What's in Store

Price Range: $25

What would you pay to put urban art on your chest?

By Caitlin King March 26, 2010


The University District’s Upper Playground is the Seattle branch of a great idea: Dot cool urban spots with shops that double as galleries and feature graphic, modern work from a family of globally gathered up-and-coming artists (some from right here in the PNW).

As the weather warms, we’re really warming to the designs printed on the brand’s all-cotton, made-in-the-U-S-of-A, well-cut (slightly draped scoop-necks and high, flattering arm holes for her; roomy but not giant for him) tee-shirts. They go for around $25.

The collective (don’t call it a chain) has eight stores in cities as diverse as London, Berkeley, Manhattan (on the Lower East Side), and Mexico City; the airy, easy-to-shop space on the Ave stands out in its crowd.

The company also compiles books of work from its favorite featured artists; these sell for $20. To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Upper Playground released the book UP10, which featured 10 years of the store’s T-shirt designs.

Check the slideshow here for some of our favorite looks, but make sure you check out the brick and mortar, too. (We aren’t going for the Kindle, and we can’t abide an online art gallery either.) The U District’s version of Upper Playground is featuring Portland-based artist OBLVN in its back viewing room now through April 14. Look for his designs with animated characters of capital letters - one has a U, a P, and a P robbing a bank and running from the cops—E and R.


You know what would look really nice with that tee-shirt? Some sneakers

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