This year, merch officially took over our closets: Athletic brands we once bought in bulk at sporting goods stores suddenly took off, allowing fashion brands to sell them for a much higher profit than what they command at (nearly defunct) Sports Authority. Vetements made its own version of Champion sweats — except the cult cool-kid brand's take retailed for literally 35 times more than the original. Every musician going on tour (or not) slapped their name onto jersey T-shirts with gothic-inspired fonts. Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein began pushing their simple-but-nostalgic '90s logos just a little harder. Basically, merch got way out of hand this year, and for some reason, we were all here for it.
It's tricky to determine how, exactly, these normcore brands blew up this year. It certainly has something to do with celeb cameos, like the Kardashian-Jenner clan and the Hadid family, along with bloggers. With the go-ahead from these famous trendsetters, lots of merch made its way into our online shopping carts this year. From concert tees to political gear, our closets became quite logo-filled, with everything #I’mWithHer hanging next to “I Feel Like Pablo.” The personalization trend (not quite merch, but close) was happening concurrently, as we amassed many articles of clothing embossed with our names and initials, summer-camp style.
We've been keeping a tally of all the merch worth knowing in 2016, because, let's be honest, it's easy to lose track. Since some of these lines resurfaced from the ‘90s, we decided it was appropriate to look back yearbook-style over the past 12 months of novelty sweatshirts and their ilk. So, we took the liberty of assigning superlatives to all the merch collections we couldn’t get enough of this year. From Kayne’s Saint Pablo tees to Calvin Klein’s eponymous logo gear, read on to see which lines made the cut, for better or worse.