This Malaysian startup wants you to wear your thoughts on your t-shirt, especially what you've been holding in.

Anna Lee  |  MY
Published 2016-07-14 13:52:49

Inadvertently, life hands us lemons when it’s highly impractical to whip up some lemonade. Case in point: your boss ticks you off, or a freshly-met acquaintance rubs you the wrong way. Much as we wish to speak our mind in such situations, there are boundaries to every event in life.

So, what’s the classy way to express what’s up in the good ol’ noggin’?

Wear your thoughts instead.

Insulting You With My Fashion Sense

Image Credit: Insvltees Facebook
Image Credit: Insvltees Facebook

Insvltees are a range of Malaysian-made snarky t-shirts you wish you could wear in to situations where you’ve been muted by convention. The name of the startup is derived from the term ‘insult’ and ‘tees’ and display comments across the chest like:

“There’s only room for one genius here #itsnotyou”

“I hope you’re nice on the inside, your outside doesn’t show it”

“Every dog has its day #TodayIsYourDay”

While some of their lines are inspired by people or events, others are classically original and are whipped up organically. The co-founder said, “Okay, just imagine you’re in a meeting, and someone says something ridiculously stupid. What would Miranda Priestly or Harvey Specter say?”

Brewed From Shelved Outbursts

Image Credit: Insvltees Facebook
Image Credit: Insvltees Facebook

The idea for the tees came about through the daily humdrum of life, when Cheryl and her partner were recounting their daily events with one another. They realised that there are just so many times where we wish to speak our mind, but have to remain silent, for whatever reason, be it due to the fact that they are our clients, bosses, or just a silly colleague who can’t keep his opinion to himself.

The idea to put the comebacks which they are supposed to be mum about, on a tee came almost immediately. Cheryl shared, “Since the lines can ‘prick’ people (siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas), we thought it would be fun to be put on tees. Apparel is a form of expression. People dress the way they do, to express who they are, and how they ‘see’ life and how they want to be ‘seen’.”


Cheryl, who is fresh out of the advertising field, runs Insvtees full-time, and she regards her partner who does this part-time as her support system. “I run lines by him, he refines them. Or he runs lines by me, and I refine them. So we’re kind of like a tag team where we have each other to bounce ideas off.”

They conceptualised the brand, direction, logo and company together and work with a designer for all of their designs. As for the logo, Cheryl joked that syringes prick and sting a person. “Just like the lines we print on our tees.”

Adapting To Local Insults

Considering how some of the lines may not be entirely locally-adapted as yet, Insvltees are also looking forward to how they can attract more Malaysians.

“We’re going to launch a localised collection that we’re rolling out soon too! THAT is going to be SO much fun!” Cheryl shared.

There are also a few collections that the team are excited to roll out which would display intelligent, witty and classically sarcastic lines, but all with a hint of insult or tongue-in-cheek embedded in them. Cheryl said, “We’re ‘made with 100% attitude’ after all!”

Insvltees has only recently gone ‘live’ on Facebook and currently retails for RM40 per tee until 18th July. By the end of July, the site will go ‘live’ during the official launch, whereby customers may purchase tees for RM50 each.

Subscribe to Vulcan Post Newsletter

Stay updated with our weekly curated news and updates.
Read more about our privacy policy here.