Most guys (and women, too) have a treasured T-shirt collection. You know, funny sayings, clever 90s throwback references, and rock band logos. Usually, there is one addition to the collection that stands out above the rest. Now imagine if in your own T-shirt collection, the gem is a literal gold shirt – one weaved with golden thread.
For Pankaj Parakh, a politician and businessman in Maharashtra, India, this is reality. He’s actually been nicknamed “The Man With The Golden Shirt” by his friends for obvious reasons. Parakh earned a spot in the Guinness World Records in 2014 for owning “the most expensive gold shirt in the world.” The impressive garment cost roughly $161,354.
“This is simply unbelievable. I am a small man from a remote area in Maharashtra. I am happy that this achievement had catapulted my village name into the whole world,” Parakh stated at a ceremony when he received his spot in history.
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Parakh’s Humble Past
Though some might say that spending that much money on a piece of clothing is irresponsible or reckless, Parakh is flush with cash and his success story is inspiring. Parakh was just a high school dropout (mostly because he couldn’t afford to go to school) when he decided to go into his family’s clothing business. He made his fortune from the textile industry, more specifically, the garment fabrication business which he helped to catapult to success in 1982. This led him to be able to pursue political endeavors. He became the Nationalist Congress Party’s Deputy Mayor of Yeola town in Nashik district by 1991.
Some men like to splurge on a flashy car or impressive watch when the big bucks start rolling in but it makes sense that a man who got his start in the clothing business would go big on a shirt. Parakh’s golden shirt weighs roughly nine pounds and it contains a lot of sentimental value as well. He commissioned the shirt as a special gift to commemorate his 45th birthday and added seven golden buttons as an extra touch. Parakh had the shirt designed by Bafna Jewellers in Nashik and the garment was created by Shanti Jewellers in Mumbai. It took a team of twenty crafters over two months to hand stitch 18 to 22 carat pure gold threads into the shirt. The shirt is said to be comfortable, smooth, and moveable due to a thin cloth lining on the inside. It’s surprisingly washable and even comes with a lifetime guarantee!
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There’s a noticeable golden gleam when Parakh steps out in the Indian sunshine wearing the world’s most expensive shirt. For this reason and for the notoriety that the shirt has gained, at least two private security guards are with Parakh at all times when he wears the shirt out in public and he also is said to keep a licensed revolver on him for personal protection. The guards are there not just to ensure that Parakh does not get robbed or worse over the shirt but they keep the public away from Parakh and more importantly, the shirt, to prevent excess wear and tear (aka grubby fingerprints) from being placed on the pricy top. The shirt’s cost is actually more than the price of the commission considering the ongoing cost of security.
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When Parakh dresses up in his gold shirt, there’s plenty of gold to go around in accessories to complement the garment. He loves to wear his gold watch, a few gold chains, and several oversized gold rings. He’s even been seen with a gold phone case and golden-framed glasses. In any given golden day for Parakh, he’s worth at least 10 pounds in pure gold!
“At my marriage 25 years ago, many guests considered me an embarrassment as I wore more gold than the bride,” Parakh once said.
None of Parakh’s family members including his wife Pratibha share Parakh’s passion for gold. His wife wears only the bare minimum in comparison to her flashy husband!
We can’t help but wonder what’s next for Parakh’s future milestone birthdays: a golden hat, golden pants, golden shoes?
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Sources: indianexpress.com, Reddit.com, IndiaTimes.com
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