• Emma (My Vintage)

The Retro Tee Phenomenon

They were never really the most sophisticated or mature addition to your wardrobe, but retro t- shirts are one of those super fun and frivolous trends that we simply love to embrace. And as they are now so affordable, you can try out a whole host of different colours and characters without breaking the bank.


Kitsch and kooky, these t-shirts are also adored by celebrities worldwide. Stylish stars prove a cartoon T-shirt should be on your essentials list for lazy weekends, music festivals, holidays and much more besides. We have seen hundreds of male and female celebs from both sides of the pond, sporting rainbow of different retro t-shirts. And in the 21st century, celebrity culture it by far at it's highest, meaning if they've got then we simply have to have it too.



Retro designs come in all shapes and sizes. Many are all around us. Iconic domestic brands such as Coca Cola, Haynes, Pepsi, Kelloggs, 7up, Starbucks, Heineken, Jack Daniels, Mountain Dew, Jelly Babies, Slush Puppy and Cadbury are now found on the chests of men and women everywhere!


Then there is the 80s and 90s TV show trend. Expect to see Knightrider, Starsky and Hutch, Baywatch, The Smurfs, Thundercats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bananaman, Sesame Street, The Wombles, Pigeon Street, Trumpton, The A-Team and many more besides.


There are also some fantastic designs around from the world of film. Blockbusters like E.T, Top Gun, Karate Kid, Back to the Future, Fame, Saturday Night Fever, Batman, Spiderman, Star Wars, Ferris Bueler, Godfather, The Breakfast Club and Weird Science are firm favourites.


Kiddies favourites are also popular, in particular Mr Men and Little Miss, Care Bears, Snoopy, Tinkerbell, My Little Pony, Barbie, Bambi and Button Moon.



Lest we forget the the classic icons that grace our tees like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Audrey Hepburn, James Dean and John Lennon, as well as music heroes such as The Beatles, Blondie, Sex Pistols, The Who, Oasis, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Guns and Roses, Pink Floyd, The Ramones, Led Zeppelin, Motorhead and The Clash.


And then of course, there's the slogan t-shirt. Once relegated to the back of Blackpool sea front souvenir shops, the slogan tee is back. Out with the “My Gran Went To Benidorm and All She Got Me Was This Lousy T Shirt” and in with the witty, clever and occasionally cheeky text designs. One word tees are probably the lost popular in 2020 with favourites including “Hun”, “Needy” and “Merci”.


The one time greatest souvenir from any music festival would be your entrance wristband, but now it's not worth going to any of these major events unless you buy a keepsake tee. Rock band tees, whether old or new, are probably one of the most accessible out there. Now found in all good record shops, buying your favourite bands album just isn't enough any more. If you love then it's important you inject a little piece of them into your wardrobe.


The t-shirt has always been that comfy cotton staple of many a wardrobe, but now the retro tee is fast becoming the new basic. Charity shops used to be a good source for bargain-priced, twice-loved t-shirts, but as popularity has risen, these original treasures have become harder to find. More and more high street stores and speciality websites are now offering their own take on the retro craze, even making the tees in specially distressed fabrics and materials to give that “already worn” look. But many would say that there is still no substitute for the real deal – original vintage t-shirts.


Original vintage t-shirts are still one of the most rewarding finds out there. It is definitely worth checking the vintage clothes shops and online vintage boutiques for genuine retro and uber original prints. Expect to find more unusual music tees and those of private clubs from the seventies and eighties.

Why not also check the attic and see if your parents have kept any of their favourites from back in the day, or those of your older siblings, you might be pleasantly surprised with what you can find.


So there you have it, whether you adore the bright candy colours, want to make a bold and quirky fashion statement, are an adoring follower of celebrity fashion, or simply want to reminisce, retro t-shirts are an absolute must. And let's face it, you're not going to struggle to find them! The problem is when to stop!


Until next time...

Emma x




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