An Expert’s Guide to Life: How to make a muscle shirt

Oh yeah. It’s 2014, and there’s going to be some changes. The biggest? You’ve decided it’s about time people started to show you a little respect.

How did you get here? It’s not entirely clear. Maybe it was halfway through Gran Turino when Clint Eastwood condescendingly looked right down the camera at you as you scooped up another chip-load of guacamole from the jar on your belly. Or perhaps it was when someone made a disparaging remark about your athleticism as you sat in a fraying, un-foldable beach chair and brushed a single, lonely bead of sweat off your forehead as other more capable people helped your mate move their stuff into a dank student slum* in Redfern.

But let’s be clear: It’s not just any old respect that you’re looking for. No. You’re looking for the type of respect a lumberjack gets from the forest as his axe thuds-thuds-thuds into the scabby trunk of a tree. Yeah. That’s what you’re after.

So you go up to your wardrobe and try to pick out some clothes that will suit your new life. You rummage through a pile of jeans and shirts but find nothing acceptable. You almost settle on a Death Cab for Cutie tall-tee, but, thankfully, you realise at the last moment that it’s part of the problem, not the cure. Chinos are out; slim fit is out; Ed Hardy is IN. But you have no Ed Hardy. Despondent, you collapse beneath a hubcap that you hang on your wall with fishing wire.

“I have nothing to wear,” you lament. “Nothing to match my new tough girl/guy persona.”

But you do. It’s called a muscle shirt.

And I’m going to teach you to make one right now.**

Step 1: Find a suitable t-shirt. As a general rule, when it comes to muscle shirts, the more garish, the better. Got an old “t” that features a dragon and a unicorn making war? Yes, good. Anything featuring violence will do. You could even use that shirt you’re wearing right now.

Step 2: Turn your shirt inside out. Easiest step. If you screw this one up, you don’t deserve a muscle shirt.

Step 3: Locate the stitching that connects the sleeves of the shirt to the body of the shirt. Starting from the shoulder, cut the sleeve off the shirt by following the stitching. The stitching should remain on the shirt; the sleeves should be disconnected.

Step 4: If you weren’t after respect, you could keep the sleeves and wear them as bizarre beanies. Give it a shot! But don’t let anyone see; you’re tough now. So chuck the sleeves into a bin, or burn them. Scowl a little.

Step 5: Remember how I said to turn your shirt inside out? Hit control-z. Admire.

Congratulations!  You now have a muscle shirt. Now go forth unencumbered by sleeves and go bask in the type of respect only a woman/man who has made their own clothing can really enjoy. I look forward to running into you in the future.

Tune in next time as I show you how to beat my friend Max in Age of Empires II.

*It’s actually a nice, well-lit room.

**Shout out to Rupert for teaching me this.

 Dylan Chalwell