First trip of the year

Print Friendly

I’m at the Rochester, NY, airport waiting for my flight, which is now over one hour and thirty minutes late. I did have a two hour and thirty minute connection time in Chicago, but that is diminishing as I watch. It’s cold here today, 20F, but sunny. That is, a nice day to travel though it is mid-winter.

This is my first trip of the new year. I was supposed to go down to southern New York last week, but temperatures around 0F and potential snow made me cancel. I made the right call, as many people worked from home on one of the days I was to visit the IBM office. I used to take more risks about driving in bad weather when I was younger but, having survived that, I’m less willing to have six or seven hour white knuckle drives. I never enjoyed nor sought them, but I found myself on them from time to time.

So with the temperature in the teens here and in the upper sixties (F) in California, what do I wear? I’ll be walking around Chicago on Thursday evening, so I brought my heavy winter coat. I won’t be able to wear that while I’m near San Jose earlier this week, but my philosophy is to dress for the worse weather I’ll have and not do some sort of averaging.

Speaking of dressing, I have so far in this blog failed to address a very sorry state in the area of men’s clothing: no-iron dress shirts disintegrate within two years. Since I travel around the world, I need clothes that can withstand being packed and still allow me to look presentable. In the US, almost every hotel room has an iron and ironing board. In Europe, virtually no hotel room has them, though you can request one. I don’t count the weird pants straighteners that some UK rooms have.

About four years ago I decided to switch from oxford cloth shirts to cotton no-iron shirts. They are more expensive, but I figured that they would be more convenient and would probably last as long. After a year or so I noticed that some of them were starting to fray along the front seam by the button holes. Pretty soon they all were. I switched to a different brand of shirts and while they lasted a bit longer than the first bunch, they too are starting to fray. None of these have been subject to any more wear and tear than the older shirts that required ironing. Note that I do touch up no-iron shirts with an iron, but I’m not sure everyone does.

So I think it is back to the heavier shirts that require ironing. Glad I got that off my chest.


  1. == «Glad I got that off my chest.» ==

    Um, so to speak.

    Bon voyage, and may you make your connection.
    Was a time when I knew the H/K concourse at ORD like the back of my hand.

  2. I know how you prefer to not publish anonymous posts, so feel free not to publish this, or to edit it.

    My experience of non-iron cotton shirts is the same as yours – they do wear out quicker. I think the process used to make the material non-iron uses a high temperature and weakens the cotton fibres. I resolved to bite the bullet and replace the shirts more frequently, as I valued the lack of hassle. Unfortunately, they are getting harder to find. Laundry services that iron shirts work out way more expensive for me.

    I also am running a one-person campaign to make ‘the crumpled look’ the height of fashion. After all, we did have ‘grunge’.


Comments are closed