Clothes Ownership Overview
When I was young, most of my clothes came from Old Navy. This was embarrassing for me, but as I got older and started buying my own clothes, I did a lot of shame-free shopping at Old Navy. I always thought that my style and wardrobe would evolve on a continuum of the Gap company. I would wear a lot of Old Navy from age twelve to my early twenties, start buying nicer and pricier clothes at Gap for seven or eight years, and then graduate to Banana Republic when I had some cash and a keen fashion sense.
I’m almost thirty-one. Currently, I have one pair of jeans from Gap and one sweater from Banana Republic. So I’m doing pretty well. But now that we’ve moved to Seoul, I have to seek out other places to fill the gaps in my big boy wardrobe.
Jen is critical in this process. She’s the reason I have the aforementioned jeans and sweater. She also helped me find some new pieces recently. And while she has an eye for what looks good on people, I wanted to share some of my insight on the post-shopping process. Below are some important tips for this stage.
Get a Bag
Stores generally give you a bag to carry your purchases. If they forget, remind them to give you a bag. This will make transporting the items from the store to wherever you’re going easier. On our recent outing, we bought some items at a store called Giordano. I picked up three button-down shirts and a pair of soft sweatpants. The clerk put all these items, plus a cute shirt for Jen, in one bag.
When the bag has strings or a place for your hands, it’s a good idea to hold the bag there for ease of carry. Also, it’s important to keep this a non-food and non-trash bag. Don’t let the clerk or anyone on your journey home put food or trash in your bag. Items like gum or french fries or used tissues are generally bad for clothes.
Remove the Tags
When you get home, get rid of any paper or sticker tags that are attached to the clothes. This is important because tags can be uncomfortable when you wear the clothes. Wearing clothes with tags can also distract people from the piece itself. Remember, you want the focus to be on your clothes.
To remove tags, I often use scissors. Scissors are best for paper tags that hang from a piece of plastic. Don’t use scissors on sticker tags. Doing this can damage the fabric and is usually less effective than just using one’s fingers. Clothes usually have multiple tags, so take a good look at the different parts of the item to remove all tags.
Place Your New Clothes with Your Other Clothes
Most fashion people have a location in the home where clothes are kept. If you do, you should put your new clothes in that place. This way, the new clothes will be easier to find when you want to wear them. Efficiency.
For context, here’s some information about where Jen and I keep our clothes. Our apartment has two wardrobes. We decided to put her clothes in one and my clothes in the other. We’ve found grouping by person is better than grouping by item, like putting all our pants, socks, and underwear in one and shirts, dresses, and sweaters in the other. If, like us, you’ve situated all your personal clothes in one location, make sure to put your new items there. When I got home from our recent trip, I put the items in my wardrobe. It’s important to be vigilant about keeping your clothes where they should be. Had I put my clothes in Jen’s wardrobe, it could have led to confusion and—like the tags—taken the focus off the look of the clothes themselves.
Wear the Clothes
Once you’ve brought the clothes home in a bag, removed all tags, and put them with your other clothes, it’s time to wear the clothes. Context is key here, though. You don’t have to wear the clothes right away. For example, in our haul, I bought a sweater from a store in Seoul called J+. I decided not to wear the sweater that night since I was planning on reading on my phone in bed and then going to sleep. If you are deliberate about envisioning what you will do in each item, you’ll have a better sense of when to wear each item.
This is not an exhaustive list of tips for what to do with clothes after purchasing them, but hopefully it gives you a good primer on clothes ownership.