There’s nothing more welcome in my wardrobe than the softness of a vintage tee. Many stores that I frequent, including Brandy Melville, boast these fabulous shirts for a price larger than what I should budget for a plain, cotton tee. What used to keep me coming back is that nothing in my t-shirt drawer could compare to the buttery texture of these pricey basics. I also don’t really have the energy or patience to wear one shirt for the next ten years to make it “vintage soft”.
Now to get to the bottom of the vintage shirt trend, I questioned why old shirts are so gosh darn cozy. An old shirt takes years of wear, but how does one accelerate the aging process? The theory is when you wear a shirt over and over it’s exposed to sweat, which is mostly salt and water. So, pre-aging a shirt is as simple as steeping your favorite t-shirt in a homemade brine (salt and water mixture). Recipe below:
To make your brine:
- 1/2 c salt (iodized)
- 1 qt warm/hot water
- 1 cotton t-shirt
Combine salt and warm water. I like the water to be hot in order to dissolve and more evenly distribute the salt. Dip your shirt until fully submerged in the brine mixture. Steep 3-5 days, warm with small about of detergent and tumble dry.
I like brining my own graphic tees because the writing actually means something to me. – Meaning I’m more likely to wear my softened Northeastern University t-shirt than a Def Leppard one that may be really soft but just not my style.
Written while listening to Big a Boo by Destiny’s Child (hair flip emoji here)