Over the years a family joke and favorite teasing by my surf buddies and coaching colleagues is “People Like the Noble Brothers, they give them things”. I would like to think that Tommy and I are super friendly, generous and loyal people. It is nice to be nice, and do we need more of that in today’s world. Things that are given to me or from a team deal, I believe it is important to pass the stuff on after I have enjoyed it. You will find 100′s of items I have given away to big guys while traveling. It is the right thing to do! Several of my buddies have taken old surf event t shirts and have them made into quilts. A lot of people do that. However, there are a lot of people who sell their old stuff. There are people who love to wear old T Shirts. There are just as many who collect Vintage Surf T shirts. The are hundreds of dealers for Vintage Clothing, especially T Shirts.
Let’s first review Vintage Surf Clothing. Insects, moisture and washing are not friends of any vintage clothing. A smart person has these items dry clean. Yep, expensive to maintain your vintage clothing. Museum have examples of vintage clothing in sealed cases, a hint to how delicate they are. While coaching football at Monterey Hight School we had to hang the football jerseys so they wouldn’t mildew off season! moisture evil. So this stuff is worn and delicate. You have issues to deal with if you choose to collect and or wear this stuff.
Some important T Shirt Collecting keys: Give Away Shirts at the ball park/store/events are the most valuable, shirts with date more valuable than without, and events that have stopped and or business no longer in business valuable. Watch out for knock offs! Know your T Shirt labels an Manufacturers. Research old surf ads for prints on shirts.
Dealers buy old clothes for as little as a dime. Not many of the dealers I contacted paid more than $10 a shirt. For a dealer to pay you $10 it would have to be never worn and in perfect condition or very special. That is where and how you stored it comes into play. Vintage clothing sales are sporadic. So dealers have to sit on this stuff. Like you they have challenges storing items. But, Yes, they know and have customers/collectors that are constantly looking for these T Shirts. These T Shirt that I researched vintages ranged from the 70′s to the 8o’s. On Ebay all were dealers and had other Vintage Clothing items. Starting bids ranged from $20 to $120. Older T Shirts listed most had no bids! Condition ranged from New to Nice. I couldn’t determine what nice met nor could I get a reasonable answer from dealers.
I have sold a Con Surf Team Penny’s Towncraft to a collector. Sat on that shirt for 10 years. I stored it in a vacuum sac bag! Do you have any stories about Vintage Surf T Shirts? Remember with your reply a photo says a 1000 words.
Keep Surfing, daCoach