Mo Bloggin'

A little o' this, a little o' that

Elbows and holes

I’ve noticed the weirdest personal phenomenon in the past six or eight months.  An inordinate number of my clothing tops have worn holes in the right elbow.  So far it’s been three sweaters, two blouses, and five jersey-type long sleeve stretch tops.  It seems like every time I pull on a top, I find a hole in the elbow.  The majority of this clothing is work clothing, stuff that I wear to the office pretty much exclusively.  I can’t figure out if it’s just cheaply made clothing or fabric, or if there’s something more elaborate at play. 

I’ve taken to observing my own habits, to see if there’s something I’m doing that’s wearing the right elbows abnormally.  I do lean some, and being right hand dominant, lean more to the right than the left.  I’m a right hand mouse user, so my arm, and elbow, are more likely to be making contact with the desk.  But I’m not leaning forward on my elbows, a la Larry King during his televised interviews.  Now there’s a guy who must go through some elbows.  Not only does he spend most of the interview leaning up on them, like he’s about to leap out of his seat and pounce on his guest (maybe the suspenders are attached to his chair, not his pants waist) but the guy is as skinny and angular as your average med school skeleton – his bony elbows would poke through most anything.  Ah, but there’s the rub.  Bony and skinny, the guy is merely a hangar for most of his shirts.  There’s no tension and no rubbing, because his form (I was going to say physique, but that seems a stretch) is little more than a kite frame for the shirts he wears.  With me and my shirts, well, let’s just say there’s a wee bit more fill. 

And some of that fill is recent; come to think of it, these holes in the elbows do coincide somewhat with the new number on my bathroom scales.  Now, I’m not saying I’m busting out of my clothes, with my elbows poking through in some Hulk-like transformation (and my pants are not shredded every time I lose my temper), but things are definitely a tad snugger these days.  And this extra fill doesn’t explain why it’s only the right elbows that give.

All I know is it’s supremely frustrating.  My work clothes are being decimated by some sort of  elbow chewing habit.  When I’ve noticed the hole at work (i.e., after I’ve left the house) I’ve used Scotch tape or staples to close the hole, and once, in a fit of whimsey, a band aid.  Sure, it’s noticable, but at least people know I know I have a hole.  And often it’s really  not that noticable.  I’ve worn one favorite sweater several times this way.  On Casual Fridays, of course. 

When I Googled “holes in elbows” there was actually a website that had tips for avoiding this – one tip was to buy bigger shirts.  Hmm.  Something to think about.


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9 thoughts on “Elbows and holes

  1. Forrest on said:

    Gah! This exact same thing has been plaguing me as well. I’ve gone through four work shirts this way – all because of the right elbow! So frustrating.


  2. mcfwriter on said:

    I know, right? I always thought the sport jacket with elbow patch look was kind of dorky, but now I understand it! It’s practicality that became “fashion.” I used to work with a guy who wore these jackets to work frequently and we used to giggle at his fashion sense behind his back. Maybe he was onto something bigger!

  3. This has happened to me with 4 work shirts so far and on the RIGHT elbow!!! I googled help for it and I stumbled upon your post. Im glad to know that im not the only one in the office watching my every move to see what could be causing the holes!

  4. I know I’m commenting 3.5 years after you posted this, but thought I’d see if you ever figured it out. Your entire post is verbatim what I’ve gone through, including the slight weight gain. Only difference is my left elbow wears out, as I’m right-handed.

    I didn’t notice it had happened to a lot of my shirts but when I went through my closet last weekend, I’d ruined about 14 shirts, which is close to half my stock of them. So frustrating.

    • mcfwriter on said:

      Hi, Kyle, I think it must be a common problem, as this post consistently shows up on my blog stats as the most viewed. I’ve given up – even when I lost weight, the problem has persisted. I thought it was due to my office desk and how my computer keyboard/desk set up was laid out, but then I have shirts that are mostly weekend wear that also have the same issue. Always the right elbow for me. So. Weird.
      Thanks for writing!

  5. I have been suffering for this now for 6 years and did increase shirt size from XL to XXL, used both Walmart brand, and Polo brand shirts, moved states, maintained my weight, from having my sleeve buttoned to rolling the cuff inwards (not rolling them all the way) but not buttoning them.
    But still, all my left elbows have a whole in them. It is to the point that I just wear the shirts with the elbow holes in the them to work now and just ignore the ridicule.

    • mcfwriter on said:

      I’ve reached the same point, Omar. I try to hide the hole if I can by pushing up or rolling up the sleeve, but mostly I just ignore it. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Roddy Piper on said:

    Try using a head set instead of a hand set on your phone. Voila – the holes go away!

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