Do You Have Clothes You Never Wear?

I’'ve always had two fairly distinct groups of clothes: those I wear and those I don’t wear. As long as an article of clothing is roughly the right size, reasonably comfortable, a good color, and not of an unusual style, I’ll wear it until it falls apart. I have pants and shirts that I wear every week.

Then I have the clothes I never wear. Clothes I’ve gotten as gifts are much more likely to fall in this category. One really major defect, or a combination of minor defects, are enough to consign an article of clothing to this sad fate. I had a shirt that I bought at Stein Mart primarily because it had been $200 and was on sale for $20. The trouble was, it was stupid looking - sort of a flannel-looking shirt (but made of very fine wool) with calfskin elbow patches. I thought I’d wear it open, with a T-shirt under it, but it was just huge. I took that shirt with me for at least four moves before I finally chucked it. Then there are the T-shirts with logos or sayings that seemed funny when I bought the shirt, but stopped being funny about 30 seconds after I got it home. I have an absolutely hideous T-shirt with a Rastafarian Beavis and Butthead that I bought in the Bahamas for $4 from a lady with a beard. (Actually, I knew I’d never wear that shirt when I bought it, I just wanted to own it.)

Gimmicky clothes always wind up in the reject bin. Those variously designed adjustable-waistband pants never look quite right. I also have some underwear with sort of an elastic-guard covering the waistband. It does keep the elastic from digging into my skin, but it also makes the waistband roll over, which is just as uncomfortable. Then there are the various attempts at cheap shoes. I see a pair of decent looking shoes for under $30, and hope triumphs over experience and I buy them. After one wearing I have blisters the size of half dollars and to the back of the closet they go.

I’ve known for years that the only jeans that really fit me are Levi’s. But if American Eagle has a sale — look out. Then I get them home and they’re too tight in the thigh, too wide at the leg, and they are never seen again.

Then there are the dress shirts. Luckily, I don’t have to dress up for work, but I still like to wear a dress shirt open at the collar most days. But I’m short, and every dress shirt I’ve ever bought off the shelf makes me look like a walking tent with a head sticking out the top. I’ve almost weaned myself from the off-the-shelf dress shirt, but there are three or four in my closet right now. Then there is the dreaded stove-pipe effect with hemmed pants. You short guys know what I’m talking about.

The weird psychological thing is that I can go to my closet right now and pick out clothes that I know I’ll never wear. Yet I can’t bring myself to throw them out or send them to Goodwill. So they just sit there, year after year, some hung up, some on the shelf. Because they never get worn, they never wear out, so they just sort of accumulate. I’d estimate 30-40% of my clothes are in the “never gonna wear” category.

Oh, lord, how. I have clothes I almost wear. I put them on and wear something else. I’ve been trying very hard to get rid of these - they’re too short, they shrank, I like them theoretically but they’re unflattering, etc. - but why the hell do I even own them to start with?

The only clothes I have that I don’t wear are the things that no longer fit. And there are ***a lot ***of them.

No, because I hate waste.

Every 6 to 12 months I go through my closets and give away to charity anyhing I haven’t worn since last time and won’t wear in the future. Hanging on to them would seem both stupid and selfish.

I have a few t-shirts of great sentimental value I don’t wear but I keep. I have a cape from my deceased grandmother. I have the kilt I wore when I played bagpipes which I again, keep for the memories. I have the front half of the t-shirt I was wearing the day I first soloed an airplane. Some people have scrap books. I have a corner of my closet.

If they just don’t fit, though, or are a style I no longer like and have no sentimental value they go to Goodwill.

I really need to go through my cupboards and get rid of a load of stuff. There’s the “fat” stuff which I’m determined never to fit into again, then there’s the “really thin” stuff which I fear I’ll never fit into again, then there’s the weird stuff which I just don’t wear. But I do the sentimental clothes thing too; I have far too many items which I can’t wear (usually because it’s worn completely thin) but I can’t throw away. Every couple of years I do try to take some stuff to the charity shop. It’s time again now.

I argue with myself all the time about keeping clothes I hate. They shrank, got a spot only I can see, or a tiny pinhole in the back. So they are “gardening and painting” clothes. But every time I’m gardening or painting I find myself mussing up something newer anyway.

So, thanks to this thread and my having to state it in black and white, I will toss them with no regrets.

  • Thanks! *

It’s not wasteful unless you throw out something wearable, unless you want to get picky and count the wasted storage space.

I certainly do, and I hate it. How I would love to have maybe ten outfits hanging in my closet.
My mom and aunts give me hand-me-downs. I buy things from catalogs that end up not fitting even though the same item I bought at the store fits. I buy stuff on a whim. Then there’s all the stuff I’ve gotten too fat for.
I give away clothing by the bagfull every year or two. I hope the people like it.

