If you’re like me, you have so many t-shirts, they can’t even all fit into the closet or drawer you set aside for them. But still, for some reason, it feels like you’re wearing the same t-shirts over and over again.
In a world where we take a hundred pictures a day, the history of our clothing is also being recorded. If you have an awesome t-shirt collection, there’s nothing worse that seeing pictures in your social media pages not reflecting that. And, to see some of the shirts in your Facebook memories or Throw Back Thursday posts still being worn regularly a few years later.
So I’ve come up with some tips on how to make sure all your t-shirts get equal time.
Rotate! (Especially After Washing)
I read once that filmmaker David Lynch ordered the same thing from Bob’s Boy every day in order to “free his mind from decisions.” I’ve often found myself staring into my closet, almost parallelized over deciding what shirt to wear. Is it a Star Wars kind of day? Or am I feeling more playful and want to show off some Snoopy? That is why sometimes it’s easier to grab that most familiar, favorite shirt.
If you organize properly (I know, I hate that word, too), all you’ll have to do is just grab the shirt that’s on top, or up front (or maybe the second if the first one really doesn’t go with the rest of your wardrobe)!
I know it sounds basic, but organize your shirts from last used to most recently used. So dig into the back of that closet or drawer and pull those almost forgotten shirts to the forefront. If the one you recently wore does not need to be washed, then put that at the bottom of your drawer of back of your closet.
If you have a little more room, I’d suggest dividing the rows or stacks into sections. Put all your Star Wars shirts in one and all your superhero shirts in another (and if you’re like me, you have a row just for Batman). Whatever the themes of your collections, be it music, humor and/or movies, separate out a couple of piles. You’ll still have to make a decision on which to wear, but if you decide on a rock band shirt, just grab the top one from that pile.
When you finally get around to doing that big pile of laundry, your instinct is to wear the stuff you washed first. Unless you’re down to your oldest t-shirts (hey, Right Said Fred could make a come back), put these shirts in the back. They’ll be just as clean when it comes time to wear them. And it gives some other shirts a chance to move to the front of the wear line.
Saving Special Shirts for Special Occasions
I know when I buy a new t-shirt, I want to wear it for the first time at a special occasion. Maybe the opening of a movie or a comic con or a concert or that cool party I can’t believe I got invited to. As tempting as it is, try to wait for the date of that special event before putting this new one at the top of the pile.
A few things to note: Make sure you remember where you’re keeping this unseen shirt until just the right time. And once you do premier it, don’t forget to put it into your rotation. I know it’s tempting to wear a new one more often, but if it becomes part of your mix you won’t tire of it that quickly.
Everything Old Is New Again
As much as I hate to admit it, I’m a little on the older side. I truly have t-shirts that are old enough to vote, drink or get a nice discount on car insurance. And I keep most of them in great condition. Others are worn just enough to make them look like those mock vintage shirts you see out there.
So this is what I do. Retire a few shirts every year, and pull out some old ones to take their place.
I got this idea when I couldn’t stand to get rid of my Nine Inch Nails Downward Spiral T-Shirt that I got from that original 1994 tour. Wow. It’s 23-years-old! But it still looks good! So, I retired it for a while, and when I brought it back, it looked like a cool retro shirt.
So keep a box in storage of old shirts. Once a year, decide which shirts need to be retired, and place them in there. And while you’re in there, remove some old shirts that you think will look great in your current wardrobe. You’re guaranteed to say to yourself: “I totally forgot I had that shirt!”
Know When It’s Time to Say Good-Bye
As great as it is to keep shirts for a long time, sometimes that just can’t happen. They can get washed out, torn up or, if you use them to work out, develop a not so friendly odor. We all have shirts that we never want to part with, but there may come a day when they’ve already departed us. They must be more than retired, they must be placed in the trash can. (Unless they’re still in somewhat decent condition, then please give them to charity.)
The only plus side to getting rid of a much-loved shirt is that you have an excuse to buy something to replace it. Always fun to add more shirts to the mix.
So, t-shirt up! And keep on rotating. You’ll impress your friends, family and co-workers with your variety. And nobody can say: “You’re wearing THAT shirt AGAIN?”