I don’t like big prints on tees. I mean, it depends on a certain design, sometimes it may look appealing to me, but you can call me “the man of middle sized prints”, as far as the T-shirts are concerned. With that said, I simply LOVED what a fairly new tee company called ARKA Clothing from Tarzana, California had to offer at their simple and clean online shop. And when Shant Der Ashodian, the man “guilty” for all those designs there, offered me to choose two ARKA shirts for a feature at my blog, I just had to go with the two I liked the best, called “Reign” and “What’s On Your Mind”.
Some weeks later I was informed shirts arrived at my place, but due to some unfortunate circumstances I wasn’t able to see and try them on immediately (I was away from home), so I was more than nervous to finally do it. And when you wait like that for something you really want, the pleasure is even bigger. Both shirts were packed in nylon bags, with the ARKA stickers on it (with their cool little owl logo), and there were bunch of those stickers thrown into the envelope (must I repeat I’m a sticker nerd? I liked big ones so much, that I had to stick one on my old acoustic guitar, there with Flogging Molly, The Gaslight Anthem and some other stickers).
Once I’ve tried “Reign” shirt on, I was more than happy to find out that it fits me perfectly. See, I asked for a medium sized tee, but it’s a trick sometimes, because sizes can vary from one company to another. Other than that, shirt felt really comfortable, being thin (but not that much) and really, really soft. As far as the design itself is concerned, like I’ve said – I absolutely love it. It shows a cloud with bombs falling from it, instead of raindrops, and the word “reign” is written there at the umbrella. This little ironic wordplay says really much about the world we live in, so if there was a tee contest based on it and I was the member of a jury, I would give it a maximum score.
The other shirt, called “What’s On Your Mind”, felt just the same on my body. Since their shirts are tagless, ARKA is printing their logo inside, on the back just below your neck, which is a practice more and more companies are using. Now, this particular design is a bit abstract and deals with (human) psychology, showing a Victorian time dressed man, with a gun pointed into his head and some kind of roots or flowers blossoming on the other side of his head. Although we can all talk and argue about it’s meaning, I think this design speaks for itself – it’s kinda imperceptible, but when you look closely at it, you can’t help but start thinking about it. And I really love this kind of (tee) designs.
It is important what you wear. It doesn’t have to be some major brand or something, but it is well known that T-shirts are medium which represents you (maybe) the most. Your views, your lifestyle – you. It is also great when you find out that this particular shirt company you’re buying from is environmentally and health-wise conscious. With that said, I am more than happy to inform you that ARKA Clothing is printing all their designs with non-formaldehyde (read: non-toxic) inks that doesn’t cause cancer and are not harmful to the environment. Plus, I was informed by this company that they use the highest quality materials for their shirts. That justifies a bit higher prices for their shirts (all of them are $39.99, except for the ARKA logo shirt, which is $29.99). Just to mention – they recommend washing their tees inside-out in cold water to avoid fading.
With all written and experienced, I think you might find ARKA Clothing one of your favourite new tee companies (though I don’t want this to sound as if I’m praising them for sending me their shirts). Relatively new and already profiled, I think ARKA definetely do this tee stuff the right way, and I am more than happy to be the first Croat to wear their products (but I hope I’m not the only one soon)!