Top 10 Most Expensive T-Shirts of All Time


Top-10-Most-Expensive-T-Shirts

The first manufactured t-shirts were plain white undershirts. But t-shirts have come a long way since the early 1900s. Nowadays, t-shirts come in a wide range of designs, and some of these shirts cost thousands of dollars.

The most expensive shirt of all time is aptly named The Most Expensive Shirt in the World by Superlative Luxury. This t-shirt is made of organic materials and features white and black diamonds. It’s made using low-emission manufacturing techniques and costs $400,000.

This ranking will reveal which t-shirts fetch the highest prices. So if you’re looking to show off your style with a comfortable but pricey t-shirt, you might find your next favorite shirt in this article!

Here Are the Top 10 Most Expensive T-Shirts of All Time:

  1. Superlative Luxury The Most Expensive Shirt in the World – $400,000
  2. UNICEF Cargo Flight Anti-Famine T-Shirt – $300,000
  3. Hermès Noir Crocodile T-Shirt – $91,500
  4. 1980 Beatles Revolution T-Shirt – $50,000
  5. 1985 Andy Warhol Art T-Shirt – $34,515
  6. Banksy Tagged Tee – $31,545
  7. Supreme Donald Trump T-shirt – $23,000
  8. The Beatles Butcher Cover Album T-Shirt – $20,000
  9. 1967 Grateful Dead T-Shirt – $17,640
  10. 1986 Andy Warhol Keith Haring Shirt – $11,866

10. 1986 Andy Warhol Keith Haring Shirt – $11,866

1986-Andy-Warhol-Keith-Haring-Shirt
photo source: Artsy

This rare vintage t-shirt shows a stylized portrait of New York City artist Keith Haring. Its age and design would be enough to make it worth several hundred dollars.

But this t-shirt was designed by Andy Warhol, one of the most infamous American artists of the last fifty years. Because neither artist is alive today, their remaining work is highly prized among art collectors from around the globe.

This shirt, featuring the face of a popular artist and produced by one of the most famous pop art creators, is truly a masterpiece.

Why It’s Expensive

This particular tee was one of the last articles of clothing Andy Warhol (an equally famous 1980s artist) ever made. Because it’s a Warhol-made piece featuring the image of another renowned artist (Keith Haring), it’s a highly desirable item for fans of either artist.

9. 1967 Grateful Dead T-Shirt – $17,640

1967-Grateful-Dead-T-Shirt
photo source: DATEBOOK

Several of the world’s priciest t-shirts are vintage pieces that have managed to survive several decades of wear. But vintage shirts that are rare (and have always been relatively rare) tend to sell for incredible prices.

This 1967 Grateful Dead T-shirt is one such shirt. It sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 2021 for $17,640. And while this tee isn’t embroidered with gold thread or decorated with high-priced gemstones, it is valuable thanks to its age and ownership.

This bright yellow shirt once belonged to the band members of the Grateful Dead. It’s also in excellent condition, especially considering its age. Fans of this band likely fought for the chance to make a bid during the 2021 auction!

Why It’s Expensive

The primary reason why this shirt is so expensive is that it was the private and personal property of the Grateful Dead band. However, it’s also in fantastic condition, making it a far more valuable article of clothing than vintage shirts barely hanging by a thread.

8. The Beatles Butcher Cover Album T-Shirt – $20,000

The-Beatles-Butcher-Cover-Album-T-Shirt
photo source: Paul Fraser Collectibles

Many of the most expensive t-shirts of all time found an audience on the online auction website eBay. This simple off-white vintage shirt is a top-notch example, fetching $20,000 at auction on the site.

It featured a single-tone screen print of The Beatles’ original Yesterday and Today LP cover art. This cover had a surprisingly dark tone, showing the band members holding mangled baby dolls and large chunks of raw meat.

Due to the distressing nature of this cover art, the LP cover art was given the nickname ‘the Butcher cover‘ and quickly removed from store shelves. Likewise, any products showing this cover art, including this vintage tee, were also removed and destroyed.

But somehow, this t-shirt survived the culling, making it an incredibly rare find and a real treat for Beatles fans.

Why It’s Expensive

When an internationally famous music group makes a faux pas, it can ruin its reputation. The cover art for this LP was memorable, but it was also disturbing, generating an immediate backlash from fans and non-fans alike.

This t-shirt shows this cover art and purportedly dates back to the album’s release. It’s a rare item, as any other shirts featuring the controversial cover art were promptly destroyed in 1966 and 1967.

7. Supreme Donald Trump T-shirt – $23,000

Supreme-Donald-Trump-T-shirt
photo source: Independent

Though Donald Trump is a controversial figure, you can’t argue that the Supreme Donald Trump T-Shirt is one of the most expensive Supreme items ever sold. After all, it’s sold for $23,000!

