US gym teacher becomes internet hit after wearing same outfit for 40 years
A retiring Texas gym teacher has become an internet sensation after wearing the same 1970s tank top and shirt throughout his entire 40-year career.
PE teacher Dale Irby wore the same 1970s tank top and shirt for every yearbook photo from 1973 until his retirement this year Photo: Dallas Morning News / SWNS.com
8:42AM BST 04 Jul 2013
Dale Irby, of Dallas, wore the same disco-era outfit for every single yearbook photo from 1973 until his retirement this year. After the Dallas Morning News published a story on the end of his four-decade fashion statement, the images went viral, attracting more than 1.3 million hits on the news website.
The 63-year-old said the tradition was started by accident after he wore the brown V-neck and pointy-collared cream shirt for Prestonwood Elementary's annual photograph for two years running from 1973.
Spending most of his professional life in gym shorts, he had little in the way of formal wear so when the school asked the teachers to "wear something nice" for the photo he just grabbed one of the few suitable items from his sparsely populated wardrobe.
“I was so embarrassed when I got the school pictures back that second year and realized I had worn the very same thing as the first year,” Mr Irby told the Dallas Morning News.
But his wife, Cathy, dared him to wear the same combination for a third year running, and, with the encouragement of his students, the joke went on and on. “After five pictures,” he said, “it was like: ‘Why stop?’”
40 years on, he no longer wears the dated ensemble all day but slips it on for the shoot. It still fits, he said, "if I suck it in a little".