I saw a woman carrying a heap of dry cleaning in her arms the other day. As she passed me, plastic covers fluttering over her arms, lapping behind her in the wind, I gawked. I’d never seen that much dry cleaning all at once in my life.
It struck me that this is by design, of course. I make a point not to buy too many “dry clean only” clothes because, truth be told, I’m simply not going to have them cleaned according to directions too often. I like my laundry like I like my hairstyle – wash, and wear. The last item I had dry-cleaned was a dress I’d borrowed from a friend for a black tie wedding I attended. If it had been my own, I probably would have stuffed it in the back of my closet, waiting for the next occasion I had to get gussied up all formal-like (which, because I say things like “get gussied up,” is not a regular occurrence).
Last week, I talked about style resolutions to make in the new year. But as we leave the first of January in the rear view mirror, I think it’s worthwhile to adopt a few “never gonna happens” too. Call them your anti-resolutions.
The clothes in your closet should be realistic to your life outside. If they’re not compatible, stop buying them, and get rid of the ones that are in there now.
Maybe your girlfriend really wants you to wear skinny jeans with high tops like Justin Bieber (what, that’s only my dream for the man in my life?). Give her a firm “no,” then get back to your relaxed fit. Do you buy wool sweaters for warmth then shun them for being too itchy? Buy some heavy-duty thermals to layer under lightweight sweaters and forget your burly mountain man fashion aspirations. Never understood the allure of the double monk strap shoe even though men’s magazines go crazy for them? Just say no in favor of your beloved brogue wing tip.
Of course, this isn’t a pass to dress poorly. The jeans you do wear should still fit you properly – the “relaxed” fit should be relaxed within reason. The lightweight sweaters shouldn’t have any holes in the elbows. And be sure those wing tips are polished.
I think it comes down to being pragmatic about what you put in your closet. We spend enough time worrying about the uncertainties of life that it’s nice to take some of that uncertainty away. For me, that’s checking the care instruction tag on clothes I’m considering buying, since the dry clean only ones I buy end up ignored in the back of my closet. Think about you want to work on in your wardrobe for the next year, then think about what you want to forget – and make those your anti-resolutions.
Happy new year!