Stylin’ Saturday: Closet Clearing Criteria


One of the unforeseen outcomes of my unexpected insight back in December that maybe the way I dress for work is actually just fine is that thinking about clothes has become less of a negative Why Do I Even Bother sort of thing and more of an adventure. I like adventures, but they do tend to cost money and take up room in my closet (not that closet). So I came up with a method to both make room and postpone new purchases: for every piece of clothing I buy, I have to get rid of three. So far, this includes shoes; I haven’t decided yet whether or not to include jewelry. It will probably depend on the price: a $3 pair of earrings, no; a $40 pair of cufflinks, yes. (And you can see why people have been complaining about the way I dress when you consider that I think it is completely reasonable to pay $3 for a pair of earrings and $40 for a pair of cufflinks.)

The 3:1 ratio is strategic on two levels. Physically, it is obviously a matter of limited space in my apartment. I have held on too long to some ten-, fifteen-, and twenty-year-old clothing that hasn’t fit in a long time or is basically falling apart, however beloved.

But less literally, there is also something to the idea I learned back when I was a life coach, that if you want something new in your life you need to create a vacuum. I keep going back and forth trying to decide if discovering myself to be potentially bisexual is earth-quaking or completely immaterial; at some point I’ll dig into that question further. But for right now, I am holding space in head for the possibility that it might be both–a chance for transformation, thinking of myself less as a moth and more as a butterfly.


So I decided that I would get rid of clothes that:

  • have holes or tears (I wear my clothes to death); or
  • don’t fit quite right (and still won’t even if I can lose the six pounds I intend to lose by the end of the year); or
  • don’t make me feel attractive; or
  • aren’t simply comfy for binge-watching Netflix.

So far since New Year’s I’ve gotten rid of two big garbage bags of trash (paint-covered jeans, shirts sans elbows, etc.) and two bags of give-away clothes (The Epilepsy Foundation has a collection bin in front of my laundromat). So I’m improving my look, clearing physical and mental space, and doing some good in the world.

Not bad for a few weekend’s work, eh?

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