The Man/T-shirt Connection: Why Guys Still Love Their Worn-Out Tees

I know a lot of my readers aren’t at the stage of having small kids at home, so I’m starting a new series today: “Romance to Real Life.” I want to talk about what it was like when Doug and I first got married and bring up some of the struggles we faced when we had to get used to living together.

Explaining why men still wear their oldest T-shirt, Doug gives us the man’s perspective.


What is it that makes guys want to keep their old, worn-out T-shirts?

Like the Boston song, it’s More Than A Feeling.

When I was dating Rachel, I was romantic and tried to look nice. Once we got married, I got comfortable at home and started to wear my old T-shirts. She did not like them at all and began trying to persuade me to get rid of them. I came to understand that it wasn’t easy for her that her romantic suitor was now a hairy, sweaty, old-T-shirt-wearing brute.

Rachel was very clear, like most women, about what an old T-shirt meant to her: “Would anyone like a new dust rag?”

When I look at those ratty, beat-down, torn, stained, faded and glorious T-shirts, they simply mean something to me that she (and perhaps most women) can’t see. Let’s cover some basics.

First, do not try to get rid of the T-shirts. It even helps if you can refrain from making negative comments about them. Keep your thoughts of making rags to yourselves.

Understanding the man/tee link is key, so let’s dig into that.

1. A T-shirt has a special way of connecting to a past memory. Getting out my 20-year-old Texas Tech Intramural Football Championship tee brings backs some glory-day memories of cold fall nights with a group of guys that I literally grew into manhood with. Men are visual, so when I see myself wearing that T-shirt, I can see and feel my old self.

2. A T-shirt can be an experience of freedom. The worse a T-shirt looks, the more free I feel wearing it. Rachel washes my clothes every week, and she takes great care of my clothes. This makes me want to take care of them as well, but the T-shirt breaks away from those feelings because it is expendable, unloved by her, free to go under the hood, free to get torn or stained. Like some kind of man-armor protecting me from having to be overly careful or civilized.

3. T-shirts that are well-worn are softer and more comfortable than most other clothes. During the summer I greatly appreciate a thin, cool tee. Hey, it’s hot outside. Also, when worn under a sweater or other clothes, a worn-smooth tee is very nice against the skin.

So girls, don’t blow off the old T-shirts, because in a small way it could be blowing off your man. Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but seriously, understanding can only help. And understanding your man always helps. If you want to work on the T-shirt collection, do it together and talk about it.

When we talked, I found out that Rachel certainly wanted me to have things that I cared about. She didn’t want to get rid of things that I was sentimental about, and I didn’t want to keep the ones that she thought were gross.

Guys, I still have my old T-shirts, but it’s a much smaller collection.

Have a question? Send it to Ask Doug.

Doug’s first job was in a meatpacking plant. He ran with the bulls in Pamplona. He’s read the works of C. S. Lewis. He’s manly, and he’s here to help.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Karen (Scotland) says:

    I am ROFL here! My husband has so many t-shirts that I can’t count them. He is a sailor so, same as you, Doug, each T-shirt reminds him of a time and place (and ship) of his life (some I know about, some I was involved in and, the older T-shirts? – I don’t want to know! ;-) )

    Luckily for me, my husband’s work in a ship’s engine room requires lots of old t-shirts under boiler suits so, once they reach THAT stage (I won’t say r-a-g stage), they get banished to his ship.

    I must say, now that we’ve been together ten years, some of those old t-shirts mean something to me too. The Sonic Youth one he wore on our first sailing trip; the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump T-shirt he bought when we were in Canada etc.

    They can also be major conversation starters because he buys them all over the world – Australians grabbing him at a concert because he’s wearing a Victoria Bitters T-shirt, Canadians getting excited at his Calgary Stampede T-shirt – you get the idea!

