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I recently reorganized my OCBD section (for lack of a better word, knowing they aren’t all oxford cloth). It caused me to reflect on each shirt, the color palette as a whole, their origins, and the difference a wooden hanger makes.

First, the shirts. The overwhelming majority of these shirts have been bought secondhand, or thrifted. It’s amazing to me, as I look back over the last roughly 10 years I have thrifted, to see so many shirts, with so many memories attached to them, that I wouldn’t have had without putting in a little work. This row of shirts, at retail, or even a sale, is worth quite a lot of money. Even simple math would put a row of 30+ shirts, at say, even a conservative $60/shirt, at a high cost, at least for me. I bet the average shirt cost on this row was more like $10 though, or less. That’s many, many thrifting runs alone or with friends. 

Some people squirm at the thought of wearing a shirt someone else has worn, but I see it as a good thing - they often have a bit of the “new” look shook out, and who knows what they have seen. They could have been on a transatlantic flight, to the birth of a first child, to the top of a mountain - or more likely, to a trendy bar. But, no matter. As the new owner, I can hopefully give them adventures, inscribed upon the very fibers of the cotton which shapes them, identifiable to the discerning eye by the small rip, or abrasion on the elbow. The loosened buttonhole. The frayed collar. I hope to wear all of these to that point, at least the ones I like - thrifting teaches you the hard way that just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean it’s good - for you. 

See that checked green one in the middle? A Brooks Brothers “Own Make” shirt, no doubt - very uncommon, a special line made in the USA. I love that shirt. But the sleeves are too long, and the hand of the shirting a little thin - thus, never worn. 

But that sandy came in the mid-right? All the time. It’s from some random label I have never heard of called wolf and man - but it fits perfectly and has served me well. 

I see the white shirt peeking out in the left corner, a hand-me-down from a friend. It was present with me on the most special day of my life so far, and it’s got some strange yet awesome interior denim collar liner. Completely unnecessary, frankly strange, yet classic Polo. 

Whether you know it or not, every shirt has a story. It may have already begun to be written, or it may be eagerly waiting for you to pick it up off that rack, hit the offer button on Grailed, or just finally go get that alteration done (looking at you, “Own Make” shirt). So, go make some memories. 

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