4 Aug 2021
      10:16pm

      Yeah … I don’t know what this is either. I’m behind!!! But it is nice to get these hot tips.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    4 Aug 2021
    12:47pm

    I’m a fan of certain message tees, although, once purchased I often chicken-out because they don’t feel like “me.” But I will wear band tees that I’ve purchased at a concert, like this: https://wilcostore.com/products/ladies-stretching-tiger-t-shirt?variant=32281422692417 Mine are decidedly uncool.

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      Candy
      4 Aug 2021
      1:56pm

      I have a thing for tigers and for black graphic tees, so thank you Mamavalveeta03 for this! And the price point is reasonable, so win-win-win.

      3

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      Liz
      4 Aug 2021
      1:45pm

      Love Wilco. I saw your comment on the Tweedy Show recently!

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      Sharona
      4 Aug 2021
      1:21pm

      Wilco always has great merch.

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    Sharona
    4 Aug 2021
    1:28pm

    I’ll still buy band tees at shows but find that I’m not wearing them; I figure it’s still supporting the artists anyway.

    Also, for those of you who are looking for messages — giveashirt.net

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    Viajera
    4 Aug 2021
    11:51am

    I can’t say I’ve ever noticed a graphic tee sending a different message because of the age of the wearer. To me it depends mostly on the design. (In theory, I might like them less when they are new, but even that I wouldn’t put as a hard and fast rule. That’s still better than buying pre-distressed jeans, which I reject no matter the youth of the wearer.) Perhaps if the person has a old school newscaster-y hairdo? But even that probably wouldn’t bother me. Who doesn’t like a nice contrast? I think one of these could look really great with a Carol Brady hairstyle. Life is too short to worry about age and tee shirts. It is interesting though to find out that this is an issue for others. I didn’t know that.

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    Becca
    4 Aug 2021
    10:16am

    Hard pass. Graphic tees are great on 20-somethings–like the images show. But on most 40- & 50-somethings, it reads to me as trying too hard. A few women of a certain age can make this work. Most of us cannot.

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    cw
    4 Aug 2021
    10:48am

    I think the aloha tee is pretty much perfect in its simplicity and message. We all need a little kindness these days and what better way to show some daily kindness than by giving a “hello” to strangers and friends you see out and about.

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      Liz
      4 Aug 2021
      1:47pm

      I thought the Aloha tee would be very cute to wear to the beach.

      3

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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