The market for New Orleans based t-shirts has exploded since Katrina. Like I've stated before in several other features, it's one of the coolest ways to show love for your city. Here in New Orleans, we wear t-shirts all year around because of the weather and it has become an opportunity for each individual to stand out amongst the crowd.
Of the 1/2 dozen or so shops out there doing great work and offering great products, one of the original players, Skip N' Whistle ( formerly Ichabods ) has been flying under the radar by churning out classic and ingenious t's for quite some time. Although their physical store has been open for over a year as Skip N' Whistle, Ichabods started screening gems 8 years ago, way before Katrina.
Founded by designer and master screen printing guru Chris Reams, Skip N' Whistle on the newly re-paved Oak St. Uptown, has become a one stop shop for all things New Orleans. Their eclectic mix of old school New Orleans icons like Jax, K&B, and Mckenzies, really gives the place a local yet very dialed in vintage feel. Custom printed canvas messenger bags and totes line the wall of the shop flanked by a great selection of vintage printed glassware and jewelry.
Skip N' Whistle offers not only their own custom designed and screen printed t's, but they have also introduced us to their version of the t-shirt bar where they offer hundreds of t-shirts designs to their customers at on the fly speed. With a growing stable of designs well over 500 that people can choose from and make while they wait, there's not much Skip N' Whistle doesn't offer.
And while their original shirts I truly dig, starting September 9th, Skip N' Whistle will be offering screen printing classes at The Factory ( on Oak St. also, next to The Maple Leaf ) to those who want to learn every bit and piece of the screen printing process, including the design and printing of their own t-shirts. I'll certainly be in that number!
Where Skip N' Whistle stands out above the rest is their unique blending of very familiar icons with a local flavor. Their New Orleans Saints t-shirts don't hit you over the head in an obvious manner, they are simply cleverly designed and executed. Their Rosenberg's WHODAT design just blows me away. Brilliant! Why be bold when you can be clever right? I've always felt that when visiting a city and searching for items like t-shirts to bring back and wear in your hometown, they should be indigenous and unique to that place and its culture. It's fair to say that I would be proud to rep my city in any other town wearing a Skip N' Whistle t-shirt!