    He can spruce up when he has to (rarely – neither his work nor our social life require it) so I am happy for him to live in those old t-shirts.
    Defend your right to your rags, sorry, t-shirts, Doug!
    Karen

  2. This totally explains it! Thanks, Doug. Out of all of my hubs nice, colorful shirts, he will almost always gravitate toward wearing an old, black t-shirt. I vow to refrain from making negative comments from now on :)

    Debbie´s last post…little bit o fall

  3. Ahh, that elusive vintage t-shirt softness and thinness! I bought my boyfriend three vintage t’s at the local thrift store (one dollar each!) and one of them made it into regular rotation. He loves how soft and thin it is, and it also happens to fit really well and is a good color on him… one out of three ain’t bad when the total cost is $3!
    My best friend is a home decor blogger and she makes a ton of original pillows out of recycled fabric. Making a patchwork pillow from the old t’s is a great way to keep them out of precious drawer space and re-purpose t’s that no longer fit. (Possibly a step up from a dust rag!)See her skills at sallytv.com!
    My Dad keeps a lot of stuff that is usually just clutter to me, but one thing he kept were his old rugby shirts from his Scottish university. I love wearing them and it makes me feel like he is close by even when he is very far away.
    Great to see Doug blogging!

  4. Hilarious–love it!

    Thanks, Doug, for this psychological analysis. =) Makes me wonder how I can enlist Steve over at Steady Mom!

    Jamie

    steadymom´s last post…Block Play – Helping Your Kids Learn with Blocks

    • Tell him it’s great fun. Rachel has this great blog she’s done the work to bring everybody together, I get to write for a bunch of great people.

  5. hahaha. Though I may not be married yet, my Adam’s old tee shirts are certainly still in rotation… and some of them are awful. But as you say, Doug, he’s got some weird manly connection with them… I’ve stopped fighting it, and just encourage him now to buy some nicer clothes as well– in hopes that BOTH old and new will be in the mix :) I totally understand the wanting for the comfier material, though!

    Tara´s last post…The Breakfast Makeover

  6. I’m feeling really guilty right now. When my husbands t’s reach the rag stage, they mysteriously disappear from his drawer and are replaced with a newer, cleaner version. I don’t know how he thinks this happens or if he even notices :) We agreed that 10 t-shirts are enough, so this system appears to be working.

    Now the ball caps are another story…

  7. Thanks for answering this, Doug! I better understand my husband now, but I don’t know if I’ll ever understand why some stores sell tee’s that look like they are 20 yrs. old. Urban outfitters even sells shirts that look like they’ve been stained! Crazy.

    Sarah´s last post…Etsy Finds- September Edition!

    • Those UrbOutfit guys are just selling the ideas. I’m in sales so believe most people buy more if some kind of emotion is invoked. It may be manufactured in this case but see point #1. I’m glad you read the post, thanks.

  8. I don’t think there’s been a post by Doug that I didn’t enjoy and this one is no exception. Thanks for your entertaining lesson!

    Rachel, I can’t wait to see more from the “Romance to Real Life” series. Sounds fun and I definitely like to read about more than just a limited amount of topics.

    Suzanne´s last post…TCOY Lessons From My Favorite Bloggers Sept10

  9. Who knew?! This explains a lot! I knew he didn’t want me to throw away those old torn, beat up t-shirts, but I didn’t know they were his “scrapbooks”! HAHAHAHA! Thanks for this peak into the male psyche!

    I Live in an Antbed´s last post…Tongue Test

  10. Ah, this is great! I’m excited for this series :)

    My husband has a bunch of old T-shirts he wears, but they don’t bother me, because I have a bunch of old T-shirts, too!!

    carmen @ life blessons´s last post…An Update on the Job Search

  11. So glad my Dh is not into old T’s with sayings all over them.
    Now my Ds, that is another story.
    I remember seeing a neat idea where someone took all the old T’s and made a man quilt out of them (and I think throw pillows too). Great for the family room I suppose.