The red shirt features a gray image of Donald Trump’s face in a graffiti-style print. It was released in 2003 and was the only Supreme shirt with that specific design ever created. Initially, Supreme sold the shirt for less than $100.

But after Trump’s presidential election win in 2016, the shirt sold on an online auction for thousands, earning its spot on this ranking.

Why It’s Expensive

Anything that’s one-of-a-kind is bound to cost more than widely available items. But when you add historical significance to the mix, you’ll get a product that can easily sell for thousands (if not millions) of dollars.

The Supreme brand may have created this simple t-shirt in 2003, but it became a historically significant item after the New York City businessman won the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.

Those looking to commemorate that event started a bidding war that resulted in the final price.

6. Banksy Tagged Tee – $31,545

Banksy-Tagged-Tee
photo source: Artsy

Banksy is a mysterious street artist who’s produced some of the most beloved and expensive graffiti in the world. So it makes total sense that a t-shirt tagged by the enigmatic artist would sell for an incredible price.

This tagged tee is listed for $31,545 (€29,500), and it’s an exceptionally rare item. After all, Banksy typically adds his tag to concrete walls or sidewalks, not clothing.

This t-shirt (once a rather plain Adidas tee) also has a Banksy brand name tag, a unique touch. In addition, the certificate of authenticity adds to the shirt’s overall value, as buyers can feel confident that they’re purchasing a genuine Banksy piece.

Why It’s Expensive

Banksy’s artwork sells for millions. He’s one of the most popular modern artists, and his identity is shrouded in mystery.

Collectors looking to expand their collection of contemporary artwork are often more than happy to spend thousands or millions for a Banksy piece. This rare shirt’s higher-than-average price stems from the fact that Banksy-related items are rare and consistently in high demand.

5. 1985 Andy Warhol Art T-Shirt – $34,515

1985-Andy-Warhol-Art-T-Shirt
photo source: Artsy

Andy Warhol changed the landscape of modern art and was one of the most influential people in the pop art movement. As a result, any artwork or items featuring his work tends to sell for big bucks.

Take this vintage 1985 ‘Art’ shirt, for example. It was one of the last products created by the infamous artist and one of the few t-shirts approved by Warhol. These factors make the tee rare and historically significant.

Maybe that’s why it’s currently listed for $34,515 (£27,500). After all, in all other aspects, this t-shirt is just a cotton shirt with a silkscreen-printed design.

Why It’s Expensive

Did you know that some of Andy Warhol’s paintings have sold for more than $190 million? This artist’s work is highly prized, even more so after he died in 1987.

This Warhol shirt was created before the artist’s death, and it was likely one of the few wearable pieces of artwork the artist released within the last two years of his life. Overall, this t-shirt’s high price results from its rarity and Warhol’s long-lasting popularity.

4. 1980 Beatles Revolution T-Shirt – $50,000

1980-Beatles-Revolution-T-Shirt
photo source: eBay

At first glance, this gray printed t-shirt might not seem like much. After all, it looks similar to many discount t-shirts found in chain department stores today.

However, the 1980 Beatles Revolution T-Shirt is a rare find. Not only is it a vintage article of clothing, but it also features a rare depiction of the legendary British band, The Beatles, as actually beetles.

If you’re a diehard Beatles fan, you’ll be glad to know that this t-shirt is still available for purchase. Still, you’ll need to be willing to drop $50,000 to make it yours. That’s more than the average cost of a new car!

Why It’s Expensive

This shirt was a collaboration with Nike, which becomes evident when you spot the Nike logo on the insect Ringo Starr’s drumset. But the band members hadn’t agreed to allow Nike to use their name, likeness, or music to sell products.

Consequently, Nike quickly withdrew any remaining related to The Beatles from store shelves. The lucky few shoppers who had managed to purchase this t-shirt before its mass removal had a piece of pop culture history in their possession.

In short, this shirt’s high price stems from its rarity and recent historical significance.

3. Hermès Noir Crocodile T-Shirt – $91,500

Hermès-Noir-Crocodile-T-Shirt
photo source: Today.com

Hermès is a French luxury brand primarily associated with producing some of the world’s most expensive handbags (the infamous Birkin bag). But they’ve also created some of the priciest t-shirts, including this shirt made of crocodile skin.

Priced at $91,500 when it was released in 2013, the Hermès Noir Crocodile T-Shirt likely isn’t as breathable as the average cotton tee. But it is made of one of the costliest animal skins—crocodile skin!

Dyed black, this shirt is far from casual, making it an incredibly fashionable piece for those looking to look dressed-down but still luxurious. Unfortunately, finding one of these shirts for sale can be challenging, as they were only available for a limited time.

