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Buying T-shirts online can be a tricky business sometimes. So many styles and designs, so many possibilities and prices. How to find that perfect shirt that not only looks cool, but will also be of highest quality and  – all in all – best value for money? Well, this article will not give you an answer to that. Instead, it will address few important things you need to have in mind when buying T-shirts online.

T-shirts are art

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio

T-shirts are not only clothes, T-shirts are art. Hope you understand this fact. They express different standpoints, they feature specific design styles and they address various issues in unique, creative ways. T-shirt packaging – for instance – is an art for itself. So if you’re looking for another “I’m with stupid” slogan shirt – that’s fine, but here you’ll be given some facts about designer T-shirts in form of physical T-shirt review.

T-shirt sample

Recently I was offered to review Unleash Studio T-shirt of my choice by Melissa Rivera, the creative force behind this independent clothing company and designer studio from Honolulu, Hawaii. No ukulele, no lei this time. Melissa rather designs  her tees driven by the love for animals (not in some weird way, though – shame on you for thinking like that)! I chose “Rock Chick” T-shirt in green (it comes in grey, too). Two weeks later Unleash parcel found my doors.

  • Packaging – shirt was packed in plain envelope, but it had big Unlesah logo printed on it, which I find nice. Of course not all T-shirts you order  online need to have unique packaging, but adding such details says much about the professional approach of the company.
  • Overall impression upon unpacking shirt seemed very nice with dominating design and a lot of details, such as company tags and additional prints. It also appeared a bit longer than I expected, but I was warned about it before shirt was sent (later I’ll talk more about it).
  • T-shirt typedesign is printed on American Apparel T-shirt, a brand which is well-known for it’s outstanding quality. It’s a 100% combed cotton shirt which needs to be washed first in order to shrik (it’s not a preshrunk one) and it’s fitted athletic / slim. It’s also of medium thickness.

When worn shirt feels very comfortable, soft and light. You should always ask about those kind of things when you’re ordering T-shirts online because you simply don’t want to invest your bucks into something you wouldn’t feel comfortable in.

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio - detail

T-shirt design

As I’ve stated before – this design is called “Rock Chick” and is just one of the designs from Unleash “animal series”, which also features “DJ Shark”, “Skateboarder Squirrel”, “Winged Elephant” and “Seahorse Knight” (plus some other combinations). It comes printed on green or grey shirts in both men and women styles (“Standard American” is American Apparel unisex line).

  • Creativity aspects – coming from a schooled and a very talented designer no wonder this design looks so great. Having an eye for a detail, Melissa Rivera adds some technology items to the body of this mohawked chick, which might address the latest (sad) human interventions into animal bodies. Chicken is standing on a guitar and it feels like it’s playing it using fingerpicking… umm, I meant – clawpicking style.  To spice it up a little Melissa colored  a mohawk into flaring green.
  • Details – having an eye for details is one thing, but applying that to your product is another. This T-shirt is filled with details, but luckily – not in a blatant way. There is a back print just above the lower edge of a tee, which features all the designs from Unleash “animal series”. There is also Unleash logo printed on the right sleeve, plus a sewn-in inwrought Unleash logo tag at the lower edge on front of a shirt. Since I’m a sucker for details I give this shirt the highest rating.
  • Print method – design is applied to the shirt using screen printing, which is  probably the most used method of  T-shirt printing. This  printing method – among other things – guarantees you longer durability of design / colors.

When buying a T-shirt you might want to think about what does the design says for itself. Is it perhaps representing your standpoint on something? Will  people react to the ironic approach of a design (I don’t mean iron-ed on / heat-transferred design)? Or you like it just because it looks great, so you hope you’ll look great in it? If so – keep on hoping!

Seriously – the design and the way it is done (both designed and printed / applied) is the crucial aspect of chosing your new T-shirt because of  both  uniqueness and persistence of colors.

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio - back print

Other T-shirt facts

Here are some other facts about this T-shirt.

  • Sizing – this shirt is sized L and I usually wear M. I was warned I should order one size bigger because of the slim fit and because the shirt is not preshrunk. Pictures here are taken after I washed the shirt, so it shrunk a little.
  • Maintance – shirt should be machine washed cold and tumble dried low. This prevents the distortion of design / colors.
  • Additional items – there was Unleash cardboard tag attached to a neck tag. Shirt also came with a fyler which features all designs from Unleash “animal series” and states the importance of animals in our lives.
  • Price – This shirt is priced $20.00 (plus shipping), which is a middle-range price. It’s also very affordable if you know how well and detailed it is done, especially when some clothing companies charge double their uninventive designs.  Plus the shirt itself is of great quality. Sometimes you just want to pay a little extra in order to get the right quality and also something no one else has… well, at least not that many people.
Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio - sleeve and tag

Rock Chick T-shirt by Unleash Studio - sleeve and tag

Conclusion

Unleash Studio managed to create a great looking T-shirt with cool T-shirt design which is both funny and creative,  while addressing the important issue (human treatment of animals). Shirt feels very comfortable and soft, it’s easy to maintain and the price is affordable, having in mind creativity and execution aspects. You might wanna check for the right sizing because of the  slim fit, though.

