By Chris Hardie For La Crosse Tribune
Ralph Lauren need not worry, but apparently my fondness for old clothes is a fashion trend shared by others.
My recent column on wearing clothes until they fall apart has found favor with some of my regular readers. Apparently the desire for form over fashion and frugality over finesse is not just my sartorial domain.
Karen Huettl from Green Bay wrote to tell me that I sound like her husband Robert.
“He doesn’t throw anything,” Huettl said. “His friends tease him about putting tape on his shoes. He’s 75 and has enough clothes to go months without wearing the same thing, but seems to be navigating the same old clothes. He still works outside, so that means “old clothes”. I was lucky enough to have her wear a suit for our grandson’s wedding last July.
Yours, Robert. I salute your efforts and your determination. Duct tape is useless sitting on the roll. And there’s nothing wrong with wearing a suit once in a while. I have a few from the 1980s.
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Curt Rohland of Chippew Falls is another old-fashioned fan.
“Chris, I definitely identified with your penchant for reusing (I’ve come to love this newly repurposed expression) worn-out but usable clothing,” Rohland said. “My family laughs at the visibly deteriorated shirts and jeans I hang on to for my yard and garage jobs.
“You even mentioned duct tape and string as a way to save old clothes from the trash. It worked for me! Thank you for confirming my refusal to let half-wasted clothes go to waste.
Dan and Lynn Henderson from Holmen sent me a thank you note. “With us, your article has definitely found two grateful readers and kindred spirits. With all the anxiety that constantly filled the news, this was the best and funniest column we have read in a long time.
Patricia Baumer of Marinette commented on my June 1994 Dairy Days running t-shirt, saying it was “too bad quilting the sports/activity t-shirts wasn’t thought of at the time” .
It is clear that clothes wear out, but how long do they normally last?
A study in the UK determined that the average lifespan of a piece of clothing is 2.2 years.
However, the National Consumer Research Institute in Oslo, Norway, conducted a study of 620 items of clothing discarded by 16 households of 35 people over a six-month period.
This study showed that clothes no longer in use had an average total lifespan of 5.4 years and had been owned by the current owner for four years. Clothes for children and teenagers had a shorter average lifespan, while adults over 51 had clothes 4.6 years older than average.
Of course, the Norwegians would be more frugal when it comes to fashion than the British. When it’s dark half the year, does anyone really care what you wear?
The study indicated that the total lifespan of the garments ranged from brand new to around 50 years, but 8% of the garments were never used and one in five garments were never used or had no use. only a few times.
There was no specific mention of tuxedos or cocktail dresses, but I suspect these may fall into the rarely used category.
But apparently there is room for further research, as the study suggests taking a closer look at the period of active use, the number of times of use, and the differences between different consumer groups.
Luckily, it was a short period of active use for those colorful parachute pants and velor shirts I wore in the 1980s.