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Thread: Expected Life of Clothes?

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    Expected Life of Clothes?

    I'm curious how long (1 year; 2 years; longer?) folks find that particular articles of clothing last (dress shirts, polos, chinos, trousers), assuming the following:

    1. Wear 1x per week.
    2. Wash shirts/chinos every 2-3 wears; more often necessary; dry clean trousers only when necessary.
    3. Washing machine wash - no time to hand wash - and often machine dry.


    Botton Downs

    Polos

    Chinos

    Wool Trousers

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    Varsity Member JGL's Avatar
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    Up and moving a lot or sitting at a desk?

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    Desk job.

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    I can't give you an exact answer since I probably rotate shirts on a bi-weekly and seasonal basis. I've also replaced a ton of my wardrobe in the past 3 years because of weight loss.

    I think clothing can last for quite a long time, but if I am trying to buy clothes that maintain its shape and color for as long as possible I usually try avoiding synthetic blend materials in my clothing. I also cold machine wash and hang dry my good shirts and pants (that are 100% cotton). I'll also hand wash delicate sweaters and also hang dry them.

    It's been a while since I've had to get rid of a piece of clothing because of wear and tear. It's often due to me getting a stain on it or not fitting it anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiliam View Post
    It's been a while since I've had to get rid of a piece of clothing because of wear and tear.
    10 years? 5? 1?

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    Really for a desk job, I've never had an article of clothing "wear out" on me. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so it never gets too hot out here where my clothes take a beating from sweating and a ton of washes. I've had some beaten up cotton polo shirts from golfing probably due to sweat, sun and a ton of washes.

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    Varsity Member dackman's Avatar
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    I think it all boils down to the wear and tear. Most of my wardrobe is bi-weekly except for shirts since I have more of those. I have J. Crew chinos that are going on 3 years wear, they're the broken-in style so they're starting to show their age, but I also have two year old JCP dress shirts that still look brand new. Even some of the cheap stuff lasts if you take care of it.

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    I've worn out two cheap leather belts after over 3-5 years and three pair of Chuck's after 5+ years each, but that's about it. I still wear cheap polos I received over 10 years ago, and they've not faded very much due to washing on cold.

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    I agree that I'm more likely to stain my clothes than actually wear them out. Even so, I do find that after a certain amount of time, things start to wear out. First thing to go seems to be the edge of chinos - maybe its because I walk around my house too much without shoes, so the edge wears against the floor. I'm really between a 31" and 32" inseam and don't often bother to get things hemmed. Next thing to go seems to be fraying on the collar or cuff on button-down shirts.

    I'm curious - do people find that regular (meaning, non-wrinkle free) cotton is more sturdy then the equivalent weight/thickness wrinkle free cotton?

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    Alex is spot on for the virtues of cold water. I have had shirts last a couple of hundred washes by using a decent machine and cold water. For me a pair of wool dress pants is good for about 2 years (most pairs get worn roughly every 10 days or so), a button up shirt for about 2 years (worn say every other week). I find polos last about half that as they lose their shape so I don't splash out on them.

    Chinos last a season for me so about 20-30 wears before they fade too much (I used wear them in the office) so I gave up on them. Denim fits better and still look good worn in so they are a winner for me.

    I rarely ruin clothes but periodically they get too short in the legs or arms to wear again. I have had a lot of style and (positive) weight changes over the last year so as my clothes are now better and better cared for I may get a longer run out of them.

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