  12. I knew there was some mysterious man-thing with old t-shirts so I haven’t fought it (too hard). LOL

    I read this post to my husband and he said, “Amen, brother!”

    :D

    Tammy´s last post…Skirt Refashion

    • Wise woman. I always worry that I make Rachel work too hard to deal with my stuff; it’s important to me to be aware that mysterious man stuff can take up space.

      Ha! I’m so grateful that you read my post.

  13. Sandra Gonzales says:

    Well I’m a woman and I totally LOVE my old tee shirts. I whole- heartedly agree with Doug’s first and third points about why I still keep them. Am I a guy at heart?

    • I’m with Doug and Sandra, above. I love my old tees and wouldn’t part with them. However, they are my at home or visiting family gear, not for going to the stores.

      Guess I’m part “guy” too.

      • Same here! Hubby doesn’t really care what shirt he wears, and he doesn’t get attached to them. I’ve stopped him from throwing away a few of his old t-shirts so that I can hang onto them for the memories (e.g. our shirts from marching band). Often I wear them to bed.

        What can I say? I love old, soft t-shirts. I think I even still have a few of my parents’ shirts that I’ve snatched around somewhere.

  14. Okay Doug, nice cover-up but I’m not buying all of it. Been married more than 30 years, you see, and the reason my husband wears and keeps old Ts is mostly inertia. If I put the freshly washed Ts UNDER other things in his drawer he picks whats on top. If we got rid of his old Ts he’d have to buy new ones and, really, who wants to go shopping?

  15. What a great idea for a series!
    I’ve been married for five years and I’ve always wondered why my husband made such a big deal out of his old tee shirts. Thanks, Doug, for clearing that up! Now I just need to figure out why he needs to keep his old work shirts that he doesn’t even wear anymore…I don’t think there’s anything nostalgic about 12 identical shirts with the company logo on them…

  16. What a great post! My husband has two shirts that he LOVES, one I bought him in 1990 and the other tank top I bought him in 1995. They have holes in the neck but he still wears them with pride. Viva la t-shirt.

  17. So I had no clue my husband wasn’t the only one :) hehehe. But really, he has a ton and I’m okay with that as long as they fit in the drawer. Once it overflows we take inventory – with the T’s that are memories but ones that are old, ugly or don’t fit in the drawer, I’m making a quilt with. Good compromise we thought.

    Brittney Colyer´s last post…Stud finder

    • Valerie R. says:

      Yes! This is when I start to have a conversation with my DH…When they don’t fit in the drawer and they start stacking up on top of his dresser!

      • This overflow was happening in my hubby’s dresser, too. Ironically, he had been harping on ME that “we have too much junk around here. Time to get rid of it,” and when I pointed to his T-shirt stack bulging out of his unclose-able drawer, he said, “My T-shirts aren’t junk.” I bit my tongue, knowing it would start something. Instead, I waited till he was at work and called him. I decided to use a philanthropic approach, since the words “give away” are so much softer than “get rid of.”

        I was able to talk him into “giving away” 3. The drawer still won’t close. I rested my case.

        Zoanna´s last post…Funny Email

  18. Oh this explains so much! I knew the comfy factor was a big issue but I want to thank you for clarifying the other issues in ratty-tat T-shirt wearing!

    Paula@Simply Sandwich´s last post…Sunday Simple

  19. My husband has his share of old t-shirts, but he has no connection to them. His reason for keeping them is that “there’s nothing wrong with them,” but if I really hated them, he wouldn’t care if they became rags or trash.

    Reese´s last post…Words that raise my “no way” flag on real estate listings

  20. My husband had one T-shirt that he absolutely loved – it was from a fish market in Chicago, and it said “Forget the meatloaf, Mama, I’m coming home with the crabs!” I’m not kidding, and he wore it everywhere. He finally admitted a few months ago that it was falling to pieces and he could no longer wear it. As much as I disliked the T-shirt, I knew it reminded him of a special time in his life when he lived in Chicago, so I called the fish market to see if they still sold the T-shift to get him another, but alas, they no longer sell them. :) I did try, though!

