From T-shirts, to baseball caps, to iPhone cases, to even sneakers, there’s no shortage of clothing and accessories you can buy to show support for your team this year. Your political team, that is.
With the election less than a month away, President Barack Obama and his challenger, Republican candidate Mitt Romney, are in full-on campaign mode, diving into email blasts, TV advertisements, and the debates. And you can show your own allegiance through any number of accessories.
“I watch politics like most people watch sports, so political clothing and accessories is like wearing my hometown team’s gear,” said Maritza Martinez, a Democrat from Oakland, Calif. “I think it’s a great way to support the candidate, as well as have a unique commemorative item.”
Martinez has bought clothing and accessories through Etsy and street vendors in the past, but those are just some of the ways people can get their hands on political gear. Here are some of the major places to find the best Obama and Romney swag, as well as some items that go beyond bumper stickers and buttons (though there are plenty of those, too).
The President’s own campaign website has the most variety of campaign gear we’ve seen. You’ll find your standard fair, such as yard signs, buttons, and bumper stickers — which are also some of the site’s most popular items — as well as scarves and T-shirts crafted by celebrities and designers like Beyoncé, Alexander Wang, and Rachel Roy, accessories for your iPhone, and even a grill spatula emblazoned with the Obama’s campaign logo. Campaign gear isn’t just limited to voters — there are dog T-shirts, leashes, and collars — or even to Obama. Bo, the First Dog, also gets in on the action with his own sweatshirt.
Challenger Mitt Romney’s own campaign website has a similar collection of T-shirts, iPhone accessories, and buttons featuring his red, white, and blue striped “R” logo. Some of the Romney swag features common campaign slogans, such as “America Deserves Better” and “No Jobs, No Hope, NoBama.” There’s even a “vintage”-inspired line of tote bags, white tees, and buttons, though you won’t find any items for Fido in this store.
TOMS Shoes, an essential item in any post-collegiate uniform, come in a variety of colors, patterns, and styles, and in this campaign season, party affiliations as well. For $58, you can wear your Republican or Democrat affiliation on your feet with their special-edition, handmade Classics, which are designed and hand-screened in downtown Los Angeles by Hit & Run. Both shoes feature a star print with the respective party logo (donkey or elephant) on the right shoe and appropriate color scheme (red versus blue). Bipartisan? You can also opt for a “vote” message in place of the party affiliation.
Jewelry is one way you can wear your political affiliation on your wrist. Both Obama‘s and Romney‘s campaign sites sell fashion accessories, from bangles and earrings to cufflinks and tie pins, though they’re not the only ones. Barbie Jones caught Jezebel’s eye during the Republican National Convention for her political fashion that caters to both parties. The jeweler sells bracelets, rings, brooches, clutches, and neckties that sport the tell-tale donkey or elephant. For a bigger selection, a cursory search of Etsy for political jewelry brings up hundreds of items, including glass earrings that resemble the Obama campaign logo, and an aqua seaglass locket in the shape of an elephant. Some sellers might also donate part of the proceeds from sales to their respective campaigns.
With Halloween landing less than a week before the election this year, there’s no costume more topical than an Obama or Romney mask. Nightmare Factory, an online costume and props store, sells varieties of both, from pretty standard fair to more ghoulish offerings, including, zombie and vampire Obama masks, though the best-selling Obama mask depicts the President with his trademark grin. You’ll also find Democrat and Republican accessories, such as donkey and elephant ears. If sales are any indication of voter trends, according to sales manager Sharon Laurent, the shop has seen a pretty even split between Democrat and Republican masks and accessories, even selling out of one of its Romney masks, though Obama masks have a slight edge over the opposition. However, unlike shirts or buttons, wearing a mask might not necessarily represent a die-hard vote.
“Particularly at Halloween, I think people are usually looking for fun costumes and buy political masks for comedic effect,” said Laurent. “Often, they want something that is timely and will pair a mask with other accessories to re-create a look or moment from the current headlines.”
Of course, not every election accessory has to do with what party you’re giving your vote to. For a campaign-relevant item that isn’t emblazoned with a logo or campaign slogan, check out NPR’s “Listen/Vote” tee. In a light yellow and featuring a red and blue stenciling design, it’s about as simple and nonpartisan as they come.