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Top 10 Things You Should Totally Buy Now That Hot Topic Is Our Affiliate

On 30 November 2013, I had a dream.

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It was a serious desire to see this website that I hold so dear to my heart finally partner with an affiliate clothier that is more aligned to my personal style, that of a 31-year-old business goth with the fashion sensibilities of the 2nd guitarist from every high school Fall Out Boy tribute band.

I had high hopes. My passion for Hot Topic runs long and deep, and no one knows this better than our leader, Riese, who over the course of our lengthy friendship has been known to humour my various obsessions with Things From USA Culture. In 2008, we blew off an afternoon at South-by-Southwest in favour of heading to the suburban Hot Topic store miles from town, where we bought matching OMG WTF novelty tees while listening to Blink-182 songs that maybe probably weren’t as great as the live music that we were missing out on back on 6th St. We’ll never truly know.

In 2009, I successfully campaigned for Hot Topic to be included in the Autostraddle Hot 100 where it ranked at a respectable #94. The year after, I emailed Hot Topic head office about buying a franchise license for Sydney ’cause I wasn’t totally convinced that pop-punk was dead. Sadly I never heard back. Their loss, I’m sure.

So imagine my pure delight when a short 435 days later, she delivered:

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Which brings me to:

Top 10 things you should totally, definitely buy now that Hot Topic is an affiliate of Autostraddle.com

A brief PSA, before we move onto shiny things with faux leather trim: Affiliates are a super easy way to support indie queer media while exerting ZERO effort. When you buy goods from many popular retailers via this link, a tiny cut goes into the pockets of the raddest army of amazing queer writers on the internet or anywhere else.

1 – 3. The Joan Jett x Tripp NYC Collection


When I heard that my #1 all time bad bitch Joan Jett was doing an exclusive fashion collaboration with my #1 favourite supplier of black clothing, Tripp NYC, I died. I’m still dead. I’m typing this sentence from heaven, where Joan wraps her arms around me and whispers into my ear about how that smokin’ hot moto jacket feels real nice.

Left: Joan Jett x Tripp NYC Black Twill Badass Moto Jacket ($51.60)
Middle: Joan Jett Bad Reputation Muscle Shirt ($19.60)
Right: An Asymmetrical Tank To Go With That Haircut ($12.98)

4. LOVEsick Kitty Stripe Faux Thigh High Tights ($10)


I can think of at least three people in my life who would rock these tights without a hint of irony, so I bet you know at least one. Adorably, they also come in Rabbit and Bear.

5. Black & Red Plaid Shirt ($23.60)

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The placeholder text in my first draft said, “This is something Kristen Stewart would throw on to run to Wholefoods” and I haven’t been able to think up a more compelling reason to buy it than this.

6. T.U.K. Rainbow Combat Boot ($82.80)

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You just know that these boots will take this year’s Pride outfit to a whole new level.

7. RUDE Indigo Hooded Cap Denim Vest ($35.60)

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This rugged vest is probably the secret to gaining vest confidence and patch-sewing skills.

8. The Breakfast Club Sketch Plaid Muscle Shirt ($19.60)

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Everyone who still looks fondly upon the 8os will go wild for this sketch tank with Bender’s signature red plaid on back. It’ll be anarchy. *fist pump*

9. Toddland Sliders Boxers ($19.20)

If sliders, or “small hamburgers” outside of the USA, are the way into your lover’s heart then these boxers will probably be your consensual way into their pants.

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10. Silver 24″ Wallet Chain ($8.40)

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1998 called to remind you that it was a big year for cool clothing and that if you’ve ever wondered if wallet chains could make a comeback then the answer is yes, definitely. It just takes one brave soldier. Be the chain that you wanna see.

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Founding member. Former writer. Still loves Autostraddle with her whole heart.

Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. Okay, so I need like burning the Joan Jett muscle tank, the stripy kitty stockings and those metallic boots. I would obviously wear them together, probably with my rainbow unicorn skirt.

    Because that’s just how I roll, bitches.

  2. HOT TOPIIIIIIIIIC! This is great news for the Femme Witch Coven!
    I bought a dress and a cardigan there before Halloween last year (not for my costume but inspired by enthusiasm for my costume) – I’ve been saving the dress for the right occasion but wearing the cardi all over the place and EVERYONE compliments me on it.

