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Guide to Vintage Band T-shirts

Band T-shirts have been a top-selling vintage staple for at least a decade. True collectors can tell from a distance which decade a special piece is from and what special series it is from. This fashion starts with trash metal bands like Slash or Metallica, all the way to British rock bands like Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd. Get your own unique band T-shirt if you want to stand out from the crowd and love real treasure hunting!

Vintage Band T-shirt Szputnyik Shop

How to spot an original band T-shirt?

There are several things to look out for to ensure that you find a real vintage treasure and your mate's dad doesn't look at you questioningly and say, "So what are your five favourite Pink Floyd songs? But don't worry, we've got some tips to help you look authentic and really see through the secret world of band T-shirts.

A brief history of band T-shirts

In the 1950s, Elvis fans came up with the idea of making a limited number of T-shirts exclusively for fans. The idea was then taken up by other fans of the band, and soon fans of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were able to boast their own T-shirts, too. At first, however, they were printed in very small numbers and did not bring in much revenue for the bands.

The first large number of band T-shirt prints was made by Bill Graham, owner of the Filmore nightclub. He collaborated with local artists and designers to create surreal and psychedelic band T-shirts that became a big hit with bands. Examples include Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead.

Pink Floyd Vintage Band T-shirt Szputnyik Shop
In the late 1970s, this T-shirt fashion moved from America to London, where Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm Mclaren developed it further in their shop SEX on the Kings Road. Their T-shirts were bold and cheeky screen prints, often emblazoned with slogans and logos.
By the 1980s, these band T-shirts had become an important part of youth culture, allowing young people to identify themselves and thus belong to a certain clique. The purpose of the T-shirts was to identify a person with a particular subculture from a distance through the symbols and patterns on them.

Four tips to get the best band T-shirt:

1, A real T-shirt should be black, this cannot be said enough times!
2, It should have a strong symbol on it to show which side you are pulling for. For example, if you are metal, it should have at least a skull or some symbol of death on it.
3, The more complex the band logo, the better. It doesn't have to be just the simple symbol, you can play with colours and patterns.
4, Red and white are the most commonly used colours on T-shirts. These contrast well with the black base and fit in with the rock effect, so you're sure to have an authentic look on your top.
Queen Vintage Band T-shirt Szputnyik Shop

And now a little guide to the different styles.

Hair metal

This category includes bands that are into the hard rock genre, who fall into the metal category mainly because of their huge headbands. It's a genre full of long and ear-catching guitar solos. And their T-shirts are recognisable because there is always at least one with a scarf on their head, a hair-dressed counterpart and logos in many colours. Examples include Guns N' Roses, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi and Poison.

AC/DC Vintage Band T-shirt Szputnyik Shop

Thrash Metal

The kings of spin, the creators of the coolest T-shirts. Thrash metal started in the late 80s with fast, pounding drums, long guitar solos and lots of shouting. Bands like Metallica, Slayer or Megadeth are examples. You'll easily recognise the T-shirts, as the most important component is the skulls!

Metallica Vintage Band T-shirt Szputnyik Shop

Death Metal

With these orchestras, usually no one but you will be able to read the subtitles, they will be written with unreadable letters. So you don't really need to know much about the band, because no one is likely to hold you to account. But they're still good choices because they look cool. Bands - Morbid Angel, Entombed, Cradle of Filth, Cannibal Corpse. T-shirt look - white patterns, illegible text, scary figures.

English Heavy Metal

These are perhaps the most common and authentic looks for band T-shirts. They're the ones your parents probably wore in the 80s, so they might as well be worth a look in the bottom of your wardrobe. These are the ones with the most inclusive patterns, logos and pleasing colours. Bands - Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, AC/DC, Motörhead, Led Zeppelin.

Judas Priest Vintage Band T-shirt Szputnyik Shop
Vintage Band T-shirt Szputnyik Shop

But we don't just have music T-shirts, we also have film T-shirts...Stranger Things VIntage Band T-shirt Szputnyik Shop

Coldplay Vintage Band T-shirt Szputnyik Shop

Come into the shop and have a look, there's a great range of super band t-shirts to choose from. But you can also find some specials in the webshop, so go and grab them!