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    I work a white collar job where I wear suits to work every day. Most of my formal shirt collection originates from a little over 2 years ago when I started this job. I wear these shirts usually once a week for most weeks (washing them on the weekends).

    I've purchased mid range shirts generally, from Marks and Spencer in the 15-30 pound range. Nothing too fancy but not the very cheapest stuff either.

    Over time these shirts aren't quite as nice as they used to be: despite constant washing the stains on the collar fold as well as the armpits have been becoming worse.

    I accept that nothing lasts forever and most things will have to be replaced after a while so I was wondering how often would one generally replace a formal shirt with a newer one? I don't want to waste money on the one hand but on the other, these shirts aren't going to drive me bankrupt either.

    The stains should be removable. Try a biological stain remover.

    I only buy 100% cotton white shirts (polycotton makes me sweat, itch and gets smelly) so they can cope with a 60° wash and I don't get stains.

    I decided years ago to buy decent work shirts so I spend about £60 on them. I have 15 and they get rotated daily. I work full-time and they probably last about ten years, at a guess. 10 years x 48 working weeks x 5 days ÷ 15 shirts = 160 wear, wash, iron cycles.

    I find the points of the collars go first.

    (Double check, 2 casual cotton shirts per weekend, about 10 casual shirts, some about 10 years old and showing it, so casuals last about 8 years. 8 years x 52 weekends x 2 days ÷ 10 shirts = 80 wear, wash, iron cycles. So my cheaper 100% cotton casual shirts last half as long, but I am harder wearing on them too.)

    About 20 years ago I bought some cheap M&S shirts and a cheap M&S greatcoat when I was skint. They lasted about 8 cycles before buttons were falling off, the thread coming out of the seams and the collar and cuffs showing wear. What a rip-off. The greatcoat lasted one winter. The replacement came from a posh Edinburgh department store and cost, I think £160. I am still wearing it in the winter.

    In my experience, expensive, good quality, non-designer, clothes from old and reputable outlets, work out cheaper. If you have the capital to invest...
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