January 14, 2009

Out Of The Closet (And Into The Land Of The Normal-Nippled People)

A week or so ago, I figured it was about damn time to clean out my closet. I discovered this because Beth said it's about damn time you clean your closet. She was not, apparently, fond of the hammer and beer bottle that had been residing on one of my shelves for months nor was she particularly impressed by the pile of jeans that had accumulated on the floor. Picky, picky. So I put everything away and ran the pile of dirty work clothes to the cleaners. When I'd managed to put it all back together (and gotten my laundry back from the cleaners after paying their $93 ransom), I had the sudden realization that I'm something of a clotheshorse. In total, I had:

  • 42 work shirts
  • 24 pairs of pants
  • 11 suits
  • 12 pairs of shoes (two pairs of sneakers, one pair of Chucks, two pairs of Doc Martens and the rest work shoes)
  • 3 sport coats
  • 3 belts
  • 23 ties (the majority of my ties are actually located in my car where I immediately remove them once I'm done working for the day)
  • a random collection of old long sleeved non-work shirts, a few sweaters, jeans, a couple of fleece jackets, and a hoodie

It's quite a collection of clothes. Worst among all of them is the Magic Magnifying Nipple Shirt. I call it this because it's this khaki-colored collarless button-down shirt, the style of which was last popular in 1995, which renders it impossible to wear an undershirt with. Yet without one not only does it render one's nipples highly visible, it actually seems to magnify them. I imagine physicists everywhere would like to examine the dynamic and somewhat magical properties of this shirt. And, though hideous, I still own it.

The reasons I've hung onto the shirt so long are three-fold:

  • Fold One: I stole it from my dad. Okay, one day back in 1996 or something I was at my parents' house and needed a shirt so I lifted it and haven't since returned it. After 12 years, I'm guessing he's forgotten about it so I've failed to mention or return it. Nor, honestly, do I want to enable my father to magically magnify his nipples. I'd actually like to forget my father has nipples. I'm not sure why.
  • Fold Two: One day science might need it. Maybe in the future when we all have - through natural selection, Darwinism or some shit - small nipples, science will need a way to magnify them and return them to their former glory. Then I will have the key.
  • Fold Three: Some Halloween I might want to go trick-or-treating as Huge Nipple Man. Or something.

Yet in spite of all these things I realize that it's not doing any good to anyone hanging in my closet. So I think the most appropriate thing to do is donate it. If you see a large-nippled homeless man dressed like its 1995, you'll know why.

What's in your closet? And what's the most embarrassing piece of clothing you own but can't throw away?

Posted by Chris at January 14, 2009 7:02 AM

Seriously? People's closets look like that? I need help then.

That could be a good blogger thing-y - take pictures of your closets. Hmmmm. Am I on to something?

Posted by: Sharri at January 14, 2009 7:26 AM

Chris, as quickly as you can, take this shirt and burn it! Do you want Owen to be tempted to lift this shirt and thus be wandering around with magnified nipples? **Gasp** Perish the thought!
I have to add here, that this is a problem women have had for years. Many of us have discovered the "petal bra" and nipples seem to vanish! However, you don't look like the "petal" type, so I'm thinking my first suggestion is a good one!

Posted by: Maribeth at January 14, 2009 7:46 AM

I'm jealous of your closet.

I have about 25 suits, 10 slacks, 10+ sweaters, and the list goes on. My husband has double the number of clothes.

Posted by: Maria at January 14, 2009 8:07 AM

I am so envious of your closet! I would kill for a closet that size.

My husband is not a clothes whore, but I love buying shirts and ties so he has quite a few. He probably has close to if not more than 100 ties. Its an addiction, I can't stop buying them! He has to wear a suit to work everyday and I like to keep him well dressed. He and the other detectives like to compete who dresses nicer. I did buy him a seersucker suit last year and he still gets teased about his "southern lawyer suit". It's awesome.

I have some really horrible clothes I hang on to. I have a crochet sweater. With black fringe beads hanging off the sleeves. Its horrible. I recently saw a picture of me wearing it back in 2003 and yelled at my friends for letting me out of the house in it!

