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After realizing that I’d become a clothes-hoarding fashion victim, I threw out everything and started over. This is the true story of how I became a menswear minimalist (and how you can, too).
Like any story of recovery and redemption, mine begins with a moment of clarity. I had been set up on a date. She was smart, with cute freckles, but it was clear from the first margarita that we had little in common. She lived uptown and went for guys who worked at Goldman; I had tattoos and wrote forGQ.Still, enough tequila can persuade two horny people to put aside their differences for a night.
In the morning, I awoke to find her standing over the bed, putting on her clothes in what appeared to be a race against time. “What's up?” I rolled over and asked, not entirely shocked she was running for the hills but disappointed we wouldn't at least have a morning canoodle. She fastened the hook on her bra, threw a blouse over her body, and kissed me on the forehead. I think there was pity in her voice when she told me she was leaving.
“By the way,” she said, “how do you have more clothes than any girl I know—and no TV?”
After the door slammed behind her, I looked around my studio apartment in the unforgiving morning light—at the hulking dresser stacked with folded dress shirts still in the plastic they came in; at the coat rack sagging under the weight of parkas, windbreakers, jean jackets, raincoats, and overcoats; at the ziggurat of boots, sneakers, and brogues stacked knee-high on the floor. Then there was my double-wide closet—stuffed with an auxiliary cache of shoes, plus more suits and sport coats than a Hollywood leading man could wear in a lifetime.
Uptown Girl was right: I had a problem. But she couldn't have known how deep it went, couldn't have known what clothes had come to mean to me—or what, on every level, they were hiding.