October 29, 2009 by Jimmy J · 3 Comments
In this section we highlight the vintage shirts you simply must have in your poly-cotton arsenal. Some are hot commodities while others are speculation on a future trend.
Halloween Selection: Vintage Novelty T-Shirts
Looking for a last minute and inexpensive Halloween costume? There’s a vintage t-shirt for that. You want to experience the high of being a pilot or pharmacist? There’s a tee for that. Want to be the fan of a really bad team or have a slim physique with a nice rack? There’s a tee for that too.
Info: The novelty tee is a deceptive t-shirt design which mimics the appearance of clothing, skin, internal organs or bones. The fad began to flourish in the early 1970s and was invigorated when rock tee designs followed suit. Countless new designs were released throughout the 1980s when printing and graphic innovations improved the realism of the effect. The fad fizzled quick while manufacturers were still trying to release the newest and greatest novelty design ever. The massive overstock was then re-purposed and customized for tourist shops and other related businesses. Eventually the novelty design found a niche amongst specific industries as promotional schwag, ie pharmaceutical or sports. In modern times these silly gems have became a staple in most collector’s closets.
HOT: If you want to spend an arm and a leg there’s the sought after 1970s Love You Live Rolling Stones tee designed by Andy Warhol. The simple black and white design features the bands faces across a faux neck-tie. Good luck finding it – the shirt is a limited print that was a promo party giveaway. Next in line is Alice Cooper’s Greatest Hits t-shirt that has an over the shoulder gun holster. You’ll have better luck tracking this one down on eBay, but it wont come cheap. Due to rarity we don’t have photographs of either but if you’re curious they are featured in the Vintage Rock T-Shirts book we reviewed.
If you’re feeling a little more risque there’s the rare Seditionaries tee that features bare breasts. Just make sure they’re real because Seds t-shirts have been counterfeited as of late. If you don’t mind dropping a few hundred bucks and wearing yellow the Neil Young suspenders t-shirt from his 1978 Rust Never Sleep tour makes regular appearances on eBay.
BUY LOW: Any shirt that isn’t rock related you’ll most likely score for the opening bid. The most classic and classy of all novelty designs is the tuxedo which has been an indie rocker favorite for years. The skeleton shirt saw a resurgence a few years back when Jake Gyllenhaal went skeleton in film Donnie Darko. Neither shirts will ever sky rocket in value but the savings from renting a tux alone makes it a wise investment.
We think the more ridiculous the theme the better, especially if there’s lots of attention to detail that would never actually occur in real life. Check out this veterinarian’s coat novelty t-shirt:
View the previous Essential Selection: vintage lightning bolt t-shirt.
October 6, 2009 by Jimmy J · 7 Comments
Face it, this Halloween MJ costumes are hotter than his head was during the filming of that Pepsi commercial. That said, our mission is to help you moonwalk over other jackass Jackos and make sure you’re crowned the king of pop at your costume party. Last year we meticulously dissected a true Magnum P.I. costume, so rest assured we preach accuracy and attention to detail. If you’re looking to mimic Michael in his later years, look elsewhere because this is all about accessorizing a complete vintage outfit.
The links below are your ticket to creating a show stopping Michael Jackson costume.
The Beat It
Sunglasses Michael usually wore a pair of aviator style shades during public appearances. The extra-dark lenses probably made him feel inconspicuous, since he always felt like somebody was watching him…and he was right.
Leather Jacket Your single most important purchase – so don’t cut any corners. Get a vintage jacket. Keep it red if you’re going for the Beat It look. He wore a black one in the Bad video but it was an entirely different style of jacket.
Glitter Glove Go for the kitschy vintage version, which was just a white glove printed with sparkle ink; or go for something a little more realistic. MJ usually wore the glove on his right hand and you should too.
Leather or PVC Pants Make sure to hem the bottoms appropriately – as if you’re expecting a flood. Who knows, in this age of global warming, you might get lucky. If your pants look like Steve Urkel’s, you’ve hemmed too far.
Sequin Socks Never wear black shoes with white socks, unless it’s Halloween and you’re going as MJ. He turned this fashion faux-pas to fad by using glitter to glorify a typically unseen garment. Oh, remember to scrunch them at the bottom.
Penny Loafers MJ reportedly patented a custom designed loafer for his moonwalk – and you can bet they cost him a pretty penny. Save yours and just grab a standard black pair and shine ‘em up real nice.