Posted by: Lisa at January 14, 2009 8:16 AM

Come on Chris. Did you really think we wanted to see a photo of your closet? You in the shirt would've been much more entertaining! Go a head, you know you want to.

Posted by: Tailynn at January 14, 2009 8:31 AM

I have a shirt that was my dad's from when he was in the Marines in 1968. One of those green military issue uniform-type shirts? I LOVE that thing, and wear it around the house all the time. You couldn't pay me to get rid of it.

Otherwise, my closet is tiny and it's FULL FULL FULL. I have tons of clothes, about 20% of which I wear. I really should clean it out...thanks for the reminder.

Posted by: Alissa at January 14, 2009 8:45 AM

Not much, really. Very small closets. I'm definitely not a clothes horse because, basically, there's no need to be. I can pretty much show up wrapped in a sheet and grad school would continue moving forward unabated.

As for the most embarrassing, well, I don't through things away and, therefore, have a fair number of shirts and pants with holes in them. Not realizing this recently, I grabbed a pair of jeans with a rather large hole in the ass-ical region, which I discovered later upon un-assing myself fromt the jeans. I consider that day's unobstructed view of my boxer-briefed ass my gift to everyone.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at January 14, 2009 8:50 AM

I can't seem to get rid of a pair of jeans from high school...with rhinestones. I doubt they would fit...but even if they would do I think I would really wear them? And yet they seem to have a permanent home in my closet.

Ok, when do we see the picture of you in that shirt? Maybe as a next Monday pick-me up...

Posted by: diane at January 14, 2009 9:24 AM

HO. LEE. SHIT. That's a lot of clothes for a man. Or maybe I'm just disproportionately unclothed. But seriously, all I can think about is how much money all of those suits, pants, work shirts cost. Granted, I don't have to wear a suit every day so my opinion would certainly shift if I'd worn the same 3 over and over for years. :)

Beth's turn to reveal!

Posted by: Brad at January 14, 2009 9:35 AM

As a current student of Physics, I am very interested in this shirt. I find, however that (being of a scientific mind) I need more data, specifically, a picture of you in this shirt. Come on, it's for science!

Posted by: Cassandra at January 14, 2009 9:57 AM

Considering all of my wearable clothes are piled in and on top of my laundry basket (and strangely enough I will make a concerted effort to put all of hubby's clothing away, WTF with that? LOL) I'm thinking I need to take a vacation to just clean my closet out!

Posted by: Michelle at January 14, 2009 10:10 AM

In high school, I didn't have a winter coat. Or, rather, my parents refused to buy me the winter coat I really wanted (those inconsiderate parents! with their food giving and shelter providing! I needed that coat! No, not that one! The special coat!). Anyway, since I lived in western Michigan, it would get cold, as you might imagine. So I went into my dad's closet, rifled through, selected several lined flannel shirts, sort of like the ones worn by lumberjacks, and wore those. Layered. One right on top of the other. Everywhere I went. For the eight months that was winter in the midwest.

I was cool.

I still have two of those flannels. I refuse to throw them out. Why do I keep them? I don't know. I guess I just can't let go of my high school memories that way.

Posted by: NGS at January 14, 2009 10:45 AM

Maybe you can do something what Janet Jackson did at the superbowl fiasco; you can wear nipple protectors. You can get them in plain white. For the nipple shirt, of course.

I am a minimalist. I own 2 skirts, 10 sweaters, 5 tops, 4 jeans, 3 dress pants and about 20 pairs of shoes.

Posted by: Anica at January 14, 2009 11:15 AM

I have 3 closets...one of which is a walk-in I have 1/2 of...but still need more room. The gowns,which I wear to the ballet, have an entire closet of their own.

Most embarassing thing: TIE--black leather pants @ black leather mini-skirt. Not that embarassing if I was 22 or even near my 20s, but as I am 38 and a college professor...these will never see the light of day again (even though they still fit).

Posted by: Krush at January 14, 2009 11:46 AM

In case there is an accident that causes permanent and irreparable damage to the shirt, you owe it to science to photograph yourself in it so that the future of mankind can be saved.

