Pre Shrunk
Sandie Maxa

Keeping T-Shirts in the Moment, an article in today's New York Times profiles the mini companies who make and sell limited edition t-shirts to hipsters (usually on-line). The article profiles several entrepreneurs, from unknown artists who use t-shirts as a blank canvas for their work to frustrated graphic designers longing to restore authenticity to a t-shirt market polluted by fake vintage designs. And I agree, long live indie t-shirts... until I read about the Hollywood actresses who started the company Just Dumped Inc.

The shirts by Just Dumped Inc. claim to be a "fashion outlet for your deepest neuroses." But can it possibly make anyone feel better to wear a shirt screen-printed with a slogans like:

emotionally unavailable men rock

my boyfriend's wife hates me

i brush my barbie's hair every night


will cry for attention


ignore me and i'm yours

I know, I know... it's just a shirt, but I wouldn't wear it. Is it funny? Ironic? Somehow I've missed the boat. Interviewed in the NYT article, a representative from Conde Nast's shopping magazine, Cargo, explains the success of indie t-shirts by saying, "People have found a relatively inexpensive way to distinguish themselves." Huh? I'm not sure if silently describing your mental state on your chest effectively differentiates you from the next person.

Living in New York, a city with over 8 million residents, allows for anonymity. There's a good chance I won't know anyone on the subway car I step into... until I read their shirt. Then I catch myself involuntarily pondering whether they really do "buy a lot to fill the void within" or if they truly "date down." I don't want to know!