How to Get Rid of Your Clothes
As James Taylor sang of the changing seasons: “The frost is on the pumpkin / and the hay is in the barn / pumpkin spice is in the latte / so it’s time to pack away your Aloha shirts.” In the seasonal churn of summer to autumn/winter clothing, I usually just get rid of a lot of stuff, both warm-weather wear that isn’t worth putting away and cold weather stuff that I no longer have a place for, i.e., it doesn’t fit me and never will. Some strategies for making the process smoother:
First, Choose What Has to Go
Assess your storage space vs what you need to put away. Some people have room for expansive wardrobes, some need to pare down by necessity.
Take everything out of your dresser and decide whether it’s worth putting back. Clothing without a clear season can be forgotten at the bottom of a drawer.
Make firm decisions (use the OHIO rule: only handle it once. Don’t put stuff in another pile to consider later).
Eliminate redundant clothing. A closetful of blue shirts? Acceptable. A half dozen MA-1s? Probably overkill.
If you haven’t worn something for more than a year, it can likely go. If you intended to tailor/repair something, and instead it’s sat for a year, it can definitely go.
If you took a risk on an ebay item or a no-returns sale that didn’t work out, now’s the time to throw that dead end merch in the to-go pile.
Second, Get It Gone
I’m a lazy, lazy man, so I need to make choices about what I expect to recoup from this stuff versus how badly I want it gone. In order from max profit/high effort to no effort/no profit whatsoever to anyone:
Sell It Yourself: If there’s a market for it and you have some time on your hands, you can hawk your wares online. There’s eBay, of course, and smaller, more focused sites like Grailed and Styleforum’s marketplace. This method works best for interesting items from widely known brands in average sizes. If you want your stuff to sell faster, take decent photos (clearly show the garment in even, natural light; any phone camera made since 2010 will likely do fine) and offer basic measurements: shoulder to shoulder, chest, length for tops; waist, inseam, and hem width for pants. The downside of selling things yourself is sitting on unsold “inventory.”
Consign It: Plus, who has the time and patience for photographing and measuring all their stuff, only to field lowball offers and ridiculous requests for more measurements and photos (often from me)? Consignment stores like Buffalo Exchange take your clothes and hand you money, which is nice. They often sell more women’s clothes than men’s, though, and may be pickier than you might expect, don’t expect to sell everything or to sell high.Alternatively, if you’re selling the kind of things you often see in PTO’s ebay roundups, you can consign online with an outfit like Luxeswap. They do the work for you (and do it well), but like brick and mortar consignment shops they take only what they expect they can sell.
Give It to Charity: With stores and donation bins all over the country, Goodwill is probably the most visible thrift chain in the country, and an easy way to get rid of usable clothing. Goodwill is a charitable organization, so they can give you a receipt for the value of your donation and you can deduct that amount from your income for tax purposes at the end of the year. According to Goodwill, most of what you donate ends up for sale in Goodwill stores (and/or on Macklemore, presumably), and the proceeds from sales go to job training programs and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. (Some clothing donation bins look like they belong to charities but instead belong to for-profit companies that sell clothing in bulk.) There’s a chance your Hilditch shirt could end up as part of an industrial rag, though. It’s the ciiiiircle of life.The Purple Heart Foundation helps U.S. military veterans by collecting donations, selling them, and funding training programs, assistance with applying for benefits, and direct donations. Like the rag and bone man (pictured), they pick castoffs up directly from your home (well, not everywhere). It’s good for people like me who are too lazy even to drag our stuff to Goodwill.
Trash It: To you, that 5K fun-run tshirt may be a pleasant reminder of mild athletic activity. To the rest of us, it’s garbage. Likewise the used boxers and mustard-stained shirts. Just chuck em. Or use them to polish your shoes.
-Pete

How to Get Rid of Your Clothes

As James Taylor sang of the changing seasons: “The frost is on the pumpkin / and the hay is in the barn / pumpkin spice is in the latte / so it’s time to pack away your Aloha shirts.” In the seasonal churn of summer to autumn/winter clothing, I usually just get rid of a lot of stuff, both warm-weather wear that isn’t worth putting away and cold weather stuff that I no longer have a place for, i.e., it doesn’t fit me and never will. Some strategies for making the process smoother:

