Editor's Note: Please welcome Joseph Ungoco, Stylewhipped's Men's Director. Joseph brings with him many years of fashion industry and editorial experience, and will be the voice for all of our male readers to follow! Joseph will bring you his expert opinion on men's fashion, accessories and even grooming. To read Joseph's full bio, click here! ~ Alison.
Setting aside those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and be more stylish for a moment, let’s address the most pressing issue afflicting well dressed men – limited closet space. Start off the New Year by clearing out your closet and making room for those stylish spring purchases you’re about - with my expert advice over the coming weeks - to start making. After all, deliveries of spring merchandise to retailers start next week. Those of us who follow the fashion calendar religiously have been in training since long before the holidays so as not to offend the mirror when we try on bathing suits in the dead of winter.
The easiest space maker is getting rid of things that you don’t wear. If you haven’t worn it in over a year, get rid of it. PERIOD! Let go of those “it has to go to a good home” and “I’m going to fit into it” excuses. What - are you auditioning for the fashion edition of Hoarders: Buried Alive? I use a three-tier system for disposing of old clothes. Basics go to local charities. Last season’s fashion items go to friends who live in second tier cities or relatives who live in third world countries where the fashion is a season or more behind. One-of-a-kind runway items are earmarked for museums. Come tax time, your accountant - and your bank account - will appreciate your charitable donations!
The dress shirt is the blank canvas upon which you paint a stylish portrait. Get rid of any shirts with stains that your cleaners haven’t been able to remove. Try your shirts on and button the collar. If you can’t breathe – if you can put two fingers or more in the collar – if the cuffs fall above the bones in your wrists – get rid of it. If the placket doesn’t lie flat and gaps between buttons – either because you’ve overworked your chest at the gym or let your spare tire run wild – get rid of it. If you sport a 40 mm or larger watch and your cuff won’t close around it, see if your tailor - unless you got a merit badge for sewing in Boy Scouts - can move the button. If not – you guessed it – GET RID OF IT!!!
January is a great time to look at your sweater collection which, of course, you keep stored flat in drawers or boxes, folded perfectly as though an invisible GAP employee with a folding board lives in your closet like the cousin of the little man who lives in the refrigerator and turns the light on when you open it. Inventory your fall and winter sweaters and send the fall ones off for cleaning and storage. Go ahead and call in your spring sweaters so you know what you have before you start buying the newest spring styles.
Stains, rips and moth holes go to charity. Dispose of any sweater whose waist rides above the waistband of your favorite jeans. Any sweater that features what fashion editors call “bracelet sleeves” has to go no matter if you’ve been building up your traps or your dry cleaner shrunk it. The whole point of a turtleneck is to feel snug and warm and to look sharp and stylish. Saggy t-necks are for sloppy dressers! Try misting the neck and cuffs of your favorite sweaters and run them in the dryer to refresh the fit. If that doesn’t work, it’s time for new ones.
I keep a strict “one in/one out” rule over my closet. I haven’t bought a hanger in years! Think of it as the more you give, the more you get to buy. If your closet looks a little empty after you apply my advice, fear not! I have many suggestions on how to update your look and create a more stylish you in 2012 and I’ll be sharing them in the coming weeks.