A Nice White Shirt

Yesterday I went to wear my favorite long-sleeved white shirt from Land’s End and found a hole in it.  No matter how much I tried to ignore that hole and pretend it wasn’t there, it was. This was the day I had been dreading. This was the day I knew I had to relegate my favorite shirt from “favorite go-to”  to “wear- around- the-house-only” status.

It’s sad when clothes die.

Especially because this shirt was so very excellent: silky soft and drapey without being too fitted or too boxy.  And whether I put it on straight from the dryer, or pressed it up with a spritz of Magic sizing and wore it with silver jewelry and a pretty scarf, it always came through for me. Always.

In hindsight, I regret not buying more of them the moment I realized how wonderful they were. The only reason I didn’t must have been because I thought that they’d carry them forever.  It was a basic white shirt, after all. Nothing trendy.


Now I know better. Nothing is forever. Everything changes. Sure, Land’s End still sells white long-sleeved shirts, and I even ordered one and immediately sent it back. They will never have that shirt again because they have found a cheaper source, in a different country, made with poorer quality cotton, that they can sell for a higher profit margin.

At this point, I have a fairly extensive collection of white, long-sleeved shirts . I seem to be drawn to them like a magnet. I am always on the lookout, partly, I think, because I knew this Land’s End shirt would die one day and have to be replaced.  But none of my other shirts even come close to giving me the happiness I found with this one.

I have one from Banana Republic, another from Jones New York, one from Coldwater Creek, and one from ExOfficio. All of them underwhelm.

I have three Gap white shirts:  a “Classic” made in the Phillipines, a Gap Stretch made in Turkey, and another Classic made in China. The first two are “bleh,” but wearable.  The winner, and the one that will have the terrible burden of trying to live up to the Land’s End shirt is the Gap classic stretch-fitted one, the one made in China.

I ironed it up yesterday, spritzed it with sizing and placed it at the head of the pack and said, “Look you. You have a lot to live up to. You are never going to be the Land’s End shirt, but you can try, okay?”

It just gave me this white, blank look.

White Shirts