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Clothing rotation/when to discard clothing

TSwizzle

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Recently I was at a memorial and there was a projector showing images of the departed in happier times. A picture flashed up of me and the departed from a few years ago, probably about five years. In that picture I was wearing the same shirt I was currently wearing to the memorial. I was aghast. My wife noticed straight away. The shirt is my favorite dress shirt and I have very few dress shirts, three at the most. So I am wondering, how long can you keep your clothes in rotation before you should replace ?


 

Bronzeage

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I keep a shirt or pants "in the rotation" until they show signs of wear. Back in the day, I wore a uniform 5 days a week. This meant my clothes budget could be spent on better stuff, which lasted longer because it wasn't worn everyday.
 

ideologyhunter

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Christ. I keep stuff until I'm clearly too old to be sporting it (such as t-shirts with Charlie Brown type stripes) or when there are unfixable tears. Undershorts get fairly perforated before I pitch them -- I figure, who but some random dude at the YMCA will see? And sometimes a big bleach stain or coffee stain will make me pitch a shirt. Pants have to rip at the seams. And I will keep some disreputable clothes for house painting outfits. I'm sure I have shirts that are older than Justin Bieber.
 

TSwizzle

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I am no "fashionista" but I am a bit self conscious about clothing. I don't want to turn up to every event wearing the exact same outfit over the years. Every picture from a graduation, wedding, funeral or whatever would show me in the same outfit from 2000 to 2021. I really like some of my clothes, I believe "quality never goes out of style" so for more formal wear I spend a bit more and buy brand names I like. But I now realize that I haven't updated my wardrobe for sometime and I fear people saying under their breath "he's wearing the same gd outfit he wore to the Smith's wedding in 2011 !". Work and casual attire I don't really care about. I'll wear the same four or five shirts for years until they fall apart. But for fancy things, I feel more variety is in order.
 

atrib

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I still have T- and sweat shirts from college, and that was a loooong time ago. I have about 80 to 90 dress shirts and about 10 suits/jackets for work and formal occasions, and perhaps 60 to 70 T-shirts and Polos that I wear on other occasions. I give away clothes that I no longer wear, or ones that no longer fit, but that is an infrequent occurrence (maybe once every 5 to 7 years we make a trip to Goodwill). I have everything I need and I don't buy a lot of new clothes since I just wear what I have.

My brother-in-law has a problem with clothes. He has closets and closets full of expensive name-brand shirts, suits, ties and shoes he never wears. My sister keeps taking stuff to Goodwill all the time, but he just buys more. Must be nice to be a Wall Street banker and not have to worry about money.
 

TSwizzle

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I still have T- and sweat shirts from college, and that was a loooong time ago. I have about 80 to 90 dress shirts and about 10 suits/jackets for work and formal occasions, and perhaps 60 to 70 T-shirts and Polos that I wear on other occasions. I give away clothes that I no longer wear, or ones that no longer fit, but that is an infrequent occurrence (maybe once every 5 to 7 years we make a trip to Goodwill). I have everything I need and I don't buy a lot of new clothes since I just wear what I have.

Dang, that's a lot of shirts ! I don't have anywhere to store that much clothing.
 

Loren Pechtel

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It's not something I even try to keep track of. Clothes go when they are no longer in adequate condition.
 

Shadowy Man

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I am no "fashionista" but I am a bit self conscious about clothing. I don't want to turn up to every event wearing the exact same outfit over the years. Every picture from a graduation, wedding, funeral or whatever would show me in the same outfit from 2000 to 2021. I really like some of my clothes, I believe "quality never goes out of style" so for more formal wear I spend a bit more and buy brand names I like. But I now realize that I haven't updated my wardrobe for sometime and I fear people saying under their breath "he's wearing the same gd outfit he wore to the Smith's wedding in 2011 !". Work and casual attire I don't really care about. I'll wear the same four or five shirts for years until they fall apart. But for fancy things, I feel more variety is in order.
Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode with the woman who wore the same dress twice and had photos in her apartment of her in that dress.
 

James Brown

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Han Solo and Gandalf wore the same clothes wherever they went. Why can't we?
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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My wife's rule is that if it doesn't "spark joy" for any reason, it's time for a change. That applies to clothing as much as how the furniture is arranged or what pictures are on the wall.
 

thebeave

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My wife's rule is that if it doesn't "spark joy" for any reason, it's time for a change. That applies to clothing as much as how the furniture is arranged or what pictures are on the wall.

Yikes! That's enough to keep any husband in a constant state of anxiety...
 

