Not too long ago in a galaxy not so far away, finding a t-shirt to represent your exact fandom wasn’t simple. Ten or so years ago, there weren’t t-shirt a day sites, and Etsy was just about to come into the world. Online sellers peddling their unique designs were out there but finding them took some digging. Mostly, you had to see what sort of graphic tees you could discover at the local department store or wait for conventions. It wasn’t quite the Dark Ages of t-shirt availability, but compared to what we have now? It was a barren landscape.
Being a Gal in a Geeks World
And honestly, it was worse if you were a girl. Though I happily went to the shelves in the boys’ or men’s section and looked for larges and smalls, respectively, I only did so because there wasn’t another way. I didn’t like wearing boxy designs that were unflattering in every way. Men’s t-shirts were loose and baggy, and boys’ t-shirts were too tight around my neck and I constantly had to pull the tees down a la Picard style to keep my pale skin from peeking out and frightening everyone. But, thankfully, those days are mostly past.
Gallery in Focus!
Take a look at TeeFury’s gallery and just browse the options. I’m not talking about designs, we’ll get there – I’m talking about sizing and fit. You can choose from men’s, women’s, and youth sizes from small to triple extra large for every single t-shirt. Do you guys realize how incredible that is? And the ladies’ cut fits so well. It’s snug but not constricting, it has a flattering non-square shape, and it’s long enough that I don’t have to worry about accidentally revealing my underwear. I realize I sound very excited about this, but that’s because I’m still marveling over the wonder that is owning shirts meant for your body type. It’s neat.
Now, let’s examine the designs. I have passions for a lot of televisions shows, movies, and books. Not too many years ago I never would have been able to find a Supernatural t-shirt that wasn’t either handmade or a printed photo realistic graphic of Sam and Dean‘s faces. While I am very much a fan of the Winchesters’ faces, I don’t want them front and center on my shirt. I prefer artistic takes on the material, quotes, or mash-ups. And now? I just look online for a few minutes, and I have so many options. Even just here on TeeFury, there are at least two Supernatural designs. And that’s just one television show and while it’s not exactly obscure, it’s not say, Star Wars or Doctor Who.
You Think Your Fandom is Specific…
I especially love how specific I can get with my t-shirt purchases. I love Star Wars and just searching for Star Wars and t-shirts will return thousands of hits. But, what if I really want a tee design that includes Star Wars and Hello Kitty? Or, Star Wars and Calvin and Hobbes? Those t-shirts aren’t only out there available for me to purchase – there are multiple styles. Guys! That’s crazy. And besides loving that for selfish purposes, the wide range of t-shirt designs make it easy to find the perfect gift for friends and family. I can combine my sister’s love of Alice from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland with her newly discovered enthusiasm for Doctor Who and find a t-shirt that combines exactly those two worlds (thanks, Karen Hallion!).
A Flat Circle
It’s all a big circle – a circle of t-shirt evolution, if you will. Our fandoms and obsessions lead to purchases that drive artists and manufacturers to create more of the stuff we love. While we’re not exactly controlling the t-shirt industry, we have definitely helped it transform and propel it into its current bountiful state.
Yeah, it’s a good time to be a geek.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.
Amy Ratcliffe is the author and owner of GeekWithCurves.com! Amy is also a contributing writer to several well known blogs and publications. She’s also known for her appearances at conventions and you can keep track of where she’ll be right here.