The elusive perfect race shirt

Recently on Twitter, someone posted that she was going to Mari Kondo all her race t-shirts because she was tired of boring grey and ill-fitting shirts. It got me thinking, why is it so hard to get good race swag? And, what are my requirements for a perfect race shirt?

Let me tell you what I don’t like– looking at you Bay 6 shirts:

  • Short hems – please, for the love of all shirts, make them long enough to cover my waist. Not so boxy.
  • Flare: I don’t care for shirts that are tighter up top and flared at the hips. That look doesn’t suit any one, ever.
  • HUGE logos. I want to wear my race shirt more than once. Please don’t put 100s of logos on the back. Also, don’t give me a MARATHON shirt when I only ran a HALF marathon. That’s like saying you’re an Iron-man when you only did 70.3. You’re not an Iron-Person. You’re just not. (Separate post for another time).
  • Not soft cotton and/or 100% polyester. Look, either be a technical shirt that’s good quality and moisture wicking OR be a super soft jersey material. This is not a time to be both/and. This is definitely an EITHER/OR scenario.

Here’s what makes a great race shirt:

  • True women’s cut. If you don’t know what that would look like, order a bunch of Oiselle or Athleta shirts and take them to be screen printed. That would be an awesome start.
  • Soft – see above con list, last bullet.
  • Long sleeves vs short sleeves.  Long sleeves are more versatile for running because you can layer during colder days. I think short sleeves are useless, and tank tops require even more pickiness in design, so let’s avoid that altogether.
  • Peppy colors. Look, I get it that grey goes with everything. But, cheerful colors are so much more fun to run in. (Brighter colors are also safer when running – it’s a good thing to be spotted on trails and to have a pop of color when running in urban areas.)
  • Keep the graphics clean and not obnoxious.

That being said, I think the Richmond half marathon shirt holds the prize so far.

What do you like/want in a race t-shirt? Do you keep them or donate them? What other swag besides the shirt would you like to have?

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