Clean Clothes

One of the most unexpected things that post-soviet people discover in the West is that you are supposed to wear different clothes every day. I came to class in the same outfit two days in a row in graduate school and people started asking me who my new boyfriend was. Took me forever to figure out what they were talking about.

I remembered this because I read an interview with an older Russian writer who went to the US to a conference and had the organizer start hinting that it’s not ok to wear the same clothes three days in a row.

9 thoughts on “Clean Clothes”

  1. So true!! I remember the girl in college telling me she was going to do an experiment of wearing the same clothes for a week to see the backlash she would get. I was so confused.


  2. ” you are supposed to wear different clothes every day”

    Did you wear the same clothes at home and work in the USSR? In Poland most people change into work/school clothes just before leaving the house and change out of them immediately after getting home (and hang them in well-ventilated places). That’s not as common in the US.


  3. Hmm, I regularly wear my jeans for a whole week unless they get visibly dirty, and t-shirts for a couple of days. (I do change underwear every day though!) Nobody has ever said anything, or given me a look, but then I worked in a lab where style was not really a thing, and these days work from home 😀


  4. You can wear the same outerwear (pants and shirt) more than once in a row, so long as you change your underwear and socks and that it’s during a time of the year where it isn’t excessively warm or hot (a.k.a. late autumn, winter, early spring—warm flukes excepted).
    That’s how I do it (coin laundries can be costly over time).


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