(Oh, and you have to post it online so it can be cached by google, you know, in case your hard drive crashes.)

Posted by: SciFi Dad at January 14, 2009 11:51 AM

You have YOUR OWN walk in? You realize that you have the best wife ever and that you need to hold on to her tightly, right?

We are not discussing my closet. (His closet. Girly bitch that he is.) I just can't go there.

Posted by: Mr Lady at January 14, 2009 12:35 PM

I still have the top half of one of my cheerleader uniforms. It is THIRTY years old, and yet, I keep it it. Granted, it hasn't seen the light of day in at least a decade (maybe two), but still. Yikes, huh?

Posted by: Elise at January 14, 2009 12:40 PM

I'm sorry, was there ... a question? I'm too busy drooling over your closet space. Waaaant.

Posted by: Fraulein N at January 14, 2009 1:06 PM

The long side of my closet is organized by sleeve lenth. The top has all long sleeves and sweatshirts, the bottom pole has tank tops and shirt sleeves. I really waver on where to put the 3/4 length sleeved shirts. I have HUNDREDS of pairs of shoes. My jewelry armoire is in there (don't tell any robbers) and all of my purses that aren't in season. My husbands side is arranged the same way...although his tank top selection includes 2 items. His shoes are under his shirt rack. Straight on in the middle is the pants rack and the sweater/maternity shelves. All of his pants hang on the left near his side shirt rack, and mine on the right. Above is my sweater shelf, and above that are all of my maternity clothes...and a small space for about 6 robes, 4 mine, 2 his.
Wow - I can't believe I just typed that out! So, you wanted to know the craziest thing I have in my closet that i can't seem to part with? Okay, well, its a part of glitter platform sandals. They are literally covered in silver glitter, and I have a matching belt. I wore them to homecoming my senior year, when all the girls, instead of dress up pretty, dress up trashy....I know. I should stop talking now. :)

Posted by: Kristin at January 14, 2009 2:00 PM

We're in closet-cleaning mode at our house, too. In all seriousness, there are more than 100 pieces coming out between the two of us.

And I contributed 5 to that number.


Posted by: whall at January 14, 2009 2:18 PM


Posted by: GreenCanary at January 14, 2009 2:19 PM

If you took the number of work shirts in your closet, and replaced them with tshirts of various colors, that would define my closet (granted, I don't have to wear suits to work, but still). And I still have a sleeveless tshirt from a Fixx concert (their 1984 "Reach the Beach" tour, no less) that I just can't seem to get rid of, even though its been decades since it fit me.

Posted by: j at January 14, 2009 3:50 PM

I just last week threw away my t-shirt from Fish Camp (freshmen orientation kinda at Texas A&M) from 1992. I L-O-V-E-D that shirt, but my husband kept complaining when I would sleep in it, which is all it was fit to do anymore. Sigh. The things we do for those we love.

Posted by: donna at January 14, 2009 3:50 PM

I've been attempting to get rid of clothes as they become tired, out of style, stretched out etc. An excuse to buy more! ;p

Posted by: Hope at January 14, 2009 4:01 PM

I have a lot of pre-baby, size 1/2 clothing that may never fit me again but I can't bear to part with it. I guess because I have trouble accepting the idea that I may never fit into them again.

But anyway, that's a lot of clothing - do you wear all of them? I ask because both my husband and I have full closets but really we only wear like 8% of our wardrobe on a daily basis.

Posted by: Rengirl at January 14, 2009 4:18 PM

I was hoping to see the t-shirt collection. You've got some beauties!

Posted by: k8 at January 14, 2009 5:02 PM

OK, so you also store empty beer receptacles in the closet. Perhaps I HAVE been too hard on my hubby. Please tell, do you also leave beer receptacles in the shower - or am I just lucky to have to live with that?

Posted by: del at January 14, 2009 5:38 PM

I live zen or sparten like. Not so many clothes. The salvation army or thrift shops love that stuff.

Although people tell me I have to buy new clothes.

Posted by: Ole Blue at January 14, 2009 6:54 PM

Are you sure you meant clothesHORSE and not clothesWHORE?

