Does One Guy Need Ten Plaid Shirts?

8 Mar



As 2013 arrived my closet held ten long sleeve, buttoned shirts, including a yellow one I bought in Kohl’s over three years ago. It’s certainly the only yellow shirt I’ve ever purchased and probably the last. It was not a smart buy because I wore it, like, three times.

I held onto it longer than I wanted because of what I paid for it, which was probably over $20. That’s not a lot of money for a shirt unless you’re someone like me who prefers to shop in thrift shops. So instead of pleasing me, the stupid thing produced guilt–just a tiny bit–when I saw it hanging there day after day begging me to slip into it.

Yellow Shirt: Hey Mike, why don’t you wear me today?

Me: Oh. Um, well, I was thinking about wearing my gray sweater today.

Yellow Shirt: You never wear me. Why’d you even buy me? You must be shitty with money.

Me: Well, for one reason, you fit like a medium, but your tag says “small.”

Yellow Shirt: So why don’t you give me to someone who’ll wear and appreciate me?

Me: Fine, I’ll donate you to Goodwill.

It’s so much easier when your stuff asks to be donated. So that shirt’s now gone, along with seven others who also asked to leave. I’m left with two such shirts, pictured above. Love is too strong a word (for me) to use referring to clothing, so–I really like these two shirts.

When I’m on auto-pilot, I don’t see a closet full of waste. I see a collection that needs to be added to. It’s this whole process of mindfully evaluating each item that kicked me in the nuts and made me see that I didn’t need so many freaking plaid shirts. I know, it’s weird, but that moment of realization gave me a thrill, as did yanking the eight shirts from their hangers and throwing them onto the “outgoing” pile of fluff.

And now those eight discarded shirts are available to fellow thrifters at Goodwill for a couple of bucks apiece. Who knows, that yellow shirt might become someone’s favorite shirt this week.

Also pictured above is sort of a rain coat for my head–a cap that sheds water instead of absorbing it. It’s for warm weather jogs in the rain. But now that I sit here thinking about it (auto-pilot=off), I realize I rarely wear the stupid thing and will probably get rid of it. Forget I brought it up, okay?

(Can I somehow recover the dough I’ve spent on things I didn’t need?)

But one can hardly live without at least one belt, right? I have one brown and one black. Jennifer bought them at Goodwill in late 2012.

(If you’re new here and wondering what the hell the following numbers are for, go here or check out the minimalism category.)

32. Shirt (bright blue, long sleeve, buttons)

33. Shirt (dull blue, long sleeve, buttons)

34. Belt (brown)

35. Belt (black)




It’s distressing for me to have a complete suit hanging in my closet, but people tend to marry and die, forcing me to yank it out and slip it on from time to time. I have two neckties and they’re both in the photo, but I’m donating the maroon one you can barely see.

36. Shirt (dress, gray striped)

37. Suit jacket

38. Necktie (purple)

39. Pants (suit pants)

3 Responses to “Does One Guy Need Ten Plaid Shirts?”

  1. Wineness March 8, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    I have a lot of reading to catch up on, but I love your blog. I have started minamalizing (is that a word? It should be) and I have started with my virtual life. I hope to cut out all but the 20 blogs I enjoy following the most.(you’ll be glad to know you made the cut) I have already unsubscribed from all my email clutter and I have begun unfriending people on facebook who I really don’t enjoy interacting with. That one is touchy but I’m working on it.


  1. Notes from a Future Freegan Van Dweller? | plum bananas - April 27, 2013

    […] it is: I have replaced my two belts with a single black belt I purchased at our local Goodwill. If you follow this blog closely, […]

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