Football shirt collecting should always be down to personal preference. You should collect whichever shirts you want and however many you want. Quantity and quality is totally down to you.
However, no matter how many shirts you have, you’ve got to store them somewhere. As nice as it would be to wear 100 football shirts all at the same time 24/7, it’s not possible. Well, I don’t think it is anyway! So this means you need to find somewhere to store your shirts. In this blog I’ll be taking you through the possible storage solutions for your precious polyester.
When thinking about storing your shirts, you’ve got to decide whether you’re a shirt wearer or a shirt carer, or maybe a mixture of the two. This decision affects how your shirts will be stored.
If you wear your shirts then there are a few storage options that could suit you well. The most common option is to hang your shirts on a rail, be that a stand-alone rail in a room, or in a wardrobe.
Space dependent, a rail is a great option for shirt wearers because they’re accessible and you can therefor choose which shirt you want to wear on that specific day. It also helps you to keep track of what you’ve got.
Unfortunately, shirts don’t just hang themselves up. You’ve got to buy some hangers that suit you and your collection. If you’re a person who likes order, then you’ll want all of your hangers to be the same. You could go for wooden, felt or plastic. Each of them have their positives. Wooden hangers look smart, but they’re chunkier than the other options, meaning you can’t hang as many shirts on a rail. Felt hangers are slightly more expensive than plastic ones because they grip the material and stop the shirts from slipping off the hanger.
You can get all sorts of colours if you go for felt or plastic as well. I personally go for felt and I like them to be the same colour (where possible). But if you want a mixture of all three, you can do just that!
An even harder decision needs to be made now. How will you order your shirts on the rail? Randomly? In colour order? In order of favouritism? In order of year? Or maybe in alphabetical order? These are all viable options and it’s totally up to you how you want to do it. This is example 6373 of how every shirt collection is unique.
Personally, I like to wear all of my shirts, bar the match worn and signed ones, so all of mine live together as a family in my wardrobe, in colour order so I can match my shirt to my outfit! I don’t have a good enough memory to put them in order of year!
Now, it’s up to you whether you want to keep the shirts in individual zip lock bags when they’re hung on a rail. You can do this for extra protection and to keep the shirts separate.
But, in my opinion, this makes the shirts harder to find and I don’t think it’s really necessary.
Football Shirts In Zip Lock Bags
Zip lock bags are great if you are wanting to store your shirts in a box, as that extra protection is needed when your shirts are so tightly packed together. Another thing to ponder over is whether to put acid-free paper between each shirt.
This is something I only found out about recently, following my shirt storage Twitter thread. This paper is perfect if you have lots of name-setted shirts. An issue with a lot of vinyl name-sets is that they have the tendency to get sticky. Acid-free paper stops them from sticking together.
Wall Mounting Shirts
Another way to have your shirts visible is by hanging them from a nail on the wall. It might damage the wall, but at least the shirt will be on show! And we all know which is more important…
Or a combination of hangers and some on display -
Finally, and the most expensive storage option of all, is to get your shirts framed and mounted on the wall. If done properly, it will look incredible. Framing is normally done for the rarer, match worn and signed shirts, to show them in all their glory. You probably shouldn’t frame your standard shirts as it’ll cost upwards of £100 to do so!
As a shirt collector, you could do one or all of these storage options. It’s very common to only wear the easy-to-obtain shirts in your collection and then keep the rare ones zipped up and put away in boxes to occasionally gawp at when you feel like it.
This way you only put your wearable shirts on a rail, and you can do it with conviction, knowing your prized possessions are unharmed. The boxes of gold dust can then be stored under the bed, in a cupboard or even up in the loft, only to surface on a rainy day.
I hope that I have covered everything, but I’m sure there are some viable storage options that I’ve missed, so feel free to let me know how you store your shirts!