Help Me Dress Myself: Cleaning Out Your Closet

There’s no time like the new year to get rid of stuff you don’t need, so we enlisted a stylist to show us which items absolutely must go.


Are you one of those guys who wants to look stylish but finds it doesn’t come all that naturally? We feel you. Don’t fret: With some advice from LA-based stylist Rayne Parvis, we’re all going to learn how to dress a little better. In this edition, we’ll be taking a deep-dive into the average guy’s wardrobe and looking at which clothes they can safely toss in their next spring clean.

Step #1: Out With the Old

Getting rid of clothes can feel a lot like saying goodbye to an old friend. Fortunately, Parvis has a few criteria to make building a “no” pile completely painless. First, the obvious: She recommends throwing out anything that shows signs of heavy wear—stains, rips etc—no matter how attached you are to it. Second—and perhaps more harshly for all us man-children—she suggests asking if a young child would wear something similar, or if the garment comes in a toddler size. If it does, she opines, it belongs in the “no” pile. Here are a few items that Parvis believes should no longer be in your wardrobe:

  • Overworn Button-Downs and T-shirts

“Check all of your button-downs and T-shirts for yellow sweat stains in the armpits and around the collar,” Parvis says. “It’s easy to think people don’t notice them, but they do. So you definitely want to toss those.”

  • Light-Colored Button-Downs

Bright button-downs with large checkered patterns on them are toddler attire,” Parvis explains. “So those can go.” Instead, she recommends opting for button-downs in more sophisticated, darker shades like navy, grey or violet with smaller checkered patterns.

  • Light-Colored Denim

“Light denim that’s been shredded at the bottom looks a bit collegiate,” Parvis explains. “Dark jeans, on the other hand, have a little more sophistication to them.”

  • Overworn Tennis Shoes

“Any shoe showing heavy signs of wear—especially white slip-ons—should be tossed,” Parvis says. Or, you can try to salvage them using our shoe cleaning tips.

Step #2: In With the New

Now that we’ve trimmed our wardrobe weeds, here are the clothes that Parvis says should be staples in every man’s closet:

  • Crew Neck Undershirts

“Wearing undershirts regularly will help your button-downs and sweaters last longer,” Parvis explains. “So it’s a good idea to get in the habit of wearing them.”

  • A Cashmere Sweater

“Even if you don’t think you’re much of a sweater man, chicks love to feel cashmere sweaters and tell guys how soft they are,” Parvis says.

  • A Puffer Vest

“Men of all ages can pull off a puffer vest, so they’re a go-to of mine,” Parvis says. “Simply wear it over your favorite T-shirt for a casual look, or put it on over a cashmere sweater for a more sophisticated look.”

  • A Bomber Jacket

Bomber jackets have been in style since WWII, so it’s safe to say they’re not going anywhere,” Parvis explains. “I recommend going with a navy bomber jacket if you have a more conservative style or a bright red one if you have a more flamboyant style.”

Now jump in that closet of yours and get cleaning. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even find yourself some hidden treasure if you dig deep enough.

If you have any questions about getting the look you want—fits, cuts, colors or anything else fashion-related—leave it in the comments and we’ll have a stylist answer it in an upcoming post.