Category: Meet Our Team

Inside My Closet: Vintage Tees

Buffalo ExchangeBy Mo Dearing, Store Manager, Portland OR

Buffalo ExchangeMASH is really nostalgic for me.  As a kid I watched it every weeknight.  Recently I said that I wanted the MASH tee with the helicopter on it and I saw it at a swap meet the very next day.  They wanted way too much money for it, but the day after that another one came into the store.  Sometimes you just have to throw it out there.   I have 6 different MASH tees now and am on the hunt for the “Hot Lips” one next.

Buffalo ExchangeOld punk tees from the 80’s!  The Corrosion of Conformity from the early 80’s is my favorite.  I like to dress it up with a slacks and a cardigan for an ironic edge.

Buffalo ExchangeBuffalo ExchangeA while ago I switched my focus from early metal tees to new wave.  I love The Vapors Turning Japanese muscle tee.  When I wear it in the summer I get tons of compliments on it.  I wish the Nina Hagen and Lena Lovich sweatshirt was actually wearable.  The Depeche Mode tee in D is the most I’ve ever spent on a tee-shirt.  I went to the concert in the early 80’s but couldn’t afford a tee.  Everyone was wearing that tee the next day and I was super jealous.  I found this one on e-bay a few years ago and got into a bidding war with another guy.  I probably shouldn’t have spent the money.

Buffalo ExchangeThe Grateful Dead tee from the 70’s is one of my all-time favorites.  These really remind me of being a kid.  I was raised by a wild band of hippies.  Shoot, I just remembered an amazing GD tank that I should have thrown in with these two.   It’s really old and fragile.  I wear it about once a year and never ever wash it.

Buffalo ExchangeThese are throw backs to my Junior and Senior years in high school.  I was way into 80’s hair bands when I was in high school.  We used to drive from N. AZ to Phoenix to go to concerts, especially at (now defunct) Compton Terrace.  I had amazingly huge feathered Motley Crue hair in my senior year of high school.

Buffalo ExchangeMy fantastic Steve Martin tee.  I didn’t even know comics sold tour shirts until I found this one.  And Frank Zappa.  I had two different versions of the baseball tee.  I sold one to the store.   A girl bought it and coincidentally we both wore them to a bar on the same night.  I saw the same baseball tee at a vintage store and it was priced at $145, super gouge-y.  I’m not sure how old the (recently purchased) black Frank Zappa tee is, but it’s definitely old.

 Buffalo ExchangeMy “gay” tees.  I also spent an embarrassing amount of money on my Divine Get Cheap tee.  I found it in a vintage store in Athens, GA.  It was one of those vacation impulse buys.  I had to have it.  The International Mr. Leather tee is another favorite.  A few years ago a woman sold her brother’s clothes to our store after he died of AIDS.  Understandably, it was a very emotional experience for her.  I bought three of his tee shirts for myself.  I actually think of him every time I wear any of his tees.  I think it would make him happy to see me in them.  I wish I could have met him – I’m sure he was a character.  She also sold some of his leather gear, but it was a little over the top, even for me.