The Free Tee

Eric Eryou

Fashion is all about projecting your self-image in the way you dress. It sends an instant message about your social class, your culture and your attitudes. Fashion is the most important and essential tool to make a first and lasting impression. Face it: without fashion, how could the people on the street ever prejudge you without ever speaking a word? And how will you prejudge them?

So just like how we respect those in suits, ogle those in dresses, and glare at those with Prada, let’s find out what message we send out and what reaction we get when we hit the streets in our free tees.

In a perfect world, I want to project my accomplishments, character, and casual manner every time I step out of my house with a free tee. My 5 kayak shirts, 5 running shirts, 5 tennis shirts, and many economics shirts are all personal reminders of where I have been and are awesome conversation starters. I can wear free tees twice as long as any other shirt, until they are frayed and fainted due to the ‘sentimental value’ on it. Seriously, I’m not being cheap, I’m being sensitive! (And you know how much the ladies love a sensitive guy).

My commitment has come to the point where I will specifically look into events to check out whether registration comes with a free tee. You’ve got to filter your social life and hobbies somehow.  It is THAT important.

Super-hot girls on the street who see me in a radical political tee will assume that I’m a die hard activist, and feel an immediate special connection. There is no sane amount of money that I could spend on a Ralph Lauren polo that will give me the same doe-eyed reactions that a ‘save the polar bunnies’ tee will. Face it, if you dress to impress with fancy clothes and expensive duds there is a precedent set, and you best have the stacks to back it up. You have to dress rich, or dress interesting. Luckily, there’s nothing more interesting than a free tee.

Let’s say you meet a beautiful girl while balled out in dress pants, and a designer blazer. On your first date, she will expect a 4 star restaurant, tickets to the Black Eyed Peas, and to be chauffeured all night in your Honda Accord. Anything less and she will be severely disappointed. But, let’s say you met her wearing an economics tee shirt from university initiation week. This first date, you will blow her mind with 10$ fringe fest tickets, an evening walk through by the river, and a midnight picnic. Check and mate.

But there’s more to free tees than meeting girls. In business, suits are often used as crutches to shore up self-esteem and used by management to foster an environment of frenzied work, without raising pay, or using real motivational tools. Break through this stale environment! Have the courage to sport the free-tee to transcend the B.S of corporate culture. Throw off those around you, and keep the dominant edge with your cooler than cucumber exterior, in your 1986 rec league regional Lanark county hockey tournament shirt. You are the boss. You are confident. You just saved a bunch of money. Yahtzee!

High fashion changes with the times, trends and statements never stick around for long. The one constant in fashion is you. A free tee shirt speaks on a much more personal level about how you live, not what store you shop at. Be daring, be forever, be free tee.