  3. Oh, Hot Topic, you made it possible for me to afford rough approximations of the punk and goth ensembles I so desired in my adolescence. And through most of college. Okay, if you had my size, I would still give you my money for clothes that I no longer feel like a “poser” for buying from you.

    One of my new things I’m trying at the age of 31 is letting myself buy things I love even if they cost more than $20. I think I may love those rainbow boots.

  4. Oh man, this makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER about just dropping $175 on Valentine’s lingerie at HT’s lingerie store, Blackheart.

    • I only discovered that lingerie store yesterday because apparently I forgot HT existed for a while. Please report back on whether it’s decent!

  5. The red shirt also allows you to cosplay as Carmilla and Marceline. Basically, vampires rock red plaid shirts.

  6. 1. is katie wearing kitten tights to the wedding
    2. this post made me LOL eight times
    3. glad kids are still into TBC
    4. i’m so happy we could make this dream come true
    5. wish that OMG WTF shirt hadn’t shrunk in the wash and become a tiny tee, which is, to be fair, on-brand for hot topic
    6. really sad that they never wrote you back about opening up in australia
    7. i love you

    • 1. It would really not surprise me
      2. Was one of the LOLs “be the chain you wanna see”? because i totally laughed at my own joke even though it doesn’t make sense. yolo
      3. I don’t know what TBC is. Something that I’m either too old or too foreign to know about probably
      4. same
      5. my OMG WTF tee never actually fit me. it was slightly too small when i bought it but i only grew bigger after that year
      6. imagine what could have been
      7. love you


    I must ask this again: HOW DARE YOU!?

    I tried to be reasonable, I tried to be calm but when sly mofos like yourselves (I’m especially looking at you Crystal) manage to get into my mind and my closet, you come out with this shit.

    I must ask this again: DO YOU HAVE ANY MERCY ON MY WALLET?!

    I’m starting to think you all just don’t give a fuck or maybe you give too many which means you care. Basically, I’m about to go health goth on this.

    I’m going to have to see my bank account and Beysus about this because I feel the divinity of an ALL BLACK EVERYTHING closet in my very near future.


    • i just want you to know that this comment filled my heart with joy. thank you.

      and i’m sorry for everything.

  8. This is perfect because Hot Topic is my number one place to find bizarre cat shirts. And the fact that I still wear bizarre cat shirts from Hot Topic makes me feel like I’m really nailing this whole adult thing.

    • Yes! they really deliver on weird cat stuff.

      i still have t-shirt of 3x keyboard cats howling at the moon so don’t feel alone.

  9. This is just such good news, go team, etc.

    Crystal I would read your list of top 10 stupid names Americans give to things that are actually just x thing. (re: sliders as tiny hamburgers).

  10. !!!!!

    The first time I ever went to Hot Topic was when I was in LA as part of this epic world tour thing I was a part of in 2005. I’d heard lots about it but there wasn’t anything close to HT in Malaysia so this was pretty exciting.

    NICEST STAFF MEMBERS EVER OMGGGGGGGG. They were SO SWEET with everything. And the SHOES! I have flat and wide feet, so shoe shopping was already super traumatic for me (I’d end up in tears), and almost all the shoes in Malaysia were like super feminine girly ew. But Hot Topic had EXACTLY my style in EXACTLY my size and *_* BUY THEM ALL

    I still have a pair of velvet flats from them on my floor 10 years on. eeeeeeeeeee :D

    • When I was a teen I remember being intimidated going into Hot Topic but I really wanted this System of A Down band shirt. The people were so nice and looking back now part of my anxiety was that being brown/black and goth I was scared that they would question *why* I was there. Anyway, like you I was so excited to find that they were so helpful.

      It’s one of my favorite places to shop (online these days) and I still have leather bracelets I bought almost 12 years ago!

  11. Hot Topic isn’t a thing where I live, but I bought one of my favourite dresses the one and only time I ever went to one. It’s a white dress with a pattern of Doctor Who monsters and the TARDIS and it’s the second most comfortable dress I own, after the one that has pockets. But anyway. That plaid is calling to me.

  12. Hot Topic is a corporate ploy to make bank off of adolescent insecurities. D.I.Y. ethics are punk rock, Hot Topic is not.

    Capitalism hurts all of us. Historically in the queer community, where our identities are mass marketing and sold back to us time and time again.

    Sorry not sorry, I’d rather sew my home-made patches into my mom’s old denim jacket that I cut the sleeves off myself.

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