An Open Letter To Target: Where Are The Cool Tees For Women?

target tees
Consumer GoodsFashionShopping 5 Comments

Ladies, I don’t know about you, but I am always on the lookout for a great fun t-shirt that is hip and can be worn anywhere. So I was thrilled to see how many licensed tees Target has in stock this year! The prices are reasonable, there are lots to choose from, they are fun, nerdy, and hip… so what’s the downside?? They’re made for men. There are a couple (as in 2) in women’s sizes, which was so disappointing. I tried to get in touch with Target via the contact sheet on their website, but continually got an error that said “please enter valid questions & comments.” Ironic. So here’s my open letter to Target.


Dear Target,

Last night I went to your store to buy some Christmas gifts. I think you’re great, Target, and I’m really excited that you now carry more organic food products which give me great soup options for lunch! Your greeting card and nail polish selections also rock. But let’s talk about clothing, specifically graphic tees, because last night you let me down, Target.

target men's teeI admit, I love brand names and fancy labels, but when it comes to basics, you are my go-to. I was beyond excited when I ventured over to the men’s section of the store and saw graphic tees sporting all kinds of rad licensed characters and logos. There were Avengers, Star Wars, Batman, NASA, Mustang, Coke, Jurassic Park, Star Trek, Nirvana, Iron Man… the list goes on. My little nerd heart nearly exploded as I tried to figure out which ones to get for my dad and my boyfriend. Target, bless you. I’m convinced there isn’t a guy out there who couldn’t find a tee he didn’t love in this collection of nerdy awesomeness.

I could barely contain myself because I thought my group of girlfriends who geek out on this kind of stuff too would be so thrilled. These tees would also make really fabulous gifts for them!

So I headed over to the women’s section of the store where I was confronted with the taste of bitter disappointment. The display of graphic tees included Beauty & the Beast, Mickey Mouse, red sparkly lips, a kitten tee with some lame saying, and a bunch of others with team numbers on them. Um… seriously? I thought, “Maybe this is a fluke and all the kickass nerdy tees for women are on the website instead of in the stores.” I immediately got on my phone to see if there are more tees available online.

On your webpage, Target, the first three graphic tees that show up for women are Santa, a gray sweatshirt with hearts, and a blue shirt that says “Shopping is my cardio.” What the heck, Target? Is this a joke? As I scrolled down the page, there were two shirts with the Superman logo and one with the Captain America logo. All the rest of the tees consisted of Disney graphics, bows, lips, hearts, or kittens, with the exception of two ugly band logos (I’ve never seen anyone wear a Def Leppard shirt and I work in the music industry).

target womens teesThe men’s graphic tee section on target.com has five pages of really awesome logos people actually want to wear. There is even a Hogwarts shirt for fellow Harry Potter nerds! The women’s section has two pages of tepid, lame, gender specific bubble gum that I’m just not interested in. I am so bummed.

About eight years ago, I bought a Star Wars shirt in your store. I wore that thing until it had holes in it and I never saw another Star Wars shirt for women in a Target store again. “I’d prefer as a grown woman not to wear Belle & the Beast on my chest, you know?” Now, I get that maybe I don’t represent the female demographic you’re going for, but I’m 32, not 74, and I like to think I know how to dress in a fun, cool way for my age.

I think your men’s tees are awesome, so why can’t women’s tees be equally awesome?! Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-Disney princess, I actually love them, but I’d prefer as a grown woman not to wear Belle & the Beast on my chest, you know? I’m telling you, Target, I am not alone in this. I can think of a dozen women off the top of my head who would totally buy some better graphic tees with characters like Wonder Woman, Princess Leia, Catwoman, and old school pics of Jane Austen or Virginia Woolf, or vintage book covers of Pride & Prejudice or Jane Eyre. And it might surprise you to know that some girls also love Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Avengers, rock bands, and cars too!

There have been several stories in the news lately of girls who want better toys that aren’t so gender specific. And I guess to continue on that theme, I’d really like to see this represented in the women’s clothing department at Target. Can you please include some awesome tees that showcase strong women instead of princesses, and kickass logos instead of sparkly lips?

Most Sincerely,

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Leah LaRocco, WYSK Lifestyle Contributor About Leah LaRocco, WYSK Lifestyle Contributor

Women You Should Know Lifestyle Contributor Leah LaRocco is a Long Islander who now lives in Franklin, Tennessee and works in the music industry for The Recording Academy. Her greatest pleasures include BBC drama, good British tea, botanical gardens, Betsey Johnson dresses, and playing with her two cats, Maddox and Myrtle. You can read more about Leah’s adventures in life and perspectives on people, places, and things on her personal blog Edges Like Sea Glass.

  • tinabean1982

    I haven’t bought a graphic tee from the Target women’s department in years. I buy the ones I like from the men’s department, for myself. And I don’t care if my husband or son has the same one, we just make it a point to wear them at different times 😉

    These are the designs of men’s tees I’ve bought myself, just off the top of my head: Millennium Falcon, Star Wars logo, NES controller, Bluth’s Bananas, Pink Floyd (3 different designs), Atari logo, Pit Fall artwork, Beatles, Superman, Captain America, Batman retro logo, Mickey Mouse, Ghostbusters, Mt. Dew, Mr. Bubble, Nirvana, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers… I’m sure there are more lol!

    I’m a 31yo female and would love to be able to find decent shirts in the women’s department but will just keep shopping the men’s department until then. I have the same issue with cool shirts for my 9yo daughter who happens to be awesomely imaginative and enjoys a full range of interests, not limited to what we find in the girl’s department. Her favorite tees right now are Thor, Spiderman and Minecraft.

    Rather than being squeezed into a tiny “girl” box, we’re breaking down the walls on the “boy” box and buying things that awaken our imaginations and inspire our hearts.

  • Amber Beitzel

    Absolutely! I would LOVE to have these shirts in women’s sizes. I do occasionally purchase the men’s shirts, but they DO NOT fit the same. I have Dr. Pepper, Superman, Spiderman, many Star wars, Phinease and Ferb, Thor, tons of Batman shirts, and Iron man, along with several Mario shirts, Captain America, and some science puns…

  • Alicia

    I know this article is several months old, but it still applies to what’s currently available in the women’s section in Target. I miss the L.O.L Vintage tees that are a little longer, thin, comfortable, and don’t have graphics that look like they should be on some little girl’s shirt. I can’t stand all the Disney Princess stuff that seems to be everywhere – and now they’re on women’s shirts. Plus, the trend seems to be cropped shirts that expose the midriff and really deep v-necks. I don’t want my stomach exposed (nor would innocent bystanders, really) or my chest, so the options are even more limited.

    All the shirts with the cool, old-school graphics/logos are in the men’s section. I don’t like the men’s cut, I like the woman’s cut for a t-shirt. The material is also not as thin as the women’s shirts.

    Target used to have such cool, reasonably priced tees for juniors/women. It’s been so disappointing to see nothing I like when I go to Target now. Hopefully they’ll soon start offering the same shirts (or similar) in the women’s section as offered in the men’s.

  • Holly Strong

    You are totally on point with this. My daughter feels the same way, she will find something cute for her sister and also like it for herself but her size not available. This frustrates me.

  • Carolyn Pickering

    I just went seaching on the Target Australia website for a cool Star Wars The Force Awakens T-shirt and there was nothing for women. Goes against the inclusion by JJ Abrams of kick-ass female characters in the movie. Target just reinforces the stereotypes the new Star Wars counters. Target excludes. The Force is not strong with this one.

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