The 50 Most Controversial T-Shirts of All Time


Unlike any other garment, the T-shirt lets you wear a message on your chest. But unless you’re going for James Dean in a plain white tee, sometimes that message is bound to offend — especially as brands from Abercrombie & Fitch to American Apparel to Ed Hardy and beyond see just how far their graphics can push the envelope. It's no coincidence, of course, that the band T-shirts of the eighties gave way to graphic-logo mania in the nineties, and, along with it, the Internet rose to prominence as the place where those upset at racist, sexist, and otherwise offensive tees could call for boycotts. Billions of T-shirts are sold every year. Everyone owns at least one of them. But despite their undeniable simplicity in structure and purpose, sometimes their execution — whether rendered in crystals or dirty words — gets a bit complicated. Herewith, the 50 shirts that set off the biggest firestorms in (recent) history.