  21. When I married my husband he had a yellow “LeCoste” polo shirt that was OLDER than I was!!! Had like a gazillion holes & looked like it was a rag hanging on him! I wondered “why” he wanted to keep it??? I finally realized that it was his first “status” shirt which he bought the summer after high school graduation. The shirt actually “died” a natural death…finally fell apart in the washer. But really??? (oh, my husband is 19 years older than me….you can do the math on the shirt!)

  22. My husband’s tees are holey and ratty but now I know why i he won’t get rid of them.LOL We compromised.They are too ugly to wear anymore s when I get enough of them I am making him a t shirt quilt. He will still have the memories but I won’t have to see him wearing them.

  23. My husband is going to get SUCH A KICK out of this article!!!! He has this old, barely held together SCRAP OF FABRIC, not even a T SHirt, from his college days when he used to have a bit more muscle and a tighter waistline. There is SOMETHING about this one stupid shirt! He cut the sleeves off and now the arm holes are almost as long as the front of the shirt, so when i say this thing is hanging on by a thread, it’s REALLY no joke. And when I mentioned it’s probably time to part with the shirt, he looked like I suggested we kill a dog or something. Unreal. This makes a lot of sense. I think it’s the memories–he’s hanging onto it.

    GREAT post. I”m still grinning to myself as I’m getting ready to send the link to my husband at work. LOL.

    Ammie @ Domesticallyobsessed.com´s last post…Knitting A thought

  24. I was cracking up when I read this post! The amount of energy and humorous discussion we have spent on the topic of my husband’s t-shirts over the years is enormous! Once, he came back from a conference in Delaware with a “Delaware” t-shirt (we live in Texas and have NO connection with Delaware). He recently told me that, with the Texas Rangers’ good season, he’s going to have to get a t-shirt. I guess I’ll just keep laughing.

    Elizabeth´s last post…Not the End of the Story

  25. I actually like a guy in a well-fitted old t-shirt. Round our circles a vintage tee, especially one with a story is priceless!

  26. I had a similar attachment to my own old t-shirts. So I made a quilt! I had a drawer full of shirts I never wore but didn’t want to get rid of so I cut 1 foot squares out of the fronts and stitched them together for a quilt that has a ton of memories sewed up in it and keeps us warm at night :) I should think about starting another quilt as there are a number of old logo t-shirts starting to clutter our drawers again.

  27. Turn the T-quilts into a great quilt! That’s what I did with several of my husband’s old t-shirts that he would no longer wear, but still loved and didn’t want to get rid of – the quilt is a great way to preserve those memories in a whole different way. :)

    Susan´s last post…Multitude Monday – Way Overdue!

  28. As a newlywed, I’m looking forward to this series. :)

  29. What about old underpants, boxer shorts etc. whatever you call them. The very unsexy see-through underwear which is literally falling apart? Is there any emotional connection to this stuff?

    The idea that they are not visible to the general public is not convincing.

  30. Oh, my! I just had no idea! When my husband and I got married and he moved in, I realized what I was in for. He admitted that he hadn’t bought a new shirt in about 10 years and all of his clothes were gifts or hand-me-downs! Not joking, he still had a shirt that his aunt and uncle gave him in 2000 from a vacation that they went on to Mexico. In fact, now that I think about it, he still has that one… it was one of his nicer ones.

    Needless to say, I went right out and got him some new clothes. Thanks to his “when something comes in, something goes out” rule, we have almost completely replaced his old (free) t-shirt collection. Fortunately for me, he’s not really all that attached to them; he just didn’t see much point in spending time and money on clothing.

