We get frequent requests for help finding a t-shirt someone saw in their Facebook feed or out on the streets. I love to help. Here’s what I do when all I have is an image of a t-shirt.
There are two types of pictures I’ll be asked to look up:
What I want to do is match up that image with a site or artist shop where it’s being sold.
I’ll start by using Google Image Search. A little known feature is that you can drag-and-drop an image from your computer and Google Image Search will find similar images and the original website where they’re hosted.
This works great for “design” images, less so for “action” shots. I’ll crop down action shots to just the design so Google Image Search is matching on the part I care about (the shirt) and not the parts I don’t (the bedspread it’s lying on). It can be an inexact art; for example, Google hasn’t optimized for identifying whether a sword is from Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Zelda, or Lord of the Rings.
If I can find a matching image, I’ll click through Google Image Search to the website. If it’s for sale, I’m golden.
If the shirt isn’t for sale any more, now I’m making note of the t-shirt name and artist. I’ll check RedBubble and TeePublic, and if the artist doesn’t have a store at either I’ll Google “
99% of the time, I’ll find the artist’s shop. Sometimes that particular design isn’t for sale; often because it’s exclusive. I’ll message the artist to find out if they’ll be selling it again soon.
2017 is nearly over and, wow, these holiday naps have been well-earned. We’ve all survived this year and are gearing up for 2018, so check out some of the most popular t-shirts analyzed from more than 40,000 daily t-shirt deals and hundreds of thousands of clicks and taps.
10. OH HI SANTA on Pop Up Tee captures both the worst movie of all time and the 10th most popular t-shirt.
9. Glossary by A Tarrisse on Threadless is your shirt if laundry tags on clothing are difficult to understand.
8. Strange BFF on Pop Up Tee lines up well because friends don’t lie.
7. Mystery Shirt on PopVulture ranked high on the list even though we don’t know what the design is.
6. Strange Quest 1983 by stevenlefcourt on RIPT masterfully captures the show’s 2nd season.
5. I Hate Your Child by BryanKremkau on BustedTees shows that frustration that can only be spelled out on the fridge.
4. Sithonia by AtomicRocket on RIPT feaures one of the best albums of all time + Star Wars ™ , together at last.
3. Strange Awakening by Ovian on RIPT pits Kylo Ren and 11 in a duel across space and time. We’re rooting for 11 here.
2. My First Knife Fight by StevenRhodes on BustedTees combines that “Boys Life” vibe with some PG-13 violence. What could go wrong?
1. Rey Pin Up by Andrew Tarusov on Shirt Battle shows that Star Wars ™ continues to reign supreme. This shirt was the most popular design in 2017. If you’re curious, there’s a pinup Darth Vader and it ranked 48th.
T-Shirt collections continue to be popular so we’re separating them out from individual designs. We found the TeeFury Exclusives Collection to be the most popular collection of 2017.
Resolving to find the best t-shirts first? Customize which sales you see, save your favorites, and get access to special coupons first all by creating an account on Day of the Shirt.
Over the next week we’re posting more than 40 different sales covering pre-Black Friday, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. That’s everything from nearly-free mystery 🎁 shirts to 50% off sitewide coupons. Most only run a day or three, but I started collecting them months ago.
Several years ago, posting holiday sales was a manual affair. I’d make a spreadsheet of the dozen or so websites we followed. I’d code up the list in HTML, stay up till midnight (no joke) 👨🏻💻 and press “upload” at 12:01 AM Friday. Edits would be made directly to the website over the next few days. Same deal for the newsletter templates too.
As we added more and more t-shirt websites, and they added more and more sales 🗣(“pre- pre-Black Friday”) 🎅 the spreadsheet and updates got more and more crazy and I was spending less and less time with family 😩 during the week.
Last year I helped myself by integrating the sales into the website’s content management system. That way I could schedule individual sales with start- and end- dates, and queue them up 💪 long before the holidays kick off.
This year we started reaching out to our now huge list of t-shirt websites in October. As they finalized their sales, we scheduled them out and now the website robots 🤖are handling it.
…which freed me up to write this story.
Hey all! We’ve been hard at work over the summer building and launching a new iOS app that just landed in the Apple App Store. Behold, Day of the Shirt 2.0, new and improved and – as always – free to download. Now you can browse and find your favorite shirts. Fast.
Our app boasts a new interface that’s flat, modern, and ready to enjoy.
Swipe left or right to browse shirt designs up close, view artist and merchant details, and see the price all in the same view.
