Do you wear old clothing?

Deliberately? I do. When I was picking out a shirt this morning, for example, I purposely chose one with a small hole at the collar and some bleach spot at the bottom. Why not choose one in better condition? Well, I knew I had some sausages cooking, and I knew there was a fair chance that I’d get some grease on it within the hour, so why mess up a shirt in better condition?

This sort of thinking has me frequently wearing worn, torn, slightly stained clothing as a matter of course. which has bothered girlfriends in particular who drop in on me and ask about the clothing I’m wearing. My usual answer is a shrug, but a more articulate version would be “I don’t care about the way I dress, especially if I plan to stay at home all day alone.” The counterargument to that is usually “But what if someone stops by, like me? You’re showing disrespect to your guests.”

That usually gets another shrug out of me.

Do you keep a lot of clothing around for knocking around the house, or do you throw things out when they get torn, stained, frayed, etc.?

Most of my clothes are old, and in varying states of elderliness. I have new, nice clothes for work and the occasional outing, but since most of my free time is spent at home with a houseful of animals and a mini-farm to maintain, my comfortable old tees and slightly ragged shorts are all I need or want.

And I don’t get drop-by visitors. You want respect? Then respect my privacy first by checking to see if I’m home and available for a visit.

Certainly. I’m about to go out to do some gardening, so I threw on an old pair of shorts and t-shirt. I also use old clothes for deep house cleaning days, washing the car and cleaning the bird feeders.

If I’m at home, I’m wearing some shabby shit.

Although I do not keep badly damaged or ill-fitting clothes, some of my newer jeans already have ripped denim and patches. I usually dress for the task at hand and would not much care about a spot or small flaw. And even less so if doing a dirty task, though I do not keep clothes just for that.

My “house clothes” are all old, comfortable articles of clothing. They’re the ones that don’t look good enough to be seen in public anymore for anything but a quick trip to the mailbox (maybe) but that are still functional. They also include a lot of tie dyes that didn’t quite work the way I wanted and which may now have quite a bit of paint on them.

I go for the old clothes first and save the new ones.

At home I dress for comfort, not for company. If someone drops by and chides me for what I’m wearing, I would politely show them the door, because such behavior on their part would be presumptive and rude. If someone I deeply care about drops by and chides me for what I’m wearing, I would probably spend the time to explain to that person why they are being presumptive and rude, in the hope that the relationship could be salvaged.

I have some older clothing – t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc., that have some “issues” (a hole, faded, maybe a stain), which I keep around for when I’m doing yardwork or the like. I also have a couple of old t-shirts that have sentimental value, so I still wear them sometimes, even though they’re showing their age.

I also have a Levi’s jean jacket, which is over 50 years old; my father was given it as a gift, but it was too small for him, and I inherited it as a teenager. It’s a style that Levi’s stopped making in the 1970s (it has a horse blanket lining), and I wore it constantly through high school and college. Even though the cuffs are frayed, and it’s really beat up, I still wear it a few times a year.

The other day I wore a t-shirt I received at work. It’s a Boeing 737-400 first flight shirt. I just looked it up, that happened in February of 1988. Other that a small hole in one armpit, the shirt is in pretty good condition for being 33 years old.

Presentable clothes for home wear? Maybe if the home doesn’t include cats.

I keep some grungies around for grungy jobs - like this week when I’ve been painting the ceiling and trim in the basement. But apart from things like that, I tend to wear jeans and polos or t-shirts. Most are not old only because I’ve lost a lot of weight and none of my old stuff fit, so it was donated or tossed, depending on its condition.

Actually, the couple of nicest garments I have are pretty old - old enough that they predated my weight gain so they fit again, for the very rare occasions when I need to get gussied up.

I’ve got clothes that I call rags. They’re just my regular casual clothes that have seen much better days. A rip, a tatter, a stain, faded or just wearing out. They live on hangers in their own part of the closet. Working on the cars? Doing work on the property? Fixing stuff? Yes? Then rags it is. If I end up with dirty greasy hands and no real rag to wipe them off on, the rags I’m wearing will be a suitable substitute.

Even these rags get ragged though. They might then be cut into real rags kept with all the others in the drawer/base of the washing machine or if real bad into the trash they’ll go. I will have gotten everything I could have gotten from them by then.

Shoes kind of work out the same way. Junk shoes that are just retired from presentable service. I don’t care what they look like or what I step in while wearing them. Underwear and socks are a different story. The underwear are all the same brand and size and the socks are all the same too. I make sure to rotate the wearing of them so as to wear them out as evenly as I can. If something gets a hole in it or fails in some other way, out it goes.

Everything gets laundered the same way at the same time. If I get some new item that can’t survive the way everything is washed and dried then it’s gone because it doesn’t belong here.

Yeah, I’m a classy guy.

I usually sleep in the nude but when I do wear something I wear an older tee shirt. Also what I wear when working in the yard (the tee shirt, not the nudity).

I’m in Destin right now. Whenever we take a beach vacation I always pack old clothes. I hate putting shorts and tee shirts that are sandy, damp, and smelly back in my suitcase for the trip home. So I wear old stuff on the beach and just throw them away. Most of them were ready to go anyway. If I don’t have any old stuff to take to the beach I’ll visit some garage sales or thift stores on half price day and pick some up.

Why would you wear nice clothes at home when you’re not expecting anyone to drop by. That makes no sense to me.

I have maybe two sets of decent clothing, plus a suit somewhere in the back of my closet that I seriously doubt fits me anymore.

I wear holey shirts to work, as it is work where they get holes in them. If I replaced my shirts every time they got a hole, I’d probably only get one or two wears out of most of them. I do wear a decent pair of jeans, and they generally hold up a bit better.

At home, I have a couple pairs of chef pants that I usually wear. They’re pretty torn up at the ankles at this point, but they are still the most comfortable pair of long pants that I have ever had.

Three of my favorite shirts:

  1. A tee from Full Sail Brewery in Hood River, OR. Frayed collar, oil stains, paint smears. I usually only wear it when working in the garage, though.
  2. A tee from Hovenweep National Monument. Sagging collar, faded, frayed. But I’ve only ever seen one other person wearing one like it. It’s a place you really have to want to see, as it’s on a back road.
  3. My Alaska Pipeline tee, with a map of Alaska on the front that shows the pipeline route. It’s not that I have any affection for the pipeline, but I drove the Dalton Highway with my spouse and my sister, so it’s meaningful to me now that my sister is gone. It’s seen better days, and even survived a bout with bleach.

I have some favourite shirts that I’ve kept going for 30+ years having turned the collars to keep them presentable. They’re lucky if they get worn more than once or twice a year.

And I also have some old clothes I keep for when I’m decorating. But for ordinary daily wear, the watchword is “clean, neat and presentable”.

I try not to look like a slob if I’m going somewhere, unless it’s to the home store or something to get some part I need.