I sincerely wish I could tell you that I’d wanted a Gravel and Gold boob shirt for years, that it was one of my must-buys when I went to San Francisco last summer, that I’d been planning this ultimate mom-annoying, feminist-uplifting (heh) t-shirt for a long time.
It was an impulse buy.
I was wandering around The Mission, having eaten and drank and then spent LOTS of money at Dog Eared Books and Needles and Pens – seriously, if you like books and/or comics and/or little art zines, you need to go to these stores right away – when I stumbled across this little shop tucked in the corner between Lexington and 21st.
The store itself is minimalist and pared-down in that rustic, west coast way, with a small and deliberate selection of loose and easy-fitting clothing and unfussy accessories. My eyes immediately alighted, however, on a series of boob-printed cotton items: tote bags, pillow cases, T-SHIRTS.
You mean I can wear some boobs over my boobs? I think was basically where my mind was going.
With Gravel and Gold’s boob t-shirt, you DEFINITELY CAN. Your mom might be a little horrified, as mine was (“you’re not going to wear that out of the house, are you?”) but I think it is an excellent way to show your pro-lady, body-positive, feminist, appreciator-of-all-boobs stance.
It certainly got me some attention in the street the next day, even in Haight-Ashbury (okay, especially in Haight-Ashbury).
I’m not sure if my exact iteration is available anymore (the black on cream boob print you see above; the white on black of the bag was also available in t-shirt form last summer) but I know for sure there’s a breezy linen top with this print on it currently in their online shop.
My intense love of my new boob shirt, along with my near-constant Etsy trawling, got me thinking: could I add more boob shirts to my (not yet a) collection? Cool lady-designed ones like this?
Etsy, as it often does, held the key.
I’m madly in love with this reproduction of the classic Vivienne Westwood tits t-shirt. Okay, yes, I’m madly in love with the original, and with Vivienne herself and all of her work, but this one is more in my price range. Also it seems that the tits top is currently sold out of her online shop.
This one’s done by Etsy sellers The Pirates, and is lovely.
Next up, my Etsy search returned the cutest little boob shirt ever, another cartoon one, this time in the form of a silkscreened lady with perfectly circular breasts. She has a sweet little face and long, flowing locks: adorable.
It’s by illustrator and designer Daniel Zender, and if you appreciate this, you need to check out the rest of his Etsy shop for all sorts of misanthropic monsters in cartoon form.
I hope to add both of these t-shirts to my (not yet a) collection very soon. And to photograph myself in my Gravel and Gold t-shirt! See, there’s only certain places I can wear it, so while it does get some mileage, it doesn’t get a ton.
I know, I know, a better feminist would give less of a shit.
But only certain occasions and people are cool enough for the boob shirt, you know?
As a bonus, here’s a non-shirt related boob item that I would also very much like to add to my collection.
British ceramicist Amy Worrall makes these boob vases in a variety of finishes, and this one’s my favourite. Not currently available in her shop, but there’s a paint-spatter-on-white one that’s equally charming.
Her pottery and ceramics are the coolest.
On a boob-appreciating note, happy mother’s day. Show some appreciation for the boob’d and not-boob’d ladies in your life.
Because do boobs make the lady? They’re fun and functional and life-giving and everything, but they don’t make a woman any more than a t-shirt does.