Few things irk me as much as seeing kids strutting around town wearing Ramones t-shirts. Do you know who they are? Can you name me at least three of their songs? I imagine the answer is ‘no’ to both questions.
While I appreciate the deep and interlinking bond between the music and fashion worlds, it baffles me why a person would choose to overtly display a persuasion to something they have no knowledge of or interest in. Even if I wanted to attempt irony, I still wouldn’t don a top that had a baked beans motif on it. I despise those writhing orange blobs, so why would I promote them? It’s an unorthodox example, I hear you, but it drives the same point.
I think it boils down to fashion ruling over personality, to a point. Popular garments and trends from the 1980s and ‘90s are returning to clothes rails and people are trying to adapt their wardrobe to fit in with this shift. So, surely, most just see it as a way to identify as someone who takes note of fashion. But there are plenty of other ways of doing that, without dressing like some band’s die-hard fan.
Platform Dr. Martens, oversized plaid shirts, ripped Mom jeans, black lipstick — it’s all making a comeback. This is where a band slogan tee from the same era slots in. Wouldn’t it make sense to only buy one showing off a musician you’re properly keen on, though? Or do people actually go on to listen to the artists emblazoned on the front of these tops?
I don’t understand the wearing of these clothes purely for vanity’s sake. It’s a look that’s utterly superficial if there’s no substantial reason for it. However, if it genuinely sparks a desire in people to listen to and get to know the artists they’re proxy-promoting, then that can only be a good thing.
So, if you’re reading this and wear slogan tees as a proud fan, welcome to the club. But if you’re now wondering whether you ought to play some Nirvana, Rolling Stones, Green Day, Metallica or Judas Priest in case you’re quizzed on your clothing, I promise you won’t regret it.