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A silly little thing, really, but to someone who always washes clothes the way they were taken off, and folds them the same way as they come off the line (defended on the basis of wear minimisation; see below), this one struck me with the force of a revelation.

From now on, I decided, not only would I turn T-shirts inside out, I would fold them with some part of the writing showing. Breathtaking, no? I am always amazed at things I realise which, in the moment of realisation, are either things that everyone else already does, or that others (like one’s Mother) said 35 years ago. Now I will know what each T-shirt has written on it without unfolding/turning inside out!

There’s more in todays ‘Tips’: the “tech pant”.

I did a big John Deere shoot in 2010; the art director was a very talented Israeli named Iftach Shevach. We were doing three or four setups per day in southern Queensland and Norther NSW (you can imagine, perhaps, how fast we were working when I tell you some of the locations were over 100 miles apart…); and mostly in red dirt. The shoot lasted a week, from memory, but it seemed longer. As we were shooting John Deere Water irrigations systems, low angle shots were de rigeur, as was the unconscious attraction/application of what (later) seemed like tons of this fine red earth, deep into the fabric of approximately 98% of the pant surface area.

After the first day, my pants (loose drill cotton, belt and lots of pockets) looked like I’d been wearing them for, oh, a year or so, and without the benefit of any kind of washing. Imagine my surprise when I saw Iftach the next day: he was wearing what looked like the same pair of pants, which were immaculately clean. How was this magic wrought, I wondered?

The secret, it turned out, was a nylon fabric made by The North Face (the link show the design of the pants I am talking about). Not just a pant, they convert to shorts (and the conversion point length makes shorts that are perfect for me) and the zips are colour coded, too, so they can be refitted easily: match the colours. Genius. This pant is amazing quality, will hand wash and dry overnight; will not stain, will not pick up dirt (I had to relegate the pair I was wearing to the annual Kit-mows-the-lawn event); will not rip (even barbed wire; I have tested this); and will not even create static if worn with polypropylene tights (as is necessary in a Canberra winter). The best? $80 USD. I travel with two pairs (one of each of the two colours) and that’s all, formal/semi-formal work pant-wise. Never leave home without them.

*wear minimisation: another term, perhaps, for “laziness” (my Mother’s perspective), or “god, what next?” (unattributed)