We watched the first installment of Morgan Spurlock’s “30” this past week, (the one where he and his girlfriend live on minimum wage) and now I’m analyzing every cent I spend. So this morning while I was folding clothes, I answered a question that’s been bothering me for a while — “How many T-shirts do I own?”
I have a very casual wardrobe because my work doesn’t require that I dress up. I probably should a bit more than I do, but it really isn’t required. Because I’ve worked for the same company for 11 years, my casual wardrobe has grown and my dress-up wardrobe has shrunk. And I love t-shirts. I love plain t-shirts, and ones with sayings on them. I even designed my own. I tend to buy them pretty indiscriminately.
So I started counting. And the final tally is: 93. Not counting the ones currently in the wash, which would probably put the total at over 100. And I won’t include the ones that I only wear when painting and working on the house, or the ones in my “clothes archive” (t-shirts from gay rights rallies and college events), or long-sleeve shirts, or polo/golf shirts with collars.
[edit needed: update photos]
Many of these don’t get worn. I have favorites that I wear over and over, and lots of my shirts get ignored. So I decided to challenge myself. I’m going to wear every shirt in my wardrobe without repeating one. Every day, for the next 93 days. And I’m going to photograph each shirt as I wear it. Now there are a couple of shirts that are either too large or too small; I’ll weed those out as I go and do Good Will runs. And shirts that don’t look great on me will go to Good Will, too, after I wear them.
I hope when I’m done to have given all my clothes their fair share of wearing time, to weed out shirts I don’t need, and to generally be more conscious of what I spend my money on in the future.
2019 Update: I never got through this challenge because taking and processing the photos took longer than I could manage every day. It because a lot easier with cell phone cameras and I ended up attempting it again in 2006.
It took me forever to realize that both times a significant part of why I failed was because I hated the way I looked in the photos because of my extreme dysphoria.
I did clean out many shirts both times. And I gained them all back, with interest. Maybe I should try again.