We need to talk.
Really, we do. This is serious; sit down (you probably are, actually… okay well stay down… good boy).
I’ve been noticing something creeping its way back into our once peaceful lives; a menace that is insisting itself upon every man – young and old.
It’s a horror that is changing grown men back into helpless teenagers and ridding them of any chance of ever reproducing.
I’m talking about the graphic t-shirt.
From the “Bazzinga” print to the dreaded “Female Body Inspector” (yes, it still exists; it prompted this article), the menace of the boyish charm ideal has been stretched into the land of the lost boys.
Even though I can understand the appeal of staying young and friendly to your hobbies and interests, there is a line to be drawn here, gentlemen.
For instance, just because I have an unhealthy obsession for Marmite doesn’t mean that I’m going to rush out and print a “Love me or hate me” t-shirt.
Ergo, if you always wanted to be a fireman but you’re too… um… “mature” for it, don’t wear a FDNY t-shirt (you’re not fooling anyone, I promise you that).
This is not so say that t-shirts with prints on them are the cause for all potential damnation. I actually love a great print on a t-shirt; otherwise we’d all look like something out of a George Orwell novel.
Maybe there is a magical place that we can all go where we look good, and don’t look like we nicked a shirt from a high school lost and found.
Maybe it’s called… the place of the happy balance! (of which I have yet to find with these chocolate covered cranberries next to me… baby steps).
Such a place exists in the genius of Bang On – a custom print t-shirt company that started here, in my fickle town of Vancouver back in 1999, just down the road from where I’m sitting now.
Their concept is quoted as:
A retro style custom t-shirt shop with plenty of cool transfers and t-shirts. They achieved this with flying colours and now offer their service to the rest of the world- rejoice!
You can check out Bang On’s official website at www.bang-on.com.
The system is simple: You get to flip through hundreds upon hundreds of designs (or simply provide your own) and they’ll screen print it onto a t-shirt of your choice (although to confess, I’ve been buying their shirts plain and using them as my ‘plain white T’ for the past few years).
Friendly staff and a great product all add together to make a growing empire that is popularizing the world of customized marketing.
Be warned when you head to their website! There are such prints that play on Lucky Charms logos and even Captain Kirk with the “Beam me up, Scotty” slogan – but please, try to remember that you’re past puberty and scroll through to the “Ethnic Patterns” section.
Check out the colours used in these prints. They’ll open up your wardrobe without looking like you really tried all that hard.
Or say, you’ve been bitten by the travel bug and have a hard time keeping it in? Let it out with heading to the Travel page and explore the vintage pictures of buildings as opposed to the “I heart Japan” prints.
But maybe you’re like me. And you’re fussy. And whatever anyone has dreamt up before you is just too damn unimaginative? How do you narrow down the socially appropriate?
Keep it simple!
I’m considering treating myself to a new t-shirt. Exams are almost done and I’m the type that needs an incentive (just a few dollars shy of my Berlinetta, you see).
One of the things I love to wear the most is a good, old fashioned, rock and roll t-shirt.
But all the ones out there are horridly over-produced and at the end of the day, I’ll look like one of those girls who wears a Freddie Meme t-shirt but couldn’t sing Bohemian Rhapsody for her life.
*insert table flip here*
I love Queen. And, as I’ve previously discussed in other articles, I’m in the process of starting the International Church of Brian May.
However, while that is still getting its legs I want to wear the best Queen shirt out there! (Too bad that they are all mediocre.)
That’s when the magical land of Bang On told me how if I took my own picture into a store, they will gladly print it on for me! *angles singing* here I come, Brian!
But to those of you who don’t live near a Bang-On store, you’ve got Zazzle.
Zazzle is a website dedicated to serving your every customized need from mugs to calendars and even the precious T shirt and can be found at www.zazzle.com.
Shipping worldwide and providing excellent help in every step, Zazzle is perfect for the ‘noob’ of the customized T shirt world.
Simply upload your picture and watch it transform into a garment of which you can view in multiple ways (even on a ‘model!). Perhaps my favourite feature is how it will actually tell you if the resolution is out of whack; no one likes a blurry Brian.
Whatever your feel, you’ll get your fix of personal expression without metaphorically welding yourself a chastity belt; trust me, nothing says “please don’t use the phone number I just gave you” like a scantily clad anime character holding a Pokémon ball (yes…it happened).
Don’t make me have to deal with that again, please.