Keith&Co.

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Han Solo and Gandalf wore the same clothes wherever they went. Why can't we?

clothes.jpg
I found a pair of pants i like at Duluth Trading Company. Right size, length, the perfect number of pockets. So i have about four pair of those, and unless i'm on platform in front of customers, that's all i wear.

When they get ragged, i retire them an order new. A coworker actually thought i had only one pair of pants for the longest time.

I wear t-shirts until they become sacred. At work i wear mostly Hawaiian shirts because no one else does, and after 20 years in the military that appeals.

Underwear lasts until they get uncomfortable, either by stretching or consecrating. I like to toss them when i travel, because it eases the burden of packing laundry to drag home. Haven't traveled overmuchly in the last two years, so should probably just go through the underwear drawer with extreme prejudice.
 

Rhea

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Anyone who remarks that I'm wearing an outfit too many times isn't someone I'm concerned with impressing. At formal events it is more difficult for women, so I probably have a greater number, but they are more memorable. But I don't actually discard my outfits very often. When something fits and I like it, I keep it for a long time.
 

Toni

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Interesting thread mostly because to me, it has always seemed that men get off easily, wardrobe wise. The same suit jacket will be in style and look great for...decades and can be freshened up by changing out shirt and tie. Or if you're more the jeans/shirt kind of guy--in my experience, most men wear very similar shirts for...decades, if not the very same shirt. Until the past maybe 5-10 years, my biggest problem was trying to convince my husband he needed to retire some very threadbare shirts---especially when he wanted to replace the 10+ year old shirt with an exact replica....

BUT somehow, that's changed and he is much more likely to wear different colors, different patterns, different types of shirts. Still mostly docker style pants, of various neutral colors and shorts in warm weather. Last year when he worked mostly from home, I don't think I saw him in anything other than sweats for....months.

I think women have it rougher. If we do not change (somewhat) with trends, we risk looking frumpy and old. If we try to follow trends too closely, we look silly and old. I have now reached the stage of my life where I need to always stick with 'classic' and to aim for 'elegant' which is mostly a miss, and to throw in an occasional fashionable piece such as a ruana, which is fabulously one size fits all and I loved it....until my son asked if I was giving up and wearing shaws now....
 

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My goal is to buy clothes that last. Now this could be Carhartt but Carhartt gets no points for comfort. When I first moved back to the snowy part of the country and needed a winter coat fast, it was Carhartt. It’s sturdy. It’s been lasting. And when the tab broke off the slide, I finally figured out why they put a second slide on upside down. With a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can work it off and repurpose it as the primary slide. Genius. But to have to drive wearing this thing is tiresome. It’s basically quilted firehose. And working it off while sitting at a traffic light, quite the chore. I also have a couple of their pocket t-shirts. Very durable. So thick, they’re basically useless for workwear in the summer.
Filson seems to be a good company for clothes that last. A couple oddities about them is their pants are made first for suspenders. Being, instead of two equidistant belt loops in the back, there is one centered which causes one’s belt to slide up and requires adjusting upon standing. I’ve worn suspenders a couple times while working. They are great. Far superior to a belt. I am a bit shy about wearing them on a regular basis in public. Do I want to be “Suspenders Guy”? Vanity. What are you gonna do? The other odd thing is the buttons on their shirts are a bit small. They’re like girl buttons. They need to be just 2mm larger and they’d be fine.
I have super long lasting underwear. Yeah, I know, why? Exofficio. The most comfortable underwear in the world. Even edges out my Merino wool undies. They just last and last. What am I gonna do, throw them away just because they are six years old? Besides, they’re dark green. Yes they started out dark green.
I spent like a grand on a suit and all the trimmings prior to retiring from the navy, in anticipation of needing it for job interviews. I wore it to a funeral once. Knowing that I bought it for job interviews and I was wearing it there felt a bit odd. Walking up to view the deceased, I imagined him sitting up and asking, “So where do you see yourself in five years”? And a litany of smartass replies.
 

ideologyhunter

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Interesting thread mostly because to me, it has always seemed that men get off easily, wardrobe wise.

In Amy Schumer's first standup DVD (Mostly Sex Stuff) she does a throwaway bit about this. She says she had to work about 3 hours on hair and makeup just to look presentable, and then she says men just give a one-second look in the mirror, skim their hand over their hair, and they're ready to meet the world. She points to a man in the crowd wearing a short sleeve shirt and says, "That's the same shirt you could have worn to 4th grade picture day."
 
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