There is no denying that the ever popular graphic tee is having a major moment in 2017. Case and point, Nordstrom’s latest limited edition shop curated by Olivia Kim just happens to center on that very topic. Nordstrom worked with one of the most iconic t-shirt companies, Hanes as well as many other brands and artists to create a unique capsule of t-shirts just for you and only available in their Pop-In shop. Does it sound street wear ready and oh-so relevant? I thought so too so I went to check it out.
What I loved about it:
The concept was phenomenal: my favorite part was a rotating conveyor belt full of t-shirts that carried them around the shop reminding you of Cher’s closet from clueless. The flooring was done in grids of the shirt designs so while looking down you could discover a t-shirt you needed based on it’s design. Overall the t-shirts were quite diverse in branding and the pricing was relatively affordable considering who they were working with. The price range was generally $45-$65 with a few pieces breaking the $100 mark.
The brand breadth was impressive, the designer draw was definitely an Opening Ceremony t-shirt (the standard issue of which retails for over $100) with Hanes printed in red lettering on the underside. The most wearable shirt seemed to be the blue square Saturday t-shirt while the cuteness factor definitely was won by the Dean the Basset or Free&Easy’s Minion shirts. The surprise favorites were definitely the Juicy (that’s right, Juicy Couture) t-shirts and the Real House of Atlanta Sheree t-shirt which was also getting lots of love. Lastly the Coca-Cola t-shirt with the brand written in a multitude of languages felt especially relevant for both the DNA of Nordstrom’s Pop-In shops and the spirit behind the graphic tee’s global origins and appeal.
What I was less enthusiastic about:
While I LOVE graphic tees and the concept of unisex clothing, I noticed a lot of the truly menswear focused tees had larger graphics on the front while the women’s tended to be a smaller icon and less of the true ‘Graphic’ nature. The execution and quality of the collaborations were generally good however a few of the embroidered tees had backing the reverse side of the shirt to support the embroidery that showed through when you put the t-shirt on. Also the weight and softness of the fabric varied from t-shirt to t-shirt as did their susceptibility to shrink (according to the sales people) which made choosing a t-shirt almost about how it felt as it was about how it looked. *On a personal note I also expected a lot more from seattle based artist Blair Breitenstein who would have destroyed the scene with a full portrait of one of her fashion illustrations on the front of a t-shirt. Instead we got an eye that didn’t even have her iconic lashes on it.
All in all it was a great shop and I walked away with two awesome t-shirts, the Opening Ceremony X Hanes and the rainbow minion Free&Easy tee. It was great seeing Nordstrom embrace such a street wear friendly trend while still feeling like there was something for everyone (and at a very easy price point.) If you can visit one of the stores that is actually hosting the shop I highly recommend it to both see the fantastic design elements and to actually be able to feel the shirts for yourself, although if you can’t there is always the web. Thanks for reading and happy shopping!