09 March 2009

Tag, I'm (sick of) it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a new pet peeve.

I realize this is probably something of a shock since I so rarely get worked up over stupid things. But, hey, sometimes these things happen, and this is one of those times.

Anyway. The thing that has been bothering me lately is something both sneaky and nefarious. It crept up slowly and has over time become a major issue in American today. I wholeheartedly believe it is responsible for, oh, sixty percent of textile-related violence today. I am, of course, referring to the quote-unquote tagless t-shirt.

On the surface, it’s a fantastic idea. Nobody likes those lousy, itchy tags stitched into the back neck seam of a t-shirt. Why not eliminate them and print the information instead directly onto the fabric? And if that was all that happened, I would be a happy girl.

But apparently, that’s not enough for the good folks at Hanes and Fruit of the Loom and every other t-shirt manufacturer out there. You see, there is so much important, vital information on a t-shirt tag that they couldn’t possibly fit it all inside the back of a shirt. No siree, they need a tag, and a tag they’ll have. So they stitch it into a side seam instead, usually the left, a few inches up from the hem.

And for some reason, this is twenty times worse than a neck tag. For starters, it still itches, and now in a much more obnoxious place. The logical thing to do as a consumer would be to cut the tag out. This, too, is more complicated. A tag at the neck can be cut next to the ribbed neckline quickly and easily, and you can usually cut it close to the edge without a problem. Not so with a side tag. The side tag is always serged in so that any attempt at removal risks hacking a hole in the side seam of your shirt. There’s no removing all of it without also removing the serging, which means your shirt could unravel and, potentially, come unstitched. So you’re forced to leave a small itchy strip there in the seam – always assuming, again, that you’ve managed to cut that closely without mutilating your shirt (and believe you me, I'm not that coordinated).

Can someone explain this to me? Usually when something ends in the suffix –less, I assume the item is without the thing it is less. A strapless gown, for instance, lacks straps. A horseless carriage requires no horses. A cordless phone doesn’t have a cord. A witless person can’t effectively string together more than three words. So why, I ask you, does a tagless t-shirt have a tag sewn into it?

I don’t care where the tag’s sewn in, Old Navy. If there is a tag sewn in at all, it is not a tagless shirt. So until you take all of that useless information from the tag and print it under the brand name and size at the back of the neck, you have not produced a tagless t-shirt. How’s about we call a spade a spade here, okay? There is, so far, no such thing as a tagless t-shirt.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to put something on this tag rash.


patrice stanford said...

I couldn't agree more. I bought "tagless" white T-shirts... they have all the information printed IN INK on the back of each T-shirt...so, when you wear this "tagless" wonder, you can see the ink that shows through. Who was the brainiac that thought of this?

Michelle Anita B. said...

I have about 6 shirts sporting an obnoxious hole in the side. It doesn't matter how you do it, it will always be itchy until you cut the entire thing out.