gemnewcol.jpgGemma Cartwright writes...

Everyone knows my style by now. If you don't, I suggest you visit the 'dresses' category and see how many of the floaty little tea dresses and cutesy smocks were chosen by me. You'll soon get an idea. I am girlier than a Barbie doll in pink shoes, and my penchant for overdressing is notorious.

That said, I think everyone needs a style quirk. The one thing they love that's the complete opposite of the rest of the stuff that calls to them from the clothing rails. Mine is the sarcastic, funny or ironic slogan t-shirt...

Despite the fact these babies don't go with anything in my wardrobe except my ill-fitting jeans, I still can't stop buying them. I have everything, from the notorious 'Fashion is for Morons' tee I mistakenly once wore in a fashion video to my latest purchase, the ultimate in 80s movie geekery.

I think my love for tees like this stems from the fact I can't do anything simply. There has to be a print or a trim or some embellishment for an item of clothing to call out to me. A t-shirt is about as boring as you can get, but shove a pop culture reference on it and suddenly it's exciting. I like my clothes to reflect my personality and what better way to do that than to have a print on your chest telling the world you love shoes or hate pickles or whatever else?

Obviously this knowledge has worked well for plenty of designers. J'Adore Dior t-shirts sell in droves to footballers' wives with too much money and not enough sense. Henry Holland now shows full collections at London Fashion Week thanks to the success of his oversize tees printed with fashion rhymes. And don't forget the ultimate slogan queen, Katherine Hamnett, and her political activism in the 80s...and those 'Frankie Says Relax' tees.

Over time the slogan tee goes in and out of favour with the fashion crowd, and a backlash to those House Of Holland-esque neon nightmares from the high street has left plenty of them loitering on sale rails (I actually saw a 'Made in the 90s' one recently - I felt very old indeed). I won't be giving them up any time soon, though.

Gemma's top places for witty slogan tees:

Threadless - check out the Type Tees section for the best stuff ($9 sale at the mo!)
Shot Dead In The Head - celeb culture, Holy Moly tie-ins and that fashion tee.
80s Tees - Everything from Sixteen Candles to Saved by the Bell
Truffle Shuffle - If you know where the name comes from, you'll love it!
David & Goliath - Blonde jokes and cattiness ahoy!
My Tee Spot - Everything from Nintendo to Sex & The City
Lush T-Shirts - I'm contemplating the 'nobody reads my blog' one.