Off the beaten path…Martin + Osa

I have had a long and torrid love affair with tee shirts. Everyday wear as a kid; worn like a badge in middle school; avoided like the plague in high school; obsessed over as a statement in college; shoved in storage in my early 20s and now I am once again falling back in love. Sometimes I wear tees on the weekend while running errands but mostly they are my go-to lounging around wear.

That said it’s almost embarrassing how many tees I own. Probably 30. Most of them are college leftovers where the sentimental value far exceeds the actual value. Were this an episode of “Clean Sweep” Peter Walsh would be telling me to let go of the past while Eric Stromer would be covered in my drool…where was I? Oh right, tees.

Mindlessly stumbling around the Martin + Osa site, I happened upon the Graphic Butterfly tee ($30, photo at top of post). It has an Anthropologiesque quality to it, no? A dreamy, floaty quality like something out of the Cavallini & Co. botanicals calendar. Too bad the model’s right arm has been Photoshopped so badly her hands look gorillalike. Martin + Osa (by the way) is where American Eagle connoseuirs go when their days of stringy halters and one-shoulder tops are over. AE occasionally has a touch of whimsy as well. Take the Rose Leather Belt, my favorite piece from last fall. Much as I try to deny it my days at AE are numbered — the staff is younger than I am. So to find this young and effortless tee at Martin + Osa was a nice surprise.

They have one other tee in the same vein. The oh-so-creatively named Graphic V-Neck tee ($35) looks a bit paint-stained but I like the botanical reverse print. This other version of the tee ($35) might be cute…if the model would just finish turning around I might be able to see what the print is.

Browsing around this site illustrates the difference between a Martin + Osa, whose site is clearly designed not for e-commerce but to drive store traffic and Anthro’s site, whose design continues to impress me. I do wish Anthropologie had static product images in addition to the flash for easy Polyvoring but it’s a quibble. When I get sick of plain-named tees and need a touch of the fantastical in my life we both know to which site I go.


  1. January 21, 2009 / 6:56 pm

    Thanks for this post. I am always looking for new tees. I like both the grey and red graphic tees. I wear tees/tanks all summer- best for my lifestyle of going to the park/pool. These are different enough to look special, but not trying too hard. I always look to JCrew for a cute tee, but they have boring, boring, boring. I bought some cute l/s tees from Anthropologie this winter, so I hope I can find some cute s/s tees.

  2. January 22, 2009 / 5:12 pm

    Bummer! I just went to the site (remarkably not blocked at work) and the grey tee is sold out in most sizes. Oh well. Am taking a look at the jeans and am loving the grey bootcut pair. Anyone know how M&S jeans fit? I've never bought anything through them before, but I may start as the prices are great!

  3. Anonymous
    January 24, 2009 / 5:23 pm

    I'm surprised by your comment about M&O's website being designed more to drive store traffic than e-commerce. I find their online photos and descriptions to be incredibly detailed, showing many different angles of every garment, sometimes in each & every color. Also, the product description is very detailed, even including fabric content. They also offer free shipping on orders over $125 (and free returns), so I'd say they are very online-shopping-friendly. As far as the store experience goes, M&O is very plain and boring, unlike Anthro.

  4. Anonymous
    January 26, 2009 / 8:43 pm

    Don't be embarrassed by owning 30 tees…..I probably own close to 100–some for casual- some for dressy- some for work, etc….love them:)

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