I’m not exactly a fashionista. Sure I can wear a suit and look sharp, can appreciate those who carefully coordinate, and imagine being able to blow large sums on expensive clothes someday, but in the present that’s just not me. But if there’s one area of the fashion macroverse I’m well qualified to comment on, it’s the band T-shirt.
Digging through my closet, I, like many of you, find scores of band T-shirts from years long past. There’s nothing quite like a band T-shirt. You throw it on and you’re ready to go — no accessorizing required. It’s the pinnacle of comfort fashion. And it says something about your tastes — or at least your past tastes.
But that takes us to our dilemma. What to do with the defunct band shirt? If you’re like me, you had a phase where every band you liked necessitated at least a single live show attendance and a mandatory T-shirt purchase. As your musical tastes piled up, so did your T-shirts. But what is one to do with their old shirts, the “Ghost of Christmas Past” of the T-shirt world?
Often times the bands don’t even exist (e.g. my Early November tee). Other times the bands have merely become painful to listen to — a byproduct of the unfortunate tendency for bands to put out one or two epic releases then fall apart creatively (e.g. my Action Action tee).
Either way, you’re left with a fashion dilemma. Should you wear these shirts of defunct bands?
With a band that’s broken up it’s a bit easier decision. While the masses might not get my T-shirt from The Juliana Theory some serious music geeks or genre-followers will. There’s a certain cool to wearing the emblems of deceased bands, which you once loved.
It’s a bit more difficult to decide when it comes to bands that petered out. I tried, I really tried to listen to Action Action’s later material, but everything I heard was pretty god awful. It’s a shame because Don’t Cut Your Fabric to This Year’s Fashion was darn good. When it comes to such cases, the meek will likely hide away the evidence of their past interest.
However, I still proudly wear my Action Action tee. I believe that fashion requires confidence. And when it comes to the fashion of band T-shirts, it shows confidence to wear a T-shirt of a band that has deteriorated. Let casual observers judge you harshly (if they even know the band). It’s their loss. Because you know that you liked the band when it was cool, a fact that you can affirm if you ever get drawn into a music conversation. And at the end of the day, that’s really all that matters.