Find the same great deals in the app as on our website, and sort shirts by merchant, the lowest price, or by how new the listing is.
We’re adding more color and emotion to Day of the Shirt. Looking at our front page with fresh eyes, we realized it didn’t really reflect how excited we are about t-shirt sales. (We’re really excited about t-shirt sales.) So we’re fixing that.
You’ll notice better usage of color and emoji. We’re also integrating feedback to better explain what Day of the Shirt does (collects t-shirt sales), and how to benefit most (check every day for new designs). This may seem obvious to longtime users (us included!) but not so obvious to new visitors. Everyone benefits from more obvious features and wayfinding 🎉
We improved our front page by adding a line to separate the newest daily t-shirts from older multi-day and weekly sales. We kept it subtle but made it easier to quickly browse the latest t-shirts.
Any designs above the gray-bubbled “Todays Shirts” line were posted less than 24 hours ago. We add 30 to 50 new t-shirts a day (whew!); a little orientation and wayfinding make it even easier to discover a great shirt today.
We’ve launched a new feature for users of Day of the Shirt: a daily email of t-shirt sales. Never miss out on today’s t-shirt sales again.
In your account on Day of the Shirt, you now have the option to subscribe to a daily list of sales and/or a weekly rollup of insights and trends. By subscribing to the daily email, you’ll receive the list of today’s sales customized according to your filters.
This email feature is a great way to stay up-to-date with the latest sales. Just like our website, the email is comprehensive yet quick to scroll (or swipe) through. With so many new designs for sale each day, getting them into your inbox helps make sure you don’t miss anything.
Day of the Shirt collects daily and weekly t-shirt sales from across the Internet and aggregates them all in one place. We dug into our activity stats to find the most popular pop culture t-shirts of this year. No click bait or listicles. Just shirts. Here they are.
10. Overnight Party by Once Upon a Tee: huddled around their gaming setup and snacks, the women of Overwatch have a slumber party.
8. Pokehouse by Naolito at Pop-Up Tee: this Pokémon Go + Peanuts mashup evokes the feeling of capturing Zubats and Squirtles all day.
7. Computer Repair Patch by WeirdNeighbor at Tee11: a classic tee with the emblem from the USA Network show Mr. Robot.
5. Delete your account by 6 Dollar Shirts: no sentence captures 2016 more.
4. Villains Shadows by Jalopdesign at Pop-Up Tee: Batman villain t-shirts are more popular than Batman.
3. Team Mystic by Once Upon a Tee: this was one of the first Pokémon Go designs we saw, and this design continues to beat out Valor and Instinct in popularity.
2. Founding Chargers by Tom Galla at Blipshift: we were surprised to find this Benjamin Franklin + car intake and exhaust cycle mashup to be so popular.
1. Turnabout Christmas by Nina Matsumoto at The Yetee: bookending our list with another video game theme, this Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney holiday sweatshirt is the most popular design of 2016.
T-shirt packs and collections are becoming more and more popular, so this year we decided to separate them from the single designs featured above. By far we found the most popular collection to be TeeFury’s Strong Females Collection.
2016 Dumpster Fire by 6 Dollar Shirts didn’t win 2016 based on our stats, but this design sure captured the experience for us. That’s why it’s displayed at top of this post.
Have a New Year’s Resolution to find the best t-shirts before your friends do? Customize which sales you see, get access to special coupons, and track your favorite shirts all by creating an account on Day of the Shirt.
Today I’m really excited to officially announce a new feature for users of Day of the Shirt: Favorites. Favoriting allows you to bookmark designs, ensuring you can’t lose track of them even when their sale ends and they drop off our front page.
Any t-shirt design featured on Day of the Shirt can be added to your collection of favorites. Click the ☆-star on the design to favorite that t-shirt. Visiting your Account page will show all designs you’ve favorited, even if they’re no longer for sale. This feature is available for users who have registered and signed into their account.
I built the Favorites feature to help me save the designs I love for later. I’ll also sometimes get messages from users of Day of the Shirt searching for a design they saw last week but dropped off our front page. The ability to favorite and bookmark a t-shirt sale makes that experience better.
I made it easier to decide what merchants to filter from the front page of Day of the Shirt. The list of merchants to show/hide now includes each merchant’s location, price and shipping information.
You can change visibility settings by clicking on your Username in the top navigation, clicking Account settings in the dropdown, then clicking the Merchant visibility tab. Or by visiting this link.
