One day I was walking behind a man of about seventy plus and the frayed collar of his shirt caught my eyes. Since then, that image remained. For most of us, who are younger and have a job, would dispose of frayed or slightly worn-out clothes. This is not so for most retirees or elderly. They keep wearing the same clothes and probably see no need to buy new ones. Money is an issue.
I see my older brothers wore shirts and tailored trousers that were bought during their working years. It is too wasteful to give them up to karang guni. They would continue to wear them even when they become loose because of changes to their bodies. Self- image no longer becomes important. But money is!
I recalled my late father who came from China had this one and well-tailored trousers which he hardly wore them except for important occasions such at wedding receptions and special occasions (like photo shoot at NUS ground on my graduation). He had put on weight round the waist and the trousers cannot be zipped all the way up. He still wore them and had a shirt to cover the upper portion of the trousers. That was 1981. I saw the photographs taken on that day and this all came back.
Next time when we see someone with worn-out belt, shoes, shirts, etc., remember that there are reasons. Costs of living keep rising and income is dwindling or non-existent. Money can be tight.