BERRY: Some grown men wear little boy shirts

Aug 4, 2011


Instead of wearing shirts with cute, non-threatening pirates embroidered on their chests, men wear Captain Morgan and Tampa Bay Buccaneers T-shirts. Many grown men wear Detroit Tigers shirts emblazoned with a bright orange jungle animal. They also wear large-mouth bass T-shirts, which loosely resemble a shark. And men also wear shirts decorated with their favorite super heroes — Barry Sanders, Justin Verlander; and, yes, even Spiderman.

I also observed what the women were wearing on Saturday. Almost all of them were wearing something cool, comfortable, yet stylish. Little girls were wearing clothing with Hello Kitty, princesses, horses or fairies on them. Teenage girls were wearing — well, it was a warm day. But most women over 20 were wearing some kind of sleeveless, solid color shirt or classy print.

I went to a car show in Grand Haven on Sunday. I witnessed grown men in every kind of NASCAR shirt imaginable. They also wore shirts printed with Harley-Davidson, Ford, Chevy, muscle cars and Corvettes, and there was even one fool wearing an Edsel shirt. Yet most of the women wore cool, comfortable and dignified clothing.

In my entire day and a half of research, I conclude that the reason for the discrepancy in clothing between the sexes is because women grow up so much faster than men. 

Think about it: Women rarely engage in sports after high school. Men, on the other hand, play softball, basketball, hockey, golf, billiards, darts and shuffleboard. Men race cars, ride motorcycles, shoot skeet, fish, hunt, play video games and engage in fantasy football. 

Women almost never play fantasy football. They are too grounded in reality.

While men are having fun playing sports and tinkering with cars, women are doing senseless things like raising children. Their hobbies have vanished and their clothing reflects it. If adult women were to wear clothing that reflected their interests, they’d wear T-shirts with pictures of dirty diapers on them.

This would be a great time for me to mention how much I love being a man. I have plenty of shirts with sports teams on them. I also have car show T-shirts and shirts advertising my favorite beverages.

I even have a bunch of shirts from bars and restaurants that I bought at a department store to make it look like I’ve been places. The truth is, I’ve hardly been anywhere, and I’m pretty sure those bars and restaurants don’t really exist.

Last weekend, I also observed that men will wear almost any shirt, especially if it’s free. I saw a 300-pound guy wearing a fluorescent green shirt that read, “Char’s Yoga, Health and Fitness Center.” That’s actually negative advertising because, if I wanted to get fit, I wouldn’t train at Char’s.

Guys love free shirts. I saw men wearing shirts advertising auto parts, sports drinks, Pronto Pups,  burritos and banks, and a faded shirt showing support for a drain commissioner who lost an election nine years ago.

I don’t know for certain, but I’ll bet a male invented the T-shirt launcher that you see at sporting events. I once saw a dude elbow another guy in the face and knock over a little girl to snag a flying shirt at a Whitecaps game. When he removed the rubber band, it was a shirt advertising a vacuum cleaner. He pulled it on right over his Toby Keith concert T-shirt.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Some women wear T-shirts representing their favorite college. My wife has a Central Michigan University T-shirt. Amy actually graduated from Central.

That’s the difference between men and women: Women wear shirts from a college they attended; men wear shirts from colleges that have a good football program.

Women are also situational T-shirt wearers. For example, they may wear a shirt that says “Cheer America” if they have a child in cheerleading. Or women may wear a shirt that says “Spring Lake Lakers Football” if they have a son playing on the team. 

However, women only wear the T-shirt during the actual sporting event. It then goes back on the top shelf of the closet and doesn’t come out until the next event.

Men wear shirts to their kids’ sporting events that say things like “I Love Hot Moms,” as if all the mothers are going to flock to them like pigeons to popcorn.

My all-time favorite T-shirt was on a very attractive young lady. The shirt simply said, “Freak Magnet.”  

Department stores need a “women’s” section and a “girls” section, but they don’t need “men’s” and “boys” sections. They simply need a general “male” section, since the clothing is essentially the same. I know that’s where I would shop, because I’m not yet ready to give up my pirates, jungle animals, sharks and Spiderman.

– By Grant Berry


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