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An Unexpected Pairing Heralds a Fancy, Nerdy Shirt: One Piece and Original Stitch

Wallet... Must Be... Careful...

Official promotional image for Original Stitch's line of One Piece Shirts

During the pandemic, we all developed some kind of weird, covetous habit. For me, it was looking through the endless patterns of Original Stitch’s Pokémon shirts. Each Pokémon got its own svelte pattern, and flicking through them was a mindless joy for me. So when, a few months ago, the company announced they were releasing shirts inspired by my beloved One Piece, I was quite excited to flick through more patterns. The initial run of thirty paled in comparison to the hundreds and hundreds of Pokémon patterns, but Original Stitch has just released a new batch inspired by Winter Island and Alabasta, which significantly expand its repertoire with some key characters.

These new patterns give me a lot of joy. I can fashion a shirt for myself that’s a tribute to Bon Clay (One Piece’s OG queer character), Crocodile, or Laboon, or—best and most critically of all—the Kung-Fu Jugongs. I am here for absolutely any recognition of us in the Kung-Fu Jugong fandom. We are here, and we want more Jungongs. (If you have not encountered them yet, they are an entire species of dugong which knows kung-fu and is good at fighting and wear what looks like little hoodies.)

Original Stitch, by the way, is a high-end clothing company that allows you to make custom-tailored shirts. Because they’re high-end, the shirts aren’t cheap; the base cost is $100. If you really go to town with the customization aspect and use different patterns on the collar, inner and outer cuffs, etc (which is super fun, even as just an exercise), you can be looking at a $150-175 shirt. If following up the world’s biggest IP, Pokémon, with One Piece surprises you, just know that One Piece is the best-selling manga of all time. And is ridiculously popular in Japan. So.

If that sounds steep, you’re definitely justified in thinking so. I finally got one for my ******th birthday (and, full disclosure, have received others from the company themselves, but I would recommend them just the same either way). I can assure you they are very nice shirts. Do I find endless humor and pride in the fact that my nicest, most expensive pieces of clothing have Gloom and Luffy on them? Yes. Yes I do. From this experience, I can also recommend that you should give yourself an extra inch on the sleeves.

However, despair not if these One Piece designs have caught your eye, but you don’t have $100. There are also cloth masks, bandanas, and—new alongside the additional patterns—couch pillows. And, if you ask me, the Laboon pattern in particular was born to be on a pillow anyway. It’s so damn cute that it makes me angry.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Original Stitch is a Japanese company. They are actually a US company which owns a Japan-based company.

(featured image: Original Stitch)

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Kirsten (she/her) is a musician, audio person, writer, and nerd. When not talking about One Piece or Pokémon, she's finding surprising ways to play the guitar.