Retro Campaigns

I’ve been meaning to write about Retro Campaigns since before my break, and Christine over there has been super cool about the whole deal. Retro Campaigns makes some coolest new-old shirts I’ve come across. Their prints are all made to look like campaign t-shirts from presidential races of bygone days.

In an interesting twist though, you’ll see t-shirts from FAILED campaigns. I think that’s pretty sweet. These shirts get bonus points in a Dewey Defeats Truman sort of way. Nobody usually remembers the guy that didn’t win unless you pull a Dukakis and have an absolutely ridiculous photo of yourself floating around.

Retro Campaigns is one of the few places out there that can pull off politically-themed t-shirts without being…well, political about it. This isn’t about left or right, conservative or liberal, nothing like that. It’s about a whole lot of t-shirt love, right?

Those of you old enough might date yourselves wearing one of their tees, I have to admit. If it’s someone you voted for, then that’s excellent, more power to you! Thankfully though, I was born during the Reagan Administration, so I can wear these tees purely for their cool factor. Does that make me a poser? It might, but at least not in a Vanilla Ice sort of way.

The first tee Retro Campaigns sent me was lost somehow in transit, but Christine was cool enough to send another. When I opened the package, I’ve got to admit that it wasn’t the shirt that first grabbed my eye, but the rest of the material included.

There was a beautifully designed one-pager on the candidate’s history, career and political beliefs. There was also a gorgeous glossy flyer, business card and a note (on RC stationary, no less). I’ve got no idea if the note and business card are part of every shipment or just mine because I’m a reviewer, but it’s all very impressive nonetheless. I’ll try to get a picture of the materials to post back here.

The shirt itself is a classic ringer, printed on a super-soft American Apparel tee. The water-based inks and faded design really contribute to the vintage look and feel. I get the impression that most, if not all of these designs are from the actual campaign materials, which is sweet since I’m a geek for historical accuracy. If any are the original creation of Retro Campaigns, I’m doubly impressed.

It’s really neat to see some of these shirts purely because it reminds you of a time when the things that were important to the American public were much different than they are now. Values were different, and the price of oil wasn’t even a blip on the radar. People were worried about civil rights, the Russians, Vietnam..all things that have since become background scenery for films.

Since I first spoke with RC they’ve added a bunch of new designs as well. It’s really an impressive collection, definitely check it out. Here’s a hats off to Christine and the team at Retro Campaigns, and thanks again for the shirt.

The shirt I’m wearing is Willkie - Wings for America and it’s $19.99.

Check out Retro Campaigns to see the above shirt and many others. As t-shirt company websites go, it’s very well done.