First, I should explain the above reference. Moe, the bartender in the Simpsons, once referred to Homer as being “fancy” for calling his garage a … garage. When asked what it should be called, Moe responded “A car hole”. My closet has been the place I throw clothes I’m not currently wearing for the last several years, so calling it a “clothes hole” seemed appropriate.
The basic organization of my side of the closet hasn’t changed since we moved from Alberta. To be honest, there really wasn’t much organization to begin with: one small section for “work” clothes, one section for sweaters and shirts, and one section for “other”. Unfortunately, much of the space in this closet had become cluttered, confused, and generally unhelpful for the purpose of actually locating anything to wear. Golf shirts that I wear at work were mixed in on the shelf with T-Shirts I wear at home and not hanging on hangers where they belonged, because the hangers were all occupied by pants that hadn’t been worn in years. It was like someone had taken all the clothes from a Salvation Army drop box and thrown them willy-nilly onto various hangers, and then pushed me into the room and said “get dressed- you’ll look marvelous”.
There was one other set of factors that led me to the conclusion something needed to be done: much of the clothing in my closet was no longer something I would wear. “Stuff I wouldn’t wear” fell into two basic categories:
pants with waist sizes that mocked my now portly midsection
other clothes that I was keeping more because of fond memories than out of any expectation I was going to wear the item again
I just changed out of my pajamas and put on my normal day wear. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I realized that there really wasn’t a significant difference between these two modes of dress.
I was a reasonably well-dressed man less than a decade ago. No, never really stylish, but I was at least a step or so above “slob”. I had three modes of dress:
Work: I had three or four good suits: tailored, from a reputable suit store. A decent collection of tailored cotton shirts. Some nice ties: when I went to the office, I was typically wearing over $1,000 worth of clothing, and I bought at least one new suit each year
Home/casual: Cargo pants, cotton tourist slacks, a pair or two of jeans and golf shirts; I even had a couple of pairs of Tilley pants
Rough/yard: a few pairs of sweat pants and T-shirts for working in the yard, washing the car, what have you
I the last seven years I’ve significantly simplified my life. I have my “work/social” clothing, which is basically the “home/casual” category above, and everything else is in the “rough/yard” category. I’ve gone from budgeting $2,000 a year for new clothes at my peak of sartorial excellence to probably spending $150 a year. My suit trousers are so far from fitting that I really have no idea why I keep them any longer. So if I’m relaxing at home, going to the store, going to the park, or generally doing anything other than going to dinner or visiting with the family, I wear sweat pants and a T-shirt. If you drop in unexpectedly or come to stay in my house for a few days, that’s the way you’ll see me: sweat pants and a T-shirt.
But what I do is one thing- trying to figure out why is another matter entirely…