oh the places you'll go!

recently my grandma sent me a whole bunch of (cleaned and pressed of course) souvenir tee shirts that she accumulated when she and grandpa used to travel in their fifth wheel back in the 80s.
they range in distance from arizona to north carolina to alaska, all kinds of grandparently wanderings with fake grass turf outside their little rv doorstep, bbqs, walking shoes and Thousand Trails...i digress.
don't you love the soft wornness of old tee shirts? and something about the logos and designs of the 80s just wins my heart; lines and shapes and critters seem sweeter.

this bright pink arizona tee is boxy in structure, with cool brass studs at the folded up sleeve.
there is no describing how soft it is, i wear it to bed.
if it wasn't so baggy i'd wear it out and about, but as it is, i'd need one of those plastic ring/clip things i used in junior high to scoop my teeshirt up to one side...do you remember those?

case in point for 80s graphics: check out the soft kissable faces of these seal pups from fort bragg, and also the nice curvy classic font.
i have been collecting various vintage tees for quite some time and i especially love when they depict a scene that makes my heart sing.
such as...
this new mexico "living desert" tee shirt that i scored from ashley at a clothing exchange last year.
the colors and stones and desert blossoms and native dancer all remind of my beloved southwest,
(and by the way: another desert post coming soon)

another one from grandma, her tastes ran from pink to blue to pink again, but always with some outdoorsy scene of tranquility. this one from rock creek lakes in the eastern sierra.
you may notice that i have this on backwards.
let's pretend that was on purpose.

just thrifted this one, a tee shirt from 1998 so not really vintage but still kinda cool -
it's from the rosebud indian reservation in south dakota.
i love the artwork by jim yellowhawk.

this one i thrifted for darin last year and he wears it ALL THE TIME.
i mean how could he resist a seafoam green soft old teeshirt with glittery pastel feather and the word Arizona? he can't.

this one below is the one that made me suddenly realize how much i love "place tees."
it's actually a sweatshirt with a pretty little solvang windmill image. and the absolute creamy-softest-fleecy lining.
the greatest thing is, emily thrifted a similar SOLVANG sweatshirt around the same time, probably donated by the same 1980s-tripping-die-hard-solvang-fan.
sometimes we both wear ours at the same time. cause we're geeks.

Boone, North Carolina, named for daniel boone, creates a pretty scene for a blue tee that grandma cherie brought home years ago and has now become my honey's new fave.
i know nothing about fabric crafts: is this silkscreen?
anyway...i want to go there; i want a mega road trip; i want the blue ridge parkway and folk crafts and appalachia.

i've saved the best for last.
this little gem from grandma cherie features a harbor seal pup from alaska.
now these seal pups are close to my heart: they were the subject of the very first essay i ever wrote (and illustrated) at eight years old. i got an A. so needless to say, that white fuzzy face just brings all that earnest 8-year-old-desperate-love flooding back. there is even a floating seal pup alone down there on the sleeve.
little detail of more marine life...by the way this sweatshirt is positively rectangular,
like sideways rectangular.
i don't understand why in the 80s they built clothing for people who are four feet tall and four hundred pounds but guess what, i love em for it! pure comfort.

well that's it on my kitschy clothes!
(not really, they never end around here)
i hope you randomly find many soft old tees on your journeys, to love them for decades and pass them on to your grandkids.


Missa said…
Eeeep! I am dying over this AMAZING collection of tees!!! Seriously, this the best collection of 80's tee EVER. ever...

I have a few myself, none that even compare to some of these fine specimens, but here's one that I like:


Also, you can scroll down for a flashback of Clover when she was a cute little rolly polly chubster of a baby :D
dude, you should do some revamping of some of those. some creative scissor work and you could do some awesome shredding. or do a little sewing and ruche up the sides of that long shirt so it's not so baggy.
i bet there are some great tutorials on how to upcycle shirts like that out there.
or just wear them like that and be adorable. <3
Courtney said…
I love your collection, but even more I love the stories your grandmother must have to accompany each one. I've never been one for buying new souvenir t-shirts, but this makes me think that I should, if only so that I have some to pass down to the next generation.
Claire said…
That's a lovely, lovely collection you have there. When I was a teenager I was able to buy little boys T-shirts, so I had like, Thomas the train and Visit Iceland! and dinosaurs and stuff. Then my boobs grew and I didn't like always having 3ft of stomach exposed. I still miss them, though :)

You looks so cute, and Darin, too. I can't wait for more desert posts!
Love and Hugs and Kisses,
Andrea said…
I love this post! You and your model (Darin) are too adorable :) I share your affinity for great t-shirts... although I must admit I never have the patience to do the leg work that rummaging through an entire rack of old t-shirts often requires. D. usually does that work and finds some goodies! Love that these were your nana's and her impeccable taste!
Nicky said…
hahahhahha! The 80's model is cracking me up- 4 ft. 400lbs!!!! SO true. I don't think you and Darin could get any freakin cuter in your super traveling T's and sweatshirts! Those sweatshirts totally remind me of my Mama- she picks em up where ever she goes (and has them all stored in her closet!) Happy Moday lil' lady!!! :D
Dylana Suarez said…
Awesome shirts! Lovely blog!


Teenysparkles said…
Far out Sprout! That is the best collection ever! I tried posting here earlier, but something random happened to my comment...so my apologies if i posted twice - by accident,....but i said something like I adore your kitsch...and you're the cutest! And you and Darin together are a little bubble of bliss.
Amber said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Violet Folklore said…
Ohhhh Heather you are such a doll!

Where the hell is Solvang!? I need to go NOW. I would kill for that shirt. Man, I just never look through tees or jeans at thrift stores. Too much work for such infrequent payoff. But when it does pay off, it does so big time.

Traveling with my grandparents in their motorhome is one of my best memories. Laying in the overhead bed looking out through the window at the passing landscape. Magic.

I'd like to read that essay :-)

And about those 80s shirt clips (which were such a brilliant idea btw, and I want one now)... http://www.etsy.com/listing/65546793/2-80s-t-shirt-clips
And don't forget to check out her wicked NKOTB pins!
Milla said…
Oh my ghost! What a rockin' collection! (and kick-ass title!) First off McKerricher, totally kicked it there on our way up home. I wish they'd had these sweat shirts! (Also, is Darin wearing a hat that Sara made?!)

Your guys are freakin' adorable.

Your grandma ROCKS! Each of these tees is totally amazing and magical. I don't even know which one I love the most. Probably the one you bought Darin, oh and the little feathers. And do smell a road trip to Solvang coming up?!?

I love Ts though I hardly ever wear them, since I lost four of my faves in the move (I lost the randomest things in that move) but C is quite the T-aficionado, he has a tee from like everywhere we go and was actually a little miffed he didn't get one this trip.

Thankfully darling Nicole gave him that "Spawn Till You Die"-one. A souvenir tee from California that's actually from Alaska, way cool. Nicole is pretty much my family's one stop tee-shoppe, because we first got together over some Norma Rae 70s tees that I wear quite a bit. Missa's also given me a sweet, soft Alaska shirt. What tee swap queens.

Anyway, this is the kind of legacy one hopes to leave to their grandchildren.
awesome collection. even more perfect if grandma wore them enough to get them nice and soft. there are few things in life as good as a nice soft tee (though i don't wear them often, which is why i am always finding a way to re-fashion them into something a little different...but never sacrificing their sssooofffttttnnnesssssssss).

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