While you’re combing the Internet this holiday season for the perfect nerdy t-shirt to gift someone, we thought we’d take this opportunity to invite you to look back on a few classics. The things we choose to brand our bodies with — whether it be the logos of our favorite bands, or symbols from most-loved films — are bold statements that help define who we are and what we’re feeling. Some t-shirt designs have become larger than life — absorbed into the pop culture mind grapes and resurrected in various 2.0 redesigns. Others have stayed the same and are classics for a reason. Click through to check out ten iconic pop culture t-shirts, and leave your favorites below.
John Lennon’s New York City Tee
John Lennon needed a cover image and press photos to help promote his fifth solo album Walls and Bridges, so he took to a sunny rooftop with photographer Bob Gruen wearing a $5 tee he purchased on the streets of New York City. The Beatle was self-conscious about his pale arms in the cutoff shirt, but that didn’t stop Gruen from snapping some great shots. The images taken on top of Lennon’s East 52nd Street penthouse apartment became legendary, and the t-shirt itself has toured the world since Lennon’s death in 1980.