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Lessons learned from lifestyle changes

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
No ironing!
Otherwise, anything that's always heavily creased and in need of attention after washing, is unlikely to ever be worn, and has been evicted.
With the right clothing items, drip drying on hangers, and a period of wearing and warming to body temp before leaving the house, it's not that noticeable, and certainly doesn't seem to draw disapproving looks.

You seem to have noticed the problem of ironing, and found ways to work around it and still look good.

If you occasionally need to look a bit "dressier" may I suggest that a long sleeved "jumper" (a.k.a. "sweater" over this side of the pond) over top of a white dress shirt looks fantastic and basically means you don't have to iron the shirt! (Maybe just the collar.)

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Or sweater-vest to wear under a suit jacket if needed.

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Given your retired lifestyle this may not be needed much, but you may like having this in your repertoire just in case. If wearing it under a suit jacket, though, be sure the sweater/jumper is thin rather than bulky/thick.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
You seem to have noticed the problem of ironing, and found ways to work around it and still look good.

If you occasionally need to look a bit "dressier" may I suggest that a long sleeved "jumper" (a.k.a. "sweater" over this side of the pond) over top of a white dress shirt looks fantastic and basically means you don't have to iron the shirt! (Maybe just the collar.)

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Or sweater-vest to wear under a suit jacket if needed.

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Given your retired lifestyle this may not be needed much, but you may like having this in your repertoire just in case. If wearing it under a suit jacket, though, be sure the sweater/jumper is thin rather than bulky/thick.

Oh, I'm definitely familiar with that cheat, and have a few v-neck jumpers in the arsenal. :biggrin1: From memory, one navy, one purple (both lightweight), one tan ribbed one, and one grey fleece one. I also have a couple of sleeveless cardigans, and standard waistcoats, which can hide a multitude of sins.

No suits or blazers at the moment though, as they got outgrown, and haven't been replaced yet. I'm not even sure what jacket I need to go around my midriff yet.

At some point, I'll probably try a clothes steamer. They may be easier to manage safely. Worst case scenario, there's a laundrette nearby, should I wish to take the easy way out. :p
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
One other thing I've thought of which the lifestyle has changed, but I had forgotten to mention before, as I kind of take it for granted now...

No ironing!

Balance/coordination disorders and hot appliances don't mix so well, so clothing that I can't get away with wearing unpressed has left the array. A couple of shirts do remain, and I'll press those if I absolutely have to, health permitting. Sometimes arriving in a jacket, and taking it off on arrival, is enough to excuse a slightly creased shirt. Otherwise, anything that's always heavily creased and in need of attention after washing, is unlikely to ever be worn, and has been evicted.

This may mean I occasionally fall below the standard I would like to dress to. Tough! It would take a brave person to challenge me about not dressing up to their standards ;) I can deal with other people's ignorance far easier than ironed fingers, or even a slightly ironed paunch, as has happened occasionally. That smarts, I can tell you! That said, I haven't had any really disparaging comments so far.

With the right clothing items, drip drying on hangers, and a period of wearing and warming to body temp before leaving the house, it's not that noticeable, and certainly doesn't seem to draw disapproving looks. The absence of any need for formal dress does help considerably though. Maybe I'm just lucky to be surrounded by bad dressers, because despite my limitations, I never seem to be the worst dressed man in the room.
Interesting. Well, you can always have dry cleaner press a shirt if you need it for a wedding or formal occasion like that. I like fabrics like linen and seersucker that don't need ironing and actually look a little better that way. Oxford cloth looks fine unironed if worn casually.
 
Another way to minimize ironing is to the choice of fabric material and how it is washed and dried. Some of the modern fabrics hold their shape better, but even old style 100% cotton or cotton/polyester blends will have less wrinkles if a slower spin cycle is used in the final stages of an automatic washer. My old washer/dryer has a permanent press cycle which does not spin as quickly and does not preset so many wrinkles before the drying stage. This does mean being less energy efficient, as clothes coming out of the washer are more damp but they are also not as twisted-up and wrung-out. The "permanent press" cycle on my dryer using high heat so that must also help to reduce wrinkles...perhaps giving them less time to set is the theory, but I am not sure about that.
 

