Web Shirts: 20 rad T-shirt sites

Looking for cool T-shirts this summer? Check out some of these shirt sites.

      Internet commerce is becoming the new pastime for many in my generation. Generation Yers like to buy interesting T-shirts online, and there's no shortage of sites out there that are putting out an absurd amount of user-generated designs. Here's a list of more than 20 quality sites that put cotton, and inspiration, on your back.

      Readymade:

      These services sell shirts that are designed by users and professionals.

    • Threadless is one of the most popular shirtmakers out there. It started out with user votes to pick out which shirts would go on sale, and have since moved on to independent designers. When shirts sell out, they're typically not for sale again unless the demand becomes great. They're also set to open a retail store in Chicago next month.

    • Glarkware, a small Canadian shirt company, is based out of Toronto, Ontario, and has a fairly eccentric line of humor-related shirts. They've also got a line of T-shirts on the way for toddlers.

    • Shirt.Woot. From the same bunch that does good ol' Woot.com and Wine.Woot.com, is Shirt.Woot.com--a one-shirt-per-day service that rolls out a new design every night at midnight Central time. Every shirt is always $10 with free shipping, along with the option to get it delivered in two days for another five bucks. While a good deal of the shirts are designed by professionals, the service also runs a weekly "derby" with user-generated designs. The most popular design goes on sale, and the designer gets a cut of the profits.
      Dreaded Spam becomes T-shirts at SpamShirt.com.

    • Bountee is a hybrid service that offers both professionally designed T-shirts and a build-it-yourself solution. Bountee features a variety of "Web 2.0" features like tagging, user ratings, and commenting. It's also got a really slick, easy-to-use design.

    • Split The Atom is a U.K.-based T-shirt company that's pretty much exactly like Threadless, but with a smaller selection. It also takes user designs in return for a one-time cash prize.

    • Design by Humans has a very small collection of shirts, but offers some pretty decent prize money for winning designers with a daily, weekly, and monthly design contest. Each designer also gets their own profile page for listing any background information and to showcase some of their other works.

    • BustedTees and Defunker are two very different Net T-shirt services from the same company. Bustedtees is more about humor, while Defunker offers more designer solutions akin to Threadless. Both sites are really slick, but between the two, Defunker feels a bit snappier. There's also a pretty large price gap, with most Bustedtees topping out at around $16, and Defunker averaging in the high-$20s and mid-$30s.

    • T-ShirtHell. There's a reason this site has a warning page and a hellish name. These shirts are the kind that will get you stares in public, and usually not for a good reason. Definitely not for the faint of heart, or workplace.

    • The Cotton Factory doesn't actually make cotton, but they have a very solid selection of designer, and humor T-shirts. There's even a section of T-shirts less than 10 bucks. There's some real gems in this place, especially if you like "ninja" apparel.
      You can find Digg.com shirts at Jinx.com.

    • Jinx is best known as the clothing company who handles all of Digg.com's merchandise. They also have a handful of video game-related apparel and shirts for Rotten Tomatoes, Revision3, and CNET's own GameSpot.

    • SnorgTees (formerly SnorgStore.org) is a humor-centric T-shirt site that does a new design every week. Shirts run at about $16 a pop, and the site ships worldwide.

    • Neighborhoodies is another hybrid site that mixes up professionally designed shirts with a build-it-yourself tool. Like Innertee (see the DIY section below), there's a smattering of graphics you can incorporate into your own custom designs. There's also a line of "Maternitees," which are specially fitted T-shirts for pregnant women. There's a line of Harry Potter-inspired T's.

      DIY options:

      These services let you design and possibly sell your work.

    • Spamshirt. If there's anything good to come out of Spam, besides the income from the evil doers that make money off it, it's Spamshirt. This place has a great assortment of spam taglines, the kind of things you absolutely loathe to get in your in-box--on a T-shirt. Lines like "We know about your debt problems," and "Re: Your instant access." For the creative, there's also a build-your-own tool, to rock out some of the particularly amusing Nigerian scam pitches.

    • Innertee.net is another hybrid site that mixes up professional designs, with those made by users. Innertee takes a slightly different angle, reserving the front page for T-shirt "mixes" that have been made popular by user voting, in a Digg-like manner. Rafe got his hands on the service a few months back and had a good time making his own design.

    • CafePress is one of the most popular services for taking a design and selling it on T-shirts, and a number of other items from coffee mugs to mouse pads. Users can set up their own mini shops, as well as pay a monthly fee to create a specially designed one that can match the look and feel of their blog or Web site (if they have one).

    • Spreadshirt lets you submit your own design and set up a hosted mini shop to sell it. Their big claim to fame is turning around your design in less than two days. They also print on things besides T-shirts, like tank tops, sweat shirts, pajamas, underwear, and even shoes.
      You can find this gem at the Craigslist Foundation store on GoodStorm.com. CNET Networks

    • Zazzle. I first heard about Zazzle through Flickr, because they print anything (including photos) on all sorts of clothing items, including T-shirts. Zazzle promises a 24-hour turnaround time on most printing, and features a large listing of "special collections" that let you make your own custom clothing using imagery from books, movies, TV shows, and other brands.

    • DNA Stylelab is a lot like Innertee and Neighborhoodies in that you can design your own shirt with artwork designed by others. It's also part social network with user profiles and a karma system that rewards users with discounts or perks like free shipping.

    • GoodStorm is a hybrid make-your-own and professionally designed showcase of shirts. It's most recognizable for its Craigslist store, which is the official place to get an "I found my woman on Craigslist" T-shirt.
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About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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