The T-Shirt

20 06 2007

I guess I’m actually way too middle-aged to be doing it, but I buy t-shirts from Threadless. Threadless is the company that’s getting all the press lately (links via Population Statistic, and, oh, here’s a link to NPR’s recent piece, too) for crowdsourcing. It’s built an online community that actually designs—and helps select the most promising designs for—the shirts. So I frequently spend free time looking at designs and ranking them on a 0-5 scale. (I’m a tough grader; currently, my average score is 1.55.) Somehow or other, it’s fun, even though I know I’m (literally) being made a capitalist tool in the process….

Anyway, a few months ago, I bought a t-shirt called Funkalicious, designed by Christopher Golebiowski. The design is retro or ironic or ironically retro, of the 80s persuasion; it shows an astronaut carrying a boom box, and there are silly, delightful primary-color echoes suggesting movement. Whenever I wear the shirt, I get comments (sometimes about the astronaut’s, er, bulge). I love the shirt.

I occasionally see someone wearing one of the bazillion different Threadless t-shirts, and that’s not surprising, given all the attention the company has received lately. On Sunday, though, while I was wearing my t-shirt, I saw someone else wearing the same Funkalicious tee. That’s a first for me. Each t-shirt is printed in limited numbers. In fact, if you see a t-shirt that you like, you better buy it quickly, particularly if you wear a medium or large. The clever tees sell out quickly. So I’m thinking that the odds of seeing someone else wearing the same Threadless t-shirt that you’re actually wearing must be pretty slim.

Whatever the odds, I felt a little bit like I’d shown up at a party wearing the hostess’s dress. [Clarification: I’ve never actually worn a party dress. Or any dress. Really.]

Except here, I was one of two people wearing the same t-shirt at a Radio Shack.



Seersucker Shorts

5 05 2007

For some reason—and I swear it’s not some perverse Matlock fetish—I want a pair of seersucker shorts. They’re everywhere I look right now, in catalogs, in stodgy department stores, and in trendy little shops. I keep trying them on, too. And I keep being disappointed.

Here’s the problem: I’m short. You may not know that about me; maybe it doesn’t come through in my little(?) missives here. It’s true, though. On a good day, I’m barely hitting 5’7″. And given my height, or—more exactly—the, er, brevity of my legs, I like shorts that aren’t too long. My favorite pair of shorts, for instance, has a 7 ½-inch inseam. The seersucker shorts I’ve been seeing and trying on, though, have inseams in the neighborhood of 12 ½ inches. Yikes. That means the shorts go way, way, way over my knees.

That’s the danger that shorts can pose to the short man. You may end up looking like you’re wearing manpris. Or the shorts can give the illusion that you’re actually 4’7″.

Beware, short men: This summer may be dangerous.