August 26, 2010

The Shameful Shirt


Be honest with me, you have a piece of clothing that is just too comfortable to throw away but really should be burned and not be allowed to clutter up the landfill. I do, and I’m wearing it right now. I gave it up for awhile because I was worried it might totally disintegrate on its own and I’d be left with tiny remnants of what was once my most favorite sleeping shirt.

I’m a creature of habit. And when it comes to sleep I want to be comfortable. Normally I’m freezing cold so I wear a shirt and a sweatshirt. Sexy, I know! I don’t want some tiny silky thing to get wrapped up around my neck on the verge of choking me or causing me to spend my night huddled under the blankets in the fetal position hoping to warm up. No, I want my comfy shirt!

My favorite sleep shirt is a freebie that I got for riding in the Tour de Palm Springs Century bike ride back in 2005. It’s barely broken in at 5-years. I rode my bike 113 miles in the sweltering Palm Spring heat and I earned this darn shirt! I should be able to keep it and wear it until it’s but a few threads. It does seem, though, that that day is coming. Which is why I only wear it on ‘special occasions’. I don’t know exactly what qualifies but every once in awhile I get nostalgic and decide to wear it.

Only problem is that it truly is falling apart. I blame it on poor workmanship and low quality cotton more than anything else. A good freebie t-shirt should last longer than a few years. Don’t you agree?

So what does this beauty look like? Promise you won’t laugh! Did you promise? Ok, here it is

See that big gaping hole? The fabric is missing. It’s not torn. Straight up the fabric has disintegrated. I don’t know where it went. It looks like it might have been eaten by bleach but I don’t use bleach. Not for a gem like this anyway. And if you look closely you’ll see several more areas where the shirt is falling apart. But I love it. And what it stands for.

No, it doesn’t stand for ‘Sara, you’re a cheapskate!’ It represents a major accomplishment for me. Riding 113 miles. For a girl who is not athletic at all it was a huge achievement. And wearing this beat up shirt is a weensy reminder that for one moment I did something bigger than I ever dreamed.

Will I die if I toss the shirt? Probably not (if I will, someone please let me know — that’s what the comments are for, to tell me if I’m going to die!). And really, I have a closet full of random t-shirts that I’ve received as bike ride swag (blogger swag is often better, so I feel like I’ve stepped up in life!). But it’s so comfortable. It’s broken in. It’s. It’s. It’s. Yep, you’re right. It is just a crappy shirt. But a crappy shirt I can’t part with yet.

Yes, I did say yet! Which implies that one day I will mourn the loss of the disintegrating freebie shirt. I hope I find a new one by them!

I know I’m not the only one who has one of these clothing items that really needs to see the inside of a dumpster. I’ve come clean, now it’s your turn.

If your spouse/significant other/partner/kids had to pick one thing you had to get rid of what would it be? Don’t leave me standing here in the hall of shame all alone. It will be our own private sisterhood!

Oh, and yes, I do have real pajamas that are nice and comfortable and cozy and not holey. But it’s just not the same.



Carrie August 26, 2010 at 7:19 am

i’m actually really strict with myself about not keeping clothes with holes (because my dad and brother are so bad about wearing clothes that look like your shirt on a regular basis because they just don’t care). one small hole is ok but two or more or a hole you can see through and it must go.

Carrie August 26, 2010 at 7:21 am

but to make you feel better, halfway through blogher i noticed that the sweater i had brought with me had a giant hole in the elbow and the waistband on my pajamas was separating from the legs – i already threw them out though.

Sara August 26, 2010 at 8:30 am

Thanks for not judging me, Carrie!

Funny thing is that at the first instance of holes, I’ll toss CycleGuy’s clothing. Same with BabyGirl’s things. They’re not allowed to be unkempt.

This is the only thing I have that is in desperate need of being reassessed. Maybe I should just preserve it or use my mad sewing skills to turn it in to something more acceptable.

As for the sweater, I really think manufacturers should reinforce elbows in a cute and acceptable way. With so much computer and desk time our elbows are vulnerable.

Jenn August 26, 2010 at 10:58 am

Too funny! Especially because I just finished having this conversation with my mother on the phone this morning about how she had to be more ruthless with the clothing in her closet, LOL!

I can’t say I have anything like this in my closet but I just finished a major purge. Before that? Well…perhaps 🙂

rhonda August 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm

i know that pain! i had to throw out my most comfy pair of PJ pants about a month ago. they were about 4-5 yrs old and i can’t find anything like them anymore. i knew that if i had to answer the front door in those pants, i’d be in trouble, especially if i had to bend over to pick up a package–the seat was too worn and would easily split.

Sara August 27, 2010 at 12:35 am

Hi Rhonda, thanks for stopping by today. Could it just be that being a mom makes us too busy or that after all we have to do it’s nice just to have something that feels so easy and comfortable. As you mention, finding the replacement is hard. Now I understand why my grandma buys the same shirt in every possible color. If it’s a good thing then stock up!

Jess August 26, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I am notorious for having sleepshirts with similar, how do I say, disdain, from those forced to watch me prounce around confidently in them. Mine are less about holes (read, all the cheap freebie cotton shirts start to go around the collar…always) and more about stains from hair dye, food in bed, paint, mud from yard work, you name it. I get all ’80s scissor mafia on them and cut the collar right off when theta start to fray, but not even an oversized, abstract mud smear will get me to toss a sleep shirt. Then I have a sweeping, off-the-shoulder type atrocity that everyone is begging me to trash. But they’re always the most comfortable and cozy and mostly reminiscent. Heirlooms that shall never be passed down, if you will.

Sara August 27, 2010 at 12:31 am

Jess, now I know I can’t get rid of this bad boy! And I’m glad to know that it’s a design flaw of some sort that causes this hole thing.

Honey August 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm


You should take that picture and blow it up and put it in a frame. Then you will never forget and you will be free to get rid of the shirt. Or at least you can hide it away and pretend you got rid of it.


Sara August 27, 2010 at 12:33 am

Honey, that is an excellent idea to take a picture of it for posterity. Although, it is still functional and comfortable so it’s hard to get rid of perfectly good clothing. Well, not perfectly good but good nonetheless. Hmmm, you’re making a good point though.

Kimberly @ Raising Olives August 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm

This post made me laugh. Yes, I have one of those shirts. Truth be told I have a couple of them. It’s not so much the disintegrating fabric as it is the paint. For some reason I always paint in comfortable clothes and then just don’t want to get rid of it simply because it has paint all over. I even have a shameful nursing shirt!

Sara August 27, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Hi Kimberly, Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story. I’m glad I’m not alone! There’s just that something we can’t let go of with these comfortable clothes. As for the shameful nursing shirt, the baby doesn’t care and when it’s time to nurse it’s all about being comfortable!

Appreciate your support of my blog,

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang August 28, 2010 at 10:46 am

Your shirt looks so comfy! I love it.

My comfy t-shirt is a Aggie football camp shirt that I got for working at the athletic dorm 🙂

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