Going forward, I received a lot of feedback and interest for deeper category/thematic filtering and the ability to bookmark/favorite designs for later. I’m working on that now 👌
I also added a new Frequently Asked Questions page, too.
Accounts let you personalize the merchants and t-shirt sales you see on Day of the Shirt.
Day of the Shirt now allows you to create a personal account on our website. By signing up for an account and signing in, you can choose which t-shirt websites you see on the front page.
More than 50 daily and weekly t-shirt sale websites are listed on Day of the Shirt. With an account you can now track only the sales that interest you. Not every t-shirt sale is for everyone: the merchant may not ship to your country, or their price may be more than you’re willing to pay, or you just don’t need another Doctor Who t-shirt, ever.
By creating an account you can select the t-shirt sales you want to see and uncheck the sales you don’t. Then, anytime you’re logged into your account you’ll see the t-shirt sales that interest you.
To personalize your front page, start by clicking Sign up, completing the new account form and confirming your email address. Then visit your Account settings and click Merchant visibility. You’ll see a list of all the merchants we feature; you can uncheck any merchants you want to hide and click the Save merchant settings button. Done! Anytime you close your browser or open our website on another device, you’ll need to Sign in to your account again.
We’ve been beta-testing the new feature with great results. One of our visitors wrote “So I just signed up, got my confirmation e-mail quickly; all of that was a breeze, and the checklist to hide stuff is super simple.” Another visitor simply said “I love the feature.”
Create an account right now on Day of the Shirt and begin customizing your list of daily t-shirt sales.
When we changed the default sorting of t-shirts last month, we asked for feedback and ideas for further refinement. One suggestion we received:
Sort by popularity (of t-shirt, not its website)
… and we did it: you can now sort the designs on the front page of Day of the Shirt by which t-shirt designs are trending right now.
Then we went a step farther to create a new page that digs deeper into t-shirt stats. It’s called “Insights” and analyzes the activity around each designs and t-shirt sales we share:
It’s been a lot of fun digging into the data and creating interesting analyses. If you have any feedback or ideas for further discovering great t-shirt sales, let us know! Email us at [email protected] or tweet us at @dayoftheshirt.
During the month of May we overhauled what t-shirts you see first on Day of the Shirt: we now default to showing the newest t-shirt designs first. We’ll think you’ll like this change to the default ordering and here’s why:
The previous default, displaying Popular Merchants first, was optimized for new visitors who had never been to Day of the Shirt before, orienting them by showing websites they may already be familiar with.
But once you start using Day of the Shirt regularly, visiting us every day (if not multiple times a day), you’re most likely looking for new designs and sales you’ve never seen before. This matched the feedback we regularly receive: people didn’t like scrolling through t-shirts they had already seen.
Day of the Shirt always has the option to re-order t-shirts: ordering them by Popular Merchants (the previous default), Newest, and by Price. But when we looked at our analytics 78% of visitors never changed the default ordering. This means most of our users were not having what we believe is the best experience.
So… we changed our default to display the newest designs first.
And then we asked for more feedback: 82% of respondents agreed with us that they’d like to see the newest t-shirts listed first. We also received a lot of great suggestions for how to further improve the t-shirt discovery experience, which I’m eager to get started on.
This change really made the month of May great for us, especially when received feedback like this:
Honestly you guys are doing an awesome job getting all these shirts together. Keep it up 👍 😁
Thanks everybody and we hope we can continue improving the daily t-shirt discovery experience.
I have to admit I was a bit distracted in April…
Releasing an Android App!
Our new Android App is awesome. The development was done by DominikTV, who did an amazing job. There will be a longer write-up on the app soon, but I’ve been busy emailing everyone who ever contacted us asking for an Android App to say here it is.
In addition to the Android app, I made some invisible improvements to help our SEO i.e. help t-shirt buyers find Day of the Shirt.
Having fallen behind on the weekly updates, I’ve moved to doing a monthly update.
You may have noticed that shirts on our front-page seem slightly… fresher. We’re experimenting with removing designs that are older than 5 days from our front-page, even if they’re still on for sale on the merchant’s website. After getting feedback from more than a few people along the lines of “I’ve scrolled past the same shirt all month” we decided to take action by hiding older sales. I expect to do more experiments like this to make the t-shirt discovery experience better.
Otherwise, March was a relatively quiet month of keeping all the plates spinning: Pampling, Pop-Up-Tees, SnappyKid and Othertees all updated their websites, necessitating updating our scripts for Day of the Shirt. I also made our internal scripts more reliable by having them retry if they encounter a network error when fetching a new t-shirt design.
