Top 10 Unexpected T-Shirts

posted in: Everyday Life | 13

The theme at Velvet Ashes (one of my favorite websites) this week is a fun one—top ten lists.  I I decided to stick with something lighthearted: unexpected t-shirts.  Since summer started, I’ve observed more and more people wearing t-shirts.  Except for company t-shirts, almost all t-shirts are in English, not in Chinese.  In fact, I was with some friends recently, and we all noticed someone wearing a t-shirt that was actually in Chinese!  The thing is, I don’t think people always read or understand what they are wearing, which sometimes leads me to do a double take.  There may also be a differing cultural expectations of the relationship between you and your t-shirt.  Americans wear t-shirts to make a statement they agree with or champion a cause or celebrate an event they were involved with.  I don’t think that’s the expectation here.  A friend told me I should start a tumblr devoted to such t-shirts but that would require taking photos of them, which is usually not possible.  Disclaimer: If strong language easily offends you, you may not want to continue because I see a surprising amount of swearing on t-shirts.

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The 10 Ten Unexpected Things I’ve Seen on T-Shirts (to this point):

Honorable Mention: “Butter”

10. “God Save the King” (not sure who this is referring to)

9. “Pervert” with a large 17 underneath it

8. “You’re Not Beautiful”

7. “MDIV” (I actually saw this on a baseball cap, but friends have seen it on t-shirts, and none of us know what it means in this context)

6. “HI BABY. DO YOU LIKE MY SUNGLASSES LETS ENJOY THE SUN” (someone I know was wearing this one, and it made me sad because he is way too nice to be wearing a t-shirt that is essentially a bad pick-up line)

5. “Beloved, Kiss Me Like You Mean It” (worn by a ~50 year old woman, in church)

4. “Swagger Every D*mn Day”

3. “Calvin College” (it looked like a real Calvin shirt and a woman walking near my house was wearing it; I wish I had stopped her and asked where she got it, but I wasn’t brave enough)

2. “F**K” with a red heart next to it (um….)

1. “F**K SCHOOL” (I saw these last two on back to back days)

13 Responses

    • Ruth

      Yes! I think it was a white word on a black t-shirt. I saw it from the coffee shop window while I was working on the post.

  1. Patty Stallings

    My favorite was a male university student with “Soccer Mom” emblazed on his chest 🙂

  2. Emily

    These are great! I like the red heart one. Kind of a conflicting message there. 😉

    One of my favorites was a shirt I saw many years ago, worn by an elderly lady boarding a long-distance bus in rural China. It said something to the effect of, “My boyfriend went to Paris, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt, so now I’m looking for a new lover.”

  3. Jil Christiansen

    These are classic! My favorite in Japan is that one of the mothers of the kindergarten students used to wear, on a regular basis, a shirt which brightly proclaimed, “I enjoy being simple minded.”

  4. Emily Sloterbeek

    When I lived abroad, my favorite was a shirt that a mom wore to parent-teacher conferences (at a bilingual school, though I’m fairly certain she herself was not an English speaker): “Sorry, boys! I’m a virgin”.

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