The Gift of Clothing

With this being the week of Thanksgiving, it’s the perfect time to intentionally think about all of the things and people for whom you’re thankful, although I hope you do this much more than once a year! Because of the theme of this blog, I’d like to cause you to think about specifically how you’re thankful for your clothes.

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Would you feel embarrassed if anybody could look into your closet? This may seem like an odd question, but think about it for a moment. If you were embarrassed, you would probably feel that way because of how full it is. I know I’ve felt this way from time to time. Why are you out shopping when your closet is – literally – overflowing? It’s probably not a space issue – it’s probably because you own too much clothing. There is such a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes when you weed out clothing. I can promise you, that if you take the time to weed out carefully and thoroughly, you will never miss any of the clothing you get rid of. Follow the two-year rule: If you haven’t worn an item of clothing in over two years, weed it out (unless it has a lot of sentimental value and/or was an expensive purchase. In that case, wear it!). One of the great things about weeding out is that you can also re-organize your closet or dresser at the same time. Two for one! Here are some things you can do with the clothing you weed out:

 

 Give it to family or friends. Earlier this year I moved out of state, and found that moving is the perfect time to weed out because, well, when you’re sorting through and packing up all your belongings you really realize just how much you have. I filled a few paper grocery bags with clothing that I didn’t need any more and left it at my parents’ house. Then, when they had time, my sisters looked through the bags and took what clothing they wanted before my parents donated what was left over. It’s always great to check and see if anyone in your family or a close friend could use some of your clothing that you don’t need – then you actually get to see it put to good use again!

 

Donate it. This is an easy one. There are Goodwills and Salvation Army stores, and you also have other options such as women’s (or men’s) shelters, a clothing drive at your work or church, etc.

 

Sell it. Did you know that you can sell your gently used clothing at Plato’s Closet? Personally, I’ve found that they only accept about 10-15% of the clothing that I bring in to sell, but, if you choose to, they will also donate the rest of your clothing to a local women’s shelter. It may not bring in much money, but it can be nice to earn a few dollars off of your clothing that you no longer need.

 

In conclusion, I encourage you to put thankfulness into practice this Thanksgiving and trim down your closet. Remember my promise? You won’t regret it.

5 Tips for Guys

Here are five fashion suggestions for every guy out there. I’ve gathered these everywhere from people watching, reading fashion magazines, studying the history of men’s fashion, and forming my own personal opinions as a designer. You can take them or leave them – but please, do take them. 🙂

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1. Stop being sloppy. In several of my undergraduate classes, there were guys who would only wear athletic shorts or sweatpants (depending on the weather) to class. Every single time. Are jeans really that dressy? No, they’re not. All you need to do is make a small effort to wear normal shorts or pants when you’re out and about, even if you pair them with a sweatshirt. Wear serious clothing, get taken seriously.

2. No more cargos. That’s right, it’s time to put away (or give away) your cargo pants and shorts, unless you’re under the age of 12. Cargo pockets have gone out of style for men and are really only for young boys now. If you find that the you miss the storage space too much, try utilizing your coat pockets more or weeding out unnecessary items from your wallet.

3. Layer. Wearing layered clothing is very much in style for this fall and winter, and it’s a practical and easy trend to follow. Pair a collared shirt with a sweater and throw a blazer over it, or try a long-sleeved shirt under a quarter-zip sweater with an outdoor vest over it. Don’t go too crazy. (Example: mannequins at the mall who are wearing two polos. At the same time. Doesn’t work). Instead, use the clothing you already have to create new looks that both look sharp and help keep you warm.

4. Know when to not wear tennis shoes. One of the most common fashion mistakes I’ve seen men make is wearing a nice outfit with tennis shoes. It really ruins the entire outfit. As a rule, tennis shoes should only be worn with: a) athletic clothing or b) jeans and a t-shirt (or casual jacket, sweatshirt, etc.). Try wearing boat shoes or loafers with your nicer outfits. Or, if you don’t feel comfortable wearing those, instead try a nicer pair of neutral-colored sneakers (H&M has several options).

5. Tuck your shirt in. Unless you’re wearing a t-shirt, keep your shirts tucked in and wear a belt. This small step goes a long way in helping you’ve made an effort to look neat and tidy. Most men’s shirts are actually made to be tucked in. By doing this you will look professional and put-together, and all you had to do was tuck your shirt in.