My Four Shirts

A story about my limited wardrobe

Around the Miller home, when the weather starts to turn a little colder in the fall, it's time to break out the four shirts. Also around that time, I start to think that I really need to buy some new shirts, but then I never do. I struggle through October and November with this small group of shirts I bought in high school or were given to me. I realize that this behavior is not normal.

My green and blue shirt
One of my four shirts. Francesca, unlike me, has about 100 shirts, including shirts for specific holidays. I think she has about 7 Halloween shirts.

In the warm months, wearing t-shirts every day is socially acceptable, and since I can get them from work, I don't have to worry about actually going to a store and buying them. But, with the turning of the leaves, t-shirts aren't warm enough and the four shirts have to come out. The four shirts are: a black (now grey) button down shirt from my high school years that doesn't really fit all that well, two green and blue shirts that were given to me by someone about my height so they actually fit and a brown and black flannel shirt that Mary bought for me.

The main problem is my freakish height. At 6'4", finding a long-sleeved shirt with well-fitting sleeves is extremely difficult. Also, I really hate shopping. Going into a store and trying on clothes is about the last thing ever I want to do. For my t-shirts and winter sweatshirts, it's really easy to avoid shopping by buying them through work. For the two items I can't get there, long-sleeved button-up shirts and jeans, I have to suffer with what I have. I wear the jeans until they are so worn out that they have holes in the knees, and then I'm forced to shop for pants, but the four shirts never wear out or develop holes. There was once a legendary fifth shirt, but it was damaged by ink at work a few years ago. Now it's just used for yard work. I miss that one.

I have a decent supply of ill-fitting sweaters and sweatshirts to get me through the winter, but they're a bit too hot for this time of year. Spring and fall are the times when my four shirts are worn constantly. It's a struggle to match them with different t-shirts so that I can get through the work week without people noticing (I hope), but sometimes I can get a light sweatshirt or a fleece pullover into the mix and it works out, barely. Recent warming trends have only made matters worse; now that we get warm days in January, I'm really stretching my wardrobe to the limit.

It's not that people don't try to remedy the situation… sure, I've been given many shirts for my birthday or Christmas, but my freakish long arms usually relegate those shirts to the yard sale pile. Any that make it through the sleeve-length requirement will likely fail due to my pickiness, or the fact that they're too nice to wear to work. I work in a place where at any time I could get ink on my clothes (see above) so I can't wear anything too nice. I've got a couple of those in my closet, gathering dust because I don't want to ruin them.

So, if you see me this month, I'll either be wearing the one of the blue and green plaid ones, the brown and black plaid one, or the black one. Hopefully not for the second day in a row.

© 2011, Ken B. Miller & Contributors as Listed. | 5627

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