This Dorchester Day will bring another round of exclusive t-shirt designs for Sunday’s parade. The neighborhood’s premier apparel company, College Hype, produces shirts that bring it all home for people from the neighborhood — or people who wish they were.
Since 1987, College Hype has been producing t-shirts, hoodies, hats and accessories with a customized approach. There have been some popular parade day sellers like the classic “Dot Rat” and “Parishes of Dorchester,” which has been a hit seller for some 25 years.
The College Hype online shop — and its retail space on Gallivan Boulevard—offers about 40 themed Dorchester clothes and hats, many festooned with street signs, three-deckers, and other neighborhood iconography. An in-house art department is on call for customers who want to create their own design and have a custom look to any apparel.
Jack Doherty, the founder and owner of College Hype, has been enjoying Dorchester Day and selling shirts at the gas station between Hallet and Gallivan Boulevard for more than 30 years. The St. Gregory’s parish native started the company when he was 20 and has been the owner for 32 years.
“We do have a new shirt this year that I think people will really like. It’s ‘Dorchester, Where My Story Began,” said Doherty. “I think we’re inspired every year, honestly, just because we were from here, myself and a number of the managers are from this area, and we know that people like to have a unique shirt every year.”
“Dorchester Day is a great time to see old friends and make new friends,” said Doherty, “I think it’s a great holiday to see the old neighborhood.”
Some of the new designs include the DOT name emblazoned in a star-pattern with patriotic colors. Another features emojis with the slogan “It’s Dot Day.” The store in Adams Village still stocks a popular throw-back, the “All Roads Lead to Dorchester” shirt with the name of every street in the neighborhood incorporated into a big letter “D.”
“You have a lot of people who’ve been out of Dorchester for years and they’re very proud of their roots and they want to promote that,” said Doherty.