We've all been there before. You see someone wearing a shirt or a pin of a band you love, so you approach them. But when you ask them about it, they stare at you blankly, unaware of what you're talking about. In other words: It's not about the music, it's about the fashion.

For those who can't relate, try thinking about it as a team jersey instead. You try to bond with someone over the jersey they're wearing, only to realize they're wearing it because they like the color. Sure, people can wear whatever they damn well please, but it sure is a bummer for authentic fans. And that's exactly what's happening in the world of high fashion.

It's been over two decades since Jerry Garcia passed, but for true Deadheads, the music never stopped. The Grateful Dead continues to live on through live recordings, side projects, and the spirit and unrelenting passion of the fans.

Oh, and through high fashion, apparently. Several high-end brands have decided to capitalize on the eternal adoration of the band 23 years after Garcia's death, and 53 years since they began.

R13 sent models down the runway for its Spring 2019 show clothed in Dead tees and matching blazers.

Proenza Schouler released a Dead-inspired $1,050 handbag. 

And James Perse even went as far as selling a $3,000 blanket with the Dead's iconic "Steal Your Face" logo.

Chris Leba, founder of R13 denim, said his Spring '19 merch was inspired by nostalgia for a simpler time. "In a way, [the collection] is a reaction to this modern world of social media," Leba told Fashionista. "It made me yearn for a different time; something authentic, pure, spontaneous, and unproduced."

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But calling it "spontaneous" and "unproduced" is kind of a lie — and not to be dramatic, but it's truly the antithesis of the entire Deadhead culture.

The front of a 1985 Deadheads for Peace tee sent in from @schuylerbeecroft

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Sure, we're everywhere, so there very well may be Deadheads in the high-fashion world. But for the most part, it seems as though these ridiculously overpriced tees are being marketed to a select group of people who don't care about the music.

1992 One Show tee sent in from @deadhead

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photo: Reddit

In other words: Designers are breeding a generation of posers.

"We used to mock this sort of laid-back, sloppy look, but things have changed," Jemma Shin, associate editor of consumer insight at WGSN, a trend forecasting agency, explained to Fashionista. 

The front of a 1988 Summer Tour tee sent in from @cruj0nes

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According to her, with all the economic and political uncertainty we face in 2018, Deadhead culture is like escapism for some people. But if this is the case, why did high-fashion designers make escapism so exorbitant and out of reach?

Any real Deadhead knows the spirit of the Grateful Dead lives through bootleg tees and handmade merch. 

grateful dead merch on lot
photo: Christina Buff / Revelist

So if you want to experience what this so-called "escapist" culture is really like, buy your merch from fans. Go to a Dead & Company or Phil Lesh and Friends show (or JRAD, or John Kadlecik and the DC Mystery Cats, or Dark Star Orchestra). Walk around the lot.

At least you know your money is going to a good cause: helping fans continue doing something they love.

Not only will you find a colorful, creative variety of merch that you'd never see in stores, but you'll also find prices that don't give you the finance blues. 

After all, the Grateful Dead themselves were known for more than just their inimitable jams. They're also known for their democratic approach to consumerism, as noted by Philip Scher, an anthropology professor at the University of Oregon who specializes in popular culture. 

And he agrees: "It's kind of antithetical to the general ethos to spend a lot of money on the Grateful Dead, no?"

Anyway, we could all use a little Deadhead mentality in the year of our Lord 2018. Turn on your love light and put your money where your mouth is. That is all.

photo: Giphy