It's the end of Week 1 of this project, and I've found 3 T-shirts while walking in north Berkeley.
Shirts #1 & #2
These two T-shirts were jumbled in a pile of swimsuits, towels, and shirts of all kinds that were spilling out of a broken plastic bag on the curb on a residential side street. I call this the Intentionally Abandoned find--T-shirts that were placed out on purpose. In this case the purpose was unclear, however, because their condition made them unwearable--holes at the underarms and very worn neck ribbings.
Stats: One shirt was purple and the other a faded gray/green--both were printed with pseudo-Southwest designs. No manufacturer labels. Weights: 6.375 and 6.625 ounces.
The third T-shirt was found on the curb near a bus stop on a busy street.
It had been there a while, that was obvious, but the weather has been dry so the shirt wasn't deeply dirty. This was a Simply Abandoned shirt--left behind by accident or just discarded because it was no longer useful. It's a small size, although not a child's size--I'm guessing that someone came home without his shirt and got in trouble with mom. The edges of this shirt were very worn.
Stats: Faded deep gray with a motorcyclist design. The tag was cut out. Weight: 5 ounces.
A Question: Are There Places Where There Are No Abandoned T-Shirts?
A number of people have told me that they have never seen clothing on the streets in their neighborhoods, whereas I see garments and bedding of all sorts everywhere I go. For the record, I live on an arterial on the edge of an upper middle class neighborhood in Berkeley, California--I walk my dog every day, which puts me in a good position to find things. I would postulate that college towns are good hunting grounds for abandoned T-shirts; certainly Berkeley, even the upscale neighborhoods, has a funky shabbiness that contrasts strongly with gated suburban communities. But I've found garments in nice, well-groomed areas of Seattle as well.
I am looking forward to seeing whether geographical, sociological, or seasonal patterns show up in this project.