There are a lot daily pop-culture t-shirt websites. We should know: Day of the Shirt is tracking 45 of them right now, as you read this. But, not all of them last forever. We went on a dinosaur hunt though our archives and discovered 19 t-shirt websites that had gone extinct. Perhaps you remember them:
Another Fine Tee, Arteesel, Blue Box Tees, Comic Strip Tees, Companion Tees, Cosmos Tees, Gimmick Tees, Goodjoe, Limiteed, MuzikShirt, Nowhere Bad, SpookyTees, Tee-1000, TeeRaiders, Timey Wimey Tees, Tshirt Fight, Ubertee, Weekly Shirts, and Zebra Tees.
These websites didn’t just sell pop-culture designs, many had a unique hook. Goodjoe focused on community and volunteerism. Comic Strip Tees printed a monthly comic. MuzikShirt focused on music and audio paraphernalia. Zebra Shirts printed every design in black and white. SpookyTees were, well, spooky with a Halloween horror theme all year round. And you can probably pick out the websites dedicated to Doctor Who (hint: there are more than one). And T-Shirt Fight posted 2 designs and let buyers choose the winner.
So what happened? We can’t say for certain, but sometimes it’s too much of a good thing. For a small 2-3 person company, their most valuable commodity is time. And that time has to be divided into several different areas, such as finding artists, ordering materials and blank t-shirts, printing, shipping and fulfillment, customer service, marketing, and, of course, updating the website itself.
An unexpected flood of orders can actually be bad for business: not having enough blanks in stock may cause printing and fulfillment delays; even a tiny percentage of packages lost in transit results in a big absolute number. And when customer service gets overloaded, unhappy buyers take to social media and initiate expensive charge-backs. Even after things recover and customers receive their orders, it can be enough to throw in the towel.
T-shirts are a durable commodity and all of us fans are what keep these small businesses around the world designing, printing and shipping t-shirts every day. While running a design and production shop can be daunting (and rightly so) we take solace that T-shirts and their designs can live on in our closets and dressers long after the website stops loading. After all, that’s what keeps us coming back for more.
It’s Valentines Day so I’ll be keeping this update even briefer than last week:
Are you spending today with a loved one instead of obsessing over t-shirts? Don’t let this post interrupt you, but please tell us tomorrow how we can improve Day of the Shirt. Email us at [email protected] or tweet us at @dayoftheshirt.
This week I focused on moving our Android App towards the finish line. I’m so excited but there are a million little things to do before we can release it. Also…
When I cleaned up our website templates a few weeks ago, I introduced some bugs that have now been squashed. There was some missing spaces on the front-page cards. Also, the zoomed-modal had some really bad spacing/alignment of the title and image. Squished.
Thanks for eagerly expecting our Android app and bearing through the bugs this week!
One month into the new year and I’ve already done something that embarrasses me.
I accidentally deleted a lot of old shirt sales; about 20,000 of them. This doesn’t really affect much because Day of the Shirt is about today, but it’s the matter of “accidentally” that concerns me. The deletions were an unexpected side effect of cleaning up some other code. I could still restore the deleted sales from backups, but I realized there was a lot of other cleanup that’s much easier to do now that I don’t have a huge pile of old sales lying around.
To make lemonade from lemons, I also did some intentional cleaning and removed 25 old t-shirt websites that were still in our database but no longer exist on the Internet. I’m planning to write a blog post in remembrance those old t-shirt websites.
When writing last week’s update, I realized that my triple-hyphen wasn’t automatically being turned into an M-Dash. So I updated the formatting (I use Markdown) to also convert special characters.
This will be a brief one with many small changes.
Nothing should look visually different, but I rewrote the HTML+CSS for displaying shirts on our front-page. Shirt permalink pages—where you go when you click the “info” link—have been rewritten too. The code is cleaner now and definitely more maintainable and flexible for future changes.
Last week I noted the choice of a new set of words to describe on sale as “promoted”. I spent more time rewriting things to be consistent.
In regards to this “News” section, I made the column of text wider because I found the previous narrow column difficult to read.
We had some issues updating sales from Tee No Evil and ShirtPunch. Those issues have been addressed.
