Out & About: Graphic Tees in the Wild
T-Shirt Trends
4
min read

Out & About: Graphic Tees in the Wild

Graphic tees are a long-time wardrobe staple that are basically *always* in style.

Graphic design tees are currently one of the biggest trends in fashion, with celebrities and just about anyone in town wearing them. Graphic tees have floated in and out of fashion over the past twenty years—with a big peak in the early 2000s—and now they're seeing another resurgence...

So if you're looking to inject some on-trend personality into your brand, designing your own custom graphic t-shirt could be the way to do it.

The Tribute Tee

Harry Styles wears two different graphic tees.
Harry Styles has his own fangirls—but he also dabbles in the art himself.

Come on, we all have a celebrity that we adore (right)?  

What better way to show your love and admiration than by wearing their face on your shirt? Tribute tees are kind of like an inside or witty reference. It started when celebrities started wearing each other's faces on their shirts. The history of the tribute tee starts back in the eighties. In 1983, MJ was photographed wearing a shirt with Diana Ross' face on it. Fast forward to 2022 and the trend has made a comeback. We’ve seen tribute tees recently worn by Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, and Doja Cat. Celebs have worn these as street style staples. Whether you're going for a coffee run or brunch with your friends, 2022 has seen the early 2000's trend reemerge. Ooooh let’s wear it!

Tribute tees can be worn a few different ways. You can rock it with a pair of jeans and sneakers for a casual look or dress it up with a leather jacket or even heels. No matter how you wear it, make sure you own it! Here’s to embracing your (outer) celeb.

The Text Based Graphic Tee

Drew Barrymore sports a graphic tee with text that says "My boyfriend is out of town"
Drew Barrymore: style icon throughout the ages.

Remember Happy Bunny? Or maybe even wearing a shirt that spells how much of an "angel" you are. Shut up, like, really. No really, like, you can wear it on your shirt. Graphic shirts with words on them are back in. No, it's not 2003, but it very well looks like it. Whether it's a sarcastic line or just something funny, text based t-shirts are trending in 2022. Forget inspirational sayings - or not! It's up to you what your text based tee reads to the world!

Text-based t-shirts first gained popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Brands like Aéropostale and American Eagle were particularly known for their graphic tees with their logo. However, by the mid-2000s, text-based t-shirts fell out of fashion as people began to prefer more minimalistic designs.

Thanks to new printing techniques and a renewed interest in making a (literal) statement, text-based t-shirts have been seen once again.

Ultimately, we love text based tees because you can wear them however you want! But we love text based tees in crop styles and a form fitted. So go ahead, roll out of bed and throw one on with a pair of wide leg jeans or baggy pants.  

The Vintage and Retro Tee

A man models a graphic t-shirt with a cartoon lamp on it
Pure rubber hose design on display here.

Have you ever heard of rubber hose designs? Well, they’re everywhere lately. So, what exactly are rubber hose designs? In a nutshell, they're a throwback to the early days of animation when characters were often drawn with super stretched bodies and extremely exaggerated features. You’ve probably seen a few rubber hose logos by now. Thanks to some popular TV shows and movies that have been using this art style (we're looking at you, Cuphead), the unique look of rubber hose designs is making a comeback.

In the fashion scope of things, anything over 30 years old can be considered “old school”. The whole vintage and weathered fade designed shirts are making their way back into street style. Vintage tees can look like an old burger joint and muscle car drive-thru scene or maybe even fast-forwarded back to 80’s anime characters, like Akira. The point is that they give a dated look that is surprisingly modern.

You can wear vintage throwback tees over the back or front of your shirt, and they go great with their favorite pair of shorts or distressed jeans. Try an oversized tee version of one of your favorite throwback characters or band. It's like sponsoring a dose of nostalgia!

It’s your design!

The overall trend is all about making a statement with your tee, whether it's through an edgy graphic design, a throwback look, or a simple slogan. And it's not just for short sleeve weather - we're seeing graphic tees worn all year round, making them a versatile wardrobe staple. Are you inspired to recreate one of these designs? Whatever you choose, our team makes it happen.

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