Minimalist Challenge: The Argyle Closet Monster


I have way too much clothes.

There, I admitted it. Isn’t that the first step?

Frankly, I know that I dont have as much as some of my friends do, and I rarely shop compared to girls I know. My clothing overload comes from hoarding.

Call up TLC and A&E cause this girl has an issue of letting go for the sake of letting go.

Seriously, I look at a fairly worn work shirt and reflect on the 3 months of wear time it most likely got. It has memory, attachment, and symbolism to it. This particular shirt was bought before I started student teaching and placed in the category of: Teacher Clothes. It had a title- a purpose. And, for the most part, it fit that role …

… Until it shrunk. Now I cant lift my arms without it exposing my belly. I haven’t worn it since I finished student teaching (about a year and a half ago), and it has been moved around from three closets till it met it’s final resting place.

Now, instead of being a trendy, versatile piece of highly sought after fashion, it has become a symbol of my biggest fear: letting go. Cue internal argument:

“It’s teacher clothing, so maybe, whenever/if I get back to teaching, I could try it out again. Maybe if I lost weight it would fit better. Or, I could always wear an undershirt under it. OR I might need it one day. Seriously… the argyle sweater look is always in fashion!

Kanye gets it!


I need help, so I of course turn to the Gods of the Closet, the ones every 22-30 year old girl looks up to:

Comfortable is a four letter word.

Yep, this is a WWC&SD situation (What Would Clinton and Stacey Do?).

According to their book, building a minimalist, standards-based closet requires these items:

Black pantsuit
Softer neutral suit with pants or skirt (gray, brown, khaki, or navy)


Black dress

Solid color dress

Print or embellished dress

Tops 3 cotton button-front shirts
3 blouses
2 sparkly tops

6 sweaters (3 neutral, 3 color, and vary necklines: crew, V-neck, cardigan)
3 blazers (1 summer weight, 1 three-season weight, 1 winter weight)

Bottoms 3 pairs of neutral trousers
3 winter-weight skirts (1 should be a tweed)
3 summer-weight skirts (1 should be a tweed)
3 pairs of jeans (all hemmed to different lengths, for flats, heels, and sandals)

Outerwear Leather jacket
Denim jacket

Trench coat
¾ length wool coat

Watch with two bands (leather and link)

Black bag
Brown bag
Color or print bag

Black heels

Brown heels

Color or print embellished heels

Black boots
Brown boots

To be fair, I have about 80% of that and more. But heels and me dont go far. I also need to ask why so much tweed and sparkly tops? Whatever, I dont question WNTW style.

In order to stick to my minimalist reordering of my life, I’ve started to clear out my closet by using this list. Before I moved, I got rid of 3 garbage bags full of clothing alone, yet, I still have those argyle print stragglers.

Now that I am buying clothing that is more appropriate to my current work situation, I have decided to follow one simple rule: For each item of clothing I buy, I must give away one of equal value to a charity or drive. This rule does not include under garments.

So, when I finally got the nerve to try on a pair of skinny jeans from NY&Co, it was with the thought that I would finally be saying goodbye to that argyle monstrosity. And then, because it was a two for one pant deal at the store, I picked out a pair of work appropriate, flair jeans, so gone goes another similar fated sweater top I purchased in high school.

Maybe this anti-hoarding thing wont be so hard after all… if it means Stacey and Clinton shopping time.

What articles of clothing have you kept around past it’s prime? Do you donate? What about the WNTW essentials list, do you see anything I shouldn’t purchase?


One response »

  1. I definitely have clothing that I've kept forever. I used to have this tshirt from Disney that had tigger on it that my mom finally threw out on me when I was away in college. I had it since I was ten and it was still oversized on me (I wore it to bed). I wore it down that it was a super comfy tshirt…minus the rips around the color it formed. I only keep around comfy clothing that I lounge around in. Like a hoody I've had since jr high! I donate my clothes — now that I have 'nicer clothes' they go into three different donation piles. The nicest of my clothes that I don't wear (bc I do finally get rid of them) goes to places where I get money for them (Clothes Mentor, Platos Closet, etc). The nice stuff but worn down goes to Goodwill and then the things that have tears at the bottom of the jeans or just too warn to sell for a decent price go to St Vincent DePaul or Amvets (who picks up the clothes in a garbage bag). What you shouldn't buy? 3/4 sleeve coat or the tweeds — I undersatnd they have great style but we're in Chicago where we go from extreme heat to bitter cold (not always but we don't have fall for 5 months). So I think it would be a waste of time. Spring/Fall jacket would make more sense with a scarf. Ps where is their suggestion for a scarf? A scarf is everything when it comes to the winter/fall! and there is my two bits 🙂

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