How a Shirt Defines You

500 Words | Writing Prompt

If you could design any shirt, what would YOU put on it?

And what would happen when you wore it out in public? Would people stare? Would it start a conversation? Write about a t-shirt you would love to create. Or see.


My favorite shirt’s have no words, only illustrations.  Preferably an illustration that I can identify with.  After all, what we wear portrays who we are.  Usually I would buy the cheapest solid shirt option that I can find.  A shirt with a print often costs significantly more.  I never understood the value of paying so much for a shirt when there were so many cheaper options.  The fact that I am now willing to pay $20+ for a shirt is a testament to my growth in valuing the message that my shirt conveys.

One of my favorite shirt’s is from Disney.  The seagulls from Finding Nemo are lined up in a grid covering the front of the shirt and in the corner it says, “Mine, Mine, Mine”.  I love it!

I also once splurged on a shirt from our visit to Kennedy Space Center because it had a nice space shuttle on the front.  It made me feel geeky (in a good way).

The majority of my other shirts are from the various marathons, half marathons, or other runs that I have participated in.

My favorite freebie shirt says, “Get Shift Done” with an emphasis on “Shit” (as opposed to “Shift”); the F is grayed out.  I like to wear it when I am trying to be productive.  Every time I look down I remember that I should not be procrastinating by scrolling through my facebook feed, I should be getting shit done.

My shirt collection reflects who I am.  So if I were designing a shirt I would probably put a bird or a robot on it.  Or maybe it would be a bird robot.

Alternatively, family shirt collections can be a lot of fun.  For father’s day I made a collection of truck shirts inspired by my son’s love for trucks.  My son’s shirt said, “Plays with trucks.”  My husband’s shirt said, “Drives big trucks.”  My shirt said, “Rides in trucks.”  I love it because it truly captures who we were as a family in that point of time.

If I did design a shirt, I wouldn’t want it to result in staring when worn in public.  Generally, I like being invisible.  Solid shirts allow me to blend in.  My shirt design would be a subtle declaration of some part of my identity.  If it resulted in a conversation with a like-minded person then that would be fine.  But I definitely wouldn’t want someone gawking at my shirt while I am walking down the street.

All of this rambling has led to my conclusion that shirt’s are really important for spreading a message.  I like uplifting messages or funny messages or motivating messages.  If there is one message that defines my life that I wouldn’t mind wearing or discussing, it is:

Love never fails.

This could be depicted with the silhouette of a couple embracing, or a family frolicking, or a pair of birds feeding their young in the nest, or the never ending attraction of a proton and an electron.  The possibilities are endless since everyone experiences love differently.

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