What do you do with old t-shirts that you can't bear to part with?
July 27, 2004 4:38 PM   Subscribe

What do you do with old t-shirts that, for sentimental reasons, you can't bear to part with?

You know: concert tees and just plain cool shirts. The Muffs Blonder and Blonder tour and the Police Ghost in the Machine. Too Much Caffeine Man screaming "COFFEE IS MY DRUG OF CHOICE!!" Tenderloin ("Fried Brains and Sausage Balls") and an Akira (anime film) shirt.
posted by Shane to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (34 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Keep them.
posted by kindall at 5:05 PM on July 27, 2004


You could get married. Then your spouse will nag you until you can bear to part with them. Or so I've heard.
posted by spacewrench at 5:06 PM on July 27, 2004


yeah, keep them. a few at least. they don't take up too much space after all
posted by matteo at 5:07 PM on July 27, 2004


Throw them away.

Seriously. You don't want them. You already know that.
posted by Nelson at 5:11 PM on July 27, 2004


retire them to the Retired Tee Shirts corner of my dresser and hope my spouse does not find the ratty garments.
posted by mwhybark at 5:14 PM on July 27, 2004


Put them in the t-shirt hall of fame. One day, we will have the technology to clone our worn-out t-shirts and rebuild them.
posted by ph00dz at 5:20 PM on July 27, 2004


chronicle them, then discard.
posted by judith at 5:24 PM on July 27, 2004


Make pillows!
posted by Coffeemate at 5:28 PM on July 27, 2004


make pillows.

on preview: coffeemate is psychic.
posted by casarkos at 5:29 PM on July 27, 2004


Frame it.
posted by MegoSteve at 5:34 PM on July 27, 2004


For the ones with strong graphics or special memories, wall-mounted in a frame or shadow box. Treating them as art/collectibles is a definite conversation starter.

On preview: damn, MegoSteve got to it first.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 5:42 PM on July 27, 2004


This bookmark has finally come in handy. Shane, please do this, and take pictures!
posted by iconomy at 5:44 PM on July 27, 2004


i've taken to cutting out the logos or other parts of the t-shirts I actually like and then using stitch-bitch (iron-on adhesive for appliques -- the two-sided sticky kind is best) to put them on new t-shirts.

custom retro-t-shirt flair with a cut that fits you today.

bitchin'.
posted by fishfucker at 5:57 PM on July 27, 2004


Hmm. Quilts/blankets work for old jeans (in fact, denim blankets are some of the warmest stuff I've ever slept in). Maybe T-shirts could figure in.
posted by weston at 5:58 PM on July 27, 2004


EBay 'em.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:21 PM on July 27, 2004


I got a neat T-Shirt in San Francisco once -- a monkey clinging on the back with its hands grabbing at the shoulders. When it gave out, I had a local airbrush artist replicate it. He added a banana in a fake front pocket. When that wore out, and the artist moved away -- I learned how to airbrush. The monkey's "evolved" quite a bit over the years.
posted by RavinDave at 6:51 PM on July 27, 2004


You fold them up small and stick them in a box/drawer/attic (or some combination of the three), with all the other stuff that you have no use for but don't want to throw away.
posted by reklaw at 6:52 PM on July 27, 2004


Cut them up and sew them into something much cooler: skirts, purses, quilts (if you have enought shirts), pillows, you name it.
A ton of teenage girls do a ton of these every day at livejournal.
posted by rhapsodie at 7:04 PM on July 27, 2004


Wear them until they fall apart. Since the occasions on which wearing a shirt that's in the process of disintegrating tend to involve the kind of activities that encourage the furtherance of that process, they'll be unrecognizable as clothing and thus disposable before too many years go by.
posted by sfenders at 7:17 PM on July 27, 2004


T-shirt quilts. I can't bear to part with mine or cut them up, and have a few boxes of old t-shirts. I've bought very few t-shirts, but I've managed to accumulate them through road races, athletic teams and school events. I used to see how threadbare they could get and then I'd Hulkster them after track practice.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:28 PM on July 27, 2004


I still have my Rolling Stones tour t-shirt from 1981 at the L.A. Coliseum - somewhere. And hubby has "I survived Mt. St. Helen's" and "I survived the World Trade Center attack of 1993" t-shirts in his dresser, again, somewhere.
posted by Lynsey at 9:14 PM on July 27, 2004


I take photos, then give them to a thrift shop. I pretty much never look at the photos; that's just so I can reassure myself I'm not losing the memory the shirt represents.
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:14 PM on July 27, 2004


If there aren't a lot of them, there's no reason not to keep them. In another ten years, you may want them again.

