Remember Starter jackets? I was too broke to have a legit one. In '92 my mom took me to JC Penny's and I got the second tier version. Still, I loved that jacket. It was incredibly gaudy: a black, white, and red pattern with huge Chicago Bull head on the back. In fact, a sketchy girl in my class asked if she could 'borrow' it to wear to Six Flags over the weekend. Because I'm smooth, I didn't answer and ran the other direction.
The point I'm trying to make is, when you were young you were allowed to express your fandom with wild abandon. But, as I've aged, I've been struck by how ugly and sub-standard most fan gear is. So, let's say jerseys are just a little too much for you. You want good design, but the self-fellatio of Brand Jordan makes you nauseous. What are your options? Well, if you don't mind paying a premium, some of them are quite good.
Of the companies making high-end sports themed gear, each tends to offer a different aesthetic. Undefeated, the maker of the shirt pictured above, focuses on the raw power of athletics and their unspoken sense of intimidation. Supreme celebrates the dangerous and taboo, evident in their upcoming line centering around Mike Tyson. No Mas takes a more scholarly approach, using their encyclopedic knowledge to point out many of the more comic, and frequently tragic, aspects of sport. Under Crown celebrates the early 90's mingling of basketball and hip hop. Lemar and Dauley create gaudy reflections of the athlete as a larger than life star. FALSE recently got Kevin Garnett's blessing to collaborate on a series of tees. And this only scratches the surface.
I'm well aware the idea of a 'high-end t-shirt' is ridiculous. But for those of us who can stomach the price tag, there's an awful lot of cool stuff to be had out there lately.