Dale Irby, a teacher at Prestwood Elementary School in Dallas, Texas, has become an internet star after a series of images showing him wearing the same tank top and shirt for 40 years was published online.
Irby accidentally wore the same brown V-necked tank top and a white shirt with a distinctive design in school photos for two years running, in both 1973 and 1974.
After his wife, Cathy, noticed the fashion blunder, she dared him to do it for a third year, which then turned into four, then five, and carried on for forty years.
Irby was such a hit that teachers, current students, and alumni would wait in eager anticipation for his next appearance in the school yearbook.
Commenting on Prestwood Elementary School’s most famous in-joke, Dale stated, “It all started by mistake. After I got the photos back from the second year I realised what I had done. So my wife Cathy, who I met in my first year teaching, dared me to repeat it again for a third year and we didn’t stop.”
Irby did reveal though that his garment gaffe has left his attire in dire straights, with the teacher noting, “The shirt is now faded and the wool vest has several holes.” But he did go on to admit that it has been worth it for a “few laughs.”
A delightful collage has now emerged of Dale’s 40 photos from these 40 years, and it sees Mr. Irby sporting several different glasses, plus his hair gets thinner and greyer, whilst his mustache also changes sizes through the 70s, 80s, 90s, and then into the new millennium.
Dale Irby recently retired from teaching, so it is unlikely that Prestwood Elementary School will ever get to see his famous clothes again.
And it appears as though Dale won’t even wear the vest and shirt in his leisure time too as he admitted, “it was a little bit tighter in the latter years than it was in the beginning,” before adding, “I doubt that I’ll wear it again, even in a dare.”