1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

How long do your shirts last?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kolecho, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. kolecho

    kolecho Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,166
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    I have some 20 dress shirts in rotation from Jantzen. The earliest ones date from January 2005. These shirts are used for both in town work and also when I am on business travel. Some are already looking tired. Is that too short a lifespan for shirts?

    I am beginning to wonder if I should spend more on shirts and get good quality cottons (Swiss or English 2x2) and have them looking fresh longer, rather than retiring shirts every 1 - 1.5 years.

    What is your experience?
     
  2. Tomasso

    Tomasso Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,078
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Twenty shirts is a very tight rotation. I would choose having more shirts before better shirts.
     
  3. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,496
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Even wearing a shirt once a month is going to make it fray in a couple of years. Build your shirt wardrobe so that a shirt is worn once every two months then aim for once every three months. However, fine fabric shirts take on character and uniqueness with wear.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. kolecho

    kolecho Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,166
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    It would be nice to get about 40-50 shirts in rotation, but I am really running out of wardrobe space. This is a realistic problem when luxury condo for a young couple averages about 1000 square feet in size!
     
  5. kolecho

    kolecho Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,166
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    BTW, do any of you distinguish spring/summer shirts from fall/winter ones? I wear an undershirt in the cooler months and the fit is a little tighter compared to no undershirt in the warmer months.
     
  6. Toiletduck

    Toiletduck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,547
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    40-50 shirts? wow.

    I currently have less than 10 shirts. Bloody hell
     
  7. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    20,605
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    greater chicago
    I have a lot of shirts that aren't really in rotation - I wear them maybe twice a year. these last forever. the 20 or so that are in rotation are starting to fray around the collar - they are about 5 and 6 years old.
     
  8. kolecho

    kolecho Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,166
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    The shirts that I am referring to as "tired" are not at the stage of fraying on the cuff or collar. The cloth just seems to become dull. Perhaps it is a sign that the cloth quality at Jantzen is not meant to last that long?
     
  9. kolecho

    kolecho Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,166
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    I have a lot of shirts that aren't really in rotation - I wear them maybe twice a year. these last forever. the 20 or so that are in rotation are starting to fray around the collar - they are about 5 and 6 years old.


    5-6 years old shirts..... I am amazed they last that long. What cloth are these made from?
     
  10. Quirk

    Quirk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,581
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    A good rule might be that you can't expect a shirt to last more than one wearing/washing for every dollar you paid for it. I just made that up, but it sort of makes sense to me.
     
  11. Luc-Emmanuel

    Luc-Emmanuel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Paris, France
    It would be nice to get about 40-50 shirts in rotation, but I am really running out of wardrobe space. This is a realistic problem when luxury condo for a young couple averages about 1000 square feet in size!
    1000 sqft? realistic? In a real city, you can barely afford half that space.

    !luc
     
  12. dirk diggler

    dirk diggler Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,635
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    In the Lou
    I have shirts from my guy in cali (work is done in HK) and some of the shirts still look good after 5 years! I have about 50 from him, but only 20-25 are in play generally.

    give him a call - about $65-90/shirt.

    http://www.suitmaker.com/
     
  13. grimslade

    grimslade Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,875
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Location:
    Back in Black
    Good god...

    I have maybe 10 shirts in work-rotation, and a few others that are either leisure shirts or just get worn less often. So, maybe the most-used ones get worn between once a week and once every two weeks. The oldest are maybe four years old and don't look like new, but I have some 3-year-old Brooks shirts that have seen a lot of use and are still going strong.

    I think one factor is care and feeding. I go as long (and as many wearings) between washings as I can. To support this program, I wear undershirts to work year-round. Washing (and pressing) really takes a toll, probably more so than wearing in some ways. So if you are just washing a shirt after each wearing, ask yourself if that's really necessary. If you're using a laundry, ask yourself whether they're really taking care of your clothes. Odds are, the answer is no.

