Before I say anything else, I must note that a t-shirt is not a sign of uniqueness. Even if one makes it themselves, it still represents a part of them that they deem necessary to share with the world. What a shirt says, if anything, is totemic – it identifies people as part of a group, be it small or large.
That’s why I love nerdy t-shirts: not only does it allow for the showing of pride in what one deems awesome, but it acts as a signifier to others of nerdiness. Many a time have I walked down the street and seen a cool shirt and laughed, or complimented them; I’ve gotten quite a few compliments for my shirts myself.
At this point, most of my wardrobe are t-shirts, and most of my t-shirts are nerdy t-shirts; three from mental_floss (all of which I’ve won), one from ThinkGeek, a couple on the way from Threadless, and one each from New York Comic-Con and cSplash (the latter being the hybrid between the nerdy t-shirt and the mythic rock concert-esque “I was there” shirt). Not only do they have sentimental value, they have utility, that being clothing oneself. (This doesn’t even mention the fact that my shirt from Thinkgeek has possibly the softest fabric I’ve ever felt.)