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ALPHA MALE: Cleaning Out Your Closet

Thursday, October 25, 2012


We want it to look just like this... with everything fitting you well and in good shape. Here's how to get there. Photo: WHARF Clothing & Wares.

The majority of the time, we tend to discuss topics ranging from current style, to fits and fabrics, to appropriate dressing for different occasions and ages. Hopefully, your wardrobe is starting to fill out nicely as you take some of this column's advice, mix in your own personal style and begin to refine what works for you. But at some point the additions you make to your closet need to be balanced by subtractions of what is not working in order to make room and not be confused by what suits you best. Fellas, it is time to break up with your old clothes. Here are some ideas on how to do it.

If it's ripped, tattered, battered or broken, ditch it.

We all have that favorite pair of ripped jeans or old, beat-up shoes that have no life left in them. Holes in the knees, soles down to bare feet. These are no longer useful items. They most likely sit in your closet and never see the light of day. And that means they are confusing your daily wear choices without ever making the rotation. Get a bag, get some resolve, and say a tearful goodbye if you have to. But make the right decision—trash the trash.

If it does not fit, you must admit.

Whether you now need to size up (hello holidays!) or you have shredded your body down a size or two thanks to a new exercise regimen, do not hold on to ill-fitting clothes. It is ok to admit to yourself when a garment does not fit, regardless of condition or age. Unless the item is one that can be altered within reason at your tailor—think one size in a trouser waistline or moving a button on a blazer—the wrong size is the wrong size. Get rid of it.

Keep a seasonal bin.

Some items in your wardrobe stand the test of the seasons and can easily compliment a Summer look just as well as a Winter outfit. But certain fabrics, weights and styles simply do not translate from one season to the next. (Obviously this applies mainly to geographies with changes in weather.) Now that we are in Fall and colder weather has moved into places like the Northeast, it is time to objectively pull out and store the Spring and Summer styles that you will not or should not use. For fabrics, fold up and store your linen clothing and seersuckers. They look great, but really do not translate well into looks based on heavier cold weather fabrics. Style-wise, short sleeves (besides T-shirts) should be forgotten until the flowers bloom again next year, as should shorts and any beachwear. These items will all just add to the distraction of choosing your daily outfits even without really considering them.

Breaking up shouldn't be hard to do

The bottom line is, whether you are breaking up with bad clothes permanently, or just saying, "until we meet again," if you keep your wardrobe appropriate, updated and leaner, the daily ritual of dressing becomes less a chore and allows you a few moments more to thoughtfully edit your daily wear. Eventually, the "break ups" become easier to accept because you look forward to the next opportunity to look your best with your best items at the ready.

Robert Babigian is owner of WHARF Clothing & Wares, a menswear retail boutique located at 212 Westminster Street in Providence, RI. A native Rhode Islander, Rob started WHARF after 2 decades in marketing and sales to fulfill his desire to combine his loves of consumer branding, small business and style that would fulfill a niche for desirable men's clothing in the Providence market. The apparel and accessories found at WHARF reflect Rob's own personal aesthetic—a combination of traditional New England staples mixed with modern fits, construction and fabrics blended together with a touch of European style. For more tips or to shop the store, stop in and see Rob and his staff or reach them online at shopwharf.com.


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