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T-Shirts with Graphics: Yes or No?

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    T-Shirts with Graphics: Yes or No?

    I'm not just talking about those terrible Affliction or "funny" tees. I'm talking any t-shirt with a graphic print.

    The question is: Are tees with graphics on them ever acceptable? If so, what, when, and where?

    My short answer is no for the most part with these exceptions.

    1. Tee of a sports team WHEN you are at the game.

    2. Band tee worn un-ironically.

    3. Working out

    4. Doing chores

    5. Some really subtle and small print in low contrast.

    So, what does everyone think? Tees with graphics: yea or nay?


    I don't wear them on a regular basis, but I do have my fair share. You covered most bases though, I usually wear them running, playing sports, doing yard work, or just hanging out at home when I'm not going anywhere.

    That being said, if there are a bunch of exceptions, then the answer should be yea, because it's still acceptable to wear them should the situation dictate. Same thing as having a tuxedo, you can't wear it everywhere, but it's still a good thing to own



      I'll add to that list: just running errands (groceries, etc.). Unless it's a tshirt from college I wear ones that have pretty low-contrast, minimalist prints. But I do wear them, too much trouble to worry out about whether it's acceptable to wear them or not. They're in my closet, I'll wear them until they're worn out.



        I assume folks wearing funny t-shirts don't know about the internet. Because you could save yourself $12 by sharing this on your Facebook page for the laughs instead of wearing it once.

        This is the only graphic tee that I've worn with any regularity. In large part because I'm a professional tree guy. Sadly, my wife was wearing it as her painting shirt - I was not happy.



          Biggest no-no: Paying a company to advertise for them, i.e. logo tees. Those are a blight on clothing everywhere.

          I'm trying to wear much fewer tees, but I do enjoy my school tee and Jack Johnson tee.




            Except for sporting or charity events where you are supporting a team or given a shirt for supporting the cause at that event.



              I own band tees which I wear occasionally, people always comment on my Joy Division shirt when I wear it. I also have T-shirts which I have picked up on my travels which are important to me.

              While attending/playing/watching sports is also fine with me, although I don't really have any sports team tees in my collection.

              I totally agree with thmage that company design tees, whether clothing companies or not, are not really acceptable unless you got them for free AND you are doing something so disgusting that said tee will probably be destroyed while doing it



                Absolutely, when it's hot outside and I'm doing something casual, like relaxing at home, playing with the kids, washing the car, going to a football game, going to beach, etc, and only when I'm with family or close friends.

                I personally avoid wearing them in social situations outside of the above.



                  Only for sporting events (and then, only with team gear) or yard work.



                    I think subtle graphics are ok in the summer hanging out with friends and such, but I generally avoid graphic tees for a few reasons:

                    * They don't have much "replay" value - once the graphic gets tired, then what?

                    * They're too "look at me" - much like conspicuous branding on many "designer" clothes

                    * They're sort of childish, especially the ones that aim to be amusing or funny

                    Sports team logos are fine though, especially at games or when out watching games. I'm generally ok with abstract prints too, it's mostly the cartoony ones I don't like.



                      When you work in the software industry, especially a place as laid back as San Diego, graphic tees of any kind are acceptable at any time.

                      I used to wear this often when I sported a handlebar moustache myself:

                      I'm actually wearing it now... underneath a henley, haha. The yellow adds a bit of color to the ensemble



                        I agree with Chareth, I still wear Band Tees and Sports Tees fairly often, but only in extremely casual situations as mentioned. I think being a big fan of a certain musical group or sports team will make you want to wear them more. It's also an age thing. It's a lot different seeing a 50 year old man wearing a Crosby Stills and Nash 2010 Tour Tee compared to an early 20-something wearing something with a better design.

                        I'm not really a fan of graphic tees in general though, I think there is more leeway when the shirt has meaning to the wearer.

                        @ChrisW, I'm surprised how popular Joy Division is becoming. I don't know if it's the 80's revisit in Indie music these days or what, but I keep seeing people with the Unknown Pleasures album cover shirt.



                          @thmage. I need some clarification. Is Jack Johnson not a business? What is the difference between me advertising my favorite local business with a T-shirt if it means a few more people eat, drink, shop there and someone wearing a Jack Johnson shirt (or any other artist) and getting a few more people interested in Jack's music?



                            GQ actually just did a post regarding these:


                            I like #1 & #3, but they're far too expensive. I'd wear #7 if I was a fan of the band, but as it turns out I haven't heard of them.



                              I have a thrifted country club tee for which I make an exception. It's blue with only white print. Preppy (in that's it's a country club) but worn a little. Otherwise I try to leave it to schools (the college you went to, also preppy) or sports teams.

                              I'm gonna flip this around, though, and go ahead and say that plain tees also bother me a little. It's just so, idk, military grade to me. While, yeah, it's probably better than the humor tee or the "5k for charity" tee, I see tons of guys who constantly just wear blue, black, or whatever color crewneck tees from ON. In this way, I think a classic tee with a graphic or a more inventive tee might be better. Personally, I'd go with stripes or at least a more bold color.