Monthly Archives: February 2015

Is it T-shirt weather yet?

Spring will come some day. We are almost sure of it!

Spring will come some day. We are almost sure of it!

All along the East Coast and New England, residents are breaking out the bad language. First they were stoic, then humorous, but now they are just downright angry. These normally pleasant people have had enough of winter. Especially in Boston where record-low temperatures conspire with record-high snowfall – even the New York Times calls this winter “Boston’s Winter From Hell.” (You can read the article here.)

Many of us heretofore considered Hell a little bit warmer. But now we know better. Which brings us to this important perennial question: “Is it T-shirt weather  yet?” Depending on how hardy a soul you are, T-shirt weather might be 65 degrees. Our Southern friends might not consider baring arms until the temperatures reach the upper 70’s.

With the Vernal Equinox, the official start of Spring, less than a month away, we thought we’d take a look at some regional forecasts for shirtsleeves season, T-shirt weather.

Let’s say that for the average T-shirt lover, 70 is warm enough to go out there in just a T. Given this 70 degree benchmark we took a look at average high temperatures in some of our nation’s larger cities.

T-shirt season comes to these cities in April:

T-shirt season comes to these cities in May:
Kansas City

T-shirt season does not come to these cities until JUNE!

We are so sorry, Boston! Being a Vermont company, we are in the same, chilly seasonal boat. Can we recommend something in nice long-sleeve t-shirt or maybe a nice warm sweatshirt?

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T-shirts and High Fashion Firsts

As a T-shirt company, we think we are the very pinnacle of fashion (or maybe anti-fashion). We love t-shirt culture and feel it is superior (at least in comfort) to the excessive primping and preparations of high fashion that in the end only detract from who we really are.

We have been known to eschew the paragons of high fashion, but this week’s New York Fashion Week has opened our eyes. Some of the designs on the catwalk this week have been breath-taking – some for their great beauty, others for their you’ve-got-to-be-kidding factor.

fashion_modelBut the greatest eye-opener of the event has been its inclusiveness (not a word often associated with haute couture). New York Fashion Week has blown the doors off our preconceptions of beauty and style with a number of firsts: a model with Vitiligo (a skin condition characterized by the loss of pigment in patterns), a model with Down syndrome, a male amputee model, a paralyzed teenage model, and a 5-year-old designer (no kidding).

Fashion has a way of reflecting reality and by exposure making it more acceptable. We hope that like other fashion statements that made their way into the mainstream these first from New York are just the beginning.

Fashion Week is an international show hosted by Mercedes-Benz and presented in places like Miami, Berlin, Tokyo, Mumbai, and Istanbul. We look forward to other statements and firsts.

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Comfort Colors Fashion Report: Color of the Month White with Shades of Grey

While up here in Vermont and New England, the color of the month is white with shades of grey (and not the steamy kind of shades of grey, but those slushy ones cast by snowplows),  the Pantone Fashion Report for the Fall of 2015 is out and full of color! And just in time for New York Fashion Week – February 12-19.

As a T-shirt company we are interested in fashion. Because we feel that the beloved cotton T-shirt is everyone’s perennial favorite fashion statement, you might say that we are interested in the edges of fashion, maybe even the outskirts of fashion.

We love Pantone’s color of the year. Marsala is such a delicious color, we were thrilled to see Pantone’s top ten for 2015 Fall. Here they are:

Chromatography_1841_FieldDried Herb
Desert Sage
Stormy Weather
Oak Bluff
Biscay Bay
Reflecting Pond
Cadmium Orange
Cashmere Rose
Amethyst Orchid

We love them all! They have the hue and delectable, chewy feel of our favorite garment dyed Ts. We love the names as well. Each name describes its color quite well – except for maybe Reflecting Pond. This color could easily be a silvery grey or some kind of aqua marine blue, but for Pantone it is a deep blue-purple with brown overtones. It might sound like mud or a bruise, but it is indeed a velvety, sensual color. “Conveying a message of credibility, Reflecting Pond is a serious shade that speaks to the need for stability and security.”

Pantone’s executive director Leatrice Eiseman describes the palette this way: Juxtaposition of color from opposite sides of the spectrum emphasizes poise and confidence on the runway. The Fall 2015 palette is rooted in multi-faceted, androgynous colors that can be worn to portray effortless sophistication across men’s and women’s fashion; it is the first time we are seeing a truly unisex color palette.(

The colors are wonderful, but greatest thing about the Pantone colors this year is gender freedom (gender neutrality?). 2015 is the first year Pantone will not issue different palettes for men and women. “A grand shift towards an evolving color palette that is not reliant on color distinctions typically assigned to each gender. This Fall, designers look to sartorial styling and fabrics to define both a masculine and feminine interpretation of hues and color combinations.”

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T-shirts in the News: Must they always be controversial?

We follow news about T-shirts. We are in the T-shirt business. That we should follow such news is a small part of how we roll. But lately T-shirt news seems to be all bad news, bad manners, and bad taste.

Remember when we landed a space probe on a comet? Maybe not but you do remember the “shirt storm” caused by the pin-ups t-shirt worn by one of the scientists involved in the Rosetta Mission. And then there was that whole ‘meninist’ T-shirt backlash. Meninists are men airing (or in this case printing) their grievances with feminism. Kurt Cobain’s suicide note found its way into print on a T-shirt. And just this week, the New England Patriots, even after their exciting victory, embarrassed themselves recently en parade waving tasteless Ts.

We recognize that the T-shirt is the personal billboard, and thus will always be political, but must it always be controversial?

good_newsDesmond Tutu writes in his book Made for Goodness, that the reason the news is so full of bad is that we react to it because it is such an affront to our true nature. He describes our nature this way: “We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness. We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome: black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all. We all belong to this family, this human family…” It is beautiful. And it is true that we take notice of things outside of this sphere of beauty because those things are so very different from ourselves.

While the Reverend may not be an expert on T-shirt design, he does know something of human nature. Bad news (and often bad taste) gets our attention. If a Google search for T-shirt news is any indication, controversial T-shirts get more air time than the sweeter T-shirts that say things like “Support Girl Scout Troop #32” or “The Smith Family Reunion.”

Maybe the prevalence of tasteless T-shirts will cause its own backlash in beauty and beautiful T-shirt design? Maybe it already has. We like to think so.

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