We all know how important it is to have a selection of retro clothing in our wardrobe. With everything from vintage sweaters to distressed denim, it’s never been a better time to invest in good quality vintage clothes. Not only will you be contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way of engaging with fashion, but you’ll also have a one-of-a-kind and unique piece in your wardrobe to help keep things interesting.
When it comes down to having trusty staples there to reach for again and again, we always find that the graphic tee is an obvious choice for us. Spotting celebrities wearing graphic tees confirms that this is a must-have item for everyone’s wardrobe. Their enduring appeal is down to how easy it is to incorporate a graphic tee into any outfit for any occasion, where they can help create an effortlessly cool look. Another great point of reference for graphic tee inspo is film and television, where many a character over the years has been seen sporting a classic band or graphic t-shirt. Here’s our rundown of some of our faves.
1. “Games Games Games” t-shirt from Adventureland (2009)
James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) and Em Lewin (Kristen Stewart)
Kicking off this list with this 80s two-tone number from Greg Mottola’s Adventureland. The perfect uniform to wear to your fun job at an amusement park.
2. “Aerosmith” t-shirt from Wayne’s World (1992)
Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey)
Although Wayne likes to keep it classic with a standard black crewneck, Garth is a bit more experimental with his style, clearly demonstrated by his choice of band tee. Throw over a flannel shirt and pair with some ripped denim and you’ve got a cool, laidback vintage look or a last-minute Halloween outfit!
3. “Vote for Pedro” t-shirt from Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Pedro (Efren Ramirez) and Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder)
The mid-2000s saw the birth of a modern classic with Napoleon Dynamite. Not only is it insanely quotable (who could forget Napoleon screaming “Tina, you fat lard, come get some dinner” at his pet llama) but it also potentially wins the prize for the most popular tee. It’s so iconic that for a while, you couldn’t leave the house without seeing someone wearing one of these bad boys.
4. “Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics” t-shirt from White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
Sidney Deane (Wesley Snipes) and Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson)
It doesn’t get much cooler than this. Classically contrasting black on white background, this t-shirt is super sharp and well-executed. The symbol featured on Billy’s tee is actually the original logo that came out in 1990, where the word ‘lyrics’ features instead of the word ‘content’ (which replaced the word ‘lyrics’ in 1996). The t-shirt is very fitting for the film itself as well as the scenes that the tee features in.
5. “Colt 45” t-shirt from Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn)
Manufactured by US brewing company, Pabst, Colt 45 is a brand of lager that is actually named after the running back #45 Jerry Hill of the 1963 Baltimore Colts (as opposed to the .45 handgun cartridge). For us, no high school movie is truly complete unless someone is sporting a graphic tee. Resident stoner Jeff Spicoli radiates that surfer dude energy. Want the same look? All you have to do is chuck on some vans and a graphic tee, salt-spray your hair, and you can achieve the same vibe.
So, there you have it! Our top five picks for some of the most iconic t-shirts from some of the most iconic movies from the last few decades. Feeling inspired? Shop our selection of vintage tees here.