The First Annual Where Are YOU Wearing Christmas Inventory Contest of Destiny

My Undies

At some point in our lives we shake a present and, when we hear that it’s clothes not toys, we don’t pout. Instead we think, “Huh, I could use some new clothes.”

That’s a sad day.

It happens when we can no longer blame our mothers for dressing us like doofi (plural of doofus) in pinstriped blue jeans and snowflake sweaters; when we take over our own fashion responsibility, for better or worse. For me that time was high school. Sure, I didn’t actually buy or pick out my clothes in the store – Mom still did – but I did dress myself: “Now, which Scooby-Doo T-shirt should I wear today?” Christmas was a time to expand my selection of Scooby shirts so I welcomed it and packages that sounded like clothes.

My first gift exchange this Christmas is Saturday. It will be one of at least three gift-giving extravaganzas that will leave me with an entire new wardrobe. In light of my global quest to track down the people that made my clothes, I will be tallying the country of origin for each pair of boxers, turtle neck, sweater, pajamas, etc., that I receive.

I invite you to join me. In fact I will bribe you to do so…

How to enter the First Annual Where Are YOU Wearing Christmas Inventory Contest of Destiny

Read the label on all of the clothing you receive this holiday season and record their country of origin. Post the results in this thread or email them to me at


Mexico – 2
USA – 4
Bangladesh – 1
China – 6


The You are a Spoiled Brat, You Should Feel Guilty Award

This award will go to the entrant who records the longest list of clothing they received. A tiebreaker will be decided by who has the largest diversity of countries.

The Where the Heck is That Award

This award will go to the entrant(s) who records a country of origin that no other entrant has recorded. A maximum of two winners will be selected. If there are more than two who meet the requirement for this award, I’ll self-conduct a private round robin coin tossin’ tournament to decide who the two winners are. Or maybe I’ll just pick who ever the heck I want.

Winners will be announced and the results of the survey will be posted no later than January 1st, 2008.

Prizes when you win the Where are You wearing Christmas Inventory Contest of Destiny

You’ll be able to choose any one item from the following:

Books – These are books that relate to my quest or ones that I just happen to enjoy and if you are cool, you’ll like them too. I’ll have Amazon deliver the one you select to your door.

Travels of T-shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli – A lot of Economic facts and figures here, but author Pietra Rivoli does a good job of making them interesting. If you want to know the where, what, how, why, and anything else about your clothes from the cotton field to your closet, you’ll enjoy this book.

The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs – Bono writes the foreword. Largely an optimistic plan of how to eliminate extreme poverty. For me this book is at its best when Sachs gets his point across through his experiences from around the world to assist developing countries. Choose this one if poverty is something you think about.

The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi – Scalzi writes the popular blog Whatever and lives across county from where I grew up. This book is loads of fun. Seriously, my back hurt from loading all that fun around.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore – Jesus had a best friend. His name was Biff. Jesus and Biff get in lots of trouble…well, mostly Biff. When there is sinning to be known he knows it. This is perhaps the funniest book I’ve ever read.

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts – Don’t know about you, but I could easily become a travel bum. Potts provides a practical way to be unpractical. He explores the nuts and bolts of long term travel and also philosophosizes (yes, I know it’s not actually a word) about life on the road.


You can select something from the Touron Attire store. But I’d probably go with one of the books.

Add a comment
Kyle Timmerman says:

Cool contest, Kels! I’m totally going to clean up. I got a scoop that Target is selling boxers from Arykanda, Turkey.

Melissa says:

I just realized that you (Kelsey, not Kyle) could probably use the new HK Dept shirt. With all the time you spent vising Kyle, you’re like an auxiliary member. What size would you like? They are running a little big this year. And I will probably need your address again…no guarantee that I can find the scrap of paper I scribbled it down on earlier…

Kelsey says:

Melissa, I’ll send you an email. I’m always up for another T-shirt. Where was it made?

Melissa says:

It was made in a country visited on the “Kyle used to have faith in preventative pharmaceuticals” trip (Honduras)

Kelsey says:

Hey, I might have been to the factory!

Been there. Done that. Bought the shirt at a Wal-Mart 5,000 miles away.

I’ll email you my address soon. Remind me if I forget.

Kelsey says:

Kelsey’s Christmas Inventory –

1 Columbia Sweatshirt – Made in Sri Lanka
1 Sweater – Made in China
1 TAPS t-shirt – Made in El Salvador
1 Fancy boy shirt – Made in India
1 GAP dress pants – Made in Bahrain (Score. Don’t think I’ve seen anything made from there before)
1 GAP author-ware cords – Made in Lesotho
2 Chaps shirts – Made in China
1 Fancy boy shirt – Made in China
1 Fancy boy corduroy shirt – Made in India
1 University of Illinois fleece – Made in Bangladesh
1 Gap sweater – Made in China
1 Merino wool hat – Made in Italy

Total items = 13
Total countries = 8

Eva says:

I wasn’t going to join in, since my list is sad-verging-on-pathetic, but since the competition is so thin on the ground…

Eva’s Christmas Inventory –

1 pair leather/fleece-lined gloves – Made in China

And a partridge in a pear tree.

Kelsey says:

Eva, but where was the partridge Made? Clothes are boring anyhow. I hope you got lots of other goodies.

Eva says:

I’ll have to get back to you on the partridge, Kelsey, it doesn’t seem to have a visible tag.

And I have a late entry – a scarf, also Made in China.

My mom’s all about giving me books and chocolate – she gave up on buying me clothes when I was in my angry Courtney Love-worshipping 16 year old phase…

Congrats on the book deal, by the way!

Jenn says:

Green Abercrombie shirt – Made in Vietnam
Gray & White Gap shirt – Made in Sri Lanka
Gray AE hat – Made in China
Santa Claus socks – Made in Taiwan
UTMB sweatshirt – Made in Honduras
Blue snowman pajama pants from Gap – Made in Indonesia
Blue cashmere gloves – Made in China
Blue cashmere scarf – Made in China
Snowman slippers – Made in Taiwan
Purple pajama pants – Made in Indonesia
Pink corduroy jacket – Made in China
Life Is Good sweatshirt – Made in China
Green and white sleep socks – Made in ? (no tag)
3 pairs trouser socks (white, black, and tan) – Made in China
3 pairs “casual” socks (black patterns) – Made in China
Pink slippers – Made in China
Suede gloves – Made in China
Warming scarf – Made in China
Striped pajama pants – Made in China

Articles of clothing: 23 (most made in China)
Countries: 6

Caren says:

I got the following:

jacket–made in Bangladesh
boots–made in Brazil
boots–made in China
yarn–made in Italy

I mainly got books so my list is skimpy, but still interesting when the first thing I did after unwrapping everything was check the tag.

Kelsey says:

“Gee golly Uncle Elbert, thanks for the…yarn.”

Caren, if I didn’t owe you a shirt already, I would probably send you one for the inclusion of Italian yarn in your inventory. Didn’t expect that.

As for the Bangladesh coat…

I always find it ironic how hot and tropical some of the places are that produce our winter wear.

Let your voice be heard!