Posted by: Nathan | May 4, 2006

Rage Against the Half-shirt

There’s a plague that’s sweeping the nation right now, one that affects only women. It is called the “shrug” or (as I more appropriately deem it) the half-shirt. Ladies everywhere are wearing these hideous monstrosities to work, class, school, and dates. Normally, I am not one to dally with something so meaningless and transient as fashion, but something must be said against this horrid trend.
A shirt is something that covers the upper half of one’s body, and there are many different kinds of shirts that serve many purposes such as warmth, keeping the sun off one’s skin, and modesty. The half-shirt permits none of these functions. It cannot be for warmth as it leaves the midrift completely and purposefully exposed; it does not shield oneself from the sun; and it certainly is not modest. Because of all these things, a woman sporting a half-shirt is forced to wear another shirt underneath it to make it workable (see picture at left). There are many times when wearing an undershirt makes sense, but due to the very nature of the half-shirt, one is forced to wear another (often equally expensive) shirt too pull it off.
Clearly, there can only be one reason why the half-shirt craze exists: Fashion. As far as I can understand, fashion is when insane, rich people who like extravagant, impractical clothing parade some abnormally skinny women around in ridiculous garments that any fool would scoff at before putting on. Somehow, one or two of these outfits find their way into stores where other women (usually more normally-shaped) who have seen pictures of the super-skinny women in these clothes, purchase the outfits and wear them around for a short period of time until either so many women wear these clothes that they feel silly for owning them, or until other, dumber fashions come about and the females feel ridiculous wearing the previously purchased, still-weird-looking outfits; it’s time to buy other, newer strange-looking clothes because they’re “in style.”
I should mention that men’s fashion works in a similar way, but men balk at expensive clothes and tend not to care what others think about what they wear, making Fashion a less powerful force in males. Rather, men get super upset over sporting events that they’ll always remember and froth at the mouth about even though they only have a slight, intangible connection to anything relating to the game or the players.
What makes the half-shift phenomena especially heinous? It looks foolish now. Any fashion trend looks silly in retrospect: witness poodle skirts, bell-bottoms, polka-dots, Hammer pants, and sweater dresses. As my brother appropriately said, “I’ve never seen any girl who looks good in those [half-shirts].” Ladies, you look like you’ve been hoodwinked when you wear these shirts: “Excuse me, ma’am. You look great today; I really like your shirt. Have you ever thought about cutting off the bottom of that shirt and still wearing it around? Well, don’t bother! We have a shrug that does all the work for you and costs a lot more!”
The secondary reason why women wear the half-shirts (as explained to me by my loving wife) is that they de-emphasize the hips and draw attention to the…wait for it…breasts! Ah yes, the Feminist movement has been so successful that women now spend money in order to purchase incomplete garments for the purpose of drawing men’s attention to their upper private parts. Of course any woman wants to look nice (as should any man, though we know that’s not always the case), and purchasing sensible clothes that fit and emphasize a woman’s natural body shape should not be mocked; the half-shirt, however, seems a little too overt.

Even with all the silly-lookingness, one could shrug off the shrug craze if half-shirts didn’t cost so dang much. My theory is, if you’re getting half a shirt, you should pay half price. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It seems like the fashion industry is trying to get people to spend as much as possible on as little material as possible. This same principle explains why thongs cost $6 a piece and use about a tenth of an inch of fabric.

So women, please desist in the buying and wearing of half-shirts. You look ridiculous. There are plenty of other articles of clothing that make you look good and that you could still wear next year and not feel silly. Would I be amiss is suggesting that we aim for these items? As a society, we put too much emphasis on things that don’t last. We can all afford to be smarter about what we buy. I say, let’s start with the half-shirt.


  1. An amusing post. My wife tells me that I’m supposed to tell you that “they’re cute, there’s a lot of variety, and they’re not that expensive.” They don’t look nearly so hideous as parachute pants, and pricing depends upon where one buys them. My guess is that Kohls’ or Target or JC Penney would be more reasonably priced than Bloomingdales, et. al.

  2. Yes, I must agree that one can find half-shirts on the cheap, but that doesn’t make it right. A worthy criticism.

  3. Ah, those half-shirts needed a good telling-off. Well done!

  4. i love havin half shirts mine look better than the girls in da pic nd mine was only 10 to 20 dollars

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