Spring Wardrobe Purge

Having nothing else to do this past weekend, and feeling a little cluttered, I decided to tackle one of those back-burner projects and weed through my wardrobe. Time to toss the things I really haven’t worn in a year…or two…or five. I’m not a snazzy dresser – I’m very much a jeans-and-T-shirt kind of girl – and I’m amazed by the sorts of things that I’ll occasionally acquire, never wear, and hang onto for years. Why do I keep them? Do I secretly think they’re really awesome? In what circumstances would I ever, ever actually don such garments and leave the house? No more. I am going to part with them, and you are all going to witness it. Let’s begin:

Greg Brady’s pants make an excellent shirt.

Why yes, I do take sartorial inspiration from 12-year-old boys in the ’70s. And incidentally, jeans are best when they are shapeless, made of faded denim, and about to fall off your hipbones. Everyone, meet my underwear.

It may think it was a dress.

Once upon a time, this was a sundress (a strange, polyester, layered affair from B. Moss) with a peculiar fluttery skirt. I never wore it because it was heinous…

Ah, the craftsmanship.

…until one day, I came up with the brilliant solution of simply hacking it into a top! Resourceful! It would have undoubtedly have become a staple in my summer wardrobe, except…oooh…

Damn! Get that girl a bra!

Unfortunately, I have never been a lady of effortless buoyancy. It took a lot of years and a lot of tops before I fully owned that fact, but I’ve finally accepted it. Into the garbage with you, odd rag item.

A bra…like THIS??!!

Well, that’s just the least functional tank top ever, isn’t it? Good thing I have four of them, in different colors! (I can never resist a 2-for-$1 deal at Rainbow.)

And speaking of rainbows…




“Whatcha wearing?”


“Oh, Elizabeth.”

“Okay, I know, but just hear me out on this one–”


“See, I think it’s kind of funny.”

“Take it off, and back away from it.”

“You don’t think it’s funny? Like, I got it at a thrift store, and it’s all…it’s, it’s funny. Right?”

“If by funny, you mean tragic. Throw it the hell out. I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation.”

Yes, pray you get your eyesight back.

This shirt is multi-functional (provided you’re a habitually drunken retiree living in a Miami seniors’ community): when you’ve finished doing tai chi by the pool, you can wear it right over to the slot machines.

Also, hey fellas — the hott, beige bra is back!

Oh, no! A rabid zebra is on the loose!

Quick – call all the children indoors, and send Atticus out with the shotgun!

Is this a risk I can afford?

So, I’ve been carrying this duster around for about four years now, and I’ve never once worn it. I know it’s hard to see in this photo, but it’s a hunter green, super cheapo duster with brass buttons, rivets (I shit you not), and flowers embroidered on the sides.

I sort of think it’s awesome.

But it has no pockets, it’s way too thin for cold weather and too major for warm, and beyond just that, if you want to make a joke with your clothes, you really have to be in the habit of making statements with them in general. If you wear big, fashiony outfits most of the time, and then you wear something sort of peculiar, people think, “Quirky!”

If, on the other hand, you wear jeans and T-shirts 364 days of the year, and then show up in an embroidered duster, people think, “Aww, poor thing. Don’t stare.”

I never went to Mannes.

This sweatshirt is boring, but I include it because it represents an entire genre of clothes people can’t get rid of: other people’s items. I borrowed this sweatshirt to walk home from a friend’s house in the cold one time, and that is the only time it’s ever been worn. It’s bulky, and I’ll never wear it, but I keep it because it’s not really mine to throw away. We all have clothes like this – mostly stuff some ex never picked up – and we keep them forever, as if three states over and ten years later, that person is suddenly going to show up at the door and be like, “Where’s my flannel?”

Moving on, I also hang onto old work uniforms because, hey, who knows? Maybe one day I’ll once again work in an environment where I have to wear an ill-fitting polyester vest and tie every day! However, this reasoning ignores the crucial fact that if I ever really do have to take such a job again…

Never again.

…I will fucking kill myself.

So, I’m going to err on the side of optimism here, and throw this stuff out.

Why won’t this shirt die?

