clothing · culture · slogans · t-shirts · Thoughts and feelings

Clothing & Slogans

Ever since I got a FitBit watch, I take more satisfaction out of walking longer distances and tapping on the wristband to steadily see my number of steps gradually increase. I was determined to make it to 10,000 steps today and had about 2,000 more steps till completion. To ensure I reached my goal, I got off one train stop before my usual stop so I was further away from home and would get more walking done. I rounded the corner to a park shortly after getting to 10,000 steps. There, I passed a woman wearing a black t-shirt with large bold white words printed on it: “That’s awesome.”

For a second, I almost thought it said, “I’m awesome”, which makes way more sense to me than the generic, “That’s awesome”, which left me wondering what was exactly so “awesome”. Another time, I saw a man wearing a shirt with the much-used slogan, “I ❤ New York.” But did he really love New York, or was it just some shirt he pulled on that morning out of convenience?

I personally would not have the guts to wear a shirt with a random slogan on it, either because I don’t agree with the slogan or I don’t want people looking at my bosom in an attempt to read what is on the front of my shirt. Not that I truly believe most people actually want to be creepy and stare at my boobs in public, but it’s awkward if it appears as such.

I once wore a shirt that had the words, “Say no to HIV” on the back. One of my cousins could not stop giggling over it when she saw it; in that “everything related to sex” is icky and embarrassing kind of way. I was a teenager myself at the time and after that, I never wore the shirt again. Prior to this incident, I didn’t even pay attention to what was written on the shirt and simply liked the style and fit of it on my body.

Similarly, I paid little mind to some word embellishments on a puffy red jacket I wore in the winter months during grade school. All I cared about was the jacket keeping me warm during my walks to and from school each day. A classmate saw that my jacket had sewn on decorations for the 69ers basketball team and remarked to me, “The 69ers suck.” Until he had said that, I hadn’t even known what the 69ers stood for.

Of the shirts I have, I am glad Victoria’s Secret pajama wear is for at home only. At least it is for me, anyway, as I’ve seen other women wear them as casual attire in public. One of their shirt slogans, “VS angel in training”, seem to lean towards giving confidence to the wearer but it doesn’t for me. Perhaps I am taking the slogans too literally but I sure don’t feel like a “sexy angel” (someone remind me again why women are angels? I don’t get it…) and I don’t understand the concept of “angel love” (another one of the VS shirt slogans). I wear their stuff more for comfort reasons rather than agreeing with what’s written on the shirts. The most I like is if the words are just a logo of the store name, such as “VS” for Victoria’s Secret or “Aero” for Aeropostale. I feel these are the most “safe” options for me as I am okay with people drawing whatever conclusions they want when they see the logos, whether I’m a fan of the store or I just like the style of the shirt.

Wearing a shirt with a catchy phrase also unsettles me as I don’t want to give the impression I am proclaiming loudly and proudly that I am a certain way when I am not. For example, a shirt with the word “Heartbreaker” printed across it. Lol no. You will never see me walking around with a shirt like that because I am not that confident in my own attractiveness. I doubt I would feel better wearing clothes with slogans I actually believe in. Half the time I forget the slogan is there at all and then I am surprised when people point it out. I wore a shirt with the phrase, “My dog owns my ❤” during a volunteer day cleaning out cat cages which another fellow volunteer cooed over because she found it to be cute. The awkward part was explaining I didn’t have a dog anymore since he was put to sleep.

What about you? What kind of clothing slogans do you wear or not wear?

Featured Image by Francesco Paggiaro.

8 thoughts on “Clothing & Slogans

  1. Another interesting, creative topic!
    I can see how “Say no to HIV” might be awkward tbh xD Some slogan shirts can be cute but then it begs the question.. do you even know what you’re talking about when you unintentionally become a walking billboard? I ❤ NY shirts are cute but I </3 NY tbh xD sorry not sorry (furiously shakes Jersey gals who say, "I'm a city girl"). So am I lying if I put on the shirt because I think it's cute? I feel wrong wearing a lie on my body so I still don't have one. And slogan t-shirts do bring you to the awkward cross roads of… I like the shirt… but it says something odd or irrelevant on it 😦
    I agree VS angel outfits are pretty cute and I know they're mostly lounge/activewear but they look so cozy which is my #1 priority in fashion (actually I don't think the fashion world would consider comfortable or cozy a priority AT ALL), but they say some corny stuff or they're just self-promo things like "VS ANGELS." I don't want to promo them for them.
    This also makes me think of how actual fans of Rolling Stones, Nirvana, etc. see these young girls who were too young to enjoy those groups wearing the graphic tees because they look cool xD I mean the girls might know 'em from parents or something, but they get judged haha and I can see why actual fans might get annoyed but those icons really are cute AND the groups, I'm sure, get some commission for 'em so.. win win?
    Also I need that "my dog owns my <3" shirt asap


    1. Oops, I think your comment got cut off? o.o

      I was a teen when I wrote that “Say no to HIV” shirt which was awkward because of the teenage sex safety shebang but I think if I wore the shirt as an adult, it would make me uncomfortable in a different way because the slogan might potentially make someone think, “Oh, is she an advocate that does outreach for HIV?” or something. The last thing I want is someone assuming I know stuf when I don’t. XD


  2. Before I read your post I thought the clothes in the image were yours, and I was immediately wondering: why does she own a KU Leuven sweater, as it is a Belgian university 😀 So yeah, I always read slogans on people’s clothes and avoid wearing one that doesn’t fit my personality as I’m scared people will ask me about it. Only recently, a friend of mine bought a band shirt and they accidentally sent him two, so he gave one to me as I like to wear loose comfy shirts at home. However, I once forgot I was wearing the shirt and wore it out in public, and a guy tried to make conversation with me about the band (which I didn’t know any music of). He asked me if they were any good live, and I felt like a fraud. It was so awkward and I just lied and said I had seen them multiple times and they were really good 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, what a nice surprise to hear you recognized the shirt. I was trying to read it upside down but I couldn’t make out what it said since I wasn’t familiar with the name.

      The band shirt story is what I wish to avoid too lol. chatting about a shirt is a good conversation starter to find a shared interest with another person but it’s awkward when it’s one-sided. I probably would have not known how to fib my way out of the situation and might have fessed up to not knowing the band. XD

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s cool you wear what you like. Any message in particular that helps you? I like those yoga tops too but I’m shy about letting people see what inspirational messages I lean towards.

      Liked by 1 person

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