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When do you throw clothes away?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am moving within the same city. trying to decide what deserves to survive the move and the "Best Bargain Ever" thread has gotten me thinking. When do you decide to throw an article of clothing away? 1. When it has gone "out of fashion?" Bowling shoes, double breasted suits, Members Only jackets? 2. When you realize that you haven't worn it in XX number of months? 3. When you notice the yellow stains under the armpits? 4. When the cuff has frayed, or the sweater has fuzzed past a particular point of no return? I try to buy things that will not go out of fashion, or that I am pretty sure I will want to wear regardless of where it moves on the general popularity scale. Numbers 3 and 4 are the most difficult for me. How do you decide it is time to donate that navy blazer or those scuffed up shoes? Bic
post #2 of 9
Any one of those reasons might do it. If an article dates itself really badly, I might get rid of it for that reason alone, although I'm perfectly comfortable mixing items of varying vintages rather than hanging on every trend (and the passing thereof). Which is to say, I'm keeping my bowling shoes, but I'd ditch the Members Only jacket. I have too much clothing to worry about how often I wear any one article. It's more a question of, "will I ever wear it?," than "have I ever worn it?" If I honestly can't see myself putting it on, even if I like seeing it on the hanger, it's really time for it to go. As for wear and tear, if I can't fix it and it's too unsightly to wear out, I have to decide if I'm going to throw it on to lounge around the house or paint the garage, or whatever. If not, out it goes. The other consideration is fit. If something doesn't fit quite right anymore (or it never did), I could take it to the tailor and have it fixed up. But, would it be worth the money to me to do so? If not, it's gone. If it can't be altered, it's also gone. As for how to dispose of the clothing, if it's a designer piece in good shape that just isn't me or isn't my size, it goes on eBay. If it's in decent shape but has no great resale value, I donate it to a thrift shop. I only throw out what's truly trashed; no sense in wasting anyone else's time and space with it.
post #3 of 9
It's time to prune when you run out of closet space, unless you enjoy living in a large walk-in closet. (I suppose, that makes it a live-in closet). Get rid of all the things you don't feel really comfortable in, whatever the reason why you have reservation about that particular item. If you haven't worn it for a long time, and, more important, you don't want to wear it, then there is a good chance that you will never wear it again. Things can always be recycled: cashmere sweaters (fuzzed or otherwise) make wonderful shoe buffers.
post #4 of 9
I'm facing the same decisions right now; I'm probably moving to Italy within the next couple of months. I've been offered to move and the co will fix an apt, pay for Italian language lessons and so on. The tricky part is that I'll probably have to hop on a plane and stay in a hotel until I've found something a bit more permanent. This limits the amount of clothes I can bring as I leave... Obviously I won't throw away what I can't pack in a couple of suitcases, a friend of mine will send on stuff later. Still, I've already begun weeding out undesirables. Even if I don't go, at least my wardrobe will be rid of old worn out, stained, tattered unwearables. About those yellow armpit stains, those are caused by deodorants with aluminum in them. I don't have a big problem with stains because I tend to use cream deodorants (which goes into the skin more than roll-ons or sticks) or some liquid one, the type you apply 2-3 times/week. The liquid ones don't stain as they're not there when you dress, the cream ones minimises stains in my experience.
post #5 of 9
I wasn't aware that bowling shoes and DB suits are "out". I seem to recall a fair number on offer from the likes of Brioni, Valentino, and RL PL. Futhermore, Tod's seems to still be making (and presumably selling) umpteen variations of their bowling shoes, and something I received from Louis Boston just before I left Austria showed a bunch of shoes by Reebok (?) that were at the very least "inspired" by the Tod's offerings. Not that it would terribly phases me, mind, if both were blacklisted tomorrow. I have two DB suits that I never find occasion to wear, although my DB dinner jacket gets much more wear than my SB one. And I'll wear my Tod's bowling shoes until they wear out, at which time I'll buy another pair. They may just be the most comfortable shoes ever made. But to answer the question, if I have something and I decide I don't like it any more -- which is different from saying that I haven't worn in in x or I probably won't wear it in the medium-term future -- I either give it away or toss it. If there's any flaw, it goes in the garbage. If not, I'll ship a package to Humana or another firm that ships clothes to and raises funds for LDC's. Generally speaking, I stop liking something when I find something similar that's far better quality. Example: when I discovered Loro Piana cashmere jumpers, I stopped liking most of the sweaters I had. I had a fair number of jumpers I wore in college, mostly cashmere but a few merino. The only two of those I still have are a pre-Prada Helmut Lang charcoal cashmere v-neck and an ueber-preppy navy cotton one by Polo RL. So hopefully a person or two found some good-as-new Banana/J. Crew/BCBG cashmere for pennies on the dollar. Another example: I had a blazer, a 2-button centre-vent that was made in the USA but had a Burberry tag on it. I bought it in the USA. I kept it (rarely wore it, though, because it felt too public school) until I found a really nice blazer in 80% cashmere/20% wool by Rene Lizard in a more appealing style. (Saville Row silhouette, with a three-button roll-lapel, side-vents, and a ticket pocket). So the first blazer returned from whence it came, and hopefully its new owner wears it more than I did. Peace, JG
post #6 of 9
Throw away what you want, but the bowling shoes are actually beginning to be the new trend in the footwear industry. Most styles are going to the contrast stiching and mulitple contrasting colors. Check out a good store and you will see. Least then you can claim true 'vintage' style. As for the clothes, stains and frays have always been acceptable for throwing away clothing.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the comments. My examples were more meant as comic relief. I Didn't really mean to stir debate about what is "in" or "out." Those terms don't have too much meaning for me until we define them.I don't really know who is offering what on runways. That being said, particularly here in Japan, fashion tastes burn very hot and fast. In my office, and on the streets of Tokyo, I see very very few double breasted suits. Does that mean that they are out? They certainly are "out-er" than they were when I bought my double breasted suit in the US in 1988. Does that mean that they are as out as a fedora or 4 inch wide lapels? No. Bowling shoes were the item to have here last summer. Of course I saw folks wearing them this summer, but interest in them seems to have peaked. Bic
post #8 of 9
In my office, and on the streets of Tokyo, I see very very few double breasted suits. Does that mean that they are out? They certainly are "out-er" than they were when I bought my double breasted suit in the US in 1988. Does that mean that they are as out as a fedora or 4 inch wide lapels? No.
DB suits are still pretty snappy items, but they're more restrictive because it's improper to wear a DB jacket open. So, SB suits are more popular, but I think it's cool to have at least one DB suit in your arsenal (if you wear suits, that is). As for fedoras being out, I say, "nay." GQ just hyped fedoras, and I myself wear a sisol Borsalino fedora with reasonable regularity. It sure beats those stupid wool hats the kids wear these days.
post #9 of 9
Bowling shoes were pretty hot here last summer, but I think that the trend has run its course. Usually, "leader" brands push a trend, and by the time mainstream brands like Reebok, and lifestyle brands like Brioni jump on the bandwagon, the trend has either become old (bowling shoes), or mainstream (3-button suits in the late 80s). I still haven't decided which way double breasted suits are going, although I suspect that their popularity will die out because they do not seem particularly versatile. Having said that, I don't think that there is anything wrong with bucking trends. Personally, I've been a big fan of the military surplus/boho look, since the early nineties. Since then, the popularity of the military look has waxed and waned, peaking in F/W 2001-2002, with such force that I think most designers got a little shellshocked. My only regret that it is not as popular this winter is that I won't have the selection of military style shirts I had last year. Also, I sort of like frayed clothing - gives character. About stains, I'll agree with you all.
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