Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Everyman's Guide to Dress T-Shirts: Chapter One

Last week, I posted the introduction to my latest tome, The Everyman's Guide to Dress T-Shirts. This week, I present chapter one to the Interweb community. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, but most of all, I hope it will bring you a fuller understanding of the universe.

Chapter One: Definition by Negation

The concept of a dress t-shirt is unfathomable to some. Most people will experience extreme doubt and confusion when first exposed to the principles in this book. Are dress t-shirts real? Will I ever be able to identify them on my own? And will they really change my life?

I am here to tell you that the answers are yes, yes, and YES. But to ease your entry into the dress t-shirt waters, I will start you off slow. First, we will define what is NOT a dress t-shirt, for the highest presence is absence.

We will start off with an easy one: the tank top (figure one). Despite what you may have heard at the laundromat, a tank top is not considered formal enough for anything more than a holiday picnic with family and close friends.

The next one is a bit tougher. What could be more formal than a tuxedo shirt? With ruffles? What about a ruffled tuxedo t-shirt?

Unfortunately, this is a trick question. A true dress t-shirt does not feel the need to represent itself as anything OTHER THAN a t-shirt. A true dress t-shirt stands proudly on its own and states, "I am here. I am a t-shirt. And I am business casual."

I know by this point your head is reeling. You're wondering if you will ever get the hang of this dress t-shirt thing. I'm here to tell you, you will. Believe in yourself, believe in your clothes, and use the information in this book, and all will be well. All manner of things will be well. But to avoid driving you into sensory overload, I will give just one final example. This is the most common mistake the dress t-shirt rookie is likely to make. And that mistake is:

Wearing a dress t-shirt that is, literally, a dress. Ask yourself this question: would I have to hike my t-shirt up to do any of the following?

  • Sit down
  • Retrieve my wallet/keys
  • Run
  • Use the restroom
  • Walk across a large puddle

If the answer to one or more items is "yes," then you are not wearing a dress t-shirt. You are wearing a t-shirt dress. And you desperately need to purchase another copy of this book.

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