I do this myself, but to deal with clutter more than waste. The only problem is I have a few articles of clothing I know I would wear if only I had something to wear with them. It was a great personal victory yesterday when I found a top to go with a skirt I’d bought two or three years ago.

Over the last 20 years I have been of varying weights with a delta of 160lbs from highest to lowest. I have lots and lots of clothing from all the various weights.

Oddly, just this morning I started gathering up clothing to donate to charity.

No it’s wasteful because, before I did this regularly, things used to become unwearable sitting in the closet for years and then would be thrown out. I’d rather someone else had worn them in the time they were acquiring age stains.

And I never thought I’d have that whole “closet full of sizes” thing going on, but then I hit my mid-20’s. :slight_smile: I finally donated all the size 2 things. I guess I should do the same to the 4 and 6 crowd. But also the 12s.

I just did the “one year rule” thing in my closets, for the first time in a decade or more. Got rid of a lot of stuff, especially old dress shirts and pants that were in my wardrobe before I’d become more discerning about proper fit and cut. Got rid of all of my jeans. They may be a wardrobe staple, but I never wear them… if I need casual pants, I have chinos and khakis which are far more comfortable than denim.

I did make a few exceptions, of course. I kept my old military pea coats and overcoats of various vintages… they don’t get worn much any more, but they’re still neat. Souvenir and goofy t-shirts with sentimental value got packed into a plastic tote. I may not wear them, but I still smile or get a chuckle when looking at them, so they’re not going to waste by not being worn.

Overall, I ended up with a lot of room… perfect for storing new clothes!

(Incidentally, for those who have relatively unusable, unwearable clothes to get rid of, Goodwill-- and probably other charity thrifts-- sells bales of unsellable clothing to recyclers; they profit, and the goods are reused. So, it’s worthwhile to donate whatever you cull from your closets, as very little goes to waste. May want to call a donation center to find out what their policy is.)

I’ve, er, “outgrown” my suits (outgrown them horizontally, not vertically), which I still keep back in our storage area. Only politicians and bankers wear suits here anyway. Just too friggin’ hot for them. I did feel I should have something on hand that was sligthly upscale to wear, so I had a couple of pairs of new dress pants that fit made in January. They’ve been hanging in the closet ever since, not worn once. Can’t even remember the last time I wore a necktie. I’m in the fortunate position of dressing casual every day.

What is an age stain? I have T-shirts that are over 20 years old and none of them have developed any stains except where I spilled barbecue sauce on them.

Way too many but I’ll try to sum them up:

Wishful thinking clothes… when I lose thirty pounds I might just be able to get my ass into them.

WTF clothes… Usually bought when on a bender. Hey, they may look good on me next decade.

Out of style clothes…same as WTF clothes.

The above mentioned take up a good 3/4 of my closet space. I have about 10 outfits for work in regular rotation and about the same amount for leisure.

Welcome to my world. I have one closet in this house, and it is STUFFED with things I simply cannot seem to get rid of. Many garments are fabulous finds from the thrift store - silk/lace/chiffon/vintage collectibles that I maybe wore once. I also have a lot of duplicates - cotton slacks, white shirts, denim or chambray pieces - and I try to have a few current-fashion type things up front. Then there’s the steadily growing pile of stuff that needs fixing - shortening, new buttons, letting out or taking in. I did get rid of all my “work clothes” a few years after I quit work. And Mr. Salinqmind, every couple of years, culls the herd of too-small jeans, oversized LL Bean shirts that looked so good in the catalog, and relics from the 70’s (white jeans! aqua striped ties! fitted dress shirts with huge collars!). But as long as I can still fit stuff in and find it without too much trouble, well, I don’t care if the closet is full. Buying special items at the thrift store is my hobby, after all, and I’ll get around to the mending and alterations someday! (My daughter is her own special case. Her closet is full of baby clothes, graduation caps and gowns, half a doze prom gowns and shoes and accessories, and no less than 4 long leather coats that she never wears, plus her very own thrift store finds. She DOES get rid of stuff on a regular basis, but there’s never much room in her closet, ever.)

You never see the stains on anything you wear, even once in a while, and then wash, but things that sit on hangers for years accumulate all sorts of stains particularly if there are smokers in the house or you live near a railway line.

[music] passage of time [/music]

Well I just went upstairs to check all the stuff in my closet and none show signs of what I mean but honestly I used to regularly find light coloured shirts and jackets with permanent stains just from hanging in the closet.

I have two suits each worn once. One I bought in anticipation of my mother’s funeral and the secnd about 15 years later for my daughter’s wedding (my wife and daughter both insisted that the other one was out of date. Then I own three or four ties and I have worn one of the a few times in the last 30 years and the others not at all.

I hope they bury me in my jeans.