29 January 2009

The Closet

A while back, our comrade Longwing said in the comments that I must have some vast closet space. Not really. While we do have the luxury of a walk in closet in the bedroom of our little home, Mrs. G. and I each get only one side. This leaves me with a 38 inch pole, one shelf above, and a small shoe rack below:
Shirts on hangers, followed by slacks, then jackets and suits. Belts and "house clothes" (an old hooded sweatshirt) on hooks. The cigar box on the shelf holds tie bars, cuff links, etc. Note the spools of thread with needles stuck in them, always ready to mend something.
Khakis, jeans, cords, sweaters and hats all stashed neatly above.

Shoes stashed neatly below.

Ties on a wooden coat hanger. I don't care much for tie racks. This very coat hanger has been holding my ties since high school.

In the front of the house is a coat closet, roughly the same size, where I keep my outerwear. In the basement is one large plastic crate with summer clothes in it. That's it. It's a little cramped, but such close quarters force a man to be tidy.

I have to say, having spent my entire adult life as a shameful clothes horse, and the last six months writing about it almost everyday, I'm a little shocked to realize that most of my Affordable Wardrobe occupies only six square feet. It only goes to illustrate the strength of classic items of clothing. Not only do they wear like iron, but they offer an endless array of combinations and configurations, allowing one to achieve a cohesive look while not repeating specific outfits exactly. Since I started this blog last September, I have yet to repeat an entire outfit, and yet you see what limited resources I have to work with.

If thrift shopping has taught me anything its that it doesn't pay to be frivolous. Each item in a man's wardrobe should be chosen with care and eye on longevity. This is especially true for those of us who frequent the sort of places that sell suits for less than $20, and ties for $ .99. If I took home every "find" that came my way, the bedroom would be full of clothes and we'd be sleeping in the closet.

I'll say it again: creativity often lies in the constraints.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad that there's somebody else out there who uses traditional wire hangers for shirts, rather than such gimmicks as:

Giuseppe said...

Well, the way I figure, you can hang your shirts on maple hangers for $5.50 a whack, plus shipping, or you can be resourceful and use themillions of wire hangers from the dry cleaners that are always piling up around the house.

In case anyones wondering, my wooden hagers came from Ikea, $3.99 for a package of eight. Not bad.

Anonymous said...

"creativity often lies int he constraints". amen to that.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the hunting hat.

Armilyn and David said...

Years ago, my brother was friends with the stockboy at a Fila shop. When the shop closed down, my brother got boxes of wooden shirt and clip hangers. Needless to say, I got some, so have been blessed to have matching hangers.

I too share a closet with my wife, but I keep my side much neater.

One tip I learned years ago: colorize your hanging items. My shirts run from whites to light blues to dark blues to black, then my reds. So much easier to choose what I am going to wear, plus it just looks better.

Unknown said...

this post is the essence of the times. great post. and please keep them coming

Anonymous said...

Hanging ties... sacrilege! They should be rolled m'dear. Aside from that, full marks.

Giuseppe said...


True enough, but with closet space at such a premium, you can imagine the drawer space situation.

heidi said...

It's all about how orderly your closet it. Puts mine to shame. Thanks for stopping by my blog!