Make sure you check Unleash Studio official website because it features Melissa Rivera’s wonderfuly designed useful items, such as skateboard shelves, dog-shaped night lamps and robot desktop helpers.

Like this shirt? Find this article useful? Think I missed something? Please take a sec and leave your comment below – I’d really love to hear your opinion!


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Uneetee is similar to Threadless or Design By Hümans. Designers submit their graphic for a T-shirt, then visitors of the site vote for it. If it gets enough votes, then the designs are being printed on actual shirts and you have a chance to buy ’em. Nice thing is that some of the designs are being printed with that special colors with “effects”, such as shining, gold and silver colors, glow in the dark and such (there is an explanation for such shirts). It was hard to pick designs to be presented at Tee zine, so I concentrated on new tees.

det_collect_reduxtee1_uneetee

det_collect_fugitive1_uneetee

det_collect_preciouslife1_uneetee

det_murdercrows_uneetee

Designs are printed on 100 % cotton shirts (American Apparel), and prices are mostly $17.99, which is more than fair. There is also an Insaneetee Deal, which means you can buy one selected shirt for that day for the price of just 10 bucks! Now, that’s really cool. What I like about sites like these is “everyone wins” situation – quality designers are being rewarded for their good job, they make some money, people are buying some really great looking shirts and this can’t be bad for people at Uneetee either 🙂 Anyway, go vote for very cool designs now! Support indie artists!

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If you guys like Threadless, I’ll bet you like Design By Hümans. Pretty much the same concept, and as they say at their website – Design by Hümans is a place for people to submit, discover and buy amazing custom T-shirt designs created by artists from around the world. Well, I must tell you I was pretty amazed by creativity of certain designers and used print techniques. Here are some of the designs / tees I found really cool.

Design By HumansDesign By HumansDesign By HumansDesign By HumansDesign by HumansDesign By Humans

Now you go to this online communi-tee and vote for submitted designs, and if you’re a designer – no reason not to join DBH and submit your own design. As you can see, there are really cool T-shirts to buy, and you can be sure it’s top quality shirts. Prices range depending on the chosen shirt. I must say I’m amazed by the amount of stuff since DBH started not a year ago. I bet they become as popular as Threadless is. You help them to make it happen.

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This guy is cool. Amorphia Apparel stands for a talented tee designer Jeremy Kalgreen, who make vector designs for printing onto American Apparel 100% cotton shirts. I find his designs quite funny and some of them are really sarcastic, even though I’m not a fan of all the “funny” T-shirt slogans and designs out there. However, a couple of Amorphia Apparel shirts made me laugh. I especially like the fact that you can order the print you like on various products, such us bags and ringer shirts, just like at Spreadshirt or at Cafepress. Same design can also come in different color(s), which is in contrast to color of the shirt / bag. So, here are some of his new designs I like (at least I hope they’re new)…

copilot by amorphiafuckingpter by amorphiarex by amorphiashadowhostage by amorphia

Apparently, Amorphia Apparel uses a plot printing technique. Frankly, I didn’t have a clue that it can look so good. For those who didn’t know, this technique cuts out a thin layer of polyurethane color material (flock, flex) with cutting machine, and then the color material is heat-pressed until it fuses to the fabric. Prices range from 12 to 25 US dollars, depending on products you want to buy. Since each design is printed by demand, there is not a big stock of stuff to buy. Rather then that, they treat each of their products as unique. They also ship worldwide, so the shipping prices depend on where you live. I don’t think you need much more recommendations to go to Amorphia Apparel online shop and order something.

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Today I want to tell you about an interesting tee company in Edinburgh, Scotland, which proves there are more good things coming from that city apart from The Exploited (I bet you all know who they are). ILK Industries started as an idea of creating different tee fashion that the one which is sold by large companies. After their first shirts, which were gone quickly, they decided to make more designs and from there on they continue to create some cool T-shirt art. I randomly picked some of their tees off of their site. As they say – ladies first…

my kind of place by ilk industrieshome grown by ilk industries

What I like about their women shirts is that they come in various styles (as you can see on pictures above), like low cut or scoop neck top shirts. Here are a couple of men T-shirt designs.

guitar by ilk industriesilk logo by ilk industries

They also have some hoodies and bags. I really enjoy their nature-inspired graphics and environmentalist attitude. Plus, they also have a nice website too, and guess what – all their products (not a nice word at all) are now on SALE (women shirts are 12 GB pounds now, men shirts are 14 pounds, hoodies 22 pounds and bags less than 6 pounds). So, no reason to check their site out, choose some of their stuff and order it. And while you’re waiting, you can listen to some Billy Bragg… Go, ILK!

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