Tirvine

ancient grey sweatophile
I mentioned hats earlier. They've become a key attire element for me since the lifestyle change too. As my brain and labyrinth in the inner ear don't always get along so well, I rely heavily on vision and tactile feel (through feet and walking stick) for staying upright. As such, it's now far more critical that I keep the lenses of my glasses clear of rain, and blinding sun. Also, being balance impaired, and already having one hand occupied with a walking stick, an umbrella is out of the question.

Also, hoods became pretty useless once the hair got much beyond collar length. Throwing the hood up, just threw hair forwards over my face. Now my hair is past the bottom of my ribcage, I have to make sure the hair is tied back, and tucked well into the jacket/hoodie/coat, before using a hood. Hats do make things simpler.

I've built up a few low cost brimmed hats and flat caps, which have really made a big difference. I started cheap on purpose, to see what works, and what doesn't, but so far those cheap hats have proven to be wise purchases in their own right. Wide brims for sunny weather, and rainy weather depends on wind strength. While a wide brim is great for shedding rain, it's also good for shedding me when the wind picks up, and dancing off down the street at a faster rate than me. Another good reason for sticking with low cost. If a hat does decide to abandon me, unless it gets snagged close by pretty much straight away, I'll instantly be writing it off and carrying on, not comedically trying to pursue it in totally the wrong direction to where I'm headed.
I heartily endorse the Tilley T3. It has a good brim, is washable, floats, is insured against loss (!), keeps the UV rays off, is extremely comfortable, comes in loads of colours (I prefer natural, but my wife's is pink.), and is fairly reasonably priced. I use Holland hats.

PS. They have a chin strap, great for windy days but usually tucked out of the way in the crown.
 
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AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I heartily endorse the Tilley T3. It has a good brim, is washable, floats, is insured against loss (!), keeps the UV rays off, is extremely comfortable, comes in loads of colours (I prefer natural, but my wife's is pink.), and is fairly reasonably priced. I use Holland hats.

PS. They have a chin strap, great for windy days but usually tucked out of the way in the crown.

I don't have a Tilley yet, and seem to have sun and rain hats covered with other cotton hats, caps, and a nubuck hat which I've oiled (all less than 1/2 the price of a Tilley, maybe even less than 1/3 in some cases).

For sun, I have a Brazilian tarp hat...

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... and a cotton Henley...

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... along with a few lightweight caps. Both of these have proved themselves perfectly good enough for my needs. For rain, I have a waxed cotton trilby...

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... and the nubuck safari...

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... which looks like this after oiling.

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If it looks like I'll be facing both rain and shine in the same outing, this cotton version of the safari is my first choice.

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I am however tempted for a Tilley TTW2 (I think it's called) for winter. Similar safari shape to other Tilleys, but in wool, with fold down earflaps.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
If I need to get anywhere, there's usually walking involved. A fair amount too.
It's totally changed how I view my wardrobe needs, far more than I expected, and ultimately, practicality has to come before style.

There have been times in my life when walking was my primary means of getting from one place to another, and besides shoes, one of the biggest things I noticed is that you need to pick the right pair of pants. "Soft" materials will wear out very quickly in the "inner thigh" regions where there is a lot of rubbing back and forth with anything more vigorous than the slowest meanderings.

So I'm not saying toss your current trousers. (Oh, perhaps "pants" means something different over in Old Blighty.) Corduroy will wear out surprisingly fast, as will denim. So beware, and when it comes time to buy a replacement pair, let "durability" be one of your main concerns.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
There have been times in my life when walking was my primary means of getting from one place to another, and besides shoes, one of the biggest things I noticed is that you need to pick the right pair of pants. "Soft" materials will wear out very quickly in the "inner thigh" regions where there is a lot of rubbing back and forth with anything more vigorous than the slowest meanderings.