I know this because of my moving-sloppiness, where I've run across shirts that have gone from being obscure to semi-cool to dorky to totally obscure to absolutely forgotten again.
posted by interrobang at 10:43 PM on July 27, 2004


You know, those t-shirt quilts don't really look as cool as it seems like they should. I like fishfucker's idea.

You could do sort of selective collage-style combos (for simplicity's sake, let's say you start along the lines of something like this) if you have enough images. You might even end up going to thrift shops to find more t-shirt designs in the right colors or with the right graphics to use. And you would have so much fun making them that you would end up making way too many, and then giving some away to friends. And your friends' friends would see them and pay you to make wearable t-shirt collage art from their old t-shirts. Then eventually your hometown newspaper would do a feel-good arts/culture people-feature about you, and then USA Today would pick it up, and Good Morning America would see that and invite you on the show for a demonstration. Then Oprah Winfrey would hire you to make a t-shirt for her, and you would end up writing a book about how to do it, which would be a best-seller and lead to a series of "NeoCrafting for the Metrosexual" books.

And now you are rich and famous and you owe it all to AskMe, and a guy named "fishfucker".
posted by taz at 12:53 AM on July 28, 2004


You fold them up small and stick them in a box/drawer/attic (or some combination of the three), with all the other stuff that you have no use for but don't want to throw away.

And after a while it won't seem that unbearable to throw them away.
posted by biffa at 1:51 AM on July 28, 2004


Agreeing with the sewing the images onto other t-shirts -- I've done that with shirts I can't fit into anymore (god, that makes me sound like such a lardass when, in fact, I bought shirts that were waaaay too small to begin with). I've seen shirts with the same style (rough edges, thick thread, crooked, etc.) in high street shops for obscene amounts of cash, so I like to think I'm terribly trendy. Or something.
posted by Katemonkey at 2:48 AM on July 28, 2004


Let go of them. Hold a ceremony, burn incense, offer prayers, light the funeral pyre and thank them for all the good times, which you don't lose, and aren't diminished in any way whatsoever, by letting go of them.

Feel cleansed, lighter, warmer and happier.

You can probably skip the ritual, though. (I find making gassho a (surprisingly) effective way to both acknowledge something and move on).
posted by Blue Stone at 2:59 AM on July 28, 2004


Turn them into rags. You know, to wipe up after spills.
posted by rocketman at 4:56 AM on July 28, 2004


Ha! Great ideas. Thanks folks.

All good. I thought about sewing them on new shirts. Photos and a burning ritual sound cool too.

Then Oprah Winfrey would hire you to make a t-shirt for her, and you would end up writing a book about how to do it, which would be a best-seller and lead to a series of "NeoCrafting for the Metrosexual" books.

Yes, well, there's an obvious market for this, you know. Chick-Lit is such a thing right now, it's only a matter of time before Emo Metrosexual starts to sell like hotcakes. And do women still like sensitive types? ;-)

iconomy, I'm not big on underwear, but if I take your idea you can expect some strange photos arriving in your e-mail. Fair warning.
posted by Shane at 6:04 AM on July 28, 2004 [1 favorite]


I have a hard time parting with old worn-out clothing of any kind. I like the idea of recycling it in some way but some things just aren't worth it. What I find I have to do, is throw it away and whistle "Taps" afterwards. Is that so wrong?
posted by wobh at 8:20 AM on July 28, 2004


taking a tip from the Fab 5, cut the front panel off and pin or sew it to the back of a jean jacket.
posted by o2b at 8:56 AM on July 28, 2004


Work out in them.
posted by gramcracker at 9:50 AM on July 28, 2004


...cut the front panel off and pin or sew it to the back of a jean jacket.

Nice twist!
posted by Shane at 11:37 AM on July 28, 2004


I WILL BUY THEM FROM YOU!

-Let me repeat myself-

I WILL BUY THEM FROM YOU!
I WILL BUY THEM FROM YOU!
I WILL BUY THEM FROM YOU!

Do not, in any way, deform or otherwise harm the most sacred of clothing institutions: The goofy T-Shirt.

Email me @ blasdelf@gmail.com if you have any shirts that you would like to hide from your spouse.

GIVE A SHIRT A HOME!!!
posted by blasdelf at 10:46 PM on July 28, 2004


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