Best 7 Shirt Blanks to Use for Vintage T-Shirts

by John Amato

vintage high school shirts

Vintage t-shirts have been popular with our customers since we began printing custom t-shirts over ten years ago. 

They are a consistent trend because of their wide nostalgic appeal. People will always want to remember their youth or special experiences, sports teams, and bands fondly.

Vintage t-shirts give people a way to relive those good times and commemorate them with a wearable tribute.

In addition to highlighting our favorite vintage shirt blanks for custom shirts, here's a list of resources we've compiled related to printing vintage t-shirts and their appeal: 

What makes vintage t-shirts special?

Some shirts never go out of style. In fact, the older they get, the more you love them. 

This is what makes vintage shirts so special: they're timeless. 

As they age, the shirt and the design feels softer. And there is just something cool about a faded print on a shirt.

Vintage t-shirts have a nostalgic appeal. They take you back to a happier time and place. It's a tangible time capsule that you can wear. 

And if that shirt is passed down to you from a parent or someone you know, there is a connection to that shirt that is even more meaningful. 

For all of these reasons, there is something special about vintage t-shirts. That's why we emulate vintage art in our shirt designs and get asked to print custom vintage t-shirts so often. 

How to create a custom printed vintage t-shirt

While we can't recreate the personal connection to your favorite vintage shirt that you were handed down from your grandfather, we do our best to give you that softhand vintage look and feel that you know and love.

We've been printing custom shirts for quite a while now. Shirts have changed over the years and some have come and gone. 

Here is our list of our favorite vintage shirts to use for custom shirts shirts:

1. Allmade AL2004
2. Next Level Apparel 6010
3. LA Apparel TR01
4. American Apparel TR401W
5. Comfort Colors 4410
6. District Perfect Tri Tee DM130
7. Bella + Canvas 3413

An Eco-Friendly Vintage T-Shirt: Allmade Apparel

vintage t-shirt university of toledo

We love the Allmade shirts so much that we made it the primary shirt we use for our retail brand. They are super soft, fit well, and are available in extended sizes. 

It's been a huge benefit to be able to offer both our retail customers and custom customers up to size 4X. There aren't a lot of brands that do this, especially in softer triblend tees. 

Allmade has a lot of colors available in their standard triblend shirt and are releasing more options on a regular basis. 

Most importantly, Allmade as a company is committed to ethically manufacturing and sourcing their shirts. Their shirts and sweatshirts are made with recycled plastic. 

Important details about this vintage tee:

  • A 50/25/25 tri-blend shirt: 50% polyester from recycled plastic bottles, 25% organic cotton, 25% Tencel™ Modal
  • Saves an average of 145 gallons of water, reduces 4 kg of CO2 emissions, uses an average of 6 water bottles
  • Available in 15 colors and available in sizes XS-4X
  • Calculate your positive impact on the environment by switching to this shirt with Allmade Apparel's impact calculator

Our Most Popular Tri-Blend Tee: Next Level Apparel 6010

vintage apple orchard shirt

When we think of vintage shirts, we typically associate them with triblend shirts. They are the softest and most comfortable shirts around.

We print this Next Level triblend shirt more than any triblend shirt. It's our go to triblend because of the fit, feel, consistency, and price point. 

They offer a wide range of colors that work with any design and it prints really well. Our customers love it and so do we. 

Important details about this vintage tee:

  • A 50/25/25 tri-blend shirt: 50% polyester, 25% cotton, 25% Rayon
  • Super soft shirt that is consistently in stock and consistent in fit and feel
  • Available in 22 colors and available in sizes XS-3X

A Vintage Shirt Made in the USA: LA Apparel

american made vintage t-shirt

LA Apparel, arguably, makes the best triblend shirt around. Run by the same guy that founded American Apparel, they make the original modern iteration of the triblend shirt. 

We believe that it's important for more clothing to be made in America. No one has been more instrumental in domestic apparel manufacturing than Dov Charney. 

Being made in the USA means this shirt is high quality and ethically made. 

If you're looking for a high quality triblend shirt or one that is made in the good ole US of A, LA Apparel can't be beat. 

Important details about this vintage tee:

  • A 50/25/25 tri-blend unisex shirt: 50% polyester, 25% cotton, 25% Rayon
  • Made in the USA in downtown Los Angeles
  • Available in 6 colors and available in sizes S-2X

The Original Vintage Tee: American Apparel

custom vintage shirt american apparel

Here's a secret that might surprise you: the current version of American Apparel is not made in America. 

While this new American Apparel shirt may not have the same origin as before, it's still a solid choice for a soft, good fitting triblend tee. 

Available in the same classic colors as the American made predecessor, you have a lot of options with this shirt. Matching colors are also available in a women's cut and tank tops. 

Important details about this vintage tee:

  • A 50/25/25 tri-blend unisex shirt: 50% polyester, 25% cotton, 25% Rayon
  • Available in 9 colors and available in sizes XS-2X

A Shirt to Remind you of your Vacation to the Beach: Comfort Colors Garment Dye Pocket Tee

comfort colors long sleeve pocket tee

When you think vintage shirts, you think nostalgia. And there's nothing more nostalgic than that garment dyed shirt that you picked up on your family vacation to your favorite beach town.

Whether you went to Martha's Vineyard, the Salty Dog on Hilton Head Island (is it possible to go there and not buy a shirt?), Comfort Color is the originator of this style. 

Recently Comfort Colors has seen a spike in popularity among high school and college aged kids. When we do work for fraternities and sororities we are always at least quoting out at least one Comfort Colors shirt.

