This t-shirt’s on sale on Taobao and it’s disturbingly similar to the original SAF utility shirt – can you tell them apart?

A t-shirt being sold on popular Chinese online shopping website Taobao looks suspiciously similar to the iconic SAF utility shirt.

Military-style clothing continues to be in vogue, with camouflage prints and high cut footwear unlikely to disappear from the fashion scene anytime soon.

But a certain sort of Singapore army-inspired apparel being sold online has recently caught the eye of the internet community for its uncanny similarity to the original source material.

On Mar 26, a HardwareZone Forum user spotted an item listing on Chinese e-commerce site Taobao of a t-shirt that looks similar to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) iconic utility shirt with a disturbingly high level of fidelity.

According to the website, the product description roughly translates to “summer men’s military-style cotton round-neck t-shirt”.

The shirt costs ¥29 ($0.28) and is available in four different colours: army green, blue-grey, coffee brown and grey.

The shirt is described as being suitable for daily wear in the summer by young people.

No specific brand or company was listed as the shirt’s manufacturer, adding more mystery to its origin.

Despite the enigma, the online community has taken particular interest in the logo that adorns the left chest section of the shirt.

The original utility shirt bears the SAF’s logo which features the national coat of arms.

The Taobao t-shirt has a logo with striking similarity but instead of the coat of arms, it’s replaced with a design that apparently looks like a stylised tiger or bear.

But you’d have to look closely to notice that.

When compared side-by-side, the two designs look eerily indistinguishable.

A screengrab of the original SAF utility t-shirt from licensed manufacturer DG SoldierTalk.
DG SoldierTalk

A screengrab of the t-shirt being sold on Taobao.

The SAF enforces a strict prohibition on the unauthorised sale of its apparel and equipment, which is deemed as an offence, according to The Straits Times.

Nonetheless, these items have in the past been openly sold on Tabao, where uniforms, water pouches, boots and berets among other standard issue equipment can be found.

Currently, there is no official statement on the sale and usage of items that closely resemble SAF equipment.