I am totally bummed! If you know me personally, you have probably already noticed that I love cotton oxford button-down collar shirts. I wear them all the time-- to work, at home, out at night, even on the weekends. I wore them all through college, even though I was otherwise sort of a hippie. I know it dates me a bit (like, ummm, old guy!), but I grew up wearing them. I wore cotton oxford shirts to grade school and junior high school. I will wear one to my funeral, even if it's already ashes by the time I get there.
Actually, when I was growing up my grandfather owned a dry cleaning business, which did away with one of the biggest downsides of wearing them-- they wrinkle badly in laundering (understatement), and ironing them flat and smooth is a horrible exercise. There are three options to that:
- There are pretty good, all-cotton no-iron shirts nowadays
- Knit shirts are very stylish, not very expensive, and don't need ironing!
- Send them out to the cleaners-- it's expensive, but preferable to spending half the day Sunday ironing (my grandfather got me hooked, because we got our shirts laundered for free)
The upside of a freshly laundered cotton shirt is it looks fresh and neat and it's conservative enough to wear anywhere, with anything. And it's comfortable! Warm, soft, absorbent, neat, crisp, sharp... what could be better?
One thing that's great about cotton is it takes dye really well. That's why there are so many colors and patterns of oxford cloth shirts. Check out the L.L.Bean catalog, or Land's End catalog. Wonderful. People have been making soft and warm and comfortable and colorful cotton shirts for probably 5,000 years. They're colorful because cotton loves dye. Or any other freaking substance that imparts color! I lost a lot of shirts (and a couple of blankets and quilts) to rollerball pens back when I first started using them and I would forget to cap them before I put them into my pocket (that's why nerds wear pocket protectors!). Anyway, today I found (it actually happened a couple of weeks ago, but I was hoping against hope the cleaner would get it out) that my favorite pink shirt had an indelible ink spot that isn't coming out, and of course I didn't notice until I was going up in the elevator (the elevator walls are polished brass, so you get to look at yourself on the way up). It really pisses me off. There is nothing to do besides retire the shirt. Grrrr....