Here we have a plain blue cotton muscle-T made by Haynes. It’s enormous, bleach-stained and ancient, and it is noteworthy, because not only have I been wearing it since junior high school, but I originally stole it from my mother, who had herself been wearing it since the late ’70s. What is the deal with this Haynes T? Why the endless allegiance? Did this T-shirt at some point save someone in my family’s life? Has it been foreseen that it will bring us great wealth? Was it, like, touched at some point by a Beatle? Into the garbage with it.


Best. T-shirt. Ever!!

As I was taking the above photo, I began to notice how comfy the shirt was, and how if you sort of squinted, it made my biceps look a little Kate-on-Lost-ish. And I thought, “Why haven’t I been wearing this?” And so, it was spared the trash heap for another year.

I’m seriously wearing it right now.

I have no excuse.

Apparently, not even my sock drawer is free from a horrifying lack of judgment.

I…don’t even know what to say, really. I’ll just apologize, and we’ll move on.

Oooh, strike two!

Yeah, like I’m really ever going to wear navy blue, knitted, over-the-knee socks.

Except that, whoops, I actually did wear them:

Happy New Year’s, boys!!

Moral here being: always get dressed before you get drunk.

These were all the rage on the backpacker trail.

I bought these wrap pants in China, and I should have left them there. However, they provide an excellent opportunity for me to impart a little wisdom I picked up: how to pee in wrap pants without taking them off (assuming you’re using a squat toilet, which, if you’re in America, you won’t be). I had been going through the exhausting procedure of taking these on and off every time I had to pee (especially harrowing during five-second pit stops in the middle of a nine-hour bus ride, when everybody else just pees in the ditch and you have to run all over a village looking wildly for a toilet, and then when you finally find it and convince the owners to let you use it, and haggle over the fee, and get in there, you hear the bus honking and realize you have less than a second to relieve yourself before you’re totally stranded in the middle of Laos…I mean, how many times has this happened to you, am I right?), until an older, wiser backpacker showed me a tip that was one of the most helpful things I learned on the road, and I now pass it along to you:

How To Pee In Wrap Pants: A Tutorial

Step One:

Step One

Knot up one pant-leg, so it’s out of the way, and won’t drag around on the gross, potty-floor.

Step Two:

Step Two

Pull the fabric of the other leg apart at the gap, pull it up as high as you can, and hold it firmly there with your non-dominant hand (which, I’m right-handed, so I’ve got the wrong hand going in this photo).

Step Three:

Step Three: Break it down, now!

Finally, go into a deep, wide-legged squat, and using your dominant hand, grab the crotch of your pants and underwear and haul all of it way over to one side. You know the rest.

Incidentally, I realize I’m not even squatting in this photo, and look a lot less like I’m demonstrating Step Three and more like I’m slam-dancing in a diaper, or perhaps playing Puck in an under-funded Community Parks’ production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but this was the only photo I took of this step that didn’t look frankly pornographic (and has the added advantage of my face not even being in the shot). While I may not have much dignity left, I have just scrap enough to give me pause before unleashing a photo of myself grabbing around in my crotchtal region onto the Internet. I’m sure I’ll be grateful for this foresight one day in the future, when I decide to finally get serious and run for public office.

Well done, me. Well done, all around.


  1. Jill says:

    LOL! Now I know how to pee in wrap pants!!


  2. Quiconque says:

    Thank you for the pee tutorial. I went through similar difficulty in Paris, desperately running through the streets, looking for a late-night cafe, finding a 2F coin to open the bathroom, only to be faced with what looked (to me, at least) like a sink in the middle of the floor. Welcome to la toilette turc!

    As for your socks, well, I believe they are one of the few items where one can get away with sartorial whimsy. Just be sure to wear long pants, too.


  3. Hop says:

    You should do clothing swaps! It’s not just for big ol’ hippies anymore. It’s a great way to indulge in a misplaced love of collecting other people’s used clothes while providing a handy regular outlet to get rid of said clothes. And they usually have cookies. You never have to throw anything out ever again, yet you can guiltlessly rid yourself of the closet hideousness we all harbor.


  4. Sara B says:

    I have read this post a ridiculous number of times, because the peeing instructions always make me laugh.


  5. Barb says:

    Oh I laughed so hard reading this! I have some serious uglies in my closet and am in the process of cleaning it all out, I would honestly die of embarrassment if anyone saw any of it!!! And I’ve actually worn this stuff out in public! Anyway, thanks for the laugh.. the wrap pant pee is hilarious!!


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