Enlarge Metalheads have an average of 17 band t-shirts in their collection totally $495 in value.

Study: Metal Fans are the Most Avid T-Shirt Collectors


Buying t-shirts has long been the way metalheads show love for their favorite bands, both to support musicians’ livelihoods and to advertise their fandom to the world. Not for nothing, metal shirts are also the coolest: who wouldn’t want to sport brightly colored threads with skulls and bones and blood??

Now the proof is in: according to a study by the t-shirt printing company Rush Order Tees, metal fans are the most avid band t-shirt collectors of all, boasting an average of 17 in their wardrobe.

The survey consisted of 1,017 “proud owners of band tees” to see what genres they represent, those shirts’ value, what led fans to buy the shirts, their purchasing habits, and more. The exact methodology of the survey is explained at the end of the study and appears sound, but it doesn’t take a PhD in Communications to believe what the eye test already told you: metalheads love band shirts!

Interestingly, the study concluded that punk fans have spent the most money ($597 on average) on their band tee collection, while buying fewer shirts overall (15). Metal fans reported spending an average of $495 on their band shirt collection, which would mean they spend an average of close to $30 on each (again, that math passes the eye test).

EDM fans reported spending the least amount on their shirt collections, but reported owning 16 shirts, on average, making their price per shirt lower than any other genre.

Study: Metal Fans are the Most Avid T-Shirt Collectors

The study found that millennials were willing to spend the most on a single t-shirt purchase at $57 per shirt. Gen Xers were willing to spend $45, while baby boomers were willing to spend the least at $39 per shirt.

58.4% of survey respondents said that a vintage band tee is a status symbol, and nearly the same number (58.9%) said they’d purchased one. eBay was the most popular platform for doing so, followed closely by thrift shops. On average, the oldest band t-shirt people owned was acquired 11 years ago.

Here’s something I didn’t expect to see: 43.3% of survey participants said you should buy a band shirt before a concert and wear it to the show. Say WHAT? These folks obviously weren’t the metalheads in the study, as that’s a major no-no in our world! Only 20.6% of respondents said you shouldn’t wear a band’s shirt to their concert.

Study: Metal Fans are the Most Avid T-Shirt Collectors

You can read the rest of the survey results here.

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