Exposing the Band Behind the Fashion

Emily Cypher, Staff

In the recent New Year, the preppy style is continuing to expand, but not without a polar opposite influence. Aesthetics have an influence over many people, whether it’s trying to become, “That Girl” or a, “Who is She” people are starting to make massive changes in their lives. Creating new goals, romanticizing school, or finding new music are things attributed to a person’s look or aesthetic. With major applications like Tik Tok, Pinterest, and Instagram to help advertise different aesthetics, it became a necessity for the average person, even without his or her knowledge, to have one.

With widespread knowledge comes different variations and new popularities, and with older styles coming back so did its music. Even with the average teenager not knowing what’s on his or her t-shirt, the products sell purely from their aesthetic. The shirts at times are relatively similar to their band, but more often than not that’s not the case. Dark, black, grungy, t-shirts for metalheads have changed to pink, sunny, and bright shirts drifting into the preppy aesthetic. As a result, the shirts are becoming completely unrecognizable.

Google defines the word Preppy as, “Of or typical of a student or graduate of an expensive prep school, especially with reference to their style of dress.” The word preppy has been around for decades, used to describe prep school kids, hence, the word “Preppy.” This isn’t a new look for people, but it is just becoming more present in people’s lives. Though the word’s meaning has somewhat changed throughout its time, it still generally refers to someone’s style. When it comes to wearing pastels or skirts, they still check every box in meeting the preppy aesthetic expectations. To reinforce the preppy ideology the style had its preferred music as well. Preppy kids were generally known to listen to new music. The genre includes bands like Sublime, Wham, Talking Heads, Duran Duran, and more. The irony of that is none of those bands are the most popular t-shirts.

(Above) Blink-182 is a rock band featuring the famous drummer Travis Barker. The bands’ t-shirts were originally unlike the one to the left and were more of
what one would consider a traditional band t-shirt. That
has changed through time, evolving with todays’ top trends.
(Above) ACDC is a beloved Australian rock band known
for its amazing and massively popular music. Their t-shirts have always been a staple piece in, “Dad Culture” but have now moved back to younger ages, arriving with
a completely polar opposite look. The t-shirt’s original
design is still recognized easily today because of it popularity.
(Above) Sublime, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Blink-182, ACDC, and many more bands have been constants in rock culture. With the rise of trends in social media, these bands are experiencing a “different” look. Now with a total spin-off of what used to be worn for metalheads all have turned into pink, sunny, and most of all preppy looks. The preppy aesthetics latest and maybe even most popular trend is wearing a pink smiley face crewneck found in Urban Outfitters. The sweatshirt screams preppy from a mile away, but knowing its background would surprise anyone. The sweatshirt originates from the band Nirvana. Back in its prime and even now it would describe anything but preppy. Instead, Nirvana was named a grunge alternative rock band. Their part in rock and roll culture was great, making grunge
alternative rock popular along with Pearl Jam. Making the connection between what’s on the t-shirt and
what it represents is a bit jarring. Of course, the influence behind the t-shirt was the decades before and how they are impacting fashion today. After that, stores started rolling out all different t-shirts that include many of the bands previously mentioned. Another sweatshirt was made from one of the most recognizable band logos for Sublime. Many do not recognize the logo for the band but
simply the design since it is still widely popular. As a very popular band, the Sublime t-shirt design has shown up on t-shirts and has been around for decades to be recognized in many different places. Though again not
always in this exact way.
(Above) Target has a variety of clothes, stays on top
of trends, and expands its clothing inventory. With
the 80s and 90s influencing today’s fashion, their graphic tees are endless. The bands’ shirts include many genres
of music.
(Above) Pink Floyd is a psychedelic rock band, and
right off the bat when people hear psychedelic or rock bands, this t-shirt doesn’t come to mind. This shirt is appealing to today’s trends instead of the band’s actual
persona, vibe, and or look. This is very common in
t-shirts today.
(Above) Sublime is a well-known Ska-Punk band to older generations as well as Bro Culture, though today’s
teens simply recognize their choice of logo/sun. Their
music is often described to be very beachy, relaxed, upbeat, chill, and feel- good music.
(Above) Nirvana is vastly popular in today’s fashion
once again. In any general clothing store, there will be a
shirt with this smiley face on it. This graphic is particularly widespread because of the mass popularity around it. Teens today are obsessed with the shirt
look. All photos by Emily Cypher. (All photos by Emily Cypher. )