Don’t just seek them out in the city – Seán McGovern looks at the best t-shirt deals and designs online

There are many reliable and original websites dealing specifically with original designed t-shirt, though naturally the types and tones will vary from site to site – many focus on graphic design as means of expression, others on irony and wordplay, and others feature daringly explicit themes.


There is a particular danger when brandishing a slogan, that although may be quite humourous, is intended to offend. The difficulty with risqué slogans is that they are difficult to pull off without seeming crass, lazy and stupid. The Jean Scene’s examples like ‘Nice legs, what time do they open?’ are to be avoided at all costs… is an Irish t-shirt site with a firm tongue-in-cheek attitude to its designs. Their products have a distincive Irish humour, as a response to the disdain the site’s creators felt about the absence of any t-shirts with an Irish comedic lilt. As the site’s reference to the offspring of Craggy Island milkman Pat Mustard would suggest, their best offerings include Father Ted themed designs, particularly a ‘vintage’ 2001 Lovely Girls Festival judge’s tee. A comprehensive range of men’s and women’s styles include homages to Terminator (‘Beidh mé ar ais’), the late Patrick Swayze (‘Ní chuireann aon duine baby sa chúine’) as well as the mandatory ‘I Shot JR’ tee., dually based in New Zealand and Texas, let their images do the talking, with incredibly witty uses of imagery incorporating a mix of pop culture. Glenn Jones, owner and designer with his online company had a few opinions about the t-shirt as fashion item and phenomenon. For Jones, designing a t-shirt was finding a combination of what works and what people wanted to see. “After a while I was able to understand what out of my work people like to see on a tee- pop culture and parody”, he explains.

As it deals primarily with design rather than construction, the online t-shirt industry is one of the most expansive of all online fashions, with niche markets dealing from vintage band t-shirts and TV parodies and cult films. Like most things in fashion, finding the right tee is simply a matter of looking around and figuring out what most appeals to your own sense of humour.