In fact, other than the shirts I buy to help support Operation Migration (who got this year's flock of whooping cranes to Tennessee yesterday! Another year, another eight birds away from extinction!), I rarely buy t-shirts at all. So I rarely think about what I'm wearing to work beyond "short or long sleeve?"
This week, I was waiting for my boss to finish the meeting-after-the-meeting, so I could provide a quick update on some info I'd presented. One of the gaggle of higher-ups gestured at me as I was waiting a polite distance away, and said to several other layers of management, "And I absolutely love her t-shirt."
I quickly looked down to check what I had on, and tried to remain calm as several heads swung around to stare at my chest. "What is it?" Asked someone even higher up the food chain. It's a shirt Oleg gave me after I had a cooking mishap at his house, I thought.
"It's the front sight on an M16." The short-haired, ramrod-straight-spined manager responded, with a grin. "I've spent so much time looking through one of those..."
I looked at all the eyes looking from him to me, and responded to a raised eyebrow of inquiry. "I figured it's amusing to those who know what it is, and completely inoffensive to anyone else, because they won't be offended by what they can't recognize."
"Ah." The bossly heads nodded, and moved on.
And now I'm left wondering - do I wear a shirt that makes a manager upstream grin, or do I remove it for possible offensiveness? In reality, it's now in the dirty clothes bin, and will probably just end up back in the rotation, forgotten until that manager starts grinning when I'm presenting at another meeting.