Retired PE Teacher Wore the Same Outfit for 40 Years’ Worth of Yearbook Photos


It started out as a mistake. Back in 1973, PE teacher Dale Irby wore an era-appropriate polyester shirt and brown sweater-vest to picture day. The next year, entirely by accident, he wore the exact same thing. At first he was horrified, but the next year, his wife Cathy dared him to do it again.

What started as a mistake, turned into a dare, and then ultimately into a 40-year tradition that ended this year when Irby chose to retire.

The story comes to us courtesy of the Dallas Morning News. They did a feature on Irby and his 40-year photographic tradition. From 1973 until 2013, you can pick up any of Prestonwood Elementary’s yearbooks and find an aging Irby wearing the same exact outfit.


“I was so embarrassed when I got the school pictures back that second year and realised I had worn the very same thing as the first year,” says Irby. But once the dare got underway, things changed: “After five pictures, it was like: ‘Why stop?’”

Here’s a slide show of Irby and his sweater through the years:

As you might imagine, age had some effect on the picture day routine. By the end of the tradition, weight gain forced Irby to bring the shirt and sweater with him to school separately, only donning it long enough to take the photo. He admits that, these days, he can only button the shirt if he “suck[s] it in a little.”

(via Laughing Squid)

  • kendra

    Perfect marketing piece for Tide?

  • Choen Lee

    He looks like a hipster in that outfit.

  • Rob

    He was doing it before it was cool.

  • MrRocking

    He was doing before it was cool to be doing it before it was cool.

  • Sarpent

    And he didn’t dump the mod pair of glasses for about 30 years. That mustache was a keeper, though.

  • p.rock

    Golf clap.

  • sassy


  • Jim


  • Ralph Hightower

    He reminds me of Dick Smothers of The Smothers Brothers.

  • Guest

    PE Teachers – Love them!

  • batman dad

    What does a video of giraffes have to do with this? I wanna see the slideshow :/

  • DrBaker

    Haha, he was my PE teacher 3rd-5th grade! We was one of the good ones that allowed dodgeball…

  • funnyhaha

    His Glasses got smaller as he got bigger..

  • JustPassingBy
  • Julian

    Just to let you know, you have the autoplay feature turned on to the video of the slideshow, so if you miss it you’re stuck watching a baby giraffe wondering where the photos are.

    Great article though!

    PS, “… when Irby chose to retired.” ;)

  • Nic

    that player……
    just hit F5 ;)

  • Patrick Ahles

    Or ⌘-R for us Mac-lovers! ;)

  • siva

    The first picture shows him definitely balding. Surely it’s only a matter of time before he’s just another Homer Simpson. And yet in the ensuing 40 years he seems to have halted the laws of nature. His hair remains to fight another day. How did he do it?What potion did he rub on his head? Someone please ask him. Too late for me but it will save others.

  • Jason

    That’s how you know …

  • TL Dragon

    I was tempted to be all “who cares” but then I realized it’s a story about a teacher and no one is pregnant, raped, molested, fired for stripping, selling drugs or dead. No lawsuit, no sex change, no duct taping or hitting the special needs kids, no wreck, no moronic suspensions for making a gun out of a pop tart and no reject loser kids shooting anything up.

    I’ll take it.

    Nice article. Hope to see more!

  • zerobeat

    How do you know that baby giraffe is wondering where the photos are?