    But I really appreciate your viewpoint. I can see now that I have been pretty insensitive to him about his wardrobe. Thank you very much! He’ll appreciate it too, once he realizes that I’m no longer making a lot of comments about how his clothes are falling apart. …I’ll just replace them in kind silence. :)

  31. Great post! Funny timing because I was just thinking about this the other week. My husband doesn’t appear to be a sentimentalist at all, but I’m starting to see otherwise via the shirts (and our boys’ old sled he won’t let me get rid of even though we live in south Texas and no longer Chicago). I do give him props for at least “de-moting” them by ripping off the sleeves when there are holes in the armpits to make them lawn mowing shirts or sleeping shirts.

    Nothing makes me laugh more than when I’ll find him watching TV wearing his old highschool football shirt!! We’re in our 30′s :)

  32. Thanks for starting this series! Would you consider doing a piece on “Pre-Romance to Real Life”? I’d love to hear how you adjusted to being single pre-Doug, or even how you adjusted to dating him… for all us single ladies :). You’re site is continually a blessing to me.

    Christine´s last post…Making History- Ha!

  33. I may be the odd one out but in my marriage Im the one with the old tees lol.
    Not that my husband is a snazzy dresser or anything but he has spent the better part of the last 4yrs in ACU’s and has gone threw so many size changes that the clothing he was wearing when we first got together does not come close to fitting him!

    I have a t shirt from when I was 11, from little league softball. I wear it on laundry day!(granted this was only 11yrs ago lol) I also still have t shirts from my hs football team. They have so much memory to them and are so comfortable. I also have the shirt my husband let me borrow the night he proposed to me, because I got cake on mine.

    So in short, I get you Doug, I do. :)

  34. Old Doug in BC says:

    Hello Doug from OLD Doug in BC Canada. And of course your MUCH better half:-)! Very long time ago 1945 while at Knott’s Berry Farm in SoCal, I bought a souvenir T from one of the daughters of the original Knotts. Walter was still tending the fields, while Cordelia was minding the restaurant. My maternal uncle who had lived in SoCal since the late 1920′s took us to Knotts’ because he enjoyed Cordelia’s food so much. He had been a baker in his young years and like so many other bakers appreciated other’s cooking! In the 1970s on a trip to SoCal I remembered to bring the T shirt with me, and wore it to Knotts! Russel Knott, Walter and Cordelia’s son spotted me with it on, and he just had to come over to enquire where I got it. I told him and we got a tour, and two books which he autographed for Marie(liked the gals of course!) I still have that T shirt, a little faded now after 65 years, but it and both of us are still here! Keep your T’s Douglas!!! From Old Doug, pushing 85 and his beautiful wife Marie also still here at pushing 81!! And we are still in love after marrying in 1949! Met in 1947!!

    Doug and Marie in BC Canada Send us an email if you wish

  35. Thank you, Doug, on behalf of my husband. He now feels much more vindicated and understood :).

    I, on the other hand, am not that sentimental. To compare it to keeping memories of the past is hard for me. My husband comes from a family that saves practically everything from their past. In fact, I’m continually having to organize my children’s clothing because I keep on getting things that “Michael used to wear when he was x years old . . .”

    I, on the other hand, asked my mom once if she ever kept any toys of ours, and she replied, “Are you kidding me? I sold your Sesame Street set on eBay for $150.”

    But, I get this post, and especially like the point about “freedom.” I think it’s hard for guys, especially ones who are trying to work with their wives instead of blowing them off, to feel like there are certain areas of their lives where it’s okay to just trash the thing or not worry about where it should go and why, etc. :) Thanks for sharing!

    Jenni @ Life from the Roof´s last post…Raspberries at Safeway for 077-box

    • It takes some work to get together on things. It’s very much worth the effort…thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  36. Oh boy!!! Glad to know I am not the only one!!! When I read the title, I know – THIS IS ME!!!! I sent the link to my hubby and good to see him reading and saying ‘I am not the only one’!!

