Photo by Muffy Aldrich
The Modern Guide to The Thing Before Preppy

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

What clothing items don't you resist?

 A reader question:

Dear Muffy,

May I ask the community a question;

Having always been a devotee of good quality clothing who loves to dress well, I have wardrobes (sorry I'm British- closets) that are overflowing as I can't bear to part with anything that is still wearable (being a Yorkshireman!). Probably more country clothing than anything as I live in the countryside and am retired. I also shoot and fish. However, I still keep buying more, even though I still have items unworn. I just can't resist a nice bit of tweed or a beautiful silk pocket square. Does anyone else suffer from the same affliction? 

Kind regards.

20 comments:

  1. Dr. Robert’s Quack Diagnosis: After careful study of your records and history, I believe you are suffering from a malady known as “Clothes-Horseism (Medical Term: Equus-Indumentum).” The symptoms include an inability to say NO to any new garment which captures your fancy. There is currently no known cure - outside of bankruptcy or penury - when the Clothes-Horse is simply too poor to purchase anything else.

    Adding to the problem is the fact that Clothes-Horses have no desire to ever stop buying what makes them feel good. Nor should they. For example, the acquisition of a beautiful new scarf, tweed suit, sport coat, pair of corduroy trousers, shirt, tie, colorful sweater, or topcoat does add spice and bring light to a sometimes dreary, ugly world.

    I know all about this condition – personally having inherited the trait from my dapper relatives. In my opinion, society today needs more Clothes-Horses like you, and so you should be proud of what the shabbily dressed masses see as a fault.

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    1. The cure for the disease is a moderate dose of minimalism and frugality. The goal is to restore the patient to a condition of being healthy and well dressed without the pathology of penury or bankruptcy and the attendant symptoms of wastefulness and excess. The dose should be titrated with careful attention to the patients symptoms as they resolve. This can be a relapsing-recurring disease process, so vigilance is necessary until the disease is in full remission. It is believed that both genetic and environmental factors are involved in the etiology of the pathophysiology, so lifestyle modification may be appropriate in more advanced cases. The prognosis is good if the patient takes responsibility for managing their condition. Insurance may not cover treatment of the malady if the origin is supratentorial overlay or secondary gain.

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    2. Thank you for your professional, eminently sensible, and very True New England analysis of this frivolous aberration.

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  2. Dear Dr. Robert, thank you so much for your diagnosis. I am relieved to hear it is a recognised condition and that I'm not the only one suffering from it. I have decided not to seek a cure in light of your last comment. I've also decided not to cancel the current orders for silk tie, silk pocket square, linen jacket and brooks brothers shirt!
    Kind regards

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    Replies
    1. Good for you. And as they say in the counter Group Sessions - Shop, Baby, shop!

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    2. That's certainly my intention!

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  3. I find it difficult to resist genuine Madras cotton shirts in the summer sales.

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  4. Mr Reichardt, you are a gem!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, without a doubt, the sweetest, most true post ever to appear on this Blog.

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  5. A question after my own heart! Leather dress shoes, neckties (both kinds), wool flannel suits, tweed jackets, and corduroy (dress) pants. Have had to work really hard to keep things in check after jettisoning many items -- that weren't quite right, or that I did not absolutely love -- during the height of the pandemic. Almost everything that remained was altered following 18 months of careful weight loss in 2020-2021. I did, however, treat myself to a new J. Press three-piece number ahead of Christmas '23 since these suits seem to be very thin on the ground in the 2020s.

    Kind Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

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  6. You might try the old “item in item out upgrade” (IIIOU) approach. It seems to work for me, sometimes. Somehow I’m always looking, especially, for sweater upgrades… or maybe a new vest… or a pair of chukka boots (real leather, not suede, made in England thank you).… or, etc..

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  7. Does this mean my white belt and bell bottom pants are OUT?!!!

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    Replies
    1. White belt and bell bottoms (the “Half Cleveland”) yes are OUT. Bell bottoms, white belt, and white shoes (known as the “Full Cleveland”) will never be out of style.

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  8. Unless I can say to myself, with conviction,"I will easily work this into my rotation," it is easy to pasx. However, if I could realistically work it in, the perseveration begins. It is always easiest to work in a tie or a shirt.

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  9. I'm a frugal Yankee and it *is* hard to part with well made clothing. I do have two or three L.L Bean sweaters (80's) that I'm seriously considering parting with, though. I'm wondering who would wear a teal green ragg wool sweater though so I fear it may sit in a bin at a charity shop, never to be worn again. As for old cotton shirts, they get cut up into cleaning rags, sigh, it is a problem...

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  10. My vintage garments may be worn, through many years of dependable service, so they just keep going!

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  11. Don’t want to judge says the owner of 45 cashmere sweaters.

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  12. Beautiful gloves. It's impossible to have enough, let alone too many.

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  13. One can never have too many shirts...

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  14. I think I watch British TV shows just to see people who are well dressed. Most recently, Miss Marple. It takes place in the 1950s and the characters were dressed beautifully.

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