Edited by F. Corbera - 7/26/12 at 9:28pm
The Official Merciless Clothes Culling™ Thread
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Given that your hand-me-downs will be better than my best stuff, FC, I am not sure I can come anywhere near to that!
However I have tended in the past to have strange obsessions with particular colours and patterns. I was very into dark solid colour dress shirts for a while, as well as striped dress shirts on a dark base. All of these have been mercilessly culled. Also recently put on the pile is anything I have in a 15" collar or a 38" chest because it was frequently the smallest I could find on sale and therefore 'would do'. They won't, both measurements are simply too big.
All of this is a result of looking and learning on SF, as well as remembering what I already knew and had forgotten.
Since lurking on SF, 90% of the clothing bought has been donated. Now I am in the business of moving slowly, but informed, when selecting my clothing choices.
I started lurking on StyleForum three years ago. At the time, my "tailored" shirts consisted of various shirts that can be bought at Macy's, J.C. Penney or Kohl's: Van Heusen, Stafford, Arrow, Alfani, Claiborne, Croft & Barrow. Most had been given to me as gifts. I always had wanted better-fitting shirts, but didn't know where to begin, so I regarded spending more than $25 on shirts to be wasteful.
After joining StyleForum, I read about details in judging how shirts should fit (shirtmaven has helpful posts about this, as do Manton, mafoofan and voxsartoria, as well as Kabbaz on AAAC). I also found Manton's book and Flusser's books, which had some helpful pointers. I started getting shirts from a local bespoke shirtmaker, although I also tried CEGO and Jantzen, and have bought a few RTW (BB extra-slim-fit OCBDs and slim, lightweight Barbas from Shopthefinest). For every new shirt I had, I cull an old one. My goal is to have 20-25 tailored shirts.
My criteria on dropping shirts, in this order: 1) there are stains that won't come out (duh); 2) it is particularly wide in the chest (all of my old RTW are too wide, so it's a relative test); 3) it is dark and/or in an aggressively non-business pattern, such as two bright, shiny circa-2002 oxford-weave shirts and two shirts with "satin stripes" (none of these shirts really lend themselves to casual clothing, so if they don't work for business, they're pitched); 4) it is threadbare; and 5) it is less than 100-percent cotton.
Why don't I cull all of the remaining shirts? Well, I have an ingrained aversion to throwing anything out. I appreciate that they were gifts, and believe I can make improvements in my wardrobe while integrating the new items with the existing things. So if the shirts are in a conservative color or pattern, fit only slightly widely (I had the waist taken in on some) or in the case of one or two, have a sentimental memory attached to them, I have kept them (at least until the next batch of new shirts).
I do feel that the dislocation from bespoke to (in my case, poor) ready-to-wear is real and annoying. So in the long run (say, another three years), I plan to replace the remaining shirts.
The same can largely be said for my suits, ties and shoes.
I went into detail here, because I thought this would be useful for new members or lurkers, who may have more in common with my experience.
Next up will be donating my Lacoste dress shirts because the collars are too small. Finally, I'm trying to sell the wonderful Vass chukka boots in my signature because there's not enough room in the toe box.
Currently these are the only shoes I wear, and they cost me all of $9 a pair. The sole is a "zero drop" (i.e same height in the heel area as in the forepart), unstructured (no padding, arch support or anything), un-contoured (completely flat inside -- what you see outside is purely for looks), very thin and very flexible (against what it looks like in the photo). I can roll the shoe like a newspaper. They are lightweight, extremely comfortable, and look great with my very casual khaki/polo or khaki/OCBD workwear clothes, and most importantly, fit my feet everywhere without any discomfort whatsoever. They also do double duty at the gym as lifting shoes. Those of you who are into barefoot running and/or minimalist footwear for exercising or everyday wear know what I am talking about.
RTW shoe sizing is so arbitrary and I've come to the point where I cannot (and will not) tolerate fit issues, no matter how minor. My feet are in good shape and I do not want them to get messed up anymore (than what's already been done). I have a special project going on (no, not bespoke) and I'll post about it in a month or so, IF it succeeds. I do expect it to be very polarizing, with most folks here disliking the looks, but hey, it's my feet!
I look forward to the days of owning only 2 pairs of shoes.
How's that, B ?
When you say "charity", I hope that you were referring to me.
On to my story. I have bought ties in lots off Ebay, I have also had my share of "impulse" buys I wind up not liking. As a result I had about 50 good quality (Charvet, Oxxford, Battistoni, Hermes, BB and others) ties that I brought into work and gave away 2 at a time to the guys at after sending a group email. It provided a nice little morale boost in tough times, which is great, but now I find myself going to work every day and looking at ties I don't like. In all fairness, a few of the guys have come up with very nice combos I wish I had thought of.