Dept. Of ‘Message’ T-Shirts

— Wed, 18th August 2010 —

In what ABC’s Nightline would call “a sign of the times,” John Caramanica goes vintage for his latest “Critical Shopper” column in The New York Times. Caramanica’s vintage proprietor of choice is Soho’s recently opened Scout Vintage T-Shirts, which inspires some tongue-in-cheek meditation on the fashionably precarious world of “message” tees. “Did people no longer wish to advertise that they had survived the 1989 Bay Area earthquake ($38) or the Wisconsin blizzard of 1982 ($28)?” asks Caramanica. And, “How does Eddie feel about the fact that someone let go of a hand-lettered shirt proclaiming ‘I Love Eddie’ ($38)?” In his final analysis, Caramanica concludes: “This is a store that would make more sense in the Harajuku district of Tokyo than in downtown Manhattan, where every season brings a new swell of small-town dreamers with their own distressed T-shirts at the ready. And committed thrifters — even regular punters — can find similar shirts without a Pantone guide at any Goodwill or Salvation Army.”

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