Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with new products and links for our readers.
Originally Published: July 8, 2019
Vintage graphic tees will always be cooler than sliced cucumber. It doesn’t matter what the era.
Whether it’s paired with a grungy leather jacket or ripped denim shorts, a cool vintage tee is an investment that will take you right through the seasons and be a mainstay in your wardrobe.
Here are 12 places to help you find your perfect vintage graphic tee, whether it’s new and distressed or purely authentic.
New Distressed Vintage Tees
Blaine Halverson, founder of Made Worn, resides over his clothing label from his incredible Californian studio which feature no less than two taxidermied giraffes. His studio has been described by the New York Times as a sort of dark Disneyland for adults.
The entire process from weaving to distressing the one-of-a-kind items of clothing is overseen by Blaine himself.
Made Worn’s band tees have been seen on the likes of Brad Pitt, Jude Law and Damien Hirst. It’s no wonder these tees are celebrity favorites. Blaine’s clothes are truly unique. Carefully shredded, stained, and sanded, all by hand, to recreate that authentic look and feel of your worn-to-death favorite.
All of Made Worn’s vintage graphic tees are unisex and fit true to size.
Junk Food Clothing
Junk Food Clothing is a Southern Californian company that specializes in designing signature, vintage-inspired tees. And they do a damn fine job of it too.
The company works hard to recreate the humble tee using distress and destroy techniques. Their tees really are timeless works of art.
You are covered for men and women and Junk Food even have the meanest collection of vintage graphic tees for kids too.
Life Clothing Co
Life Clothing Co. is a Los Angeles company that has a boho Rock ‘n Roll vibe to its fashion. They make all their clothes and distressed tees in their hometown of L.A., making it a brand that’s definitely worth supporting.
With a great range of women’s graphic tees, the company is known for its ultra-soft cotton and a relaxed, slightly oversized fit.
Mother is another Made-in-L.A. brand with a cult following thanks to its super-soft denim range.
They also have an excellent collection of unique women’s graphic tees that you’ll be sure to love.
You’ll find creative graphic tees that have a uniquely “Mother Vibe”. Think witty quips like “Busy Doin’ Nothing”.
All of Mother’s tees are made with 100% cotton.
authentic Vintage Tees
What Goes Around Comes Around
What Goes Around Comes Around is known for their exquisite collection of ultra luxury vintage items like Hermès and Chanel collector handbags.
First opened in 1993 in New York’s Soho, the company is now recognized as a premier destination for luxury vintage. And they have professional in-house authenticators to boot!
You’ll find an excellent range of men’s and women’s vintage tees at What Goes Around Comes Around. You can be secure in knowing that they are truly authentic, and come with an appropriately high price tag.
Hellhound Vintage is a Los Angeles based cult vintage boutique. The company sells rock tees, rare vintage, artisan, bohemian and deadstock pieces from mid-century to the 1970s.
The true specialty of this company lies in its collection of premium vintage rock tees.
You’ll have to keep an eye on their shop though because their coveted vintage tees sell out fast.
Wyco Vintage claims to have the world’s finest selection of authentic vintage tees. And the operative word here is ‘Authentic’.
Located in Kansas City, Wyco Vintage is a highly trusted seller of authentic vintage tees, having had shirts from their collection worn by a long list of celebrities and rock stars.
Some of these tees do not come cheap. With a 1993 authentic Nirvana shirt going for a cool $1,500, this is the No. One place for the die-hard collector of band tees.
AFFORDABLE VINTAGE TEES
Urban Outfitters is many people’s first port of call for a quality graphic tee. If authenticity is not your priority, then you can be sure to find a grungy band tee here.
The standard staple cotton band tees from Iron Maiden, Rolling Stones, Metallica and Queen can all be found at Urban Outfitters at reasonable prices.
Free People will never let you down. For a unique grungy vintage tee with just enough subtle distressing to look like the real thing, they have you covered.
I love how Free People pay attention to creating washed graphics that seem so authentically vintage.
Their tees come in 100% cotton and an ultra soft cotton/modal blend.
American Eagle Outfitters
American Eagle has a range of vintage graphic tees, some of which are quite Americana and others that are a more grungy rock band style.
This brand’s tees are made with soft cotton and are lightweight.
ModCloth isn’t known for its grungy rugged fashion. Their graphic tees have more of a feminist bent to them with a few Pink Floyd, Blondie, and David Bowie items thrown in for good measure.
ModCloth is definitely worth a look. You never know what creative goodies they’ve just released that’ll catch your eye. The brand always has a huge range of graphic tees to choose from.
Chaser is a Los Angeles brand that debuted in the 80’s with punk rock tees. It’s vintage-inspired band and graphic T-shirts are grungy cool.
Goldie Tees is your go-to brand for the softest luxury tees and basics. Made sustainably in Peru from eco-friendly pima cotton.