  37. Thanks for the insight, Doug! I’ll try not to say anything the next time my husband pulls out the SAME OLD t-shirt and slips it on! He has his fair share of old Texas Tech t-shirts too–he just can’t seem to let them go, even though we both have brand spankin’ new ones to wear.

    Morgan´s last post…Funny Friday-Baby bottles

  38. Nice to read a guy’s point of view for a change.
    In my marriage it’s me who can’t get rid of old t-shirts! But I have to say that I don’t wear them “in public” anymore but as night-t-shirts. This way I can snuggle with them…
    I love Susan’s idea of making a quilt of old shirts! I’ll keep that in mind…

  39. Great post! My husband and I have had this debate many, many times. It is good to have this reminder that it’s more than just an old t-shirt to him and I certainly have different things that I am sentimental about that don’t make sense to keep otherwise. Thanks!

  40. Guns up!

    I just had to comment after seeing the TTU t-shirt pic– DH and I used to work for Tech (and he’s a Tech grad- master’s degree), so we have a few of those red tshirts in our closets!

  41. Does he still have his “blue” ID? Ha! I actually lost mine and found it about ten years later. It is from the 1990 Fall season….. I do want to apologize if your DH was one of those guys that got a beat down from us on the field.

  42. Can’t wait for the series, Rachel! And another helpful post from Doug! Love them.

    The Great T-Shirt Debate has featured in our marriage from day one. Actually, when we first met, I asked a girlfriend (who knew my hubby better than me) what he was like. Her only reply was “He wears a lot of T-shirts!” Fast forward a year and half and I found out just how many T-shirt he had! He didn’t even realize that he had doubles of some! He was just glad there was one more in the drawer.

    I’m far more understanding about them than I was in the begining but point #2 was very helpful in understanding my sweetie a bit more. Thanks Doug!

    Rhiannon´s last post…Happy Anniversary Babe!

  43. lol, this cracks me up!
    I have to say I’m fortunate that my husband forms no ties to any clothing other than technical jackets (he works at REI). I probably have more of an issue with it that he does!

    One thing I’m working on is collecting tshirts (from both of us) of outdoor conferences we attended, our college homecoming shirts, my bridesmaid and bride t-shirts and I’m going to sew it into a big comfy t-shirt quilt. Not something to keep out and display, but when its chilly and we’re snuggled up on the couch we can look and say, “Hey, remember that trip?”

    Kait Palmer´s last post…Happy National Coffee Day!

  44. So, 7 yrs ago when we married I thought I’d be really sweet and ‘help’ my hubby clean out his T-shirt collection. I neatly re-folded and stacked his shirts according to what I thought should go and stay. With 120 shirts in the stacks (yes, I counted!) I thought I’d done such a good job, sure that at least 1/2 would find another phone. He lovingly looked at each shirt (I think he has about 100 Tech t-shirts!), thanked me very politely, and proceeded to put them all back in the closet…for the very reasons you stated above. I learned my lesson and give him an extra shelf in the closet!

  45. Sorry…home, not phone.

  46. reminds me of this DIY project I’ve been meaning to broach with my significant other: http://www.readymade.com/projects/concert_tee_pillows

    So many of my boyfriend’s old tees have REALLY amazing designs, colors, slogans, etc. I like seeing them—just not always on him. (Of course, maybe throw pillows are to men what too many t-shirts are to women…)

    chrisbean´s last post…This little tumblog has been a home styling lookbook for me So

  47. Rebecca Foxworth says:

    After years of harping, I gave up on the tee shirt issue.
    Then I got a label-maker. Yep. Me and my P-Touch silently hatched a tee shirt plan.
    He has one (LARGE) drawer we agreed could be filled to the brim with tee shirts, but could not overflow (we made a similar arrangement about my scrapbook stuff!).
    There was room on the front of the drawer for labels. I separated his shirts into three piles and put them in the drawer, with the following labels along the drawer’s edge:
    HANDSOME DATE NIGHT SHIRTS
    COMFY, WORN-OUT YARD WORK SHIRTS
    DUMPSTER DIVER TEE SHIRTS
    Within a few days, the dumpster diver tees mysteriously disappeared.

