Throughout the many phases in a T-Shirt’s life, there comes a very special time when a shirt is no longer worn in public, but is now worn in the garden. I’m talking about turning a shirt that is kept stain free and un-torn, into a yard shirt that gets covered in dirt, threadbare, soaked in sweat and permanently embedded with ode de manure.

In my dresser I have a few groups of T-Shirts in descending order of when I want to wear them. One group is newer, clean shirts that have no stains or tears and could be worn on a date. The second group is the workout shirts, these don’t have any tears, possibly one stain and are generally performance wear shirts. The third and last group is shirts that are ready for “retirement”. These shirts may have the sleeve ripped off, might have a hole, they are threadbare or there is a giant stain in the middle. These shirts I reserve for yard work and other dirt ridden outdoor activities. This organization is because all clothing has a life span and all of the shirts that are in my “retirement” stack, were once in my date acceptable stack. Life happens; you spill a drink and stain a nice shirt, or it gets a small tear. The question is when do I condemn this cotton masterpiece to be abused by mulch, bugs, grass clippings, and if I’m not careful stray yard tools!

The memories that you make while in each shirt or where you have gotten that shirt are what is important. If you have a T-shirt you like; wear it, because eventually it will have to be retired so get the use out of it now!

#MyFavoriteShirt is always changing because it depends on what I’m going through in life. Right now the title of #MyFavoriteShirt goes to my National Champion shirt. This shirt handed to me on the field at M&T Bank Stadium is going to be babied for a long time. To extend the life of a shirt just a few extra steps can get you years with your garment. Try to wash less, if its not dirty why put it through the ringer? Also taking time to separate clothes and close all abrasive surfaces such as zippers and Velcro prevents your shirt from being abused in the wash. If you get a stain rinse immediately so the stain doesn’t set. And always follow the instructions on the tag.

When I head back to school this fall I will be taking with me the Pink Floyd Division Bell to add to my collection. When I wear it I will look back and remember the life experiences I had with it on my shoulders. The only way you can prepare a shirt or any thing for retirement is to take care of it so it lasts longer, but don’t sacrifice the chance to make memories and have fun.

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-SunPup