Clothes-hound husband gets money’s worth

By Tammy Keith Published November 10, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
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My husband gets his money’s worth out of his clothes.

I’ve known this, but lately it’s become obvious.

He has more shirts than anyone I know — lots more than I do.

That’s because he rarely gets rid of them.

We had a closet cleansing a few months ago, and I told him I was tired of the sailboat shirt.

The bright-blue shirt had sailboats on it. He loved that shirt.

It was obviously made well because it lasted for more than 20 years. I knew he’d had it awhile, but we were looking through old pictures, and I saw one from his brother’s rehearsal dinner in 1992.

My husband was wearing the sailboat shirt. He’s not sure how many years he had it before then.

That was a quality shirt to last through all those washing and dryings.

Then, he told me a story about how he wore another shirt in his junior and senior yearbook pictures in high school. He then took that shirt to college and wore it every year for his yearbook photo. He still wore the shirt when we were dating. (It was yellow, with a white band on the chest with small colored stripes.)

I’ve seen a few childhood photos of him, and he looked like a war orphan most of the time.

“Hey, it was the ’60s,” he said.

When I met him, he had some hand-me-down clothes and shoes (they didn’t fit, but hey, they were free).

Once, when we had an argument, he made a sign apologizing, dressed up in different outfits, set the camera on the tripod and took dozens of photos. One ensemble included a pair of bright-orange polyester pants that he had as a costume in high school and still has.

Still. Has. Them.

He’s always enjoyed shopping for new clothes, though. He’ll randomly say, “I’ve decided I want a brown shirt.”

Or, we go shopping together, and he wanders off to the men’s department. He doesn’t “need” another shirt, but he likes to look.

I’m known to buy high-dollar ones that have a contrasting pattern when the cuff on the sleeve is rolled up, and to bring him great bargains from thrift stores.

I once bought a pair of Duck Head light-blue-and-white striped shorts at a garage sale for 25 cents. I was so thrilled. That was more than 15 years ago. They went from being a good pair of shorts that he wore out in public to being his yard shorts. They have a few holes in them, but he’s still wearing them.

We have purged his closet somewhat, and it’s still full.

The part that gets me (read “annoys”) the most is that his clothes still fit year after year.

We got an early 1970s home movie from my uncle the other day. Lots of plaid pants.

“Oh, yeah, I had the plaid,” my husband said.

I’ll bet if I look deep enough in his closet, he still does.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or

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