Open Thread: Celebrating great geeky shirts for women

Many geeky women are pretty excited about the two “heroine” T’s that Thinkgeek is offering: Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie are currently featured. I’m a big fan of these because I love seeing more pretty, wear-anywhere designs on geeky shirts. The Open Solaris shirt I got at Grace Hopper is similarly pretty and as a result is among my most-used pieces of conference swag!

Someone pointed out to me that regular mortals can now buy the excellent Yahoo Code like a girl t-shirts. Can’t argue with text when it’s that much fun! Or what about ZaReason’s adorable “Friends Help Friends Use Linux” shirt? Perfect wear while you’re voting in the Ubuntu Women World Play Day Photo competition.

We often complain about the lack of options in geeky women’s shirts, and I know that’s a problem but it’s one we’ve discussed relatively recently, so let’s try to think positively: what shirts have you seen that are awesome and you’d like to own? Links to pictures encouraged!

Coveting other geeky gear? Just have another comment to share? This is an open thread, so anything goes!

17 thoughts on “Open Thread: Celebrating great geeky shirts for women

  1. Janna

    Thanks for pointing to the Ada shirt from ThinkGeek. I ordered it almost immediately. I find ThinkGeek to be the best for geek girl shirts. I usually don’t want to pay the shipping (to Canada) for it tho. I wish I knew of geeky stores that I could physically go to instead of ordering online sometimes.

  2. deborah

    I will say that I’m pleased that unlike ThinkGeek, who annoy the heck out of me with their gender problems, the XKCD store sells all but one of its T-shirts (I think) in baby doll sizes up to XL. Yay xkcd!

    As soon as I have some splurging money I’m going to get a Science: it works, bitches shirt.

    (And ThinkGeek is getting better. Slowly. As is evidenced by these new shirts, one of which I’m going to get, also.)

  3. T.

    I have great fondness for Unfortunately their shop does not allow permalinks, but this is close. The shirt I use for outreach is their very comfortable women’s Heather Jersey T in light blue, which says: “This is what a scientist looks like”. Its text can be customized for one’s research field :)

  4. Vicky

    I get my t-shirts printed by a local company (Talking Ts in Cambridge, UK). Some of my favourite ones that I’ve had them do for me are:


    [my initials in ASCII binary]


    /* C programmers */
    do {
    } while (1);

  5. Jenni Hill

    I <3 Threadless. They're all designed by users, there are some real geeky gems up there and they come in skinny-T and non-skinny-T sizes.

  6. amberella

    I second the ThinkGeek, xkcd, and Topatoco shirts… I probably have a dozen or so of those. I also like some of the shirts. Over the last few years they’ve increased their women’s selection vastly, and there are lots of shirts that are cool in a “girl” cut, but that don’t directly reference ZOMG GIRL NERD. Much appreciated.

    On the boohiss list … They pissed me off enough I blogged their ridiculous lack of equivalent girl merch a while back. XBOX “Achievement Locked” panties. Blech.

  7. Amanda

    I can’t remember if I saw the link here or somewhere else but there are these amazing, long bodied Star Wars t-shirts for women coming out. Just before I got word on the net, I saw someone in my neighbourhood wearing them. If anyone knows where to buy one of these, then that person is worth their weight in galactic credits!

  8. Alison Chaiken

    You guys *pay* for t-shirts? I don’t even accept most of the free t-shirts I’m offered nowadays. I have about 10 Linux t-shirts but that’s just because I started turning them down.

    1. Terri

      Availability of free shirts depends a lot on where you live, what events you attend (and can afford to attend), your body size and preferences about how shirts fit, etc. I know many people who can clothe themselves in free shirts, but I know many more who absolutely couldn’t.

  9. pfctdayelise

    I meant to mention this awhile ago. I was extremely pleased when I went to renew my EFF membership a couple of months ago and found out the latest members t-shirt is this design, called “Liberty Mecha”. I love it! EFF do such nice t-shirts. They offer up to women’s XL, which I guess would fit nicely on an Australian size 16.

  10. Cathy Malmrose

    Thank you for discussing this! You all made my day.

    I face this issue every morning… not only for myself but for my daughter. So far I have been able to find only one shirt (besides our Friends Help Friends Use Linux shirt) that is decent. It says, “Nature Rocks!” with a cool little explosion of science-y things behind the text.

    I’ve been grappling with the issue since my daughter was born. At her current size (8 yo) the shirts that we see in the stores say awful things. Most recently spotted:

    “Wake me up when class is over” (picture of cute kitten sleeping –> making it look like you’re cute if you sleep through school? Yikes!)

    “Books are for boys” (Not kidding. It made me sick.)

    “Just waiting for the party to start.”


    Maybe the more emphasis there is on cool shirts for women, it will trickle down to the younger sizes?

    So, since frustration is only good if you make something of it, a few years ago I started hunting for partners to do a sort of thinkgeek for women. I found *amazing* partners and got the business set up, should be launched this summer. Yay!

  11. Claire

    Does anyone have some insight on what size t-shirts to order from ThinkGeek? How stretchy is very stretchy, and do the measurements on the sizing diagram refer to babydoll tees?

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