T-shirts are easy-wear, easy-care

But a little extra effort can keep yours looking great for years. Since they’re mostly made of cotton, polyester (or a blend), T-shirts can go into the washing machine. Then tumbled dry in the drier. The poster below shows optional extra steps, but aren’t necessary for most run-of-the-mill T-shirts.

While there’s not much chance that they’ll go out of fashion, it is quite likely that your tastes will change. So you might not be “willing to be caught dead” in a “Save the Whales” T-shirt or something that seemed so clever at a certain point in time.

Hanging on to “old friends”

Since many of us acquire and discard T-shirts because we relate to the slogans on them, our T-shirt collection (and most Americans have at least 10 of them) acts much like a photo album of ideas or images that we considered cool. Politics, pop-culture celebrities, currently-popular movies and sporting events, witty slogans, cartoon characters – wear them proudly. And we keep buying yet another that catches our eye or mood.

And just because your tastes change, that’s no reason to get rid of a perfectly-good T-shirt. Some become such old favorites they’re still worn when full of holes. There’s comfort in all the pleasant associations you feel to those times you’ve worn it. The T-shirt was part of yourself on those occasions, making almost a snapshot of your sense of identity at that point in time.

And like all intense memories, the more the senses were engaged when such-and-such happened, the more fully the whole sensation comes rolling in when the memory is triggered. T-shirts touch the flesh, so there is always a tactile element with them. But there’s also the smell of the laundry detergent or the sweat or food smells that cling to them that are a part of those recollections. And of course, sight plays a role, for the message on the shirt is designed to be seen – and thereby make a statement.

So it’s worth taking care of your favorite T-shirts, so you can keep wearing them, and keep them around, longer.

wash tshirt

If a kid can do it…

Make ‘um last

You’ve spent a lot of time acquiring your T-shirt collection, besides all the time spent wearing your favorite ones. They’re more important in conjuring up heart-warming memories of your past and former preferences than just “any old rag.”