I have a theory that, on the internet, you can find a T-shirt that says absolutely anything. I’m not even talking about the design-your-own kind, either—there are just oceans of bizarre, obscure, often dumb, and occasionally offensive tees out there, and sifting through them all to find one you love can be something of a Herculean task.
That said, the outfit-making powers of a great graphic tee are not to be underestimated, and once you track down the perfect shirt, you’ll probably want to live in it.
First, the trick is to narrow it down to what kind of slogan you’re looking for: There’s the Pinteresty catchphrase (“But First, Coffee”; “Namastay in Bed”); the provocative, piss-off-the-parents statement (“Sex: Breakfast of Champions”; “Thank You for Pot Smoking”); the arty, esoteric single word (“Ever”; “Orange”); and, of course, the everything-sounds-better-in-French slogan, a genre that fast-fashion retailers exploit to the point of hilarity (“Parlez-Vous Brunçh?”; “[Insert random address on the Champs-Élysées]”).
Then, there’s the question of how much you’re willing to spend: Indie brands like Être Cécile and Clare V. are favorites of the street-style crowd for good reason (clever slogans, flattering fits, zero middle-school vibes), but they come with fairly steep price tags. H&M and Zara, meanwhile, have impressively cute takes on the trend for less than $25, but you do run the risk of passing someone on the street wearing the exact same tee—which for some reason is always more embarrassing when you’re wearing something with words on it.
Alternatively, you can do a bit of digging and find cool, slightly off-the-beaten-track brands that do T-shirts really, really well—or just click through the gallery ahead, because (surprise!) we’ve done it for you. Take heed, though: Slogan tees are inevitable conversation starters—even ones that say “Leave Me Alone” or “I Don’t Like You”—so prepare to get social.