First, Choose What Has to Go

  • Assess your storage space vs what you need to put away. Some people have room for expansive wardrobes, some need to pare down by necessity.
  • Take everything out of your dresser and decide whether it’s worth putting back. Clothing without a clear season can be forgotten at the bottom of a drawer.
  • Make firm decisions (use the OHIO rule: only handle it once. Don’t put stuff in another pile to consider later).
  • Eliminate redundant clothing. A closetful of blue shirts? Acceptable. A half dozen MA-1s? Probably overkill.
  • If you haven’t worn something for more than a year, it can likely go. If you intended to tailor/repair something, and instead it’s sat for a year, it can definitely go.
  • If you took a risk on an ebay item or a no-returns sale that didn’t work out, now’s the time to throw that dead end merch in the to-go pile.

Second, Get It Gone

I’m a lazy, lazy man, so I need to make choices about what I expect to recoup from this stuff versus how badly I want it gone. In order from max profit/high effort to no effort/no profit whatsoever to anyone:

  • Sell It Yourself: If there’s a market for it and you have some time on your hands, you can hawk your wares online. There’s eBay, of course, and smaller, more focused sites like Grailed and Styleforum’s marketplace. This method works best for interesting items from widely known brands in average sizes. If you want your stuff to sell faster, take decent photos (clearly show the garment in even, natural light; any phone camera made since 2010 will likely do fine) and offer basic measurements: shoulder to shoulder, chest, length for tops; waist, inseam, and hem width for pants. The downside of selling things yourself is sitting on unsold “inventory.”
  • Consign It: Plus, who has the time and patience for photographing and measuring all their stuff, only to field lowball offers and ridiculous requests for more measurements and photos (often from me)? Consignment stores like Buffalo Exchange take your clothes and hand you money, which is nice. They often sell more women’s clothes than men’s, though, and may be pickier than you might expect, don’t expect to sell everything or to sell high.
    Alternatively, if you’re selling the kind of things you often see in PTO’s ebay roundups, you can consign online with an outfit like Luxeswap. They do the work for you (and do it well), but like brick and mortar consignment shops they take only what they expect they can sell.
  • Give It to Charity: With stores and donation bins all over the country, Goodwill is probably the most visible thrift chain in the country, and an easy way to get rid of usable clothing. Goodwill is a charitable organization, so they can give you a receipt for the value of your donation and you can deduct that amount from your income for tax purposes at the end of the year. According to Goodwill, most of what you donate ends up for sale in Goodwill stores (and/or on Macklemore, presumably), and the proceeds from sales go to job training programs and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. (Some clothing donation bins look like they belong to charities but instead belong to for-profit companies that sell clothing in bulk.) There’s a chance your Hilditch shirt could end up as part of an industrial rag, though. It’s the ciiiiircle of life.
    The Purple Heart Foundation helps U.S. military veterans by collecting donations, selling them, and funding training programs, assistance with applying for benefits, and direct donations. Like the rag and bone man (pictured), they pick castoffs up directly from your home (well, not everywhere). It’s good for people like me who are too lazy even to drag our stuff to Goodwill.
  • Trash It: To you, that 5K fun-run tshirt may be a pleasant reminder of mild athletic activity. To the rest of us, it’s garbage. Likewise the used boxers and mustard-stained shirts. Just chuck em. Or use them to polish your shoes.

-Pete

New Discount Shop: Grailed Direct

In the last six months or so, a new site called Grailed has been getting a lot of attention. Pete wrote about them in his post about alternative markets. If you’re not familiar, Grailed is a site exclusively for men’s fashion enthusiasts, where pieces are posted from coveted brands such as Alden, Gitman Bros. and Jil Sander. Most of the trading is between private individuals and involves second hand clothing, so much like eBay, it’s made high-end clothes a lot more accessible. 

Today, the company opened Grailed Direct - a new discount shop done in partnership with various brands and retailers. The goal is to offer brand new, unworn clothes at 50% off. Stuff that brands and retailers haven’t been able to move, essentially, but also don’t want to discount too far for fear of hurting their image (much like how flash sale sites have become a dumping ground for such merchandise). 

