What Does Your Literary T-Shirt Say About You?


You can tell a lot about people by looking at their t-shirts: There are the hipsters sporting logos for bands you’ve never heard of, geeks with Einstein or Latin quotes emblazoned across their fronts, and Jersey girls who think spelling words like “Princess” or “Bitch” in faux-Swarovski crystals on their boobs is the height of fashion. Somewhat recently, we’ve seen casual wear go highbrow in the form of a raft of small, literature-inspired t-shirt lines. And while we’ve found a ton of covetable designs, we do want to make sure that those of you buying book-nerd clothing understand the silent messages you’re sending. After the jump, we read between the lines of 10 literary t-shirts.

Jorge Luis Borges, The Book of Imaginary Beings : “If you don’t get this high-end T-shirt’s very subtle Borges reference, I probably don’t want to know you.”

William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch : “I could go for some heroin and/or gay sex. How about you?”

Oscar Wilde: “I talk witty shit about you behind your back.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland : “I am a Manic Pixie Dream Girl with an eye for design.”

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged : “Ron Paul ’12.”

Kurt Vonnegut: “I am a curmudgeon in training.”

Virginia Woolf: “Smart, whimsical, and self-dramatizing writer seeks same.”

Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita : “I’m either the creepiest guy you’ve ever met or a 14-year-old girl with no common sense.”

Jack Kerouac, On the Road : “Welcome to my quarter-life crisis.”

Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness : “I spent four years studying for a BA in Philosophy and all I got was this clever T-shirt.”