For the sixth year in a row, ElvisBlog is happy to present its annual Elvis T-Shirt Review. In years past, all the winners and losers came from ShopElvis.com. Now that Graceland.com is selling T-Shirts (and everything else in their on-line store, ShopGraceland.com), this year’s picks come from both sites.
Graceland University of Rock Raglan T-Shirt:
One reason I picked the shirt at the top is because I am partial to the raglan sleeve design. Another reason is the great silhouette of Elvis. However, the theme is especially clever – UNIVERSITY OF ROCK. Same for Home of the King and Founded 1954.
You will note GRACELAND at the bottom of the design. This is becoming a trend in the new shirts offered on ShopGraceland.com. Twenty out of their thirty-seven designs have the word Graceland on them (many with a picture as well). None of the forty-seven designs on ShopElvis.com have anything about Graceland. I don’t know what that means, but it is curious.
Elvis on Tour in Japan T-Shirt:
This shirt makes the Winners List because it is so bizarre. Elvis never toured Japan, and Elvis on Tour in Japan does not appear on the shirt, so the title is a puzzler. But this is probably the only Elvis T-Shirt with hot chicks in bikinis on it. And it certainly is the only one featuring Japanese letter symbols.
Elvis Presley Boulevard / Lonely Street T-Shirt:
I am always partial to black T-Shirts with colorful designs. This design is fairly subdued, but it works. I like the street signs showing the intersection of Elvis Presley Boulevard and Lonely Street. Same for the profile of Elvis. But check out the long-distance perspective down the street toward Graceland with Elvis’ shadow right in the middle. Very cool.
Elvis The Legend Rolls On MotorcycleT-Shirt:
I’m a sucker for any T-Shirt design featuring an Alfred Wertheimer photograph. I also like The Legend Rolls On and the vertical spelling of E-L-V-I-S. I’m not sure I understand why they felt they needed to add the white streaky stuff to the left of his name, because it obscures so much of Elvis’ Harley.
Elvis Presley American Classic Motorcycle T-Shirt:
Here’s another Elvis motorcycle pic worked into a T-Shirt design. There is a lot here if you look closely. From the top, we have a crown, The King of Rock & Roll, ELVIS PRESLEY (in a nifty font), Elvis and the Harley, eagle wings, the TCB logo, and AMERICAN Classic. The only thing missing is Graceland.
Elvis Presley Fueled By Rock ‘N Roll T-Shirt:
Graceland isn’t missing on this one. The ’54 pink Caddy has been on a number of Elvis T-Shirts over the years, but this view is the best yet. Add this to the list of clever titles or tag-lines: ELVIS PRESLEY – Fueled by Rock & Roll.
Elvis Presley Boulevard Lonely Street Guitar T-Shirt:
Well, if Elvis Presley Boulevard/Lonely Street was a good idea for one T-Shirt, why not use it on another? This concept is totally different, but the use of the guitar neck as the pole for the street signs is clever. I could have done without the Graceland on the neck, but still a good shirt.
TCB Distressed Foil T-Shirt:
I have this same design on a baseball cap I wear all the time. Every once-in-a-while, a stranger will notice it, smile, and say “Elvis fan.” It’s almost like a secret code. You can proclaim that you are an Elvis fan, but only other fans get it. The rest of people don’t have a clue.
The shirt above is offered by Graceland.com. I’m not real crazy about the distressed-foil design. It just makes the TCB logo look crappy, so what’s the point? However, ShopElvis.com has a similar design. It’s cleaner and the lightning bolt isn’t compressed so much.
Elvis Stage Presence T-Shirt:
Stupid name. What does this image have to do with “Stage Presence”? And look at this blow-up of the picture.
That’s Elvis in the Oval Office shaking hands with a cat, not President Nixon. Stupidest idea for an Elvis T-Shirt I ever saw.
Elvis Presley US Army T-Shirt:
Two things force this shirt onto my Loser List. Maybe the Sergeant strips on the sleeves work for some folks, but they are a total turn-off for me. Just tacky. And why is the front design crooked? This shirt looks like it is a second, but ShopGraceland.com is asking $22 for it.
Elvis V8 Ambition:
Another confusing name. Ambition is clear enough, and if you look closely, you can see V8 Engine above Elvis’ signature. But you’d have to be real close to someone wearing this shirt to see the full tag line: AMBITION is a Dream with a V8 Engine. This is just not a very desirable T-Shirt.
Elvis Presley Aloha From Hawaii Ukelele T-Shirt:
There aren’t many red Elvis T-Shirts, so I wanted to like this. But when you look close, lots of stuff are turn-offs. For one, Ukulele is spelled wrong in the name (I didn’t actually catch this, but Spell Check did). I’m good with guitars on Elvis T-Shirts, but ukes don’t do anything for me.
But, look at this blow-up. Over Elvis’ face and body, they have superimposed Aloha from Hawaii Live Via Satellite. Those splotches of red on his face are just unacceptable.
Official Elvis Insiders Conference 2005 T-Shirt:
As you can imagine, this shirt did come from the Close-out section. They’ve been trying to sell the last of these for ten years. It’s about time to realize nobody wants them. Give them to charity and move on.
Elvis American Legend T-Shirt:
I guess this is an Elvis shirt you either love or hate. It’s hard to believe it is being offered by the folks that are so concerned about protecting Elvis’ image.
Imagine this image on a circular pendant swinging slowly back and forth. “You are getting sleepy, very sleepy.”
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