I have a lot of T-shirts.

This is a consequence of pretty much never getting rid of a T-shirt, ever. I honestly can’t recall having ever done so. I am not claiming this is something to be proud of, or that it is a good strategy. I guess I just have some kind of emotional attachment to shirts for some reason that made it hard for me to get rid of them. It’s not like I’m a hoarder or collector. I regularly replace my socks and underwear. I’ve been known to retire pants. But I kept holding on to old shirts.

Of course, I kept getting new ones. As a result, I ended up with well over a hundred shirts, many of which I haven’t worn in several years.

I am fortunate to have a good job with a casual dress code that allows me to wear T-shirts every day. While I feel lucky to work in this environment, if I have found one downside to it, it would be that I found on weekends I no longer had the ability to dress down. One likes to be able to make a distinction between the professional environment and relaxing at home, but short of wearing something even less professional than a T-shirt, it feels much the same.

My strategy to counteract this was to establish what was effectively a work “uniform”–a plain, black, pocketless T-shirt to wear every day at work. I bought several and rotated through them. This served lots of purposes in addition to separating my professional and recreational wardrobes; it simplified laundry and took away the need for any early-morning, half-asleep decision-making, too. But it also meant that outside of a handful of other shirts I wore infrequently to bed or on weekends, I never touched the majority of my large stockpile of T-shirts.

As I get older, I increasingly see the value of simplifying, and the illogic of having boxes of shirts under the bed that never see the light of day. But rather than chuck them all out or take them en masse to goodwill, I have decided the best way to handle them is not to dispose of them, but rather change them in to something that will get used. Upcycle them, in the modern vernacular. Convert them in to shirts for the kids, or into shopping bags, or the old standard T-shirt quilt, among other possibilities. But I decided that before I do, I would wear them all at least one more time, and document and share the experience with others, so that they could weigh in on which ones should stay and which should go.

So that’s what I’m doing. I plan to, when possible, wear a different T-shirt from my collection every day until I have worn them all. I will post pictures here and give everyone the opportunity to weigh in. Ultimately I’ll decide what to make into what, and when I’ve done so, I’ll post the results here.


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  1. Please sell me the Silverchair Frogstomp shirt. Please. Mine was stolen in the 8th grade and I still think about it.

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