A Dozen Grey T Shirts

It was another rainy day in Manchester, and I was packing up my bedroom in the loft I shared with my friend and flatmate. I stood over piles of clothes, clutter and a general mess with one hand on my hip, a backwards hat on, a grey t shirt halfway tucked in to my ripped-on-purpose denim cut offs. I stared at my phone tracking my UberEats as though it would give me the answer the question friend/flatmate kept asking:

How many grey t shirts must a person own, and honestly, did I really have to bring them all overseas with me?

The answer was definitely yes. Most of them were bought in places that attached a memory to them, almost personifying each one.

You see, there’s the comfy one that I was wearing, that I had bought at Forever 21 ages ago that never seemed to unravel or get wrinkled (curious as it was $9 from the sales bin) and yet, still lives today, in my drawer, in Montreal.

There was the loose V-neck that was made out of stretch cotton that I bought in a shop in Knutsford after I decided to go hiking. Except, instead of hiking I ended up eating fish & chips and shopped instead — oops.

There was the linen box-cut crew that I bought when I was in Barcelona and it was far warmer than anticipated. So, obviously…

There was the one I bought at Lululemon with the idea that I’d work out when in reality I’d wear it to dance around my room while I packed for yet another weekend getaway.

There were the two short-sleeve crew-necks with rolled up sleeves that I bought from ASOS as a 3-pack cotton t-shirt situation when I lashed out and set out to buy a dress for a wedding and instead ended up with t-shirts and a new pair of Nikes. Again — oops.

There was the cotton linen blend scoop neck I bought at &Other Stories that could easily be dressed up or down. A true gem.

There was the oversized mens one that I used mainly to sleep in, holes by the right side, threads unfurling towards the bottom, and a curious soy sauce stain on the back (??) Occasionally, I wore this as a dress (I know, you guys…I know).

Finally UberEats had arrived, I devoured pang pang cauliflower as I strategically rolled up every grey t-shirt neatly, expertly placing them into my suitcase. Each one with a story, each one serving a different purpose, because each one comforted me just the same.

I could hear the hosts of the various makeover shows that I shamelessly watch in my head screaming “You need to add more colour!”

Honestly, though, do I? Somehow, a yellow, orange, red, or green t-shirt just wouldn’t feel the same. It needs to be grey, and I kind of like it. Maybe that’s why I also don’t really mind if it rains, or maybe that was just me finally making peace with the fact that it always will rain in Manchester, no matter the forecast.

I’m in Montreal now, and it’s summer. So, in an effort to remain seasonal, my grey t-shirts have evolved to white t-shirts. The funny thing is, I know this will change come autumn. So til then, they hibernate while I scour shops on a mission to purchase clothes that might show that my style has somehow become more sophisticated. Maybe I’ll find a grey dress that will feel the same.

But we all know that grey t-shirts will lure me right back in.