My T shirt is Now a Tank Top

In high school, I ran cross country and track. One thing I noticed when I first joined was that just about everyone else sported tank tops that were former t shirts. It’s a great way to prove to people that you own a pair of scissors. And then also, you can have a new tank top without getting yourself a new tank top.

Eventually, I joined them. But it took some time. I struggled with the permanency of a cut t shirt.  In theory, I could sew my tank top back into a t shirt. But it wouldn’t be the same. The stitching would be sub par. I taught myself how to sew, so my work is so – so. Or, you could say it’s sew – sew. Once I make the first cut – it’s a done deal. My t shirt is now a tank top.

Before performing surgery on a t shirt, I’d consider whether or not I wanted to ruin it. Typically, I transformed the shirts I received for free so that I wouldn’t be as bothered. Then, I used a marker to trace the cuts. Next, I’d try the garment on several times during the process, observing it and making sure I made the next cuts carefully. I’d see other people’s cut tank tops and think they were better looking than mine. Looking back, I think it was because they were much more carefree with the cutting than I was. I was too systematic. I made my tank tops too perfect.

I recently cut a t shirt into a tank top. It was a nostalgic experience. I purchased this shirt for three dollars. It’s a white shirt with a black ampersand. You know, the “&” symbol. It’s a tank top now. For some reason, it took me months to make the transition.

Does it matter, though? What’s the worst that comes out of cutting the wrong shirt – or, from making the wrong cut on the right shirt? Yeah, the shirt is ruined. But I have the internet. I’m sure if I really wanted to, I could buy the shirt again online. What isn’t online nowadays?

I think everyone should cut a t shirt into a tank top. In the process, you might learn how to embrace change. I guess when I receive a t shirt, I become accustomed to the idea of it being my t shirt. And changing that is a weird feeling. But that’s what life is – things change. Changes happen. You meet people. You feel things. You learn new things. You ruin a shirt. You lose a shirt. You find the shirt online and get it again. And then maybe, you lose it again. At that point, you might just give up. But then, you find a shirt that’s even better. And you get a tank top. And you spill pasta sauce onto your tank top. And you forget to hydrate. And you find your t shirt for the second time while looking for your water bottle. And you continue living life.

I loved my “&” shirt a lot. It’s odd and confuses people a little bit. They think, is that an ampersand on a t shirt? It’s a tank top now.  My t shirt is a tank top. Maybe, I cut it unevenly. I’ll still wear it. I’ll wake up. I’ll drink coffee. I have one less t shirt and one more tank top. I’m okay. I’ll be fine.


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