We probably show more t-shirts than anything else when it comes to streetwear, so compiling a list of our favourite tees from 2011 proved to be our most difficult task yet. Although we expanded the list to 25 this year to try and make room for all of our favourites, sadly many of them didn’t make the cut. As with all best of lists, subjectivity played a big role, so don’t blame us if we left out your favourite brand/t-shirt.
Check out our favourite tees from 2011 after the jump.
25. Primitive ‘Cultivated’
A staple in Primitive’s collection, the Cultivated graphic returned this year in a variety of colours.
24. Adapt ‘Never Mind’
The Oakland-based label paid tribute to Nirvana with a simple but fresh graphic that got our attention in 2011.
23. Deadline ‘Crow’
Inspired by classic mob flicks, this crow takes a bite out of the Big Apple. Gangster.
22. Diamond Supply Co. ‘Sade’
Diamond’s Sade graphic is one the brand’s most recognizable designs, but after all these years it still doesn’t get old.
21. Benny Gold ‘Work’s for Jerks’
San Francisco’s Benny Gold tells it like it is with this design from Spring/Summer.
20. CXXVI ‘Hatch’
We like the New York label for their nautical and classic Americana-inspired designs like this silhouette of a liquor-chugging sailor.
19. HUF ‘Hill Terrors’
Keith Hufnagel’s label seems to get better season by season, not only because of their growing cut-and-sew range and footwear line, but also thanks to their clean, and often athletic-inspired graphics.
18. ONLY NY ’1997′
This simple design pretty much sums up the essence of ONLY NY: classic Polo and New York City.
17. Carhartt ‘Camera’
The only thing better than a graphic of a Carhartt-branded 35mm camera would be an actual Carhartt-branded 35mm camera.
16. Staple ‘Coming to America’
One of our favourite brands meets one of our favourite movies.
15. The Quiet Life ‘Aperture’
Founded by Andy Mueller, graphic artist for Girl and Chocolate Skateboards, as well as art director for Lakai, The Quiet Life always keeps it simple, creative, unique, and fun with their designs. This one’s for all the photo enthusiasts.
14. Jonathan Zawada x Sixpack Artist Series ‘Say it with Pictures’
Sixpack’s ongoing Artist Series tees never disappoints. Choosing a favourite was no simple task (we could have made a top 25 just for Sixpack), but we finally decided on this great design by Jonathan Zawada.
13. Flying Coffin ‘Skinned’
Each season, the Seattle-based brand revisits their winged-coffin logo. For the Fall, it took the form of an anatomy-inspired design.
12. Actual Pain ‘Immortal Mouse’
Mickey Mouse joins Norwegian black metal band, Immortal, on this tee from Actual Pain’s Summer collection.
10. X-Large x Milkcrate 2011 Winter
Two streetwear OGs join forces on a new tee released earlier last month.
9. REBEL8 ‘R8 Logo’
An essential in every REBEL8 collection, the R8 Logo dropped in this teal colourway back in Summer.
8. Mighty Healthy ‘Dumb Rappers’
An instant classic when it was first released a few years back, Mighty Healthy brought back Dumb Rappers earlier this year, much to our delight.
7. 5boro ‘Never Forget’
Not only does the New York skate institution design dope skate decks, but they also create some mean t-shirt graphics, like this one paying tribute to the Twin Towers.
6. Warriors of Radness ‘Beach Ballers’
The beach, sand, beach balls and boobs. Our board shorts our off to Warriors of Radness for this awesome graphic.
5. Heel Bruise ‘Stars’
A couple stars from Hollywood’s golden era make an appearance on one of Heel Bruise’s Holiday tees.
4. Mishka ‘Perestroika’
The NYC label draped Mikhail Gorbachev, the ex-Soviet Leader, in stars and stripes for this graphic from their Summer line.
3. Freshjive ‘Dope Crisis’
Freshjive takes the bronze with their Dope Crisis tee.
2. FUCT ‘Iron Head’
A master at re-appropriating iconic designs, FUCT turns to a classic Powell Peralta graphic from the ’80s for this tee, which takes silver.
1. Acapulco Gold ‘Jodie’
As far as we’re concerned, Acapulco Gold is in a league of its own when it comes to streetwear. 2011 was a big year for the brand on all fronts. From cut and sew, to sweats, headwear, denim, and especially t-shirts. Like a fine wine, AG gets better with each year. With such a strong range of graphic tees to choose from, picking a favourite was almost as hard as compiling this list, and when all was said and done, we settled on this one featuring Jodie Foster’s character from Taxi Driver, Iris, placed over an AG logo backdrop. Acapulco Gold takes gold.