    That said, high-quality fabrics will make a big difference. I'd be pretty disappointed if, wearing my shirts once a month, they felt worn after 18 months. I mean, that's probably less than 20 uses. Higher-quality fabrics, woven on slow looms with long-staple cotton will last longer than less-good ones. The lower-quality shirtings willl develop invisible breaks in the fibers more quickly, destroying the hand and leaving them feeling limp and worn out.

    In short, it sounds to me like your Jantzens are wearing out too fast. But that could be any of the factors listed above, or a combination.
     
  14. Quirk

    Quirk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,581
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    If I wear a casual shirt on a weekend for just a couple of hours, I might be able to get away with wearing it again without washing it. But a dress shirt doesn't hold up well enough after a full day to wear it again. Maybe if it had detachable cuffs and collars, that might work.
     
  15. grimslade

    grimslade Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,875
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Location:
    Back in Black
    If I wear a casual shirt on a weekend for just a couple of hours, I might be able to get away with wearing it again without washing it. But a dress shirt doesn't hold up well enough after a full day to wear it again. Maybe if it had detachable cuffs and collars, that might work.


    Do you wear undershirts?

    Either way, I find that if I hang them up when I get home and let them air and rest, I can often get multiple wearings out of them. In this weather, that's harder. But I think mechanically washing dress shirts after every wearing is bound to "wear" them out.
     
  16. Dapper Dandy

    Dapper Dandy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I actually have the opposite problem. I have 40-50 dress shirts, and I have been waiting for them to die so I can justify ordering Jantzen shirts that actually fit me. I don't have room for any more shirts, so I'm now on a one-in, one-out rule. But the damn shirts just won't die! Why can't you just fray already! JUST FRAY!!!

    Sorry, got a little angry about it there...
     
  17. Get Smart

    Get Smart Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,158
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Location:
    A town called Malice
    I actually have the opposite problem. I have 40-50 dress shirts, and I have been waiting for them to die so I can justify ordering Jantzen shirts that actually fit me. I don't have room for any more shirts, so I'm now on a one-in, one-out rule. But the damn shirts just won't die! Why can't you just fray already! JUST FRAY!!!



    If you order your Jantzen shirts now, they'll arrive once your 40 shirts are all frayed. Problem solved [​IMG]
     
  18. chobochobo

    chobochobo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,411
    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Same here. I've accumulated many shirts (and ties and suits) and am hoping some of them would just show signs of wear enough for me to throw them out/give them away/use as shoe clothes. However in the past few years, only one shirt has shown enough damage - a John Rochas shirt (UK based designer) in a soft wool-textured cotton that sort of split near the cuff. It's now in pieces used to buff up my shoes (and very nice it is too).
     
  19. whoopee

    whoopee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,455
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    1000 sqft? realistic? In a real city, you can barely afford half that space. !luc
    Hong Kong is a very "real city". I find the implication that you know what he can and cannot afford a bit confusing. Anyway, the luxury residential real estate market there is very competitive with other alpha world cities (including Paris). The real estate markets do price out many young couples, but 1000 sq ft is not unattainable to all. It depends in part in how the shirts are cared for. If they are routinely agitated in the washing machine, then their lifespan decreases. Also, I do not think that all of Jantzen's fabrics are great quality. A switch to higher quality and priced cloth/shirts should help, but most likely will average out to be just as costly or even more so than Jantzen's shirts if the care routine does not change. The better cloths may provide more pleasure over the wearings though.
     
  20. wheelerray

    wheelerray Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    159
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Do you wear undershirts?

    Either way, I find that if I hang them up when I get home and let them air and rest, I can often get multiple wearings out of them. In this weather, that's harder. But I think mechanically washing dress shirts after every wearing is bound to "wear" them out.


    In cooler weather I steam, then hang to air out, & can then get 2 wearings. I also presoak, then using shorter wash cycles to reduce wear on more expensive stuff.

    With daily workhorse shirts in the $50 to $70 range in white, blue, etc., I just let the cleaners do them and toss them when they wear out.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by