Why It’s Expensive

There are two reasons why this t-shirt costs almost $100,000. Firstly, it’s a Hermès product.

Hermès, like Gucci or Louis Vuitton, is an internationally-recognized luxury brand. As such, this brand can sell its products for astounding prices that often range from hundreds to several thousands of dollars.

Secondly, this shirt is made of crocodile skin. Unlike cow leather, crocodile skin is rare and challenging to work with. Consequently, items made of this material are often quite pricey.

2. UNICEF Cargo Flight Anti-Famine T-Shirt – $300,000

Cargo-Flight-Anti-Famine-T-Shirt
photo source: CBS News

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) provides aid to children around the globe. To raise funds for humanitarian projects, they occasionally sell merchandise, including t-shirts.

In 2011, they collaborated with artists in New York City to create a line of shirts. The proceeds gained from selling these t-shirts went toward fighting childhood famine in Africa.

But while most shirts sold for $20 or less, some fetched much higher prices. The most expensive of these UNICEF shirts was the Cargo Flight tee. This simple white t-shirt featured a green cargo plane dumping boxes of supplies, and it sold for a whopping $300,000.

Why It’s Expensive

Every shirt that UNICEF produced for this cause had a unique design. For example, the most affordable option showed an image of a mosquito.

The profits made from this particular shirt went toward providing mosquito nets to those in need. Because mosquito nets are comparatively affordable, the UNICEF Mosquito shirt only cost about $19.

But the Cargo Flight tee cost $300,000 because the proceeds from the sale of the shirt would go toward funding transportation for life-saving cargo.

1. Superlative Luxury The Most Expensive Shirt in the World – $400,000

Superlative-Luxury-The-Most-Expensive-Shirt-in-the-World

The most expensive T-shirt of all time is called The Most Expensive Shirt in the World. It’s an organic tee that features a printed geometric design, each point of which features either a sparkling white or glittering black diamond.

Produced in 2012 by a company called Superlative Luxury, this unique t-shirt has a jaw-dropping price tag of $400,000. It was created using low-emission production technology, making it an eco-friendly option.

Those hoping to flaunt their affluence while promoting green technologies may be lucky enough to find one of these shirts available for resale online.

Why It’s Expensive

The primary reason why this shirt is so expensive is that it features almost 10 carats of diamonds. These precious jewels can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than $100,000 per carat!

However, this shirt is also made of organic materials designed for maximum comfort. Unlike synthetic materials, many of which can cause allergic reactions, this shirt’s organic fabrics are well-suited to nearly all wearers thanks to its absence of harsh chemicals.

Why Are Some T-Shirts So Expensive?

There are quite a few reasons why some t-shirts cost thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars.

Generally, the priciest t-shirts are:

  • Made of costly materials
  • Rare or vintage pieces
  • Backed by reputable brands

If you’re interested in filling your closet with the most expensive t-shirts, you’ll want to keep these qualities in mind while shopping.

Costly Materials

Like the world’s most expensive dresses, many of the priciest t-shirts are made of costly materials. Some feature organic fabrics, and others are embedded with high-priced gemstones.

The final product is far more valuable because the materials have a higher value than standard t-shirt materials (bleached cotton, nylon).

Of course, materials aren’t the only aspect influencing t-shirt price. A shirt’s rarity also influences its cost.

Rarity

The rarer an item is, the more valuable it becomes.

Many vintage shirts are costly, especially when they’re in excellent or near-mint condition. That’s because shirts that are several decades old are often worn or damaged.

Finding one in great shape is uncommon, so vintage t-shirts (especially those associated with artists or bands) that are well-maintained tend to sell for thousands.

This concept is the primary reason the Supreme brand is so expensive. After all, Supreme only releases a limited number of each item. It’s also worth noting that branding can influence a t-shirt’s price.

Brand Reputation

T-shirts created by some of the world’s top luxury brands almost always fetch higher prices than those made by commonplace department store brands.

For example, a t-shirt released by Louis Vuitton is bound to cost more than a t-shirt from Target or Walmart. The Louis Vuitton brand name is held in high esteem and associated with wealth and luxury.

So, if you’re hoping to show off a collection of expensive t-shirts, you’ll want to ensure you’re investing in shirts from reputable brands with affluent associations.

What Is the Most Expensive Shirt of All Time?

The most expensive t-shirt is Superlative Luxury’s The Most Expensive Shirt in the World. This t-shirt costs $400,000, making it almost as expensive as the average U.S. home.

This organic, eco-friendly t-shirt contains several carats of diamonds (both black and white). The high-priced materials and advanced production processes are the primary reasons this shimmering t-shirt is the priciest on the planet.

Would you like to learn about more of the world’s most expensive and luxurious fashion items? Check out these related articles now!

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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