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Monday , August 1 , 2011
 
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Who’s on your tee?
COOL QUOTIENT: Superman and toon tees are in this season. Pictures by Anindya Shankar Ray

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s Superman! Only this time, it’s on your T-shirt.

Jerry Siegel’s action hero might date back to 1932 but his popularity remains top of the pops even today. t2 zeroes in on the power stars as well as popular cartoon characters who have returned as the latest fashion statement of GeNext.

SUPER SQUAD

It’s not just the boy brigade that’s apeing the action men. Girls, too, are sporting Superman T-shirts for an equal measure of machismo. “The superman logo on my chest makes me feel like a super girl! I like feeling invincible,” smiles 19-year-old Roshni Ali, a student of St. Xavier’s College.

For others, it is the fun and funk factor that counts. “I love wearing my Superman tee as it is comfy and casual and wearable anywhere. I can even walk into a pub wearing it. In short, it is fun,” says Riti Sharma, a second-year student of comparative literature in Jadavpur University, and a self-confessed “tomboy by nature”.

Those who like to keep it girly can take a tip from Sreya Deb. The second-year student of Jadavpur University widened the round neckline of her bright blue Superman T-shirt (bought while street shopping in Mumbai) to give it a more feminine look. “I like its sporty, casual style that adds variety to my wardrobe,” says Sreya, who has the same tee in hot pink, red, sky blue and black.

If the flaming red ‘S’ symbolises strength, a black bat brings to mind another image of bravado — Gotham City’s Batman. “Sporting superhero T-shirts is the closest I can come to being like those action studs,” feels Aditya Sengupta of St Xavier’s College, who owns a collection of Superman and Batman T-shirts and boxers.

For a double punch of power, some youngsters like matching their superhero tees with their, er, boxers. “I have a whole lot of cartoon boxers. So, the day I wear my Superman or Batman T-shirt I usually slip on matching boxers as well,” smiles 19-year-old Piyush Seth of Bhawanipur Gujarati Education Society College.

T FOR TOONS & TUNES

Those who are not die-hard superhero fans prefer to sport their favourite cartoon character instead. The bestsellers in this category are Mickey Mouse, The Simpsons, Zoo Zoo, Donald Duck, SpongeBob, Little Miss Naughty and Popeye.

“One of my favourite shows on TV is The Simpsons so when I finally found a Simpsons T-shirt in New Market, I was so excited. Now, I have a number of them and they are perfect to wear to college,” says Rittika Jain, a first-year BCom student.

Toons, usually associated with children, also help GeNext connect with their playful side. “When I wear my cartoon tees I feel like a child all over again and that’s a nice feeling,” says Shayantani Gupta, 19.

Another friendly face that finds its way easily into the teenager’s wardrobe is Vodafone’s Zoo Zoo, still going strong since its T-shirts hit the racks almost two years ago. “I have them in different colours to avoid repetition and they all look really cool,” says Trisha Dutta, 20, a student of English.

Graphic tees that reflect one’s interests are also hot-sellers. “I have Led Zep (Zeppelin) and Slipknot T-shirts because I’m a huge fan of these bands and it makes a stylish statement about my kind of music,” says Arindam Saha, a student of comparative literature in JU.

Yet another quick pick is Salman Khan’s ‘Being Human’ tees (picture below).

RACK RAGE

According to store owners, Superman and Batman fly off the shelves the fastest. “I get customers between ages 14 and 28 for Superman and Batman T-shirts. At least 20 pieces get sold daily,” says Heman Vora, proprietor of Chemistry For All in Metro Plaza.

Other stores like Talking Threadz and Many More at Metro Plaza record sales mounting to Rs 20,000 a month from cartoon T-shirts alone.

At Maroon 5, a store in B.K Market on Theatre Road, a total of 30-40 cartoon tees get sold in a week. “We try to keep as much variety as possible, especially the Superman T-shirts since these sell the most,” says Sajid Zakaria of Maroon 5.

You can also take a walk down the streets of Gariahat or New Market and you are sure to stumble across roadside hawkers selling tees that fit your need to the T, at bargain-friendly prices.

A look at t-shirts in bolly and a brand new fad

Off screen

Kareena Kapoor sure is a diva, but with a difference. Comfort rules for this queen of style. Topping her list of comfy chic are tees. Both on screen and off it, Saif Ali Khan’s girl is often spotted in colourful tees, working them to glamorous effect like only she can. Chunky

bangles, lots of gloss, kohl-lined eyes, a porcelain complexion and lots of attitude.... Bebo, you’re pretty cool, we say!

Micro trend alert

OMG, it’s coming back! The 1990s cropped top that plays peek-a-boo with your midriff is fast finding its way back to the racks after making an appearance on some ramps of late. So, all of you who cringed while watching Rachel and Monica’s cropped tees in Season 1 of Friends, be prepared to see more of the short stuff... here, there and everywhere. Brazilian model Elaine Fonseca (picture left) works her cropped tee to the, well, tee!

P.S: A quick tip — unless you have flat abs, stay away from this one.

On screen

Bollywood today loves to show off its hero and heroine as being cool, young and fresh. And what cooler way to achieve that effect than trendy tees? Cartoon, graphic or slogan — the stars have explored it all, even leading their pack of fans to emulate their style. While Ranbir Kapoor’s cartoon T-shirts in Wake Up Sid became a rage, Katrina’s tees in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani were oh-so-cute. In Rock On!!, Farhan Akhtar and his gang brought alive the rockstar and more recently, Imran Khan’s ‘Bollywood Sucks’ T-shirt from

I Hate Luv Storys captured the mood of the movie to super effect. Last but not the least, the Delhi Belly trio of Imran Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapur and Vir Das flaunted some really quirky fashion with their T-shirts.

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