How The Styles Change

It’s that time of year where all the sweaters and corduroy pants are packed away during the warm months, being replaced with shorts and t-shirts and swim trunks I own but never wear because I hate water and assume all pools are filled with urine. Every spring and fall the clothing exchange program gets repeated – a ritual most people are familiar with, and everyone hates doing. Switching clothes is particularly important in Laura and I’s house, since our closets about the size of an upright coffin and our dressers are constantly full to the point they can barely open. We have a wide array of vacuum bags and and stash them out of sight wherever possible, until the next season when they reopen and  fill the air with wonderful aromas of cheap plastic as our clothes expand back to human size.

Part of anyone’s seasonal clothing swap is bagging up all the crap they don’t wear anymore (or never wore) and hauling it in 30 gallon trash bags to the nearest Goodwill drop box. Or if you’re like me, you still have last fall’s Goodwill bag in your trunk because when you went to drop it off at the box, you saw a guy stealing from it, and even though the clothes are given to the poor or sold for $1, you don’t like the idea of someone stealing it straight from the box and think it ought to go through the proper channels first, and you forgot you’ve been driving it around all winter, but you still don’t want to take it to the box on principle, especially after seeing what Penny and Bernadette and Amy did with the clothes in the box on The Big Bang Theory, and because taking it to the box would mean this really awesome complex run-on sentence couldn’t have happened.

tl;dr I still have last year’s clothes in my trunk.  Good thing I’m not a serial killer or Joe Pesci. I’d hate to slam a guy’s skull with a baseball bat and forget he’s in my trunk for 6 months.

The seasonal clothing switch is where you get the chance to unearth all your buried cotton treasures, question your sanity, question your taste in everything and feel ashamed at how poorly you managed the development of your wardrobe. This is when you realize how much crap you really do have, even though you can never find anything to wear.

“I have no jeans,” I’m likely to hear Laura say on an average weekend.
We will put at least 12 pairs of jeans in Goodwill bags. She has 18 more in the closet. They all look the same. Only girls think they don’t.
“What the fuck is all this, then?” I will reply.

I usually take the clothing switch as an opportunity to see how much my taste in clothes has changed from year to year. Ten years ago in high school, it was gigantic everything – Quicksilver pants, weird shirts from PacSun, that type of garbage. It was awful. I weighed 125 lb. and wore stuff bigger than my current clothes. Then in college I was all about looking like I was ready to address a political debate at any moment, with button-downs from the Gap, blazers and khakis every day. Now I equate the comfort of tucking in a shirt to being crucified naked in a supermarket, and will have none of it unless at a wedding or funeral.

When I sorted my spring gear this year, I packed up my mountains of wool sweaters and thick pants and placed my warm-weather tops in three piles: good shirts (washed and worn minimally, to preserve longevity), okay shirts (maybe a few years old but still in decent shape to wear in public) and crappy-only-wear-underneath-stuff-or-when-cleaning-the-bathroom-or-going-to-WalMart shirts (self-explanatory).

My clothing priorities are finally in line.  Here are a few of the headliners of the “good shirts” category:

Also, I feel like my grandmother when I use the word “tops” to describe shirts.  Let’s not do that again.


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