What makes a good t-shirt? Materials, fit, and colourways? Maybe, but we’re not totally convinced that’s all there is to it. Fact is, not all t-shirts are made equal.
When you get your hands on a really good one, it becomes way more than a shirt. Maybe we’re biased, but we have a sneaking suspicion that Passenger t-shirts are like that. We’ve come to swear by them as our go-tos, and while they might just be shirts, we take the time and use the right materials to make them special.
We considered writing a story about the design process and fabrics that go into our t-shirts. How they’re informed by the places we’ve been and the things we’ve seen. But sometimes, showing is better than telling. So, we asked someone who happens to love the hell out of our Passenger t-shirts to talk about one.
Adam’s a good buddy of ours. 4 years ago, we set him up with some Passenger gear for his travels to Whistler, Tofino, LA, Australia and beyond. In all the photos he sent us, we noticed he was constantly wearing one of our favourite tees. So, we called him up to talk about just where that shirt took him. The places it visited, the stories it helped create, what it meant to him. Because part of what makes the best t-shirts legendary is where they've been and how far they’ve taken you. And as someone who’s been roaming and wandering for over 900 days, Adam fit the bill. Here’s what he had to say.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of slipping into a quality new T-shirt. From the moment I first received my Passenger t-shirt while living with no fixed address on the north island of New Zealand, it instantly became an essential part of my travelling apparel. It remained so for over 30 months across 12 countries.
I had the privilege of accompanying this t-shirt on every kind of adventure. It quite literally contains my blood, sweat and tears (amongst many other elements the world threw at me). From semi-slick to very informal occasions, it remained my go-to thread. Despite everything I threw at it, it never completely lost that new t-shirt feeling to me.
I put it through its paces from the get-go. First, it was my driving companion in the exploration of the north and south islands of New Zealand. Then it kept me cool while cruising and wandering through the days. It added a touch of warmth by the campfire and in my ramshackle campervan during the night. Then we encountered all the seasons in New Zealand together, followed by Australia and beyond. We crossed oceans, the Himalayas, deserts, jungles and the bustling metropolis' of Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong.
It became my base layer for spring riding in the Japanese Alps, my rashie for surfing in Indonesia (which also counted as an important wash), and covered my shoulders while exploring the far reaches of Asia on the back of a motorbike.
It survived countless India style hand washes and ruthless drying techniques; the excessive sunlight of back-to-back summers in New Zealand and Australia; the sweltering heat and humidity of an extended summer in Asia, all while far exceeding expectations from its intended use adapting itself well as a head scarf, face mask, towel and mosquito swatter.
Many of the clothes in my attire faded and disintegrated under constant use. But this one persisted and looked new (almost) until I returned home (minus the sweat marks). Given it endured 3+ years of carrying a 18kg backpack in +85% humidity and temperatures in excess of 35 degrees, I think there should be some allowance for these well earned sweat souvenirs. I’m not sure if I could have asked for a better travel companion.