IN THE WEEKS leading up to Luca Guadagnino’s long-awaited tennis dram-rom-com, Challengers, I expected a lot of tennis-core fashion to be hitting the streets. You know – polospleated tennis skirts, and the like. What I did not expect to be rising in popularity is a T-shirt worn by JFK Jr. in the ’90s, with three bold, simple words splashed across the front: “I TOLD YA.”

So now I’m tellin’ ya. This shirt is about to be back big-time, especially if you’re going to see Challengers. Take a look at the cast and crew if you don’t believe me: in homage to Zendaya’s character, Tashi, wearing the shirt in the movie, Josh O’Connor, who plays love interest Patrick, wore a bespoke Loewe button-down with “I TOLD YA” on the front to the movie premiere. Loewe designer Jonathan Anderson – who served as the costume designer on Challengers – wore an “I TOLD YA” tee to the premiere, too.

Getty Images

Seems like everybody’s telling each other things for some reason! JFK Jr.’s OG tee that inspired the Challengers replicas has mysterious origins but is perhaps an homage to his father’s inaugural button from 1961. Still, the biggest takeaway here: These stars’ tees are telling us, loud and clear, in bold and all caps, that they are just plain dope. They’re kind of arrogant, kind of tongue-in-cheek, extremely easy to wear – and isn’t all the best clothing?

For less than 40 bucks, you can snag your own “I TOLD YA” tee. You should definitely wear it when you go see Challengers. Perhaps let it make an appearance if you’re planning on watching or playing in a tennis match any time soon.

Courtesy MGM

And if you want to shop one of these tees in alternate colors, like baby pink or white or black, let it be your new favorite graphic tee, one you wear with all your best jeans, cardigans, and sneakers.

Don’t say we didn’t tell ya.

A version of this article originally appeared in Esquire US.


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