Guest Blog: An Ode to the Band Shirt

Several fans have begun to decrease their Duran memorabilia collections. I am the fan that lurks on resale websites hoping to snare a vintage item. As I search, it fascinates me to see what people collect. Some people collected buttons. Some fans saved complete sets of the trading cards and the puffy stickers. Many fans still covet vinyl. I collect band t-shirts. Today, as I began my morning routine of daily outfit selection, my eyes stumbled across my large Duran shirt collection. Words began to swirl in my mind about why I adore buying
Duran Duran shirts. “You should blog about this,” my Sprit whispered. So here we go!

Band Image

The vast majority of my shirts feature an image of the band. I always buy one of these shirts at concerts. I think prefer these shirts because they represent the first shirts I bought as a girl. It may have grown into a persistent habit over time. I was that fan who adorned my section of my shared bedroom with multiple Duran posters. These shirts stimulate the visual side of my brain. However, as an amply endowed Black woman, when I wear these shirts publicly now, I do attract a lot of attention. “Just doing personal band promotion”, I tell myself as observers stare. The best designs have a full sized band image. The shirts with a smaller Duran image near the neckline don’t flatter all body shapes. I tend to wear band photo shirts in my private moments. Roger via a shirt is no stranger to my nightcapped-self brushing my teeth. I sport John shirts when I feel beautiful. The band via a shirt has accompanied me begrudgingly tending in my simple garden. This is my favorite shirt to purchase.

Band Logo/Album Art

I also enjoy the shirts that feature band logos or homages to a specific album. I’ve seen some fantastic album art choices within the band’s official webstore. The brown matador shirt from My Own Way vinyl, the Reflex abstract symbol shirt, and the funny shaped Notorious figure shirt are on my bucket list (see the Vintage & Archived sections of the band’s webstore). I often buy album art shirts at concerts because they serve as a memento. When I wear them, I’m reminded of my favorite album songs or concerts I choose to attend. The band has issued some logo shirts as part of their VIP packages. I prefer to wear all of these logo/art shirts
publicly. These shirts have tremendous versatility. I can wear them in casual and business casual settings. They are great conversation pieces. I’ve also have some fun, spontaneous conversations with strangers who recognize the band’s logo. Once, strangers frowned at a young cashier and I who were chatting about my band shirt in a long grocery store line. Sorry, Not Sorry!

Color Palette

White, black and red seem to be the dominant color schemes of Duran shirts. I have no green or purple shirts. I have one pink shirt with the traditional British lion Double D logo; I regret that I didn’t buy the mint green version as well. There are a couple of blue shirts circa the reunion/Astronaut era. The red shirts are far fewer than their black and white apparel contemporaries. My least favorite band shirt is a red one. It is a red, Red Carpet Massacre shirt featuring the band. The red and black tones muddy the band’s image. Since then, my rule is “Be Resolute, Life is too short for shirts that aren’t Cute.” At first glance, the plethora of black or white shirts seem redundant but I’ve changed mind on this issue. The band made their most colorful, white shirts during the Wedding album era. These shirts mirror the bright colors of the Ellen von Unwerth/Nick Egan era. Black and white are blank canvases so the band can add any details at their discretion. Now, I’m at peace with the plain
background color options that comprise the bulk of my shirt collection.

Material, Cut & Size

I tend to purchase the men’s fit or traditional shirts. They just have more room. If a shirt is too boxy/square, then I add a belt or tuck them into my pants. I have purchased some girl’s cut shirts. These shirts are cut to flatter a curvy shape. For some reason, I find that the ladies fit shirts are made of a more sheer material. So I tend to accessorize more with a jacket, long necklace or whatever to accommodate the thinner material. I didn’t purchase some of the Paper Gods shirts with the individual icons (lips, rocket, phone) due to the thin material. I highly recommend holding up shirts to yourself when buying at concert kiosks. The wrong size can be devastating! I have a few shirts that I have outgrown due to my age or gasp my robust eating habits. I have a few shirts that are too large for me; these shirts make great travel pajamas. Someday, I hope to take the
small/big shirts and get a quilt made of them. That’s a thing, right?


Yes, I have a “wish” list of vintage Duran Duran shirts. I would love to have a complete set of the individual band members from the Scavullo photo sessions. I therefore scooped up all of the individual band member
shirts circa the All You Need Is Now cycle. I need to replace some white band shirts due poor laundry habits (too yellow now) or due to sigh barbeque sauce/red fruit juice and white band shirt encounters. Yes, I wash my band shirts separately with whitening detergent on the delicate cycle now. I’m continually searching for larger replicas of the shirts I had as a girl. Alas, I wore my shirts until they were threadbare. I don’t have any of them anymore. I didn’t anticipate my fan longevity and save them for posterity. Yes, I peruse the band’s official webstore. My latest acquisitions are the white 2020 band image shirt and the white 2020 hat. I’m sure you are unsurprised with my choices given this blog. With all the current world events, a girl can still online shop!

I will end this blog with my pet peeve. I DETEST badly designed, bootleg merchandise. If you want a laugh, check out the popular auction websites. There are many hideous options. After all, laughter is good for the soul.


2 thoughts on “Guest Blog: An Ode to the Band Shirt”

  1. I also collect a lot of the tour shirts, even though they do not fit me any more. Maybe someday. Who knows? But I love a good tour shirt. When I was able to wear them I had begun buying more than one so I would have one to collect and one to wear. I have MOST of them in the same place, but not all. I need to try to get more organized. I would love to post photos of all of them someday.

  2. I am new to collecting and have also settled onto t-shirts as a great thing to have.Most of mine are from Paper Gods as these were the first concerts I attended. They did a show that was not part of that tour and I scored a great shirt commemorating the Apollo launch. That’s fun because it is a Duran shirt, but subtle. I just got a tee from 7ATRT which is great as it is very colorful and makes a contrast to the vast majority of black tees.I have not yet gotten to the point that I can enjoy them casually as you do. I am still terrified of staining them! So I wear them when I’m not doing anything likely to mess them and when I’m not likely to sweat.Building the collection is fun and I am glad others are letting their treasures go, so maybe I can rehome them.

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