The discounts are good, but affordability ranges. On the site now, for example, are some black 3sixteen jeans for $103 and Onia swim shorts for prices starting at $70. A bit more expensive are some white overdyed canvas sneakers from nonnative for $183, and much more expensive still is a navy 60/ 40 jacket from nonnative for $895. 

Unfortunately, all sales are final, which makes shopping a bit less appealing than other discount sites, but they do carry a better selection of merchandise. Arun, one of the guys behind Grailed, tells me that this is only their first drop and they have more product waiting in the wings. They’re also looking to partner with more brands and stores in order to increase the amount and variety of things they carry. 

Alternative Markets

If you purchase your clothes online (and you probably do), you’re aware that the online marketplace for clothing—sure, for everything—has exploded in the last decade. First, established stores began selling their wares online, then warehouse-backed, online only behemoths like Yoox and Mr. Porter showed up. The vast gray market of eBay has been another source of growth for both new and used stuff, providing a place to snag vintage, deadstock, and new clothing and accessories from well beyond your local Goodwill/Buffalo Exchange. Also, helpfully, a place to dump your own regrets and didn’t fits. Of course you pay for access, through eBay fees and transaction charges.

Recently we’ve seen more independent options compete with eBay in the secondary men’s clothing market. As a seller, I always like to see more outlets where I can sell my stuff, particularly when listing is easy and cheap/free, and where the people browsing will be knowledgeable about what I’m selling. As a buyer, smaller markets can mean less competition and less chaff to sort through.

Styleforum Marketplace

The Styleforum buying and selling forum has historically been the best non-retail place to find niche men’s clothing online. Although not easy to search, it’s simple to browse and, once you register, pretty simple to use. Styleforum has a custom tool for setting up listings with photos and details. Styleforum management is relatively laissez faire and does not get involved in transactions or disputes. There are rules, though, and a feedback system. Listings are split between “classic menswear" (mostly tailoring and traditional men’s clothing; e.g., suits you’d wear to work, sweaters and pants you’d wear out to dinner with your in-laws), and "streetwear & denim" (mostly non-tailored and designer stuff, e.g., high-end workwear and edgier stuff). Sellers who want to maximize visibility and sell at a high volume can pay for better placement; some earn legitimate livings selling exclusively through Styleforum.

Superfuture Supermarket

Another forum marketplace, one even simpler than Styleforum’s, because Superfuture listings are plain ol’ threads just like any other on the forum. As for the what you’ll see here, it’s seriously niche interest stuff. Up and coming designers, rare streetwear, and for lack of a better word, gothninja. Like Styleforum, Superfuture mostly stays out of the way and lets members negotiate and work out payment amongst themselves.

Que Pasa Shop

A new concept is a storefront like Que Pasa Shop, with a limited pool of sellers and a managed payment system. Que Pasa’s system means that the stock is more tightly edited than the constantly moving free-for-all of forum classifieds. Que Pasa reviews all items before they post, and holds payment until sellers enter shipment tracking information, adding a level of trust for buyers. Payments are processed through Paypal. Que Pasa, however, takes 15% of each sale price. Que Pasa does additional merchandising through their blog, which, frankly, looks pretty cool.

Grailed

A similar but more straightforwardly user-driven site is Grailed. The name is a reference to the sort of rare, sought-after items you might conceivably quest for, and the products currently on offer are a very broad mix of obscure designers and much more accessible stuff. The site allows you to filter items displayed by designer, size, etc., in an intuitive way, making it easy to narrow down the selection to what you’re interested in. Grailed uses Paypal and expects buyers or sellers to resolve any issues through Paypal’s buyer and seller protection policies; for now, the site is not charging users any sort of fee. As its user base broadens, it will be interesting to see how Grailed’s stock changes. Anecdotally, I saw quite a few items on Grailed that are also listed on forums and eBay.

Bureau of Trade

Bureau of Trade has built an attractive, Monocle-y looking, humor-laced site around, essentially, aggregating interesting eBay listings. They list more than clothes, branching into cars, art objects, and puppies. It’s fun to browse but truthfully I already know a good place for eBay finds.

-Pete