09 August, 2008

Clothes (or Static Electricity)

Unsurprisingly, the less I wear clothes, the more of a burden it is to put them on. Though some clothes are worse than others - expectedly, the looser clothing is far more comfortable. However, there's some kind of strange natural law which dictates that the nicer the clothes look on you, the more uncomfortable they will be to wear. There are exceptions, but they are few.

Example: I have a pair of shorts that fits me nicely, with a lot of room inside, and they're very comfortable. But I don't really like how they look - the "shorts" look doesn't really appeal to me (the "short shorts" look on girls is a /completely/ different matter, though). On the other hand, I have those tight jeans with the holes in them, and I think they look great on me, but they're a lot less comfortable, what with there being less "breathing room" and all.

After wearing those white collared/buttoned shirts for a while, and switching back to t-shirts, I noticed that I actually liked the semi-formality that the white shirts radiate. My original plan with those shirts was to wear less of them more often. Since they're all pretty much identical, I could wear the same one on consecutive days and nobody would notice - my justification being that if I only wore them one hour out of the day, and not for any activities particularly dirty or sweaty, then they would last more days without needing a wash.

This is all fine and good, but I found out the shirts weren't as covenient as I originally thought. There's still the option of wearing the shirt unbuttoned - in a semi-half-dressed-sort-of-manner - but in those sneaky situations, where you might need to get dressed in a flash, and wearing an unbuttoned shirt isn't good enough, it's actually harder to throw that type of shirt on than a simple t-shirt, where there's no fumbling around with a bunch of stubborn buttons.

And the most important problem of them all, is the matter of static electricity. I came to the conclusion that those shirts are not particularly good at keeping away a static charge. I've always hated static electricity, and with my hair as long as it is, it becomes immensely annoying for me to wear static-y clothes. It drives me crazy. Luckily, I recently made a discovery relating to this problem.

I decided to buy a sarong, mostly for Burning Man, but also because it seems like it could be a nice, easy, convenient wrap-up type of garment for casual situations. I mean, it's basically like wrapping a towel around your waist, except it's a thinner material and it's not meant for absorbing water. But it's like the concept of a towel, but designed as a piece of clothing, rather than a drying tool.

Well, I got the sarong and tried it on, and it instantly became a sheet of electricity. No way I could wear something that static-y. But out of this failure came a great discovery. I looked at the tag to see what type of fabric the sarong is made out of, and it's 100% polyester. I did a search online, and found out that not only is polyester a particularly static-prone fabric, but the combination of dry skin and polyester is deadly (not literally). Which perfectly explains my experience with the sarong.

With this new information, I looked in my closet, and discovered that the white buttoned shirts I have are cotton/polyester hybrids with a large percentage of polyester. Furthermore, some of the t-shirts that I've had the most static problems with in the past turned out to have higher polyester percentages, as well. The rest of the shirts being mostly or entirely cotton, which is neutral on the scale of static-susceptibility.

So from now on, I'm gonna make a point to avoid polyester in my wardrobe, whenever possible. It's annoying, but I think it's great, because static-y clothing has always bugged me, and now, for once in my life, I actually have a tool - in the form of knowledge - that can help me on my way. By the way, that Static Guard anti-static spray stuff doesn't work.


  1. Two other solutions... dry them with extra fabric softener, use lotion on your body. Notice that the static is caused by polyester in combination with /dry/ skin...

  2. In terms of using a lotion, it's not like I have excessively dry skin (to my knowledge). And I don't think keeping my skin "wet" is really the solution I'm looking for.