Teaching Profession

Teacher Wears Same Picture-Day Outfit 40 Years Straight

By Liana Loewus — July 03, 2013 1 min read
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This is by far the grooviest story of the week ...

The Dallas Morning News reports that Dale Irby, a physical education in Richardson, Texas, who retired this year, managed the feat of wearing the same outfit for his school picture 40 years in a row.

Irby initially donned the polyester shirt and light-brown sweater vest for his photo as a first-year teacher in 1973. The next year, the gym teacher—who didn’t own much in the way of dress clothes—wore the ensemble again. He told the Dallas Morning News, “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.”

However, the paper reports, “his wife, Cathy, dared him to do it a third year. Then Dale thought five would be funny. ‘After five pictures,’ he said, ‘it was like: ‘Why stop?’'"

Not surprisingly, Irby was a favorite at his Dallas elementary school. And as the DMN columnist notes, “he aged a whole lot better than his clothes did.”

Irby’s wife, a language arts teacher, also retired this year. No word on what she wore on picture days ...

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.