Irby's work wardrobe consisted mainly of athletic clothes. With few formal options, he chose the shirt and sweater combo for his first yearbook photo in 1973. The following year, he accidentally repeated the outfit, he told the Dallas Morning News.
“I was so embarrassed when I got the school pictures back that second year and realized I had worn the very same thing as the first year,” he said.
His wife, Cathy, a language arts teacher, dared him to repeat the outfit for his third yearbook photo. Irby thought it would be funny to extend the prank for five years. “After five pictures,” he said, “It was like, ‘Why stop?’”