This shirt came from a dumpster that was full of the belongings and furniture of an old lady in my neighborhood in Brooklyn who most likely had just died and her family was clearing out her house. I swear, the dumpster was not as gross as it sounds – there was no food or icky stuff in it – just bags of old clothes, curtains, notebooks full of newspaper clippings and old lottery tickets. For the record, it was 2003 and I was younger at the time. I do not currently make a habit of climbing into dumpsters to forage for sweatshirts. But back then, it didn’t seem like a bad idea at all, and the pristine items in the dumpster seemed like a delightful gift set down in front of us that we’d be fools to refuse.
The obvious thing I love about this shirt is the pattern – it’s like a safari for your body. The leopards are in black and white, which is such a mad genius idea for how to depict a jungle scene. The best parts are the Toyota jeeps. Why Toyota? It should be a Jeep or Land Rover if it’s a jungle safari, right? And as someone who works with licensed apparel, don’t even get me started on the trademark infringement, sheesh!
The less obvious thing I love about this shirt is that it’s actually very flattering. It’s loose enough that you don’t have to worry about eating a huge dinner, but fitted at the bottom. It’s become the thing I end up wearing after trying on everything else in my closet and having an “I have nothing to wear!” fit.
When I put it on, it’s as if the power of the jungle flows into me – black and white jaguars and RAV4s surging through my veins.