Collecting Clothing: Hey Mom, Where’s My T-shirt?

by Kevin Gurley

032922A-1024x536 Collecting Clothing: Hey Mom, Where's My T-shirt?How many times have you heard “it’s time to throw away that shirt”? Let me answer for you – hundreds of times. In fact, one of you heard that not even five minutes ago. Go ahead, it’s okay to laugh, I’ll wait. This very moment, your mom just balled up your favorite Batman tee. She banked in a three-pointer off the counter right into the trash can. But did it occur to you that t-shirts could be valuable?

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So before you cut it up and turn it into a dust rag, take a genuine look at what you’re throwing away. I remember being a kid listening to my favorite rappers; L.L. Cool J, NWA, Big Daddy Kane, Kid & Play, and of course, Run DMC. I wanted to go to that concert, but my mom said, “the closest you’re gonna get to that concert is that t-shirt you got on”. That t-shirt was an original King of Rock, put out by Adidas.

Run DMC back in the late 80s was trying to get their names in circles all over New York City. With so few rap acts in the mainstream, their t-shirt caught the attention of the burgeoning hip-hop audience. That t-shirt today is one of the most expensive t-shirts to be sold at an auction. In fact, it sold for $13,000.00. In addition to t-shirts, many musical acts have concert posters that are just as collectible.

Music and More

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Valuable t-shirts aren’t just reserved for rockers like Led Zeppelin or the Beatles. There are t-shirts like the UNICEF Cargo Flight that sold for $300,000.00 at a charity event to help feed starving kids in Kenya.

Who can forget the Luxury brand t-shirt that had nine carats of black diamonds with another nine carats of white diamonds? ME, that’s who! I never thought that a t-shirt could ever be worth that much. Could you imagine dusting off your T.V. stand with that shirt? That would be a costly mistake indeed, if you could afford it. It sold for a measly $400,000.00.

Concerts, Comics, Comfort

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I have four go-to t-shirts that I love to wear; my Marvel Funko Pop Daredevil t-shirt along with my Marvel Anime Japanese Art t-shirt. Both are worth $15.00 to $20.00, I spent $3.00 on each. I also love to rock my old-school Marvel Civil War t-shirt. I recently found out it is selling for $50.00.

Most of these t-shirts didn’t break the bank, but you can see they have already gone up in value. If you’re like me when it comes to collecting, it will take you some time to realize that not everything that we collect is around us; sometimes we’re wearing it.

Some of the most beloved comics have given us some iconic t-shirts to be on the lookout for. Another one of my favorite t-shirts comes from Marvel. It’s the embroidered, Black Panther graphic t-shirt. I picked it up for $5.00; consequently, I would have paid more. It’s been selling for $50.00.

It is a monumental t-shirt that will go down in comic book history, as it represents the first time an African American superhero (not played by Wesley Snipes) would prove to be a box office smash. To this day my Black Panther t-shirt reminds me that I am a King, and that my son will also be a King. In addition to being comfortable, t-shirts are also inspirational.

On The Hunt

Many of these t-shirts I bought for $5.00 or less from thrift shops. So when you are thrift diving or out garage selling, look for some of these top sellers:

  1. Nirvana 1993 In Utero Tour
  2. Run DMC Adidas King of Rock
  3. Marvel/DC late 1980’s to early 1990s
  4. The glow in the dark Star Wars: Return of the Jedi 1983
  5. Rolling Stones 1976 Promo
  6. Grateful Dead 1960’s to 1970s
  7. F2-L7 the Condo by Diesel
  8. Michael Jackson Captain EO 1986
  9. Led Zeppelin Vintage Knebworth Tour 1979
  10. The Beatles Yesterday And Today Vintage 1966

It is worth noting many of these t-shirts and others have been replicated. Only the rare, vintage, or completely original artwork are sought out and highly valued.


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*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not reflect investment advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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Dave April 6, 2022 - 1:06 pm

I would kill for a Captain EO shirt. And I wish I still had Kool Moe Dee concert shirt

Kevin Gurley April 24, 2022 - 1:35 am

Dave.. doubt!! That Captain EO I saw recently for 75.00 It was beat all up.. but I really wanted it.. ..but to no avail!! Keep searching for those sweet tees my friend!!


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