2008 from Annual Apparel

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Annual Apparel, who are getting their long overdue review from me, make shirts that commemorate all the events from a certain year, in this case, 2008. Highlights of the events featured include the election, the mortgage crisis, the Superbowl, the Olympics, Heath Ledger and Batman, and many, many more. As you can see from that, the detail in the shirt is insane. I wish I had a camera that could do the design justice, but all my shots turned out somewhat blurry. You can find some more detailed shots at their site though.

Pick this up on the super soft Alternative Apparel blanks and own a piece of history. While right now they only have a shirt for 2008, they do have ideas for more shirts in the pipeline. You can even vote on which year you want done next.

Some Shirts from Ten Bills

Emil from Ten Bills was kind enough to send me these two shirts to review. Not only did I get to check out their designs, I also got to see their new 100% cotton shirts. They previously printed on Fruit of the Loom 50/50, which I don’t find very comfortable, so I was eager to check out the new blanks, as $10 designs are an awesome deal.

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(I’m using model pictures because it’s difficult to upload from my camera right now)

I was definitely pleasantly surprised by the new shirts. They feel like American Apparel, even though I’m pretty sure they not. But regardless of brand, they’re quite comfortable. The printing is good quality too, it feels like the prints on Threadless’ shirts if you’re looking for a gauge.

Both the designs are awesome too, very detailed (more detailed than you can see in the pictures) and cool. They also, like all of their shirts, only cost $10, which is truly an amazing deal for designs and shirts of these quality. I’m surprised Emil didn’t at least make his company “Fifteen Bills”, although I guess that doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well.

You can pick up these, and other designs, at the Ten Bills store.

Surfing Samurai from Anonymous Venice

Bonnie from Anonymous Venice was kind enough to send me their Surfing Samurai shirt to review. I didn’t know what shirt I’d be getting when she offered to send me on, so I had no idea what to expect when I opened the package. I was pleasantly surprised. The surfing samurai is a pretty sweet (and unique) design.

Also, the shirt it’s printed on is awesome. It’s got fraying on the sleeves and the neck, which I’m assuming is to give it a vintage/worn look. It’s also incredibly soft and comfortable. It fits tight, not like a box as goes with many shirts, which I think is a good thing, and is just overall awesomely comfortable.

You can grab this shirt for $40.00 from Anonymous Venice. Bonnie was also kind enough to create a coupon code for all you readers. The code is “TROUNDUP” and will get you 15% off your entire order.

Crazy Awesome Obama Shirt from Elektra

Elektra was kind enough to send me this crazy awesome, crazy soft, alternative apparel, Obama shirt. The shirts they are printed on are truly amazing – just really comfortable. This shirt got some well deserved publicity when it was worn by Madonna.

The packaging it was sent in was awesome. It came handwrapped in unique, printed Obama Paper. It was tied with cut up strips of fabric, and I even got a card. You can tell that a lot of care went in to the shirt, from start to finish.

Each shirt is also hand-printed, without the use of any machines, which is pretty damn cool.

Be sure to check out the whole Etsy shop, the quality and care of both the designs and actual shirts is top class.

Registered T-Shirt from Walkie Talkies

Walkie Talkies sent me this tee a couple of weeks ago to review (I can be kind of slow sometimes). They let me pick out the design, so I obviously like it. I figure I’m unique, so I may as well trademark myself.

Walkie Talkies prints their designs on American Apparel shirts. They screen-print their designs, which equals a soft, non-annoying print. I can attest to this from wearing the physical shirt, the quality is great.

Back in 2003, Walkie Talkie founder Loren Klein, a graphic design sophomore attending the Rhode Island School of Design, was hawking the now infamous Bull Shirt on the street to students passing by. Today, Walkie Talkie is using that same sense of humor to come up with even funnier designs and connect with more people on the web.

Definitely check out the rest of their shirts. Loren has a great sense of humor, and that really comes through in all his designs.

PS. Congrats to aeric, who won the Black Hole Sun t-shirt from DBH.

I Heart Vintage Vantage

Vintage Vantage was kind enough to send me three of their awesome shirts to check out. Just like my earlier review, I was again blown away by the awesomeness of the shirts. Here are some some shots of the shirts I snagged:

Probably my favorite text tee ever. I think the line is genius.

Who needs drugs when you have yourself?

This shirt made me lol. On the front is the tiger, and on the back (not pictured) it has the text, “I’m Right Behind You”. Of course, if someone is reading the text on the back of your shirt, theres no way you could be behind them.

As usual, the shirts are incredibly soft. I wish I knew where they got their Vintagesoft fabric, so I could buy it in bulk, and maybe use it as sheets on my bed. The prints are super soft too, you won’t even notice they’re there.

They’ve also released a new site, complete with a blog. They appear to be adding new shirts at a more rapid pace than before, and every week they’re discounting one of their shirts down to $12.50 (you get to vote to decide which one). All of these things are awesome things, I think they’re a great company and will continue to grow.

