Tag Archives: fashion

T shirt street

From our very first arrival in China, we have been fascinated by the T-shirts our students and others wear with sayings on them in something related to English.  For example, the very nice young man who made me a bowl of noodles for lunch at the Xinjiang noodle shop down the street sported this mysterious T

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We have wondered for some time where these T-shirts are acquired (other than “taobao, from whence all things come). The other day, we by chance stumbled along the answer, when we found what I know think of as T-shirt street, near Shilu, just to the West of the old city’s outer moat.

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This side of town is where wedding street is, so it’s not so surprising to find a clothing-centered street.

Andy was quite tempted by this shirt

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which also sported a big Statue of Liberty on the back, but it was surprisingly expensive, and even bargaining was unlikely to get it into the range we would be willing to pay.

Some shirts were surprisingly similar.

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I have no idea whether there is a particular English phrase that these two are trying to replicate.  I suspect no-one wearing them has any clue what pap might refer to, and hardgore pap is a scary, if obscure, thought.

Urbanicteen also had several variations

goodfamilys urbanteen

Some shirts are deliberately referencing existing brand names (like the ubiquitous “Channel” hats, shirts, etc.)

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Sometimes the letters are very close to random.

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While at other times the words are there but the relationship between them is more obscure

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Sometimes the juxtaposition of words (and would-be words) is like poetry

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In China, T-shirts are also often worn in sets for couples or for families (a trend I believe began in Korea). (If anyone can enlighten me as to the meaning of “lovers fushi,” please do)

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One shop, watched over by a small pink-winged angel, carried a wide range of these (inclluding the above), many of them full outfits including pants or shorts.

angel

leadingjoyfamily valencia

I could not convince my family of the necessity of our acquiring the cute sheep family outfits, complete with stripy shorts (seen in the window behind the angel).  But I did manage, once at least, to get us all to wear our matching family (non-T) shirts.

family shirts

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Wearing English

English letters are popular on clothes.  I say English letters (although they could be French or Spanish I suppose) because they often don’t add up to words as such, especially at the end of phrases, and it is even rarer that they add up to any understandable sense.

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Many seem almost legit, until you notice an odd misspelling or a strange phrasing

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Sometimes they use a well-known phrase, but entirely out of context. I nearly bought a sweatshirt dress emblazened with “When Harry Met Sally,” and this sweater similarly puts a TV show into a very odd context.DSC01893

Some are simply puzzling

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Some even poetic (the comma is what really makes me love this one)

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This last example, worn by the schoolbus ayi (literally “bus auntie,” the bus aide who makes sure everyone gets on safely and wears a seatbelt), is not in English, but its combination of message and imagery makes it near the top of its class.

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