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  • Chris Mads

Clearing out the wardrobe

“The first step in solving any problem is recognising there is one.”

This sentiment has been expressed in many forms and outlets, though possibly never better than by Jeff Daniels in the opening scene of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom – yes I’m a journalistic cliché, but if you’ve not seen it then watch it here.

Anyhow, recently I invited you to join me in a trip as I try to fix my wardrobe and style credentials after years slumming in the back alleys of ill-fitting jeans and shirts which look like I’ve borrowed them from a larger relative.

The first step in this operation was a wholesale clearout of my wardrobe. Since moving into my own place almost four years ago I have done away with some of the worst vestiges of my former outfits (loose-fitting, straight-leg ripped jeans have gone) but I have accumulated far too many things I don’t – or shouldn’t – wear.

So I threw open the doors, everything went on the bed and had to earn its place back in the wardrobe. First up? The shirts

A few of these earned their place immediately, they are my daily go-tos and I’d be annoyed if I ruined them. Others have a specific purpose, but I realised that some of those need replacing with better fitting versions. There is no use having a single-use shirt if you won’t relish that use.

In general I applied a version of the theory espoused by Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side – if you don’t love it now then you probably won’t when it comes to wearing it.

Though there are a few items which had crept in and were easily dismissed, such as this shirt which was bought for a show and which S tells me off for even joking about wearing.

Harry Styles may get away with outrageous prints, but I’m starting small.

Anything which didn’t make the cut, either for fit or style, was discarded into piles for recycling, donation and selling.

Next up? The waistcoats, jackets and suits. I went through a real phase with waistcoats and jackets a few years ago, but my interest in them has dwindled – aside from the almost daily three-piece suit.

A few of them still have a use as one-off statement pieces I decided, but a fair few of them have done their stint with me; though trying them on did create a couple of interesting looks.

Reckon I could join a 2011 indie band?

The final job was the suits. These actually were pretty quick. I wear them most days so if one has not been worn in a month then it probably doesn’t have a use anymore.

This bit did throw up my biggest dilemma though. This Ben Sherman, three-button number is a lovely piece, but it would need some tailoring to be used. What do you think? Worth keeping?

There you have it. Stage one done. Now only the essentials remain and it’s time to build up around them.


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