I just wish they would stop having sales on their blanks (not actually), they’re taking all my money. Check out their blanks section to pick up super Vintagesoft ringers for $2.50 and hoodies for $20.

So, check out Vintage Vantage and buy some shirts, you won’t regret it. I’d venture to say they’re my favorite company out there right now. I even set up a special Vintage Vantage coupon page to house up-to-date coupons for them. Right now you can save 21%.

1-2-3-4 W.D.W.Y.F.W. from Retro Campaigns

I haven’t been alive (or even nearly alive) for any of the campaigns featured at Retro Campaigns, so I wasn’t sure what tee to pick when they asked me to review one, as I’ll admit my acquired knowledge of past presidential campaigns is fairly lacking (this sentence sounds awkward, oh well!). I finally settled on this one because it’s not time specific – it’s as relevant today (or nearly) as it was during Vietnam, and it has a good message. If you don’t know what the slogan is, 5 of the words are We Don’t Want Your **** War, I’ll leave you to figure out the fifth in the interest of being work/family friendly.

The shirts are printed on American Apparel, with nice soft prints – just the way I like them. I’d definitely recommend picking these up if you want to show off your political know-how.

I’ll leave you with Retro Campaign’s background of the shirt:

American opposition to the Vietnam War, propelled largely by young adults and college students in small numbers in the mid-1960s, grew into a national phenomenon by the end of the decade and on into the 1970s. As the War pushed seemingly endlessly forward, so did the protests. The draft, first-time-ever television coverage of combat, the Kent State shootings, the My Lai massacre and relentlessly depressing news about the war effort in general contributed to a nationwide beating drum of anti-war sentiment.

Vintage Vantage Shirts = Amazing

Spencer from Vintage Vantage was kind enough to send me two tees to test out. First thing I noticed after opening up the package was how incredibly soft the shirts were. I don’t know where they get them (I wish I did, so I could buy mass amounts of them), but they’re amazing. I would be happy just wearing blanks – the designs are a nice bonus though (under exaggeration).

The designs I was sent are Army Men (below) and…

Technology (below)

I got to pick both these designs, so naturally I’m a fan. All of their designs are quite good. They’re a vintage company, so obviously they have that vintage feel to them. I like that.

So, in summary, excellent designs + most comfortable shirts ever=awesome deal. Buy some. Also, they were kind enough to give me a coupon code. Use the code troundup for 21% off.

AND, they’re having a sale right now on some of their older shirts. If you combine that with the coupon code above, you’re looking at some exceedingly cheap t-shirts.

Intergalactic Friends from Team Space Pirate

This is another shirt I got sent awhile ago that I have yet to post up.

Team Space Pirate is a “new type of visual art project bringing together a vision and people”. They make their shirts through the process of Doodlism, at least as far as I can tell. I’m not sure if Doodlism is an official term or something they created (I’m not an art person), but here’s the description from their site:

It’s art that has been created through self-manifestation. True art is here for every one of us, and we all have the ability to create. Doodlism is a spirituality-based art form. The art form is completely improvisational and has nothing to do skill. Through the process itself, and the passage of time one true style is developed. Every step of the journey is a positive experience. There is a feeling self-empowerment when looking back and watching your style develop and seeing personal growth. In Doodlism, if you are trying too hard to create, you have left the main principal of the art form. When you draw, you simply draw. When you paint, you simply paint.

The technique leads to a very original style for their shirts, which I find to be a good thing.

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Above is the shirt they sent me. I had to use product pictures again because of my camera. You can definitely see the Doodlism coming through in the design. This is also another design with tons of detail. It may just look like an alien and his friend, but if you look closely at their bodies you can see tons of individual designs. The level of detail is just amazing.

Team Space Pirate prints their shirts on American Apparel and Intergalactic Friends can be had for $24.99

Radical Rambunction from Thriving Ink

Thriving Ink sent me this shirt awhile ago, and I feel bad for not getting this review up earlier, I just lost track of this one (and another) with the whole Ireland thing. But, I’ve found it now, so you won’t miss out. Score!

First off, Thriving Ink seems like a pretty cool company. They specialize in “urban and metro sportswear”, and I recommend you read their mission statement. I like most of their designs – they’ve got a great style. It reminds me somewhat of Imaginary Foundation in some aspects (not that they’re the same, i just see similarities between the two).

The shirt they sent me came in a custom mailing envelope and was packed full of extras. Included were stickers, a spring 08 collection brochure, and even a poster. For me, the throw-ins show the company is going the extra mile.

Now on to the actual shirt – my camera seemed to be turning out blurry pictures which didn’t give the design justice, so I’m just going to use Thriving Ink’s stock pictures.

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The design has so much going on – the level of detail is really amazing. There’s an old man, there’s monsters – you really just need to look at it to see everything. That being said, I think that it also looks good from far away, even if you can’t see all the detail. So a definite win-win.

They print their tees on American Apparel, with custom printed tags (they cut out the AA tags and print their own, similar to Threadless). Radical Rambunction can be had for $19.95.

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