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how long are clothes "expected" to last before needing replacement?

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    how long are clothes "expected" to last before needing replacement?

    i know there's a lot of variables here

    let's say no major tragedies (stains, losing them, etc), normal wear/wash cycles with good care on something BR/JC quality.

    How long are chinos/dress pants, shirts, blazers expected to last?

    #2
    Yeah, too many variables here. They last until I don't feel good wearing them out. I don't really have a number in mind for individual pieces but let's say the "bigger" the piece (ie. price or formality) the longer I expect it to last with nothing less than a year. Curious to see what others say.

    I've bought things that with intermittent wear that probably amounts only to 6 months of regular wear which have started to pill, get thready, fade, or get all out of shape. This is what I consider a disappointment. Has happened to me mostly w/ Target-level stuff though.

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      #3
      I am on year 3 of some BR wool pants with wear about once every 2 weeks and they seem fine. I will not mention how often they are cleaned though...

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        #4
        Originally posted by LosRockets View Post
        Yeah, too many variables here. They last until I don't feel good wearing them out. I don't really have a number in mind for individual pieces but let's say the "bigger" the piece (ie. price or formality) the longer I expect it to last with nothing less than a year. Curious to see what others say.

        I've bought things that with intermittent wear that probably amounts only to 6 months of regular wear which have started to pill, get thready, fade, or get all out of shape. This is what I consider a disappointment. Has happened to me mostly w/ Target-level stuff though.
        Also up for discussion: when exactly do you retire items? Fading, stains are my main reasons. But how much fading? Any other considerations?

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          #5
          Usually fit for me (Eg. I'm too big, I'm too small, it's shrunk too much over time, I'm preferring a tighter/looser fit, etc).

          I tend to do a pretty good job of avoiding stains (except for the collar variety, which does force some shirts into retirement), and I guess I don't have that much of an issue w/ fading on most of my clothes because of my lifestyle. And I like a little fading/wear, it makes things look more lived-in (Put This On and Die! Workwear have lots of photos of lived-in, patched-up clothes that look all the better for it, albeit now worn in different contexts). For pants, I tend to wear out the thighs if they're made of crappy material or don't have an appropriate rise pretty quick, I had a pair of BR flannel trousers that I nearly wore out in a year of regular wear.

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            #6
            I am not sure if it is just me or something but my clothes last longer when I clean them less often. The dry cleaners make my pants waxy in look.
            http://www.simplifiedmen.com

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              #7
              I also air dry my shirts after the washer and stopped putting them in the dryer.
              http://www.simplifiedmen.com

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                #8
                To get my money's worth, I want my shirts to last 2-3years, wool pants, sport jackets, suits, and dress shoes to last at least 5 years.

                I think they will last longer but of course they will have more lived-in look.

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                  #9
                  I expect clothes in that price/quality range to last at least 3 years, provided they're part of a regular rotation. Like others have mentioned, I wash only when absolutely necessary and always hang dry. The only things I put in the dryer are workout clothes, socks, underwear, and shirts I consider disposable, e.g. T-shirts or any that I buy from Target or Old Navy, stuff whose construction is so poor that it's unreasonable to expect longevity. Doing this, I have clothes even from places like JCP that are going on 3 years without any issues at all.

                  I really do think the key is avoiding the washing machine and dryer as much as possible. Because I work in an office and don't sweat or soil myself, this usually translates to pants being washed every 6 weeks or so. Because of things like deodorant and direct contact with natural oils from my skin, I do wash my shirts after every wear (but, again, opting always to hang dry). For things that I really want to preserve, I'll use a hand-cranked camping washer so as to be as gentle on the item as possible.

                  I get rid of clothes either when they're damaged beyond repair, when they're stained, when they're misshapen from regular wear (this happens a lot with sweaters and other knits), or when I upgrade to a higher-quality version of the same garment (e.g. Even though there was nothing 'wrong' with a pair of $25 chinos I had from JCP, I recently got rid of them when I bought a pair from Bonobos in the same fabric and color).

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                    #10
                    My experience has been that if you work in an office, use an undershirt, avoid the dryer and dry cleaner, your clothes will last long enough to replace due to wanting to upgrade rather than excessive wear.

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                      #11
                      I guess I'm more tolerant of fading than some, but I'd want a BR or J.Crew dress shirt to last well over three years at the very least, and preferably more like 5-7. But I have a large rotation, and I'm a professor, so I don't wear them much in the summer, which probably extends their life span. I have a couple of BR sports shirts that are almost a decade old, although they're mostly at the wear round the house or on a casual night out stage.

                      Suits, sports coats, and dress shoes should all be at least five years, and I think dress shoes in a rotation should be more than a decade with some care. (Even cheaper dress shoes, for that matter. Sure, if they're cemented, they can't be resoled more than once or twice, but they can be resoled. Also, a cemented shoe will most likely have a rubber sole and so take long to need resoling).

                      I have trouble with pants. I tend to wear through the seat more quickly, so two to three years on ones I wear often.

                      With all these things, I have more than I need, and so each item does last a while.

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                        #12
                        This sucks. I just recently moved to a smaller place which is not conducive for hang drying and ironing. On the fence whether to start taking my shirts to a dry cleaner.

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                          #13
                          I think three years for a regular rotation dress shirt after which time it starts an inevitable roll toward oblivion. Sweaters have a shorter lifespan. Dress pants seem to have eternal life while khakis much less. Sometimes I just move articles from formal to casual if they are showing age. The hardest thing is throwing things out.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by 3piece View Post
                            To get my money's worth, I want my shirts to last 2-3years, wool pants, sport jackets, suits, and dress shoes to last at least 5 years.
                            It's hard to know what this means unless we know how often you wear the item. If you're wearing every suit twice a week that's very different than once a month.

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                              #15
                              It's surprising how long clothes can last, even cheap ones. One of my favorite casual shirts, which I wear regularly, is a short-sleeve button-up from Old Navy. I've had it for 6 or 7 years, and it's still got plenty of life.

                              If you really want clothes to last, look for things that you can cycle down through your wardrobe. For example, dark jeans start as office pants, before becoming daily casual pants, and ultimately ending up as beater pants for working around the house. This works especially well with clothing that starts out fairly casual, like denim, chinos, and oxford-cloth shirts. It's harder to do this with more formal clothing (my herringbone Nordstrom shirts will never look quite right with jeans, no matter how worn they become), but not impossible. I have a suit that started as my wedding suit before it became my interview/internship suit. Now it's the suit I wear to church or anywhere else I know my young kids will be crawling (and possibly vomiting or drooling) all over me .

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