August 15, 2018

Grab Winter by the… Long Sleeve T-shirt

Are you looking for Fall and Winter options for your layered look? Sleeve it to SpectraUSA.

The most under-rated garment in your closet is, without question, the long sleeve t-shirt. Given any summer day it’s probably not going to get a second look but come fall and winter this little wonder becomes the centerpiece for the perfect layered look and the practical workhorse of chilly fall and winter styles. Long sleeve t-shirt layers allow minute control of your personal climate as the colder days creep up on us and long sleeve tees give you the kind of flexibility that a short-sleeve tee never could. If you’ve got a long sleeve on, you’ve got options this winter

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The Classic Cali Retro T-shirt and the Summer Color Explosion

The snowballs have been tossed, the snowmen built and”_ unbuilt. Logs burned, s’mores s’mored, carols sung, noses nipped by old Jack Frost and at the dirty tail-end of winter there’s not much more to say besides a hearty ”C’mon Summer!!” And not just any summer mind, a truly Spectralicious summer filled with short sleeve tees and tanks, glorious sunshine and and easy summer smiles all day long. To get you in the mood for our favorite season we have created three unique new colors for our retro t-shirt range of classic American t-shirts to help you ease out of those soggy, muddy boots and into something with a few more summer colors.
Spectra’s 2100 range of shirts is built around a traditional, historically American retro t-shirt specification. After all, the t-shirt was born and perfected here and our homage to this incredible fashion heritage is clear in ever inch of this North American designed and created masterpiece. From the American-made yarns, to the 20 singles ring-spinning process we use create this uniquely soft and durable garment ensures a great fit and the ultimate softness under the touch. Noticeable thicker than other weaker ”industry standard” t-shirts, the 2100 Retro ring-spun tee offers the wearer all the comfort of the t-shirt that was ”good enough for grandad” with all of the advances of modern technology which finish this garment in ways which we know grandad would applaud.

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Where’s Your KISS T-shirt?

Just how relevant is your t-shirt? Shock rockers KISS think a t-shirt is pretty darned relevant after it was reported that a 2012 interview, showing them asking a journalist to remove his Iron Maiden t-shirt, went viral. The famous 70s band first insisted that he turn the Iron Maiden t-shirt inside out, and then simply got him a freshly minted KISS t-shirt sporting the band’s iconic logo to conduct the interview with instead.

Poor Gustav, the hapless interviewer, tried to placate the band but KISS seems to be a pretty determined outfit and they had him turning, what is clearly a much loved Iron Maiden t-shirt, inside out before the interview could proceed. After all, when four irritated men wearing makeup and full body armor ask you to take your t-shirt off, you probably should, however awkward you may feel about it.

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The Feminist T-shirt of 2017

We already know how political the t-shirt can be. It transforms its wearer into a rolling billboard of political opinion, humor, rants, graphics and just about anything else we can cram into the space on the front of a blank tee. After a year of giddy of politics like 2017, the politics of t-shirts have by no means subsided, they are stronger than ever.

If anything, 2017 was the year of the feminist t-shirt, with truly smart and eye-catching slogans abounding at protest marches, on the backs of celebrities and in the media. Given that the most looked up word at Merriam-Webster this year was ”Feminism,” followed by another two words you will have heard in the news a lot, ”Complicit” and ”Recuse,” it’s no surprise that 2017 seems to have been the year of feminism, what with the active role women have had to play in politics, even Time magazine elected to portray the women who spoke out against sexual harassment on their cover.

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Dig Doug: Inside the Pacific Textile Archive

Doug Bunting is grinning at me like a man who knows the secret of Ali Baba’s cave of wondrous treasure. He is beaming as he carefully lifts and gently places each of these meticulously cared for and curated vintage textile prints he is allowing me a private audience with. He flips over another-a blast of shimmering blues, golds and reds, as wildly psychedelic as the day the were made-some 60 years ago-leap off the thick card they were hand painted on to as if it were yesterday. He flips another and he shoots me that look again, it’s the understated look of knowing cool-you gettin’ this buddy? How’s the transmission? Five-by-five? Are you feeling the enormity of what I’ve got going on here? Can you dig it? Well, damn you Doug. I can dig it. Truly, truly, I can dig it.

