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The Value of T-Shirts

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[Editor's Note: The following is a guest post from my friend Kosmo who runs The Soap Boxers. A couple of days ago, he mentioned a business idea that I thought was brilliant. My linguistics degree (and Steven Wright fanaticism) required me to give him the stage to tell you about his idea.]

I wear t-shirts a lot.  Although I work for one of the largest financial services companies in the country, the company’s recent dress code changes make it possible for me to wear jeans and t-shirts nearly every day of the year.  That’s a huge fringe benefit for me, as I’ve always been a comfort over style sort of person.  You can have your 401(k) matching - I’ll take a relaxed dress code.

Psychological Benefits

I have a rather large stash of baseball themed t-shirts.  So many, in fact, that I separate them into a pile of Rockies-themed shirts and a pile of general baseball shirts.

There’s a stretch of months between October and March that lesser fans refer to as “the offseason”.  I refer to this time period as “free agency, Latin American leagues, and spring training”.  Nonetheless, it’s a time of the year when I can’t see my favorite players swinging a bat – a time of year when Kosmo swings dangerously close to clinical depression.

Instead of getting therapy or popping bubble wrap, I use my baseball shirts to get me through the dark days.  I’m very cold blooded and often dress in layers during the winter – t-shirt on the inside and sweatshirt on the outside.  More often than not, I grab a baseball t-shirt.  It might be twenty degrees below zero, but my 2007 Colorado Rockies National League Champions shirt will warm me up – every time I think of that magical run (well, until we hit the BoSox buzz saw), I get a smile on my face.

Disarm Your Enemies (And Kids, Too)

I also have an assortment of shirts that are just a bit odd. Several months back, a friend of my commented a shirt I was wearing.  It’s a long sleeved t-shirt featuring an image of a penguin.

“You must really like Linux,” he said.

Nah, I just like penguins.  I also have shirts from nearly every zoo I've been to, including two from my local favorite, the Niabi Zoo in the Quad Cities area (including a cool design with the Zebras painting stripes on the other animals).  I also have a shirt from Disney’s Animal Kingdom featuring A.A. Milne's favorite bear front and center.  Mind you, I'm a fully grown adult – married with kids and a normal job.  I study serial killers in my spare time, for crying out loud.

Is there a method to my madness, beyond the psychological benefits mentioned above? Certainly.  How long could you stay angry at a guy wearing a Winnie the Pooh shirt?

If I'm going to be at an event with a lot of kids, I try to wear one of the fun shirts.  They often put a smile on little faces – and happy kids are much better to hang around with than grumpy kids.

I Make My Own T-shirts At Home

Well, not exactly.  I outsource the tricky stuff.

During lunch with a friend a few weeks ago, the topic of conversation turned to the Electoral College.  My mind tends to veer down strange paths every once in a while (occupational hazard of an aspiring fiction writer) - I suddenly looked up at Martin and asked:

“Why doesn’t the Electoral College have a marching band, glee club, or cheerleaders?  Pretty lame excuse for a college.”

That’s crazy talk, of course.  Everyone knows that the Electoral College is just a group of 538 people who vote for the president.  It’s not an actual academic institution with a campus and professors.

Times have changed.  As of today, Electoral College has cheerleaders, a glee club, and even a rowing club.  I actually paid good money to have a graphic designer develop a new logo for the Electoral College, registered a domain name, and create shirts on Zazzle.  There are a dozen designs to choose from, with more to be added in the future.  You can find them at ElectoralCollegeGear.com.

How many shirts will I sell?  At least two.  I'm planning to pick up a short sleeve Admissions Department shirt and a long sleeved Intramural Luge one (I’m a big fan of luge).  If I sell a few more, great.  If not, at least I’ll have some cool shirts to add to my collection.

Posted on October 28, 2011.

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7 Responses to “The Value of T-Shirts”

  1. Is the mascot cute? I’d go for one with a bunny or maybe a teddy bear :)

  2. We have a faux-academic logo, but no cuddly mascot.

  3. “How long could you stay angry at a guy wearing a Winnie the Pooh shirt?” — excellent point :-) Maybe I’ll wear a cartoon shirt next time I have to talk to my tenants about something negative. :-)

  4. @ Paula – you might give it a shot. A cartoon shirt might make the tenants see you as a happy and reasonable person and not an ogre.

    Unless it’s a Shrek shirt. Then they may conclude that you are indeed an ogre :)

  5. […] Man and Money presents The Value of T-Shirts posted at Lazy Man and Money, saying, “You can have your 401(k) matching – I’ll take […]

  6. Glen Craig says:

    The idea of a suit and tie as work attire seems ridiculous to me. How does tying a silk string around your neck make for good work? Unless that know around your neck represents some kind of indentured slavery to your employer?

    When I had my cube job I longed for casual Fridays. I even hated taking a Friday off because I would miss out on jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers. Insane.

    And I think a little more Pooh (the bear, not the other kind) in our lives can only be a good thing!

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