So I'm not saying toss your current trousers. (Oh, perhaps "pants" means something different over in Old Blighty.) Corduroy will wear out surprisingly fast, as will denim. So beware, and when it comes time to buy a replacement pair, let "durability" be one of your main concerns.

You're quite right, Doc. However, the amount of time that I'm mobile, walking from A to B, is vastly overshadowed by the amount of time I'm sat, laid, or stood up with not much movement happening. As such, the backside and knees are still typically the first point of failure.

As I had to replace a lot of stuff quickly, cost was at the top of the priority list this time around. I can phase in "better" items as and when each of the current items fails. That said, I usually get a few years use from even the cheapest jeans, before they tear at the knee, and then another couple of years as cut off shorts, before the backside gives out. The last pair of cords I had lasted several years too. Frequency of wear comes in too, as if I have 12 pairs of trousers and shorts, they'll be averaging just one month's wear per year.

Aside from a couple of pairs of hiking trousers, almost all my trousers are cotton of some description. Moleskin, corduroy, denim, or chino. They'll all roughly wear about the same pace, I reckon. I can look at buying thicker and harder wearing materials, i.e. spendier items, once I level off back to one garment every month or three, instead of the binge shopping I've just done. However, I would be very surprised if any of the new stuff actually needs replacing before the end of next year.

Cooler and less aggressive washes have helped as well. 15 or 20 years ago, I never washed anything at less than 60C, with the most torturous agitation the washer had to offer. Nowadays, a 30C synthetic cycle, pretty much guarantees my clothes will come out clean, without having had a chunk knocked off its lifespan.

There's a few shirts that I know I've had for over a decade, and still don't look wrecked. I have a bobbly fleece lined cotton jacket, which I'm sure I've had longer. Some of the trousers that have just been evicted due to not fitting, were ones I remember buying to go on a Mediterranean cruise. I think that was 2013 or 2014. They were medium quality purchases from M&S. Even the bargains this year were mainly summer sale items, and I'd have been paying a higher price at other times of year (or in different colours).
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
You're quite right, Doc. However, the amount of time that I'm mobile, walking from A to B, is vastly overshadowed by the amount of time I'm sat, laid, or stood up with not much movement happening. As such, the backside and knees are still typically the first point of failure.

Ha!

Okay fair enough, and let stuff wear out and then get replacements.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I've just been looking to see if I can find some kind of reference guide, tallying clothes life to number of wash cycles. There was one for linens (bedding) which suggested 70-120 wash cycles, which was a suggestion for depreciation for the hospitality industry. I didn't see anything for clothing though.

I would expect to see 50+ washes for most garments, before they're good for little more than decorating in, although coloured fabrics may start fading earlier. I tend to run items like that through the washer with a dose of Dylon, and that can add a fair few more wash cycles to the lifespan, if the fabrics themselves are still in good shape. As for heavier garments, I'd probably expect to be able to run a pair of jeans through the washer, maybe 100 times, though they may become more "casual" as time progresses. I have had some items, sometimes even pricier items, only go through say 10-15 washes before they're starting to look tired, but thankfully, I think they're the exception. These figures are all just "gut-feeling" though, and having never actually counted, I could be way off the mark.

Also, with the number of items (options) I tend to have, and how long an item can be worn before it needs washing, I doubt that most items (other than undergarments) will be washed more than 10x per year. There will typically be two or three favourites, which always seem to be reached for before anything else, which will be washed more, and therefore expire quicker, but 10x per year seems right for "general" stuff to me ... unless running a minimalist wardrobe, with fewer options to cycle through.