    • Hilarious! I am gonna try this, now that I’ve gotten my scrapbook stuff down from taking up 56 square feet to 9.

      DUMPSTER DIVER TEES! Classic!

      Zoanna´s last post…Funny Email

  48. Rebecca Foxworth says:

    Incidentally, we bought a small, used nightstand from a garage sale and put it in the garage. There he keeps his yard-word jeans, shorts, tees, sweatshirts, and one “painting” outfit. It’s where I put those things when they come out of the wash. This has seemed to prevent him absentmindedly putting on yard-work stuff to run errands. The concious act of walking to the garage to grab clothing means he is thinking he will specifically be doing garage or yard work. Works for us.

  49. A nice strip for the T-shirt topic.

    http://comics.com/on_a_claire_day/

  50. Like…Um…Maybe you need to buy MORE shirts and rotate them so memories can be connected to things other than clothes. Lol! :)

  51. My husband used to have some old ones with the sleeves ripped off. Was so glad when he upgraded his wardrobe!

    Unplanned Cooking´s last post…How unplanned is unplanned

  52. Hi Doug, I am totally with you on this clothing issue. Both my husband and I have many old teeshirts and wear them regularly, in fact, I still wear tee-shirts from 1985 when I finally left home and struck out on my own and it’s a lovely reminder of early independence.

    Thankfully we don’t live in a town so most days no-one but us sees what we wear and we are not greatly affected by cosmetics, what we wear does not greatly infulence what we think about each other or feel about each other on a “working outside doing dirty work” basis.

    Of course we sometimes dress up to go out and it’s lovely to make that effort for each other, it’s romantic. However wearing our old tees around at home does not make us any less romantic :)

    I feel that there’s a whole issue here not being addressed – codependence = trying to control or manipulate another person.

    I can’t believe that some women actually throw out their husbands clothing without discussing this with them first or, at the very least, telling them afterwards.

    I would guess that these women would be very offended if their husbands threw out any of their clothing without permission. I am sure it will probably seem equally strange to these women that I am actually shocked that they would do this.

    Husbands and wives are equal partners, we are not our husbands mommies!! I don’t think that any adult has the right to decide what another adult should wear (advice or suggestions are fine) or what another adult should keep in their wardrobes or drawers.

    I understand that one partner may be responsible for the laundry and so I can understand coming to the conclusion that this or that teeshirt may have passed it “best before” date – why not put the clothing to one side and ask your partner if the item is important to them? It seems a respectful approach to take…

    Keep on blogging Doug :)

  53. Patricia Tarica says:

    I too have had my thoughts and comments regarding my husband’s old worn t-shirts. I had an idea that even he agreed to try….replacing the really ripped and ragged ones with replacement “old and worn” tees from the thrift store. The fabric is still so soft and comfy yet are “decent” enuff to be seen in.

  54. How funny! My husband still has tshirts from high school (20yrs ago). They’re ’80s hair band tshirts and he loves them even though they are full of holes.

  55. My sister is a runner and triathalon athlete — she completed her first IronMan last month!!! At age 49, she’s been running for more than 20 years. In addition to a rack of ribbons, she also has T-shirts from these events. She did what several other posters suggested — made a quilt out of some of her favorite and most meaningful T-shirts.

  56. Thanks for this article, now, I can somehow understand why my husband prefers to wear his old clothes rather that the new ones I bought him.:-)

  57. I used to have tons of t-shirts (I’m a girl, so maybe it’s different, but I say I think like a guy because I can’t write essays but I can do math) What i did is brought them into work and put them in the scanner, then got rid of them. It was great – they’re not the style I like to wear out, but I had so many of them.