I started the week by doodling on a neon-green sticky-note a list of things I wanted to do this week. I accomplished half of them. This is that half:
Three years ago, Day of the Shirt added a RSS feed that simply listed the day’s t-shirt sales with a thumbnail of the design. It was simple but required a lot of scrolling to see all the designs. A year ago, I spent a lot of time creating a grid of thumbnails that could be embedded in the RSS feed to require a lot less scrolling to see all the designs. Each thumbnail in the grid had a small number in the corner and below the grid was a numbered list of links to buy the design. It was clever, but after using it for a while many subscribers pointed out that it still required scrolling up and down to cross-reference the designs. So I undid it. This week, Day of the Shirt’s RSS feed returns to a simple list of clickable thumbnails.
When you share a Day of the Shirt page on Facebook, they scan the page for the page’s title, description and thumbnail. Facebook does this so they can show a preview of the link you’re sharing. We can hint certain parts of the page to make it easier for Facebook to find what it’s looking for. We’ve always had the hinting, but it turns out we could hint even more. So we did.
There is a saying that “naming things” is one of the only two hard problems in Computer Science. I’ve struggled to find a good word that can cover the various grammatical forms of “on sale” for our internal database columns and functions. For the past 5 years, I’ve used “today”, but “today” can get confusing when you need a past participle (“todayed”?) or negation (“untoday”?). So this week I chose a new word: “promoted”. It has plenty of forms like “promote”, “unpromote”, “promotes”, etc. It probably won’t ever appear on the front-end of Day of the Shirt, but adopting a more flexible word has helped clean up a lot of oddly named code.
What do you think of the old-is-new RSS Feed? Do you know a better word than “promoted”? Send us your suggestions at [email protected] or by tweeting us at @dayoftheshirt. And definitely share Day of the Shirt with your friends on Facebook.
This week was filled with maintenance and a bit of writing.
Even though it’s not visible on the website, I did a lot of housekeeping behind the scenes on the website code: fixing inconsistencies and streamlining the code. Code can get a bit messy when developing new features and it’s smart to revisit it with fresh eyes. Reworking the code makes it simpler to understand thus making it easier to modify in the future when developing new features.
I also fixed the t-shirt collection code for Pampling after they tweaked their own website design.
I find that many of the emails I receive contain the same questions or comments. So I created an About page that should answer some of those common questions. That page will also serve as a starting point for adding more information and color to in the future.
Please check out our new About page and send us an email if you’re still left wondering about anything on Day of the Shirt.
As mentioned in our New Years post, we’re experimenting with new tools for better shopper support and feedback. To invite feedback, we’d like to provide more insight into what we do here at Day of the Shirt. So we’re committing to posting a weekly update about what we’ve done to make Day of the Shirt better.
When t-shirt merchants change their website layout, we have to change our scripts that keep Day of the Shirt updated. Otherwise we might show the wrong design, price or sale. Over the past week we’ve fixed our scripts for Qwertee, Olyfant, and The Yetee.
We increased the base font-size from 14px to 16px to make reading easier on the eyes. Also, we added a light-gray background to the “zoom” and “info” buttons that overlay t-shirt designs; this makes those buttons visually distinctive on white backgrounds. Lastly, we discovered that the website footer would sometimes float in the middle of the web-browser; it shouldn’t anymore.
Alert shopper Amanda let us know that while there were plenty of designs featuring classic Star Wars characters, there weren’t any designs with new characters from The Force Awakens. Fortunately, some were found on TeePublic.
If you discover something missing or needing improvement, please let us know: [email protected]
Happy New Years from Day of the Shirt! It was a big year for growth in 2015 and we’re looking forward to a t-shirt filled 2016. Here’s a quick review of the past and teasers of the future:
Last year Day of the Shirt grew a lot. We added many new t-shirt merchants (now featuring 64 daily/weekly t-shirt sales), and received a lot of new website visitors. On the bad side, we’ve had a few website outages, and stale sales and coupons which we fix as quick as possible (thank you if you’ve emailed us about problems). But back to good, I’ve spent a lot of time making adjustments and improving the accuracy and reliability of our sales and coupons. We’ve also been experimenting with new tools for better shopper support and feedback.
Now towards 2016! We’ll continue making tweaks to the website, email newsletter, and RSS feeds. I’m working on new features to customize and filter the list of t-shirt sales: find what you want and ignore what you don’t. More merchants now have flash-sales and coupons and we’ll be raising visibility on those so you always find the best deal. Lastly, we haven’t forgotten about the mobile app(s), so expect great things on that front too.
As always, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]
Thank you for being part of Day of the Shirt this year and beyond.
Ben and Angelina
The Day of the Shirt Team