I think my decade+ old shirts, have probably only been washed three to four times per year, as I've worn them on evenings out, rather than as daily items. Other stuff I just cleared out, did actually still fit reasonably well, but had been frequently worn for five or more years, and starting to show wear at collars and cuffs, or was just not holding its shape as well as it once did. So yeah, even High Street (chain store) calibre clothing, tends to give me a fair length of service, before it becomes polishing rags, or whatever :) Obviously, this isn't including accidental paint/oil spills, burns, tears, or other instant clothing killers. :lol1:
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Essentially, I'm having to shift focus from having relaxed, regular casual, and smart casual, to <1 mile, >1 mile (+ train/tram/etc), and door-to-door, while still being dressed to the level I want/need at the other end. It's totally changed how I view my wardrobe needs, far more than I expected, and ultimately, practicality has to come before style.

I've been giving this more work (and more spending :001_rolle ), and I think I've come up with a reasonable system, which balances practicalities and comfort (disability limitations) with aesthetics.

I've broken the footwear down into three simple categories:

1) Leaving the house on foot.
This may be shopping, travelling on tram or train, attending an event I have to make my own way to, or visiting friends and family. I'll need footwear that's going to let me clock up the miles in comfort. An hour of more of heavy heel strikes, and stumbles, in all weather and terrain. The hiking boots and trainers are in this group, but so are some reasonably presentable shoes/boots, which should still be kind to the feet and knees, but still look good enough for most social circumstances.

2) Function shoes/taxis or lifts
These shoes won't let me clock up the miles, but if I'm being driven from door-to-door, I won't need to. Here's where the two-tone brogues get their chance to be noticed, once they've been broken in. Dress boots and black derbies too, which are already broken in, and as comfortable as they will ever be.

3) Staying local
Whether that's just bumming around the home and garden, and nipping to the local shop, or staying local to wherever I'm visiting for a few days, be that a short break or staying with friends. I don't necessarily need these shoes to look good - just feel good. Sandals, deck shoes, cupsole trainers - all lightweight shoes that are nearly as comfortable as slippers, but which I can wear outside. Travel there in the first grop of shoes, then pull these out of the weekend bag once I've settled in with a cuppa.

No pics as yet, as I'm still waiting for two pairs landing (two-tone brogue boots on cushioned soles, and a ridiculously cheap pair of UK made Padders). If I've got this right though, and I think I have, each group has six pairs, which between them unlock the full scope of the wardrobe, no matter what the travel arrangements are. I'll update further when everything is here.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Another revelation occurred in the last couple of days, realising that my recent splurge on clothes and shoes, is at least in part, a bit of a voyage of self-discovery. I think that's why I've bought so much stuff, in so many styles, trying to find out what fits. Not just physically fits, but in personality too. All the boating, cycling, camping, and work related (both heavy engineering workshop and office) clothes have all gone now... and a large slice of self-identity got slung out with them.

The penny dropped when I was trying to figure out why I was still hungrily browsing online shoe shops. Partly, it was wanting to have shoes for all circumstances, so I had all three "types" of shoe in the previous post, no matter the outfit, so I could go back to "leading with the shirt" when choosing what to wear. However, I've pretty much ticked all the boxes already. I now have (I think) shoes for all the trousers I'd wear to a social event, whether travelling by car or on foot. Same with shoes for walking to the doctor's, hospital, shopping, etc, and for just mooching about locally, within line of sight of my front door, which all match my general daywear. So what was I still looking for? Well... me! I was (unconsciously) looking for myself amongst the shoes, trying to figure out what fills the void after all the other aspects of my identity have been cast aside.

Now I know what I'm actually looking for, hopefully I'll have more chance of finding it. It may well be that some of the recent acquisitions don't seem to fit as well as I'd hoped, personality wise, over the months ahead. Be they too "young", too "active", too "conservative" or whatever. The long hair (currently down to near the elbows), goatee, and walking stick are here to stay, but I'm still piecing together the rest of the picture.
 
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