So, I’m sweating and aching and groaning my way through my Thursday night aerobics class at the Limington Town Hall, and I’m thinking about the tee-shirt I’m wearing because, let’s face it, my brother-in-law’s paving business doesn’t exactly make for sexy workout gear (see picture) when the various pieces of my latest obsessions coelesced into one glorious idea. I would have shouted “Eureka!” but I didn’t have any breath to spare considering we were doing the umpteenth set of leg kick/arm punch combos. Here’s what I was thinking:
a)I probably look like a dork in this tee-shirt, but at least it’s black and black is slimming. (huff, puff)
b)Actually, printing company logos onto tee shirts is great advertising for local businesses. If someone makes a snide comment about my exercise outfit, I’ll claim I’m doing it because I believe in local business. (Ouch, my thighs are burning!)
c)And anyway, everyone else is advertising various national sporting goods companies on their Nike/Addidas/Columbia/Insert Name Brand Here workout clothes. Why shouldn’t I advertise a local business? Or in this case, a family business? (Hey, thighs about to fall off here!)
d)And, hey, wouldn’t it be kinda cool to start wearing all kinds of tee shirts and hats and sweatshirts with local business logos? It could be my new “thing.” (Seriously? Another set of eight? Is she crazy?)
e)But those tee shirts are so baggy and boxy . . . (Oh my god. I can’t feel my left toe!)
f)Unless I TRANSFORM them and turn them into a fashion statement. Eureka! (Water break? Water break?)
Here is where I thought I’d come up with a unique and inspired idea. I would collect a bunch of local tee shirts and sweatshirts and hats, figure out various ways to reconstruct them into more fashionable shapes and lines, and begin wearing them around town. I’d post tips and instructions so others could create their own DIY fashions. We cool loca-fashionistas could then pooh-pooh the silly fashion slaves with their manacles of Abercrombie and Aeropostale strapped around their chests or plastered on their butts liked cattle-brands.
Maybe I could talk to the home-economics (or whatever they are calling it these days) teacher at the local high school and suggest the students practice their new sewing skills on tee shirt transformation projects. Maybe the school could host a loca-fashion show (do you like that? The double meaning? Loca, i.e. local AND crazy) to raise money for the school system–since the state is going broke and has cut funding but not the mandates–or for local food banks or homeless shelters or people who are just having a hard time buying heating oil or maybe a scholarship or two for a kid who can’t afford the astronomical costs of higher education here in the U.S.
I began picturing a Massabesic High School model-wannabe parading down the catwalk in, say, a Waterways tee shirt halter top paired with a funky tulle skirt and black biker boots. Or a Limerick Supermarket baby-tee with ruched sleeves combined with a fringy, drapey skirt crafted from an F.R. Carroll’s tee worn over a pair of jeans.
“Too cool!” I thought. “Except I have no idea how to tranform tee shirts into anything.” I mentioned my idea to my friend Michele last night and she said, “Oh, a team from Odyssey of the Mind remade their school logo tee shirts a couple years ago.” She listed a number of transformative ideas, and about that time I started to realize that, like most good ideas, someone had already eureka-ed it ahead of me.
So, this morning I jumped onto the internet to see what I could find, and struck paydirt. Okay, I won’t get any big awards for this idea since apparently I’m way behind the proverbial 8-ball (see “My Sources Say No” post of January 6), because I found an amazing source for tee shirt transformation projects. Check out Generation T where you can find projects, books, and inspiration for your own DIY tee shirt fashions. The website is the brainchild of Megan Nicolay, a self-professed “obsessive Do-It-Yourselfer.” I am psyched, psyched, psyched to dive into this website and will probably purchase the books.
In a few weeks, I plan on having an updated, black and gold “Proseal” tee shirt to show you. Can you see me rubbing my hands in gleeful anticipation? I’m going to try to turn it into something I can wear to my aerobics class. I’m hoping that others will notice my cool shirt, ask how I did it, and soon the entire area will be wearing local logos instead of mindless fashion labels that are really nothing more than profitable advertising for the multinational company that owns the name on your hoodie.
Think about it: they con you into paying sixty to a hundred bucks for the privilege of advertising for them. Come on! They should be paying YOU!
Break free from your fashion chains, tranform a tee shirt, send me a picture, and we’ll have our own virtual fashion show right here . . . Outside the Box.
P.S. I’m calling my fashions Flabbercrabby & Stitch. I love the slogan “It’s cool to be Flabbercrabby!” It’s just so much fun to say, don’t you think? And in the spirit of collaboration and sharing, I am “open-sourcing” the name and slogan, so use it if you want (but it will be very bad karma if you take it and copyright it and sell it to some conglomerate. Very Bad Karma!)