I’m With The Band: Rise Of The Band Tee


Oxford Street is THE place to pick up all your festival fashion staples. The band tee has to be the ultimate cult item when it comes to dressing for the field. But, how did the humble band tee rise from the passionate crowds of music-lovers to one of fashion’s most sought after styles?

Metallica Donington 1985

History of the Band Tee

Band tees found popularity with the birth of pop culture. They were an expression of identity and belonging to a community. Although the music and the communities may have changed over the years, the humble band tee still represents that sense of belonging.

Band tees started in rock and metal circles in the 70s with bands such as Iron Maiden, Guns N Roses, AC/DC etc, but quickly evolved to be part of the mainstream music scene. As it can quickly be adapted to suit any music genre, current trends and personal style, the tee became a wardrobe staple for all occasions.

Band Tee Style High Fashion Tee

Band Tee Style Homage to Phoebe Philo, Previous Creative Director of Celine

From High Street to High Fashion

As designers reinvent the iconic designs, and celebrities continue to flaunt the vintage favourites, the band tee’s influence is ever growing.

The relationship between music and fashion is key, with many musicians and artists becoming style icons on their own accord. As musicians started to take their style more seriously, their merch became instantly more fashionable. Look at Kanye. The line between his Yeezy collections and his Yeezus tour merch have become incredibly blurred over time.

Celebrities and stylists lean on metal iconography. Photo: Alex Finch

From Metallica to Mainstream

Many fashion labels have borrowed rock’s iconography too. Supreme, Vetements, Jeremy Scott, Versace and Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga have all used Iron Maiden and Metallica style prints and typography in their pieces.

Now, the band tee is more than a declaration of idolisation, it’s a bone-fide fashion statement.

Band Tee is staple of festival fashion

Band Tee is a staple of festival fashion

Festival Favourites

Picking festival outfits can be difficult. We get it.

Festivals are the place to let loose and go wild with your style. You can be whoever you want to be, and wear whatever the hell you want. It’s fashion freedom. But, then you have to consider the unpredictable British summer time, getting ready in a baking hot tent, and navigating all of that fringing you thought looked cool in a portaloo (ew). Sometimes, practical is best.

That’s why the band tee is a cult classic. It’s easy, it’s effortless, and it remains endlessly cool.

We’ve picked some of the latest options below!