How long do your shirts last?

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

  1. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    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 Senior member

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    Twenty shirts is a very tight rotation. I would choose having more shirts before better shirts.
     


  3. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Senior member

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    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.
     


  4. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    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 Senior member

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    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 Senior member

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    40-50 shirts? wow.

    I currently have less than 10 shirts. Bloody hell
     


  7. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    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 Senior member

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    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 Senior member

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    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 Senior member

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    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 Senior member

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    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 Senior member

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    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 Senior member

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    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 Senior member

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    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 Senior member

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    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.
     


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