Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Riv-style cheapskate alert: hickory ("railroad stripe") work shirt
Rivendell sold, for awhile, some very nice, US-made hickory work shirts. They weren't quite as thick or heavy as the standard-issue work shirts you could find at some old-style hardware stores and construction supply shops; but they did the trick if you needed a heavier-shirt to do yard work (or, in my case, bicycle repair) in that would hold up a little longer than your average button-down shirt from Goodwill.
I was given one as a gift, and wore it regularly fall to spring until the collar and cuffs began to fray off (about eight years later). Finally, I passed it along to someone else who turned it into pieces for a quilting project. A fitting end for a shirt that cost me nothing.
But if I had wanted to buy it at the time, I couldn't. Because it retailed for close to $100 and no matter how nicely or where a shirt is made, I and my wallet have limits.
So when I decided it was time to go looking for another hickory shirt, I looked at other sources.
Found this one at Goodwill last week, from Key (an actual work clothing brand). I paid a whopping six dollars for it.
The fabric is slightly thicker and heavier than the fabric of the MUSA shirt, which hopefully translates into a longer-wearing garment. And this shirt was in almost-new shape, so I am happy.
Yes, it's made in China.
There is nothing you or I can do about that and still be able to pay our bills and keep a roof overhead and our families fed and clothed.
True cheapskates (those of us who live cheaply because we have to, rather than as a fashion statement) generally cannot afford to worry about country-of-origin.
So I kindly invite you to join me in Getting Over It.
Other brands of hickory shirt to look for, new or used, include Carhartt, Dickies, and Five Brothers, all of which cost far less and are quite sturdy.