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This Summer, I’m Letting Quirky Slogan Tees Do The Talking

Smart ass tops are taking over.

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As someone who was lucky enough to come of age at the turn of the millennia, I am truly reveling in all the fashion nostalgia inspired by those golden years. I’m happy to report I’m indulging in most that have traversed my TikTok FYP — jelly sandals, bubble skirts, et al. The latest to bring me joy is the triumphant return of the slogan tee.

As many recall, this cheeky fashion item was widely embraced in the early aughts by It girls the likes of Britney Spears (with her legendary “Dump Him” tee), Drew Barrymore (who famously wore a top that read “My Boyfriend Is Out Of Town” with leather pants to the Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle premiere), and of course the original influencer herself Paris Hilton (we all know where we were when she donned that “Stop Being Desperate” tank).

The messaging of these silly slogans, which ranged from cryptic to deprecating, was often dissected to no end by the public, especially since this was a pre-Instagram era when access to celebrities was considerably limited. I imagine A-listers and strategic PR professionals leveraged these outfits and moments to create some buzz and conversation. And, it worked like a charm as these tees now dwell infamously in the zeitgeist and in my heart.

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Fast forward 20 years and the trend, understandably, is looking a bit different. It seems these slogan tees are less about leading fans and audiences down a rabbit hole and more about having some irreverent fun with fashion. Take Victoria Beckham, for instance, who released a slogan T-shirt poking fun at her now-viral exchange with husband David in the 2023 Beckham documentary. The top, which reads “My Dad Had A Rolls-Royce” references the moment she was candidly corrected after insisting she grew up “very working class.” Most recently, Jennifer Lawrence jumped on the slogan tee bandwagon, stepping out this month in a Loewe tee inspired by the one worn by Zendaya in the movie Challengers, which reads “I Told Ya.”

I for one have wasted no time in stocking up on some sassy slogan tees that not only jazz up my go-to baggy jeans and midi skirts outfits but also occasionally annoy my mother — win-win, right? At the moment I have about four T-shirts in my roster. However, in discovering Farfetch’s current treasure trove of items in the category, that number will likely double in the coming weeks.

If you, too, are looking to add some silliness to your summer wardrobe, shop my favorite smart ass tees ahead.

I’m booked and busy at all times and have no problem declaring it to the world.

I don Groundzero’s quirky shirt when I want to feel, you know, chill.

Off-White’s cheeky tee will keep those advances away on my next night out with the girls.

I’ve had this tee on my radar for months now, probably due to my appreciation for the term “douche canoe.”

If I ever find myself in a conversation I can’t be bothered with, I have this Heron Preston tee to refer to.

As an avid Dolly Parton fan, this tee (which features one of her most famous quotes) is a must.

I’m not European, but I’ll fake it for this bubblegum pink top.

In addition to being funny, this tee also raises a valid question.

Victoria Beckham’s viral moment from the Beckham documentary made it into her label’s product roster — and I’m thrilled.

For those who doubted my dancing skills, I wear this shirt as proof.