Halloween is for ghouls, ghosts and gashes. You wont turn many heads if you strut around like a run-of-the-mill Michael, even if you are anatomically correct. Grab some of the goodies above (socks, loafers) and get a pair of red jeans. Then distress a Thriller jacket to looks Jacko’s did when he turned zombie. Use a knock-off Thriller jacket, please. There are plenty of cheap imitations to sacrifice so no vintage is harmed during the making of your costume. We wouldn’t usually suggest altering your skin color to match MJ’s but he did use make-up in the video to become a zombie and you should too.
The King of Pop
If you want a shot at the best-costume title, you’re going to have to be more creative and a wee bit controversial too. This combo can be achieved by replicating Mike during his accident on the set of the infamous Pepsi commercial shoot. You’re going to need the goodies above (glove, pants, socks, loafers) but you also need a sequin shirt and blazer. The key to the costume is a full Michael Jackson mask with hair. Trim the hair and modify the scalp to replicate his burn. The final touch is a vintage can of Pepsi – “the choice of a new generation” era. Keep it in your hand at all times – especially when it’s time to cheers your friends when you win the prize for best costume.
October 4, 2008 by defunkd · 12 Comments
Over the past year I have watched every Magnum P.I. episode in chronological order from season 1 to 8. I know, I know, many of you are probably floored by this astonishing accomplishment. I’m not just bragging for the sake of it, although that would be entirely acceptable for such an amazing feat.
Much like an Academy Award-winning actor researching a role, I had to get inside the head of the legend prior to stepping into his mustache this Halloween and recommending the costume to you. To truly represent, you are going to need to acquire some vintage duds, so I have included some precise items to help you suit up in style. Once Halloween is over and you win best costume, use your reward loot to treat yourself to one of these.
Mustache: Start growing it now. T.M.’s was of considerable length, and it will take longer than a week to achieve. Grow it, comb it, talk to it like you would a plant. Take it out to dinner, and then introduce it to your family. As soon as it says, “I think things are moving too quickly,” it’s ready to be trimmed. If you’re going for a glue-on version make sure it’s of quality. Stealing a plastic one from a pair of Groucho glasses is not acceptable and will result in a two week loss of Ferarri and tennis court usage.
Shirt: Next to the ‘stache this is the most important aspect of your costume. Don’t just go out and buy any Hawaiian shirt, get the actual vintage Hawaiian shirt with the red jungle bird pattern. Make sure to unbutton at least two buttons, preferably three, to expose your chest hair. If you don’t have any chest hair trim some off a wig, and tape it to your chest so the hair is visible and the tape isn’t. Oh, and your shirt should always be tucked in for maximum Magnum effect – the babes want to see the buns.
Hat: The signature Detroit Tigers Hat. Tom’s was a fitted full back, the new ones are exactly the same – but steer clear of the MLB logo on the rear. Or if you want to get really serious, grab one of these replica hats that he often wore – representing his ‘Nam unit.
Jeans/Shorts: Loose fitting jeans are the easy route. If you go the way of shorts, get tan khakis that expose at least four inches of leg above your knee and make sure you have to squeeze in to them. Use a beige canvas belt on whichever bottoms you choose.
Shoes: Decide between either white Puma Easy Rider Sneakers or white/tan Deck shoes. By the way, T.M. never wore socks, so don’t let me catch you wearing them either. And yes, I will be watching you. Go the vintage Adidas route if the other two aren’t attainable.
Sunglasses: Magnum wore Vintage Ray Ban Shooter sunglasses in earlier episodes. If they aren’t available consider most vintage Carerra aviators. Or if you’re on a budget, grab any similar vintage aviators – but stay away from the mirrored lenses – Magnum was a P.I. not a cop.
Pistol: When it was go time, Mags tucked one in the the back of his jeans. But it wasn’t a revolver, Magnum was ex-Navy not a 50′s gumshoe. So if you are going to add this prop, get a toy similar to the the one pictured, otherwise don’t bother.
Ring: This obscure item says you’ve done your research. Magnum, T.C. and Rick all wore a Cross of Lorraine ring as a symbol of their team in ‘Nam. Magnum wore it on the third finger of his right hand, and you should too.
Beyond the Call of Duty
Irritate a few Doberman Pincers and then try to outrun them. Get three buddies to go as T.C., Rick and Higgins. While you’re in costume periodically narrate inside your head, as if you’re on a case, and always begin with, “I know what you’re thinking, and you’re probably right.” Carry a long neck beer bottle around with a label that says, “Old Dusseldorf.” Make notes on becoming a “World Class Private Investigator” for a forthcoming book by that title. Rent a vintage Ferrari 308 GTS.