Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lovin' On Vintage T-Shirts

Pay no attention to the lack of blogs this week... A touch of mental laziness has come over me recently.

Let me start this blog about vintage t-shirts by telling you a little about my dad. My dad is a multi-talented musician (singer, guitarist, pianist, banjoist, etc!!). He played in several bands with his friends in high school and beyond - and to this day still performs and plays out at bars around Berkshire County back in Massachusetts.

Some of his cool band names include Bad Habits, The Moore Hill Gang, LYNX, and The Prohibition. There are definitely several more, but those are the ones I can name off the top of my head.

Alright so what does any of that have to do with awesome vintage t-shirts? Well AS EVERYONE KNOWS, every good band has a great t-shirt. And that means there was a pretty sweet stash of old awesome t-shirts in boxes at my parents' house... which I inevitably got my hands on, as teenage daughters do. And then I wore the shit out of them!

Here are some of my favorite vintage t-shirts from my dad's current stash:

My stash of vintage t-shirts

Old vintage band t-shirts, Lynx, grey t-shirts with white lettering.

Vintage band t-shirt, Moore Hill Gang, blue t-shirt with white graphic

The two LYNX t-shirts and the Moore Hill Gang shirt were on heeeeavy heavy heavy rotation for me in college. The lighter-grey LYNX tee (which I favored because it was more worn-in than the other) has a trillion holes in it at this point, and the Moore Hill shirt has faded quiiiiite a bit since college. Here I am rocking that one 10 years ago back in early 2004:

Throwback college picture
.  #tbt  .

See how much brighter it used to be?! Imagine how much better it must have looked when it was in its prime...

You can see from the first picture that band t-shirts were not the only vintage tee I was interested in owning. The old school Orioles shirt is one of my absolute favorites. That one also has special meaning because it is from the era in which my late uncle Mark played for the Orioles.

Vintage Baltimore Orioles t-shirt from the 1966-1989 logo design

There were many more of my dad's t-shirts that I used to wear over the years, but I literally wore them out to the point that they were filled with holes and no longer salvageable. I mean, even the ones I've still got are filled with holes, as you can see. My dad acted irritated that I was swiping his shirts, but I have a feeling he was also a little proud that his daughter thought his t-shirts were cool enough to steal and wear. Or at least that's what I tell myself to feel better about destroying his precious memories.

Here's an honorable mention vintage tee...

Light blue vintage Science t-shirt with atom graphic

This awesome Science t-shirt was given to Dave by his good friend Joey. Dave's enormous muscles and general manly bulk prevented him from fitting into it comfortably, but lucky for me - it's just my size! I don't know the story behind this shirt - where it came from or how old it is. But it's got a totally vintage feel, and for me it's special because David is a scientist, so it's kind of like I'm reppin' my man when I wear it.

Now, I realize that not everyone is lucky enough to have a dad with awesomely personalized old band t-shirts, so here are my top tips for getting your hands on a great vintage tee yourself:

1.  Ask your parents/aunts/uncles if they have any old t-shirts in a random storage box somewhere. I mean, might as well start with them, right?

2.  Don't shy away from the t-shirt sections of the thrift shop. Check the women's and men's sections, and be sure to browse through all of the sizes - not just the one you think is your size. You just never know what you will find!

3.  Browse eBay.

4.  Fake it till you make it. If you can't find an actual vintage tee that suits you, tons of stores/sites sell shirts that they've made to look vintage. Look for intentionally faded logos of iconic brands, bands, or teams, and you can't go wrong! If you can't find any that you like, and want to DIY a vintage feel, try following this Pinterest tutorial that I've seen all over the place.

In terms of caring for your vintage tees, I have a few big tips... not all of which I follow myself. #DoAsISayNotAsIDo.

1. Keep them in a cedar chest or use some other form of cedar-esque protection to guard your shit. Moths want to eat your vintage t-shirts SO bad, you have no idea. They are really connoisseurs of finely aged cotton goods. Those little bastards.

2. Wash your shirts inside out, in cold water. This will help protect both the logo and the fabric color.

3. Don't put your t-shirts into the dryer. Just don't.

How I style a vintage t-shirt

Do you love vintage tees as much as I do?

If you have a favorite vintage tee of your own, what is on it?

How do you like to style your t-shirts?

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  1. Uh. Yes. I LOOOOOOVE a good, soft--worn in t-shirt! Jeans and t-shirts forever and everrrrrrrr!

  2. Eeee I love all your vintage T-shirts! So cool that your dad is a musician and has band tees!
    I love borrowing clothes from my mom's wardrobe hehe. I particularly like her old college tees :D


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