The little holes at the front of your shirts are not moths… 87



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I’ve been through the fight for years.  As the fabrics in our stores get thinner and thinner, and I wear more and more casual clothes I battle with one enormous and seemingly expensive problem… little holes that appear at the waist area of my shirts.  I hate paying good money for clothes only to find that after 6-10 wears they are ruined, and I won’t wear a shirt with holes all down the front.  I have lamented the problem with my mother in law and several others who I know also battle with it.  All of us have, at varying times been suspicious of a load of causes, but today I have the official cause, lock stock and barrel for you.

But before I tell you what it is, I have to tell you just how serious an issue I have found this.  I have hung camphor throughout my wardrobe, tried mothballs which stank, much to my horror, scoured the internet for answers and managed the risks with a laundry process that is second to none.  All my clothes are handwashed and drip dried which does seem to help.  But the holes just keep on coming, and they’re worse in summer which for years I just couldn’t understand.  And to make matters worse, there is no real commonality to the materials.  The holes can be found in rayons as much as they can in cottons or woollens, and I know moths don’t “eat” synthetic.  For years it stumped me.  I even blamed it on the car seatbelt for a while, buying myself a lambswool seatbelt rest so my shirts wouldn’t catch on the rougher edges of the belt fabric.  Still I got holes.

So, I consulted others.  And it turns out…it’s not insects at all.  The problem is your jeans.  Yes folks!  It is that simple.  Your jeans are damaging your tops.

The small holes are caused by your tops sitting on top of the hard surfaces of your jeans, in which you bump up against tables tops and counter tops.  Small threads break in the tops from the rubbing of everyday life and when the tops are washed the threads pull back.  It is even worse if you use a dryer as the threads contract further.

You can do your own experiment.  Wear a shirt for a week untucked from your jeans then take a good look at it for small holes around the top area where it covers the button region of your jeans.

Or wear a shirt for a week, and tuck the front of the shift into your jeans… I’ll bet – no holes.


The solutions to this problem in your life are therefore rather simple to deduce:

1)  Wear pants with no buttons ie exercise pants, leggings, and similar.

2) Tuck your shirts into your buttoned pants at the front (even if you don’t tuck the sides and back).

3) When you wash your shirts try to resist using the dryer as it adds to any damage that has been done.




Have you had problems with holes in the front of your shirts?

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. Yes have had the same problem have had our new house fumigated used all the other preventive measures but still have this happen with 5or6 of ny good tops thinking it was moths

  2. I also have the same problem. I can remember buying a very expensive linen tshirt, just one wear and holes every where. Took it back to the store that I bought it from, they did exchange it, but now I feel very guilty about what I did

  3. Maybe silverfish

    1 REPLY
    • I actually thought silverfish but close examination we don’t have silverfish. I bought an expensive T Shirt 3/4 sleeve in white. Loved it with jeans. Three holes.bought a pull on pair of jeans from Autograph no holes.

  4. I have also deducted that the car seatbelt has a lot to do with it as well, I pull my top out over the outside of the seatbelt…but EXTREMEMLY ANNOYING WAY TOO MANT TOPS, SHIRTS, JUMPERS RUINED AS I DO LOVE MY JEANS!!!!gggrrrrrrr

    1 REPLY
    • Thank you, that explains my holes, I have never worn jeans or slacks. Thought it must have been moths or silverfish.

  5. Simple solution to your problem. Don’t buy jeans with zippers. If you shop around you can buy jeans with elastic round the top. If you don’t tuck your shirt in, no one knows and you will find they are more comfortable. Also living in Brisbane during the summer months you will find it is too hot to wear jeans anyway so you won’t have any problems at all and your shirts won’t get ruined.

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