We Asked Celeb Stylists: Do You Need to Know a Band’s Music to Wear Their Shirt?
It’s 2017 and the glory days of rock ‘n roll are back. While 99.9% of us were born after the greats, the one thing our parents passed down to us (apart from their rad record collection) was a band shirt.
Band tees and Chanel 2.55 bags may not be completely in the same boat, but they are both serious wardrobe staples. And thanks to your favorite influencers and style icons rocking them, it’s becoming so much easier to find a band tee – whether it’s real-deal vintage or a reproduction at Brandy Melville.
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We chatted with models, bloggers, and celebrity stylists about why band tees are more than a trend, they’re a classic. We also asked the question that you’ve probably debated about or been asked by a douchey guy: is it okay to wear a band tee if you don’t actually listen to the band?
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“I started collecting vintage t-shirts when I was 15,” says celebrity stylist Dani Michelle. “Thrift shopping became a weekend activity for my boyfriend and I. Band tees became not only a way to support the music that influenced our lifestyle currently, but also a rare treasure to find.”
Obviously, the original tees can be pricey, but many serious fashionistas and music aficionados think they are worth it.
“The dates on the shirt [and] the rarity of the shirt [matter],” says celebrity stylist Rio Warner. “When bands were touring and selling their merch, less was printed.”
Plus, it’s not like the latest Vetements sock boots that will be out of style in a year.
“I think that band t-shirts are a wardrobe staple and [they’re] always going to be around,” says Warner. “They’re more popular than normal [right now], but they’re not going anywhere. They’re always going to be great and go on forever.”
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But the question that comes to mind when you see band tees on Rihanna, Kendall Jenner, and Gigi Hadid is: do they really listen to the band that’s featured on their shirt? And if you’re planning on rocking a band tee, do you need to know the band?
“I love all band t-shirts, especially the rock band ones, but I feel like if you’re wearing something, you have to like it. Otherwise, [it] feels weird,” says Gizele Oliveira of Gizele A Go-Go.
Similar to Gizele, Michelle agrees that it’s important to like the artist featured on the shirt.
“There’s nothing more awkward than an avid fan of your band mentioning their favorite track and you’re clueless,” she says. “If you’re a poser and buy a remake at Urban [Outfitters], then it’s not necessary. But, a real rock star wears vintage band tees and knows the sound of their band.”
Warner triples this statement, saying that if anyone wears a shirt of an artist whose music they have not listened to, “they don’t know the message they’re spreading.”
But if you’ve got a band that you’re dying to show your appreciation for and you haven’t gotten their merch yet, you better get on it. Band tees may be trendy right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re going anywhere.