Sunday, June 01, 2008

Borrowed Nostalgia for the Misremembered 80's

My family's free Entertainment Weekly subscription always brings me face to face with ads for, purveyors of faux-vintage, distressed-printed T-shirts ostensibly referencing all the things you loved about the 1980's — like The Big Lebowski, Seinfeld and the U.S. version of The Office.

While I'm increasingly impressed by the acumen (some of) these designers have shown in replicating the texture and look of an actual Salvation Army find, I'm embarrassed by the entirety of this trend. Embarrassed, because the consumer is my generation, since maligned by the reasonably accurate Robert Lanham and praised by aging boomers at Time as "the Millennials" (though I still think our best descriptor came from The Onion AV Club when The Real Cancun hit theaters: 'the Worst Generation').

The T-shirts I find most repugnant on this site also tend to be some of the most aesthetically on the money (and overpriced): This $30.00 Empire Strikes Back T-shirt; This $20.00 Ninja Turtles shirt, I could swear I actually owned in 3rd Grade; and everything by Junk Food designers Natalie Grof and Blaine Halvorson, two douche bags who've made it their lifes' work to give terrible douche bags the cache earned by the rest of us non-terrible un-douche bags.

These are on sale for $9.99 though:

And this amazing Spiderman3 shirt is now $4.99, an actual thrift store price:

(And, yes: ultimately, I find high-priced, true vintage t-shirt sellers like this tiny pony guy even more deplorable.)

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