Attack of the baggy t-shirt

May 22, 2017

GREENWICH, N.Y. — With the weather warming up, I have been “appreciating” how hard it is to go from being bundled up in many layers, to shedding those layers and stepping into what feels like a state of near nakedness by wearing summer clothes again.

Not only is it the blindingly white legs and arms that bounce bright light into the eyes of those around me but also the added stress of keeping the toes detailed every 5 minutes and legs shaved everyday (being female can be so complicated).

And let’s not forget the valiant effort that I and many others are putting forth trying to shed the extra padding that accumulated over the winter. I have about 10!

God Bless the Carhartts. They did a lot more than keep me warm, they made my life easy and comfortable. 🙂

Summer certainly is a different ball game though. What I really want to write about is the counterpart to the Carhartts of winter: The over-sized t-shirt.

I lovingly refer to it as the “Attack of the Baggy T-Shirt,” an epidemic among farm women.

We don’t buy them, they just find us. A freebie from the seed corn salesman, a give-out at the FFA Convention and 4-H field days event, a “gift” from the local feed store’s open house. You can’t turn down a free t-shirt, can you?

We all have them, many of them. They get pulled out every spring as the go-to for working around the farm and house in the hot summer.

Usually with so many, we need to purge every year or so, first because our drawer gets so full with them that we can’t shut it, and second… we have to make room for the new season’s crop as many more will get collected throughout the summer at various farming events.

But, although they are roomy, comfortable and free, I am not quite so sure they are a good option for us.

Free t-shirt means one thing… unisex.

And what unisex means in girl world is that it won’t fit right.

Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of this. We all come in different shapes and sizes. Which is a good thing. For some of us, proper fit around the chest means that the sleeves and waist are going to be too big and baggy. Others, a good fit on top, means that the bottom is too short and clingy.

The long and short of it (no pun intended) is that an improperly fitting t-shirt will either leave you looking about 15 pounds heavier than you really are OR that you will be playing tug-of-war with your shirt all day. And the choice is?

Moving beyond fit, we can tackle the colors of these free t-shirts. Some of them are just hideous. One, which I just couldn’t even fathom wearing ever, not even out to the barn, was a mix between mustard yellow and off-white. Who thought that color would work well for most complexions? It would have been great if we were all going for the gray and pasty look.

Then there is the style to the t-shirts which always comes in the standard round, hugging your  neck form. Why can’t they come as a v-neck or scoop neck? This would help us, the female gender, feel much more feminine. Ugh, unisex, no such option.

However, we keep on wearing them, pulling them out of our dresser drawers and throwing them on in the early morning. We figure, the cows don’t care, clean or dirty, unisex or not, they need to be milked. The tractors don’t care, they will be run regardless by someone in a well fitted t-shirt or not.

But does anyone know… I care, do you?

There is something about the baggy t-shirt that de-powers me, makes me feel not on top of my game. Less feminine, unkept.

We tell ourselves that a shower and change of clothes will happen later, after the work is done for the morning. But the reality is, that unless we have something pressing to go to we rarely change out of those baggy t-shirts. Are they too comfy? Too easy? Or maybe, we are not feeling good enough about ourselves to get out of them?

Maybe we need to make those free baggy t-shirts less accessible? We could take an oath to ourselves to leave the free t-shirt in the drawer more days than not? Would it be as easy as giving them to Goodwill, or (I hate to even whisper this) not taking it at all?

Or maybe a revolt to the companies and entities that give away these gifts? “Help save women from the epidemic of the baggy t-shirt.” Write a letter to the president of the farm lending agency, call the promotions manager at your local grain coop. Tell them that you want t-shirts that are fit for women, not unisex!

There are options, you have options beyond their free baggy t-shirts. Tell them you are not afraid to buy a few t-shirts that fit you well!

You can do this!  Burn them. If they don’t suit your body type, your coloring, get rid of them. Whether you are on a farm or not on a farm, you deserve to wear something that makes you feel good about yourself.

End the epidemic today. Do it for you. Do it for all of us. Say “no” to the free baggy t-shirt… and empower yourself.


P.S.  Morning Ag Clips t-shirts to come…