In addition to their popular long sleeve pocket tee, their standard crew neck shirt and short sleeve pocket tee are just as trendy.

Important details about this vintage tee:

  • A 6.1 ounce, 100% cotton relaxed fit garment dyed shirt
  • Pigment dyed colors provide a vintage look that will remain for the life of the garment
  • Available in 6 colors and available in sizes S-3X

Affordable Tri-Blend Shirt: District Perfect Tri-Blend Tee

low cost vintage shirt

Looking for a low cost triblend shirt? Look no further. 

When we have customers that request a vintage style print and shirt and are working on a tight budget, this is our go-to tee. 

Softer than you standard economy shirt, comfy, and reliable, this District shirt is great for bulk shirt orders for events, hospitals, businesses, and schools. It provides a lot of value for the price.

Important details about this vintage tee:

  • A 4.5 ounce  50/25/25 tri-blend unisex shirt: 50% polyester, 25% ring-spun cotton, 25% rayon
  • Comes with a tearaway neck label for easy rebranding
  • Available in 20 colors and available in sizes XS-4X

The Classic Vintage Triblend: Bella + Canvas

vintage red bird shirt

Across the entire screen printing industry, Bella + Canvas is one of the most popular shirt brands.

Bella + Canvas is very popular among our customers. It's not uncommon for people to ask for it by name.

That's because there's a lot to love about B+C.

All of their styles and colors are fashionable and comfortable. They fit and feel great. They have a wide range of colors. And it's affordable.

Important details about this vintage tee:

  • A 50/25/25 tri-blend unisex shirt: 50% polyester, 25% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton, 25% rayon
  • 100% sweatshop free and eco-aware
  • Available in 36 colors and available in sizes XS-3X

Need custom screen printed vintage shirts? We can help!

We print a lot of vintage style shirts for our customers. 

I say it a lot, but only because it's true. 

At the end of the day, we do it so well because it has remained our favorite design style for years. 

The simple, subtle prints. The soft, comfy shirts. 

Not only do we love it, but our customers and our customer's customers do, too.

When it comes to printing vintage shirts, it can be done a lot of different ways. We've perfected a few different methods.

If you're looking for a vintage style shirt for your brand or business, we have the experience and expertise to get it done right.

Get in touch with us today to get your shirt order started!

order custom vintage t-shirts

Our Most Popular Vintage Shirts

Our men's and women's vintage shirts have been a staple of our retail line since we launched it. We have a heavy vintage design aesthetic because we want to honor the history of our home. 

Vintage graphic shirts are a special form of nostalgia. From vintage concert and band shirts to collegiate and sports shirts, they bring back memories that we like to relive. 

Not to mention they're some of the best shirts to wear because they're super soft!

Here's a quick list at some of our best selling vintage tees.

Vintage Toledo Zoo Panda Exhibit Shirt

vintage toledo zoo t-shirt

We tell people all of the time that the best selling t-shirt of all time in Toledo history is this Toledo Zoo Panda Exhibit design.

And it's not because we've sold that many of them. It's the best selling shirt because so many were sold when the pandas came to Toledo in 1988. 

If you were a child at this time, you or one of  your friends had one of these shirts. We have customers come in all of the time and show us photos of them wearing it when they were young. It's one of our favorite things to see and we're honored that the Toledo Zoo would allow us to bring this back to life.

The Toledo Zoo Panda Exhibit design is also available in youth sizes and on a crewneck sweatshirt. 

A few more features about this red vintage t-shirt: 

  • Unisex fit, available in sizes XS-4X for both men and women
  • A 50/50 cotton-polyester blend provides a soft, comfy fabric feel, but expect some color variance after washing
  • This shirt should be washed in cold water to help hold sizing after the wash cycle

Love is Love Shirt

love is love shirt

If there's a connection to be made about vintage shirts and love, it's that neither of them ever go out of style. 

No matter who you are, where you are, or who you love, love is love. Celebrate your love and the people you love with this proudly colorful shirt.

A few more features about this Love is Love t-shirt

  • Unisex fit, available in sizes XS-4X for both men and women
  • A 50/25/25 cotton/polyester/rayon blend provides a soft, comfy, vintage fabric feel
  • This shirt should be washed in cold water to help hold sizing after the wash cycle and retain color in the print

Michigan is Super Shirt (Superman Ice Cream Shirt)

michigan superman ice cream shirt

Flashback to your Michigan summer vacation. It's a hot day and after enjoying all of the Northern outdoor activities, you and your family are ready to cool down with a Michigan treat. You find the nearest ice cream shop and look for the most fun flavor...and there it is, Superman Ice Cream!

You can hardly wait to get a cone of this colorful, flavorful ice cream. You eat it so fast that there isn't even time to let the ice cream melt!

This vintage Michigan shirt checks all of the nostalgia boxes: summertime fun, a special ice cream treat, a unique, regional flavor, and fond, childhood memories all on a soft, white tee.

A few more features about this Michigan is Super shirt

  • Unisex fit, available in sizes XS-4X for both men and women
  • Hand illustrated and printed design achieves a unique, creative design
  • A 50/25/25 cotton/polyester/rayon blend provides a soft, comfy, vintage fabric feel
  • This shirt should be washed in cold water to help hold sizing after the wash cycle and retain color in the print

Where to Find Our Vintage Shirts

You're already on our website so if you want to make this easy, head over to our Vintage Shirt collection to check out all of the vintage shirts that we offer. 

For those that do their shopping in Toledo, we have two retail stores filled with vintage clothing that we design and print in-house. Stop by and visit us in person!


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