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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Theory of Shirts

A shirt can be worn around the house, out in public, or for exercise. A suitable shirt already worn around the house for a day can also be used for exercise. Once it has been used for exercise, though, it cannot be used around the house or in public. The exception: cooling off for an hour or so at home before taking off an exercise shirt damp with sweat.

A shirt suitable for the house might also be suitable for public wear, later in the same day. By the same token, a shirt already worn in public can be worn the next day at home, but usually not on two successive days in public. A shirt worn briefly at home, before being exchanged for a shirt serving another function, can be worn the next day at home as well. Can it then be worn in public, too? It can, if free from stains and odors. There is a choice then: change to an exercise shirt, saving house shirt for later, or keep the same shirt on?   

The overlap between exercise shirts and shirts for public usage is more substantial than might apparent at first glance. A clean, unstained exercise shirt is suitable for less formal situations, or for errands like getting gas or shopping at a hardware or garden store. In most cases, doing yard work or other outside chores will fall into the same category as exercising, and thus require a shirt with a similar function.               


Leslie B. said...

So how about pants, then? I wear them for two days, one a formal one and the next an informal one. Even if I don't get them dirty somehow they get baggy in the knees on the second day and by the third won't look spiffy enough.

Shirts, I think I do the same with them. I don't differentiate. But I always wear a different shirt for exercise/gardening. Then wear the main shirt for 2 days, one formal and one informal.

I wonder sometimes why the change of clothes to exercise, though. Sometimes walking through the city is as much exercise as going on the elliptical machine, etc. I often want to go into the gym and exercise in street clothes, and I procrastinate about going there because I do not want to have to get dressed and undressed so many times.

Jonathan said...

Pants are a different conversation. It's hard enough to solve the problem of shirts in one blog post.

Thomas Basbøll said...

This post reminds me of a sentence in Saul Bellow's "The Old System". Our protagonist, Dr. Braun, gets up and bathes, then, Bellow tells us,

"He dried himself with yesterday's shirt, an economy. It was going to the laundry anyway."

I found that so odd that I haven't been able to forget it.

Leslie B. said...

What I want to know is what this is going to end up relating to. Is the theory of shirts going to be an aesthetic of shirts only, or will it demonstrate a general principle?

I am currently on the second day of shirt and the first of pants.

Jonathan said...

I'ts part of a collection of stories. Think Lydia Davis. The theme is these arbitrary categories we put things into. I used to run in jeans and people in the running group would make fun of me. But, it was cold, they were comfortable and had a place for my car keys. I was like, these are my running jeans, dude! Then I bought some long running pants for cold weather that I hardly every use. As we've discussed before, running in a mormon missionary short-sleeve dress shirts is fine.

Leslie B. said...

People in my neighborhood think it is weird I walk in skirts or dresses. To walk, and not be hooking, you have to wear running gear. Once five police cars came after me for this! They had to call the university and have it tell them I was not hooking, but walking to the mailbox, and that these were the clothes I had just taught in!

Thomas Basbøll said...