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Crappy Brand T-Shirts to Buy Before They Become Fashion

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Invest in Aquafina FlavorSplash merch now, not later.

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Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

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Not so long ago, an intrepid fashion collective sent a ripoff of an unassuming Champion sweatshirt-sweatpants combo down the runway, slapped a $1,400 price tag on it, and called it a day. This was met essentially with the five Kubler-Ross stages of fashion acceptance: shock, anger, asking yourself if you’ve suddenly been transported to an alternate universe where Champion is cool, realizing that the answer is yes, and finally, finding yourself in the unexpected position of severely thirsting for said Champion sweatshirt.

Over the past three years of its existence, Vetements has attempted to do the same for a wide array of seemingly un-fashion brands. Last year’s haute couture presentation featured collaborations with 18 of them, from Carhartt to Reebok, Kawaski Motorcycles, Eastpak Backpacks, and Juicy Couture (!).

Before you ask, “But why,” don’t. You know why. You know Vetements is half-visionary, half-troll, like everything else cool post-2016. So instead of asking “Why?” ask yourself, “What other seemingly dumb brand’s merch should I be copping before it becomes Vetements-level expensive?” Some ideas, below.

Friendly Automotive Service Families

Pep Boys Automotive Service Tires T-shirt, $15.99

Canadian Fast-Casual Coffee

Tim Hortons Hoodie, $47.68

The Place That Gives Out Dope Free Samples

Costco Beanie, $14.99

The Least-Fashion Water Brand

Aquafina FlavorSplash T-shirt, $19.99

The Enamel Pin No One Has Copped Yet

National Assoication of Retailers Lapel Pin, $7.95

Failed Nordic Cell Phone Brands

Nokia T-shirt, $15.99

‘90s Kelsey Grammar

Frasier Tank Top, $22.95

Canada’s Best Country Radio Station

CKGL Vintage Pin, $12.99

Tiny French Cars

Peugeot T-shirt, $21.90

The New Zealand Tourist Bureau

New Zealand Pride T-shirt, $10

Our Shared National Postal History

Smithsonian National Postal Museum T-shirt, $20.99

And finally, my personal favorite and the item I hope most becomes extremely fashion in seasons to come:

Quasi-Historical Dan Brown Novels

The Da Vinci Code T-shirt, $0.99