Shirt Sewn Closed

This shirt behaves like a T-shirt. Its button front is sewn closed. The collar is also tacked down.

Through experimentation, I found that a T-shirt was the only type of shirt I could both put on and take off, though it wasn't always easy to do. But, again, I had to make allowances for the times when I dressed up. At those times a T-shirt, no matter what it said, just wouldn't cut it. (A favorite T-shirt was one I had made up to razz my fellow U. of Illinois jocks after a rare New Orleans Saints victory. It was gold with black lettering and simply said, "Saints 42, Bears 24". I loved wearing that thing to practices! But I digress.)

Remember, I couldn't button a shirt. The simplest answer was to make other shirts behave like T-shirts but not look like T-shirts. Most shirts with buttons already had stitching sewn down the front, next to the buttons. By fastening all buttons except the top two (sometimes one) and sewing along the stitching already there (which made the additional stitching virtually invisible), one wound up with a shirt that could be donned and removed like a T-shirt. The open buttons at the top allowed me to get my head through, and they also gave that casual look. If I needed to put a tie or bowtie on, I would ask a friend or relative to do it for me.

Collars were almost impossible for me to straighten. This problem was taken care of by putting a couple of stitches where the back of the collar met the back of the shirt. The stitching hardly showed and the collar stayed put.

In Champaign, Illinois, it got frigidly cold, which meant I had to wear a heavy coat, among other winter-wear, or hibernate for five to six months. Given my purpose for being there - to attend classes and try to soak up some knowledge - hibernation was a sometimes appealing, but unrealistic alternative. (Couldn't get a six-month supply of beer into my dorm room, even if it had been allowed. But I digress again.)

Vel-Cro was used in place of the buttons because I didn't have to worry much about lining up the front straight. Closing the coat against the elements was all that mattered.

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