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Responsive Production – The Trend for Retail and Producers

The bane of modern apparel manufacturers is usually the struggle to turn dedicated production systems on a dime and create compelling, fresh lines with real market appeal which are trend responsive for their partners. As brands and their manufacturing partners have chased profitability by outsourcing to China, India and elsewhere in the East, the operational snag they often seem to hit is inflexibility and the slow turnaround times for fashion production lines located outside of the Americas. Although this strategy was geared towards profitability, what has emerged from it is a market which values responsive production partners, giving retailers the ability to ”tune into” an emerging trend, allowing for both agile and rapid production.

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The Political T-shirt Meets its Match in Big Fashion

The political t-shirt is back and badder than ever and we’ve seen more than a few political t-shirts sporting powerful slogans lately. From humorous attempts to poke fun at politicians to more serious and radical slogans the protest t-shirt is clearly back in fashion “bigly.” The roots of the protest shirt aren’t hard to trace, and the modern protest shirt owes a great deal to a well known British fashion designer called Katharine Hamnett. Hamnett’s protest t-shirts first came to prominence in the early 1980s and from there, spawned one of the first iconic, social-viral movements in fashion. Copied, replicated and reproduced ad infinitum, Hamnett’s signature styling and powerful messages on the front of t-shirts have been worn by every generation from the 1980s to today’s the hipsters of youth culture and it seems to show no signs of stopping. But where did the protest t-shirt first find its feet and how did it come of age under this talented graduate of St. Martin’s College in London? After all, we’ve seen slogans on t-shirts before this, from beer commercials to Disney characters to political statements. But what makes Katharine Hamnett’s t-shirts so special? Why these protest t-shirts n particular?

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Beyonc̩’s Balenciaga T-Shirt

When you think air travel you probably think, scruffy t-shirt, sweats and comfy shoes. Anything really, which will you cozy as you squish into your seat in and pretend you are not trapped inside a steel tube next to hundreds of complete strangers hurtling through the stratosphere on your way to”_ wherever. The t-shirt is the staple in this air-ordeal ensemble. I have a few regulars I like to fly with, and you probably have a few faves yourself. This is no different for high profile flyers like Beyonc̩. Indeed, Beyonc̩’s Balenciaga T-shirt, made a few headlines this week as her ”travel outfit” blew us all away.

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3 Steps to buying the perfect blank T-shirt

The blank black t-shirt is the de rigeur uniform of California. A trip down the streets and beaches of LA, San Diego or San Francisco will confirm any doubts you may have about this fact. Black is the perfect shade for any gritty, smoggy city but also for the abundant creative classes in the big towns making, breaking and bringing new stuff to life in studios, skate parks, line ups and backstreets across the State. Picking the perfect blank t-shirt is not as easy as you may first think, so we did the grunt work for you to make your search for a blank tshirt that much easier.

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Fashion Profile: Mexicool & Robby Vient Alcaraz

‘It doesn’t have to be profound,” quips Robby Vient Alcaraz, the design powerhouse behind the Mexi/Cali lifestyle brand Mexicool, ”But it’s got to be clever.”

And clever it is with Robby’s often biting humor shining through a truly original and handsomely crafted range of sassy apparel and accessories, teasing us from the cultural intersection where tongue-in-cheek Mexican humor slams headfirst into the polish of Los Angeles pop culture.

An enigmatic character to be sure, Robby transcends both Mexican and So-Cal culture, self-descried as half-gringo and half-paisa, he is perfectly placed to poke fun at the intersection of these two worlds, all the while producing some of the most eminently wearable, and remarkable clothing to be seen street-side. Robby’s snappy design and quick humor effortlessly makes light of an often strained relationship between the United States and Mexico which he feels, could benefit from more empathy, more fun and fewer, not more, boundaries.

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