Unlike many other blogs who will rant and rave to you about an item they got for free, I do not believe in that VERY FLAWED method of reviewing. But, in my own personal time, I will go out and spend my money every now and then on a thing or two that I think is worth mentioning. I do not get a single thing out of making these reviews. And this is what Frugal Approval is all about. Honest, straight-forward reviews about products, services, etc. in Kuwait that I have personally spent money on and that I would personally tell my family and friends about. And now, I’m telling you.
Let’s all admit it ladies and gents: Kuwait is THE LAND of trends or “habbat” as its more affectionately known in Kuwaiti-Arabic. Whether its BlackBerry neck holders, UGGs (no matter how UGG-LY), Ray Bans, henna tattoos, or pointless, money-scamming ‘balance’ wristbands, I have never seen a fashion trend spread faster and more rabid than in Kuwait.
Never ever. I don’t know how people in Kuwait get their ‘trend alerts’ but everyone will literally transform overnight and become an exact copy of the complete stranger striding along next to them in The Avenues. It’s like the freaking Matrix, I swear.
Now, I personally have never really found myself gravitating towards any of the “habbat” that people in Kuwait tend to flock towards. I value my sense of style and I believe that my style is supposed to express all that is unique and interesting about me as opposed to making me look like I’m ‘on trend.’ The way I dress is an extension of the way I am.
And ‘the way I am’ can be defined somewhere in the land of preppy-girly meets indie-casual. I like to look polished and pretty but still give off a highly unique and comfortable vibe.
There is perhaps no easier way to achieve this kind of look than to find a clean cut, pretty colored t-shirt with an amazingly creative print on it. If you’re into this kind of style then you’re probably pretty well-acquainted with places like ThreadLess or Urban Outfitters.
Well, if you’re in Kuwait, you better start acquainting yourself with Local Tees too.
I first happened upon Local Tees when I visited the BuzzArt Retail Festival held in the Fa Gallery last summer. And after I nearly passed out from the sheer awesomeness of their creations, I bought the beautiful Audrey Hepburn ‘trying to hold smoke’ t-shirt then jetted back home to check out their full collection online.
And as excited as I was when I saw a few of their shirts hanging on a single rack, I was honestly QUADRUPLY excited when I saw their whole shin-dig online.
Not only was this the first truly street hip, pop art inspired, indie-loving fashion line in Kuwait, it was also EXPRESSIVELY BY KUWAIT. So, yes, Local Tees features some really great and inspired graphic art pieces created by some really brilliant international artists, but that is honestly not what makes it so special.
What makes it so special is its distinctly Kuwaiti and Arab character as highlighted, for example, in their ‘Toobah’ (توبه) shirt. Yeah, its a shirt that’s all about a phrase and hand gesture that only an old Kuwaiti women would make. Where else on the planet are you going to find a shirt like that? What more unique and fashion forward way to express your love for Kuwait and its heritage?
Unfortunately, I couldn’t snag any of those beyond cool ‘hand gesture, old phrase’ t-shirts because they were sold out like freaking hot-cakes! But, I was wildly happy to still see a huge collection of Arab and Kuwaiti centric t-shirts available and ended up snagging the ‘Babaratzi’ t-shirt.
Now, as far as pricing goes they do lose a few points: I mean, 20 KD for what is, in the end, a jersey t-shirt makes Local Tees more of a luxury buy than something that your average street hip, upper middle-class girl can afford on a regular basis. But, hey, I personally think that almost ALL of Kuwait’s clothing market needs to recheck its lofty price tags, so maybe its just me.
But when it finally comes down to it Local Tees is a Kuwaiti brand worth supporting. Not just because it provides a wide array of high quality material for the growing and wanting indie community in Kuwait. But because it also adds its own flavor of Arab and Kuwaiti character that is dedicated to seeing the brilliant fashion potential in all the local color and heritage that makes Kuwait unique and special and unlike any other place on earth.
All my love!