Last updated on July 19th, 2022 at 05:10 am
Vintage band tee shirts are not just style statements. Genuine vintage band tees are a tribute to yester year bands who blazed the rock scene and imprinted their music in the minds of millions of fans. They are an important part of a culture that laid the foundation of the modern world’s pop culture. But laying hands on an authentic rock-t shirt can be quite an expensive affair. However, the cost notwithstanding, many fans worldwide are always ready to shell out exorbitant sums of money just to adorn their bodies with clothing depicting their favourite pop-icons.
What Attracts One to Vintage Band Tees?
There are several reasons for such tees to be popular with the young generation of today. Vintage band tees signify important periods of history and one of the major reasons for donning them is proclaiming your allegiance to your favourite band. Another reason is you get to know other like-minded fans who adore the same band members as you do. Many of the rock bands used to have several successful concert tours and each used to be an occasion for designing new varieties of such tees. So you have several varieties of Led Zeppelin band tee shirts, or plenty of vintage apparel from the Beatles, David Bowie or the Rolling Stones collection.
And nowadays, nothing looks cooler than faded, loose rock tees that have seen decades of hard partying, really.
How Do You Tell the Real from the Fake?
Train yourself to differentiate the real vintage tees from the fakes. There are a lot of suppliers or online vendors selling fake vintage band tees and trying to pass them off as authentic. Beware of sellers who have sold multiple copies of the same vintage t-shirt because this is an indication that it has been mass produced. Some sellers are just printing a worn image of your favourite band onto a new piece of tee that has been made to look retro. Feel the graphics and see if it is new. The print on the t-shirt should match the age of the material and some fadeaway or loss of image is normal.
You can also try and feel the texture – modern tees are usually much thicker than those that are made in the 1970s or 1980s and usually look a bit worn-out and tired. Best of all, look for those that are 50% cotton and 50% polyester because 100% cotton fabric did not start becoming popular until the 1990s.
According to Wearesweet, labels like Screen Stars, Anvil, Springford, Fantasy, Sportswear and Touch of Gold usually indicate they are are vintage tees because they stopped production since the 1990s. Brands such as Hanes and Fruit of the Loom have went through a few different label designs but you can search on Google to have an idea of what your shirt was made of.
Also, don’t be turned off by loose necklines, tiny rips here and there, paint splatters or cut-off sleeves – these are real indicators of vintage band tees and many designers or online retailers are trying to replicate such signatures.
Where Do You Source for Vintage Band Tees?
Good vintage band shirts are not easy to find, but there are certain sources where you can come across these cool beauties. Listed below are some sites where you may find such t-shirts. Some of the more popular ones are Joy Division, Banshees, New Kids on the Block, Grateful Dead, The Smiths, Bikini Kill, Bauhaus, The Cure, Siouxsie, Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode, My Bloody Valentine, Garbage, Fiona Apple, Goatwhore, Smashing Pumpkins or Bauhaus.
Ebay: This is the most popular global online marketplace wherein the buyers and sellers from all over the world come to trade with each other in almost anything under the sun. It is often sought to obtain rare or hard-to-find items which are not normally obtained in a traditional brick and mortar stores. Several varieties of vintage rock t-shirts can be found here.
Etsy: Etsy is an online marketplace of handmade and vintage goods. Here the buyers and sellers from all over the world connect with each other to buy and sell unique goods which are not found in the common run of the mill stores. A vibrant community of millions of buyers and creative businesses, it is not very difficult for shoppers to get authentic vintage and unique stuff from this global marketplace.
Vintage Shops: Several vintage shops; well-known as well as obscure can be found in certain localities of each city. These shops stock everything vintage from turn-of-the-century arcade games to porcelain dolls to vintage watches and what not. A definite source for vintage band tees for kids and adults alike. For instance, here is a list of the stores which stock vintage band tees in New York, US.
Junk Food Clothing: This web store stocks authentic vintage rock tees for women and men. Their collection is vast and varied.
RustyZipper: This online store sells great vintage band tees from the 1980s and 1990s – check out their Iron Maiden, Brooks and Dunn, The Pretenders, Alice Cooper and more!
6 Dollar Shirts: This is another online store which sells premium vintage band tees.
Worn Free: A leading online store having a good collection of vintage rock tee shirts donned by several rock celebrities of yester years.
Hip Soul Clothing:This web store features some cool retro vintage rock band music t-shirts for musicians, by musicians.
Other great websites for vintage rock t-shirts that have been highly recommended by vintage band t-shirt lovers include Nuclear Waste Underground, Rockabilia, Headline Records, Angry Young and Poor and Punk Shirts Rock, but do be careful of the quality, as some black t-shirts are usually printed on heavy and cheap tees that don’t exactly allow the shirts to breathe.
And if you can’t find your ideal vintage band t-shirts online, do check out your local communities that have a huge bunch of old folks or retirees living there. For instance, it is said that many people go to relaxing places such as Hawaii, Miami or Florida to retire and there are groups of people selling vintage wares and apparels so you can probably pick out a tee or two there.
Lastly, always do comparisons and be very careful not to overpay in some high-end vintage fashion boutiques in your country- be sure to check out secondhand flea markets in your local stalls or someone’s Etsy or eBay to make sure your shirt isn’t listed there for half the price elsewhere.
Photos courtesy of NYMag.com, Hannabeth.buzznet.com and Glamour.com.