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The T-Shirt You Will Never Throw Away

Posted by Kelly Hageman on March 22, 2013 11:25:00 AM CDT

tshirt_printing_designs_artwork_sharprint_chicagoWe've all got one—a worn-out, favorite t-shirt that has been loved to death. Be it a band t-shirt, a thrift store find, or a truck stop souvenir from an ill-advised teenage road trip, some shirts are just too special to throw away, no matter how gross they get over time. I polled a few folks on this subject and managed to find some brave souls willing to (literally) air their dirty laundry.

It's a Sex Pistols tee I bought in the '80s. During high school, it actually led to my meeting one of my friends. There was a grand total of about 6 "alternative" kids in the entire school, so when he spotted me in a Pistols shirt, he gave me some attitude, like "Do you REALLY listen to the Sex Pistols or did you just buy that shirt?" I schooled him as he deserved, and then we became buddies! Many years later, I still wear that shirt and it STILL causes me headaches, such as when some whippersnapper at a movie theater asked if it was an "original" Pistols tee. (For the record, I was 5 when they broke up.)

Epilogue to this: I won the costume contest at a "dress as your high school self" theme party wearing, among other items... the Sex Pistols shirt.charlotte tshirt

Remington, Word of Mouth Tees
My most favorite was a Hard Rock shirt my uncle gave me when I was 9 that I had to grow into. Most sad about this one because I have no idea where it went. Digging up memories here, Kelly. Good times with that shirt.

The other two attached are the Ravishing Rick Rude shirt, a classic must-have thrift store find from my early teens. What man doesn't want a half-naked mustachioed wrestler plastered across his torso? It has darkened around the neck and pits and it's my only shirt I have ever had to have pit stains so I attribute this in part to the previous owner(s).

remington1 tshirt
The other shirt is my feel-good Freddy Krueger shirt. It is fraying around every end. It has countless silverfish holes in it. I usually wear it when I'm sick or hungover. Something about it makes me feel better when I'm trying to make it through a rough one.

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Tara, Sharprint, Creative Director

The t-shirt I'll never get rid of is my first and only organized athletics team shirt. It's from when I played t-ball at age 3 or 4. I was the catcher. A position I split with the other girl who couldn't even hit the ball off the tee. I would get yelled at by the parents in the stands for tying my shoelaces behind home plate and always got my free snow cone ticket last (or just before the other girl who played catcher) because I never made any noteworthy plays. This t-shirt is the only documentation of my short, yet impact-full foray into organized sports. Beary—who donned the t-shirt in post season—and I were actually reunited just last year by my visiting brother. Although ill-fitting, I won't take the t-shirt off my favorite bear (that I now realize is a raccoon) because, well, because it just wouldn't seem right.

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Cole, Sharprint, Digital Department

Bought this piece of [BLEEP!] in McAllen, Texas in 2004 for 50 cents. Everything is irie, mon.

Cole tshirt

Bill, Sharprint, DTG Czar

This shirt marks the first time I had the privileged of going to Boy Scout camp. I was still a cub scout (at 10 or 11), so this rite holds a lasting and vivid place in my memory. Mind you, I can't fit my clothing from elementary school so I wear the shirt that my Dad bought when he accompanied me.

I still have mine though... my girlfriend wears it now!
As a kid I loved the shirt because of what it represented to me; as a garment decorator I love it because it's a 7 color print with some super tight registration printed with plastisol that apparently has the half-life of uranium.

Bill tshirt

Yours Truly, Sharprint, Sales Insider

In the dark days before t-shirt manufacturers became wise to the fact that women also wear band t-shirts, my only option was to buy dude-tees and cut them down to my size. Such is the case of this Joy Division t-shirt, which was originally a triple extra-large. I wore it almost every day of high school. It's been with me to three countries and almost 20 states, and has been rendered paper-thin by years of constant washes - you might say Love Tore It Apart.......ugh, sorry. It's still sewn together by my 14-year-old self's tiny and erratic hand-stitching (which is red and purple, for some reason), and is patched together in spots by pieces of an old sweater. It might be a hideous rag, but it's been with me for half of my life. I love it and will never throw it away.
Kelly tshirt

Kelly Hageman

Written by Kelly Hageman