I have way too much clothing myself and it is organized and hanging nicely because if it wasn't, I wouldn't be able to walk into my walk-in closet. My husband's clothes stay organized because *I* keep them organized... that, and I've trained him. ;o)

Oh, and there might be a skeleton or two way back in the corner, but I'll never tell.

Posted by: ironic1 at January 14, 2009 6:56 PM

My hubby cleans his side only when I nag him endlessly. Highly recommend The Container Store should you ever redo your closet. We've bought the supplies and redone several of ours over the years.

Our latest closet redo is below of our master closet in the new home with pictures.


I saved most of my Air Force uniforms. They sit collecting dust in the guest room closet. I can't seem to toss them despite the fact that I can't fit into them and there is no legitimate reason to keep them.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at January 14, 2009 7:00 PM

P.S. Chris, I can't believe you counted your clothes.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at January 14, 2009 7:01 PM

I am so freaking envious of your huge closet! Mine is so tiny that only half of my clothes fit it in... everything not prone to wrinkle is folded and stuck on shelves outside the closet.

Posted by: Debra at January 14, 2009 7:38 PM

please to get rid of the collarless shirt. PLEASE.

i still have my wedding shoes in my closet. not sure what on earth i'm going to do with WHITE mary janes...but, i don't know, feels wrong to get rid of 'em.

Posted by: ali at January 14, 2009 8:03 PM

Recently cleansed the closet for the Lupus Foundation that drops off clothes-collection bags at your door AND picks them up!
One ratty pair of brown sweat pants I got in good shape off the $1 table at a second-hand store in Farmington, ME- now paint splattered from August 07 and the elastic just went in one ankle!
Fiance cracked me up the first few months we were dating- had to go under his bed for something and found all of these pairs of jeans, some even with the tags, he forgot all about.
He also claims to have upwards of 100 T-shirts in the basement.
He's pretty OCD about cleaning, but also sentimental and a little bit of a clothes horse. He claims to have upwards of 100 T-shirts in his basement.
FYI Fiance- they are not moving to the new house with us! ;-)

Posted by: Karen at January 14, 2009 8:12 PM

I used to own a pair of burnt orange cords. I loved them. Wife hated them. So they magically made their way to Goodwill. I am still searching for them.

Posted by: DC Urban Dad at January 14, 2009 9:30 PM

he he he [:D]

thats hilarious.. Big nipple shirt eh [:P]

Posted by: apoo at January 15, 2009 4:24 AM

As I think several others have pointed out I do believe it's clothes whore and not horse. Beyond that you have a very nice and well organized closet. Now let's keep it that way.

I actually need to go through mine, I have suits that are 6 inches too small in the waist and about 3 inches too small in the chest. I keep them as hope, but the reality is I should give them away and lose the weight first... then get new suits!

Posted by: Johnny Smoke at January 15, 2009 1:24 PM

I am totally jealous of the size of your closet, but I am not jealous of your nipples.

Posted by: jessica at January 15, 2009 3:51 PM

Like everyone else, I'm so jealous of your closet! And yes, I think a picture of your nipple shirt would have been a great addition to this post.

When it comes to getting rid of stuff, I've liked this rule - if you haven't used/worn an item for 2 years, then it's time to say bye bye.


Posted by: Daisy at January 15, 2009 4:38 PM

That is one highly organized closet dude! Good job!

Embarrasing article of clothing I can't throw away? My Emory University football jersey that I bought at drill team camp the summer of 1975. Yes, that was almost 34 years ago. Dry rot, you say? No kidding. It's folded in the bottom of a drawer, and I can't bring myself to throw it away.

Posted by: coolchick at January 15, 2009 8:42 PM

My secret shame is a crocheted-with-fringed-hem ("flapper style"), spaghetti-strapped, very low cut, very backless SILVER dress. Circa 2001 I wore it to a New Year's Eve party with silver platform sandals which are also still in my closet. The dress didn't cover nearly enough of the ol' bod but one day it will make some nice sofa armrest doilies.

Posted by: Amanda at January 15, 2009 9:24 PM