My New Shirt Brewing System

Whether you’re a clothes lover who enjoys shopping  or someone who would rather visit the dentist than the Gap, at some point in your life you are going to buy a new shirt.

So you and your new shirt arrive at home. Now what?

To wash or not to wash? Are you one of those people who like to wash their clothes before they wear them? Are you afraid of the thousands of dead skin cells left on the shirt by the 16 people who tried it on in the store? Do you think there’s some kind of chemical on there that gets rinsed away after the initial wash? If so, you’re probably a washer.

The Same Day Wear. When you get home do you immediately put on the shirt and wear it for the next 3 days? If you’re a same-day-wearer I’m guessing you wear the shirt as many times as possible the first week without someone seeing it on you twice. You wear it to the party on saturday night, church on sunday morning, work on monday, and then to the poker game on thursday.

(The hyper-intense version of the the same day wear person is the “I’ll wear this out of the store” person. Although it’s kind of awkward to pull that these days with those magnetic security tags. You’ve got to climb halfway over the counter to give them enough room to get it off without ripping the shirt off your body.)

Into the Rotation. Does your new shirt join the rotation of old shirts and get equal playing time with everyone else? Or is the new shirt the star player that gets worn as soon as it pops out of the dryer. You do realize that once that closet door closes, the new shirt gets mercilessly hazed by the veterans. “You think you’re so hot now buddy, but just give it a few washes and you’ll be getting stuck at the bottom of the pile, forgotten for months at a time like the rest of us.”


Here’s my rules for a new shirt. These are probably drastically different from yours, but I don’t care. If you hadn’t figured out that I’m a moron by now, you’re probably a moron too.

1. The new shirt does not need to be washed – Slap that thing right on a hanger or throw it in a drawer and it’s ready to go. (My nicer t-shirts get hangers, the lower level shirts get piled on a closet shelf.)

2. The new shirt will NOT be worn on the same day – To me, wearing a new shirt on the day of purchase says, “look at me, I have a new shirt on! Everyone, look at me and my new shirt!” Personally, I just don’t like to draw that type of attention to myself.*

*I realize no one else will know that your shirt is new…but YOU know…and really, that’s all that matters.

3. The new shirt will brew in the closet for at least a few days – Like Tony LaRussa or Larry Brown, I’m not a big fan of letting the rookies play over the starters. I like to let my new shirts know that just because they’re new doesn’t mean they are special. And while they’re brewing in the closet, they can get to know everyone else, and learn what it takes to be a shirt in my wardrobe.

As a side benefit, waiting to wear a new shirt makes me feel like I’m being incredibly patient in an impatient world, which makes me feel better about myself. Yeah, I have issues.

4. The new shirt will make it’s debut for a notable event – The upside to letting my new shirts brew for a while is that when I do take them out for their debut, it’s usually for a big game. Maybe I’m speaking somewhere or there’s a dinner party or we’re going to NYC for the day. Just know this: when I make the call for the new shirt, he appreciates the opportunity because he’s been sitting there for a few days waiting patiently for his turn.

5. The new shirt will NOT draw attention to itself – Some people like to walk around with that “Look at me and my new shirt!” swagger. I am not one of those people. My goal is that when you meet me you’re left thinking, “Did he have a new shirt on or has he had that thing for years??? I have no idea. Bryan is so clever with his wardrobe.”

That’s how I roll.

My wife Erica likes to wear her new shirts as much as possible the first few days. I think she’s impatient. She thinks I’m an idiot, and she thinks my tshirt brewing system is the dumbest thing she’s ever heard of. What do you think?

Are you a same day wearer? Or are you a master of patience like me?

What’s your system for integrating a new shirt into your wardrobe?