Welcome to I Tried It Month, where we’ll be publishing a new fashion, beauty, or wellness article every day in January that features a first-person account of shaking up an old habit, pushing beyond a comfort zone, or simply trying something new. Follow along for 31 days of storytelling, including everything from going without a cellphone for 40 days to trying the polarizing low-rise pants trend.
I love a January closet clean-out. After the holidays and indulging in a little sale shopping, I'm usually out of hangers, so I guess you could call it a necessity. Closet purging is usually a solo task of mine, as no one knows what I wear better than I do, but just for fun, I asked my husband Mark for help this time. Sounds fun, right? Right?
For context, I wouldn't say that Mark has an innate interest in fashion, but he does notice what I wear and sometimes has questions and comments. He readily gives compliments, but he doesn't usually voice his opinion (unless I ask for it) when he doesn't like something I'm wearing, except for the occasional joke. I, on the other hand, love to shop and am deeply entrenched in all the trends of any given season, given my occupation. My point being, based on our differences when it comes to caring about fashion, this was sure to be interesting.
I'll always be of the opinion that you should buy and wear what you feel comfortable wearing, but a second opinion can certainly be useful—especially if you're indecisive like I am. So with that, read on to find out how our joint closet clean-out went, and find out what we removed and kept, as well as which items he and I didn't exactly see eye to eye on.
Stay: Puffy-Sleeve Tops See Ya: "Burlap Sack" Tops
Mark informed me that "burlap sack tops" (aka any top that resembles a bag) are not his favorite. I believe he's referring to loose linen tops, and I'd have to agree that they're not the most flattering. On the other hand, he said he liked my puffy-sleeved tops, of which there are many.
Amidst the pandemic, I haven't had much of a reason to wear heels, and I suppose Mark misses them. As the wearer of said heels, I have mixed feelings about them, for obvious reasons. The shoes he says he'll never miss are chunky flat sandals. I think that trend has peaked, and I don't own many pairs to begin with, so I'm contemplating saying goodbye to a pair or two.
While searching through my closet, Mark asked where those "car mechanic outfits" are. Assuming he was referring to boilersuits, I showed him one, and he said, "Yes, don't like those." I love them on some people but I haven't yet mastered the look and so I decided to part with one that's a bit ill-fitting. On the other hand, for as long as I've known him, he's loved fit-and-flare dresses and says that's what I was wearing the first time we met.
Prior to this project, I was already well aware the Mark wasn't a fan of 100% cotton baggy jeans and mom jeans, or basically any present-day denim trend. We don't agree on this one, so the "uncomfortable" (in his words) jeans stay. The style that he prefers is stretch jeans that "don't look torturous to wear."
His next question was, "Where are those Mr. Rogers things?" (referring to cardigans). I personally love my collection of cardigans and welcome any "grandma" associations, so I'm hanging onto them. He said to keep my more fitted ribbed sweaters, which I plan on hanging on to as well.
Stay: "Fashiony" Bags See Ya: Sac Bags and "Picnic Basket" Bags
I have trouble letting go of bags even when I haven't used them in years, so it was good to have some encouragement here. Mark's advice was to weed out some of the bags that resemble picnic baskets as I don't have a ton of uses for oversize straw bags or those that look like sacs. I love some of my sac-style bags, but not all are my cup of tea anymore. (For the record, when I asked which type of bags he likes, he pointed to this "fashiony" Jacquemus one.)
Puffers are a winter necessity where I live, so I won't be ditching those, even though Mark likened them to what the little brother wore in A Christmas Story. We both agreed that my long wool coats are my most stylish, but sometimes you just need a puffer.
I own so many denim jackets that a section of my closet is devoted to them. Truth be told, I don't wear them as much as I used to and could stand to weed a few out to free up some precious closet space, but I definitely won't be removing all of them. Always prioritizing comfort, Mark's two cents about them was that they feel uncomfortable, as does anything '80s (the decade I assume he associates with denim jackets). He said he'd keep the leather moto jackets, though (but it's worth noting that these are also kind of uncomfortable).