The All-American T Shirt

photo Perhaps the most iconic piece of clothing that is worn in America more than any other is the T Shirt. Now as the 58 year old kid, I will admit that I wear a T Shirt with shorts and running shoes probably 60 percent of my time. T-Shirts are comfortable, they make statements, they go well with jeans, shorts, just about every type of casual wear. T-Shirts can advertise where you have been, where you would like to go, what events you have done. They also can make statements about who you are. They are for kids ” My parents went to the Bahamas and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt”. Or perhaps “Future Major Leager” . They are for the partiers. ” Brass Balls Saloon” ” I got the Crabs at Joe’s Crab Shack” and other crude statements on T-Shirts with loud colors. T-Shirts can be tye died and all the old Jerry Garcia fans can relive the summer of love with an old faithful tye dye. That old gray pony tail looks good with a tye die. There are so many different types of T-Shirts that we can’t even name them all.

Athletes, both national class and weekend warriors, collect T-Shirts. You work hard in an event and the prize is often no more than a T- Shirt that you can wear with pride when you have completed the Boston Marathon, the local 10K, a criterium bicycle race, the local Triathlon. People collect shirts from events and sometimes make them into car seats, or blankets or bed spreads. T-Shirts can look good on a fit person, a not so fit person or on anyone with a sense of casual dress or a funny sense of humor. In short, well, T-Shirts are the All American way of expressing yourself in clothing. I will always wear them and I am sure that all of you have a collection of your favorite T-Shirts from many different venues and events. But, you knew I was going somewhere with this and you are right. There is a protocol for T-Shirts which I call Pat’s T-Shirt “do’s and dont’s” Feel free to add to these rules but remember that when you add a comment, these instantly become part of my rules and your contribution is not only welcome, but becomes an integral part of Pat’s rules. So without further delay, lets take a look at these rules or protocol and have some fun with it shall we? Here we go:

Always buy a high quality T-Shirt that will wear well. Haines Beefy are the T of choice and if you can get one with an understated logo on the front leaving the big obnoxious logo for the back of the shirt, that would be the best. If you manage to get one with a front pocket, that is even better.

White shirts look clean but eventually get gray or weathered. These shirts have a short lifespan but they do look good. Dark colored shirts last longer and wear better.

Don’t ever wear a T-Shirt from some place you have not been. Have some pride and don’t try to fool us with the fact that you were there when you were not. In the same vein, don’t ever wear a race T-Shirt if you have not done the event, less you be exposed for the poser that you are.

If you are overserved and buy a shirt that is a bit risque, be careful where you wear it. Maybe don’t wear the Brass Balls Saloon shirt over to your prospective in-laws house. That may go over like a lead balloon.

Free shirts from a company or the local Major League Baseball give away will not last in the next major rain event. They may just disintegrate on your body as you leave the stadium.

If you are an XL, XXL or larger, don’t try to show us your guns and wear a large. Gravity has a way of exposing some flaws that are below the big guns in your arms.

If you choose to alter a shirt that will showcase your six pack or some other parts of your body, please make sure that your perception is correct before you go out in public. Maybe ask a good friend for some true commentary.

Event T-Shirts have a shelf life. Don’t wear a race shirt that showcases an event that occurred over ten years ago. Bad form and everyone will know that you have not done a race or an event since then.

Don’t wear a Harley shirt if you don’t ride a motorcycle. Don’t ever wear a Harley shirt if you don’t ride a Harley. You might get your butt kicked.

If you use a brand name sporting good, you have a right to wear the shirt. If you don’t use the equipment, who are you trying to kid? Bad form again.

In order to ensure the “cool factor” always wear a shirt from as far away from where you are right now. For instance, if you ski in the East, wear Jackson Hole shirts or Mammoth Mountain shirts. If you ski in the west, wear a New England area shirt. Never wear a T-Shirt from the area where you find yourself presently. Not cool and nobody cares. Good conversations can come from comments about the area that is far, far away.

In the same way, a T-Shirt from an event from far away definitely ensures the cool factor in the local race. “Wow- that guy did the Ironman!”

And the real funny thing is that we all think these rules really do apply. The fact of the matter is that most people can’t even read your shirt because they are walking, riding, running past you so fast that they don’t even notice. HAHA. But you notice, right? You feel comfortable and cool, right? Well that is all that matters. You busted your butt in that event. You had a fabulous trip to that exotic place, right? Well that is really all that matters. All kidding aside. But if someone notices and comments…….cool. T-Shirt did it’s job. Wear those shirts for as long as you can. Your accomplishments and memories are important. When they are no longer cool, they make great dusters. Thanks for reading.

8 thoughts on “The All-American T Shirt

  1. Phil Heffler says:

    Paddy McCloskey..the greatest Irishman ever!

  2. Bill Day says:

    Totally agree! Hopefully the rest of the world will see the fashion statement in T-Shirts, Gym Shorts & Tennis/Running shoes, nothing more comfortable! My wife complains that my total wardrobe consists of these three items!

  3. Krieger, Ken says:

    I have always lived by those exact rules…

    Few to add…. I personally don’t wear event t-shirts useless I WIN!!! “hey I was at that that event, How you do? I lost….” WTF”

    I don’t own or wear any Pittsburgh Sports Team shirts. I scream Pittsburgh and the second of being around me and you don’t pick that up then that person got a problem.

    Ken Krieger
    Armada Supply Chain Solutions – Logistics Operations Group
    Subsidiary Businesses – Hub One, LXP, BASIX, and DDL
    641 Alpha Drive
    Pittsburgh, PA 15238
    ken.krieger@lxplp.com
    412-406-5834 phone
    412-406-5422 fax
    412-953-7868 cell

  4. Cuz says:

    You dust??? Jan you ARE a lucky girl!!! Slainte! Cuz-I-L

  5. Bill says:

    Pat well stated the t shirt is well worn by all and the Mc rules are great …..mayby one more if the t shirt is destroyed time for the rag pile.

    by the way what is you take on busness clothes

    • McCloskey, Pat says:

      Bill. Whatever floats your boat on business clothes but if I can get away with a t – I wear it.

      Sent from my iPhone

  6. J.R. says:

    Pat – Great post. Glad you spoke of the preference for non-white T’s. Cutting grass or cutting firewood in an old worn T is the best.

    I was surprised to see Ken post on this topic because we never see him wearing event shirts. But now… We know why.

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