My Psychosis Regarding Clothing

I would like to take you through my system in regards to clothing because I’ve recently realized how borderline psychotic I am about it. I have maybe five t-shirts and five button-up shirts to wear over the t-shirts. I also have maybe four pants—two corduroys and two khaki pants. In the past, I’ve had two pairs of jeans and that’s it, but for now, I’m pretty solid in terms of pants. In the winter time, I have a lot more clothing because I can integrate three hoodies into my rotation along with a jacket. Once summer rolls around, I start becoming anxious, anxious because I have to retire clothes I feel comfortable and secure while wearing. Hoodies are like security blankets to me I realize. They’re thick, soft, comfortable, and nondescript. Hoodies seem to say to the world, ‘I am moderately cool, but not ostentatiously cool, and generally average, and should not have my clothing addressed because it’s normal clothing for a person to wear, and leave me alone, okay.’

I have a rotation of approximately five outfits, not counting pants. That’s because I usually don’t wear t-shirts by themselves because I feel uncomfortable—I don’t know why—so I only wear button-ups with t-shirts underneath. If I had to psychoanalyze this tendency, I would say it’s a way of putting up an additional layer of clothing between me and other people. A single t-shirt makes me feel exposed, vulnerable. A single t-shirt says, ‘I am a normal human being in comfortable harmony with the environment,’ which I am, but not really. I buy maybe two new shirts per year, and since I have a five or six shirt rotation, this leads to rapid familiarity. Like a cartoon character who wears the same clothes over and over, I become equated with specific outfits.

Sometimes I make guesses on who I’m going to see in a given day, and if the last time I saw that person I was wearing the red shirt, I wear the blue shirt—even if I wore the blue shirt on the previous day. If I don’t see any people who matter to me on a given day, I wear the same outfit again the next day, and the next day, and the next day until I start seeing people again, and then I start rotating my clothing again.

I sleep in my clothing. I mean, I wear a full outfit to bed. Everything except socks and shoes, so that means sometimes I wear hoodies or jeans or a fucking jacket to bed. The more I write about this, the crazier it seems. I can’t say when I started this behavior, but it’s become so ingrained into my daily routine, I see no reason to alter it. There’s a certain advantage, I think, to being able to jump out of bed and immediately interact with the world. However, it also seems weird.

When I visit other boys’ homes, I examine their closets, and it seems to me they usually have much more clothes. Sometimes, they only have a few more clothes, but they never have less. I recently had a male friend of mine present me with three shirts he’d purchased. “What do you think of this shirt?” he asked me. “Those colors look like urine and puke colors,” I said. “But somehow, on your body, they seem to work, they seem badass.” He said, “That’s what I thought.” He thought for a moment. Then he said, “The thing about new clothes is that it allows women to see you in a different light. Women who said, ‘No, I’d never fuck that guy,’ look at you and say, ‘I thought I’d never fuck that guy, but now he seems new and different. Maybe my feelings about him are new and different as well. Maybe I will fuck him after all.’”

This seems like an interesting thought to me. What is the optimum number of shirts? Pants? How many button-ups in relation to how many t-shirts? How often should new clothing be introduced? What is reasonable? I’m probably thinking too hard about this.

The thing is I don’t like buying clothes because I think of it as a luxury type expense. I categorize it with purchases like fancy coffee drinks, wall art, and DVDs. These are all things I can live without. I have clothes. I can keep wearing these clothes. But I think maybe I might seem like a crazy person. I’m not sure. No one’s really said anything to me yet. How great is the damage done by my wearing the same clothes over and over for long periods of time? If I truly understood the scope of negative assessments regarding my worth as a person due to my clothing system, would it be significant enough for me to buy new clothes? Would I be fucking horrified?

In some third world countries, people worry about having any clothes at all.

You see kids just wandering around naked because they have no clothes. So really, I’m being an idiot. In other countries, the most important article of clothing is shoes because it keeps you from walking on glass and burning hot gravel and shit.

A week or so ago, my shoes were disintegrating around my feet. Everyone I encountered would look at my shoes and say something along the lines of, “Looking at your shoes makes me feel grief-stricken.” They were too big for me, so they bent upward at the front like elf shoes, and the sides were cracking open, revealing my sock inside. They were also ugly, brown, and had laces so long I quadruple knotted them to get rid of the extra slack. When I finally went out and bought new shoes, I told my friend about this. He said, “Why didn’t you just wear your other pair of shoes?” I said, “I only have one pair. Why would I have more than one pair of shoes? Who does that?” He looked at me strangely and said, “Everyone does that.”

Does everyone do that? How disconnected am I from the rest of humanity that I’ve lived twenty two years without understanding the simplest things?TC mark

image – Perry French


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  • genna mae

    Could I just take you shopping with me?

    • Brad Pike


      • genna mae

        Okay! I'll be back Stateside in August. Don't forget, now…

  • Didonato

    You sound like you have pretty chill personal style, but buy some fucking pyjamas or at least some sweatpants and an old shirt, and designate that as your sleeping attire. Don't sleep in jeans like a schlub, because you're not a schlub, I can just tell, ok?

    • Brad Pike

      I don't think I'm a schlub. Nobody has used the word schlub.

  • Michael Koh

    Sleep in full gear? Shit, I sleep in my undies.

  • Sean


  • Nicolette Beach

    Honey, get yourself a girlfriend. Or a gayfriend. You need a clothing intervention.

  • douchegirl

    I've had 2 types of exes: the ones who had LOTS AND LOTS o' clothes and the ones who did not.

    Guess which ones were my favorites?

    *Hint: The ones who gave two fucks about what they wore.

    • Brad Pike

      You are not going to be my internet girlfriend, are you?

  • Ryan Culliver

    I honestly could not see this article as anything but satire, a joke. In my mind, there's no way that someone could only own 3 shirts, or 1 pair of shoes. This doesn't seem possible. Even the poor kids in 3rd world countries like switch out loincloths, right?

    • Brad Pike

      I wish it was a joke.

    • TO

      I only own one pair of shoes – why is that weird? How can you justify more than one pair of shoes if you don't need them?

      • Ryan Culliver

        If you only need one pair of shoes…I don't know what the fuck you are doing with your life.

  • devya

    not a big deal. I feel you.

  • Lindsey-lu

    10-20 shirts
    3 pairs shoes
    5-10 pairs pants


    • irrelevant

      your point?

    • obsolete

      If you actually read the article…you'd see that the purpose of your comment is defeated by the meaning of the article which is, that more than 2-3 shirts, 1 pair of shoes, 2 pairs of pants is excessive and frivolous. Thus, as commented below:


  • Greg Petliski

    I respect your wardrobe's small size. Really, all you need is shoes and some other articles. But like everything else, western society has found a way to make even these essentials into marketing ploys. Youre not worth anything if you dont have your Marc Jacobs, your J. Crew. etc.

    This summer, I begin my long awaited journey into America, by foot and by thumb. My entire wardrobe will consist of: boots, socks (2 pair), underwear (1 pair), pants, short sleeve, long sleeve, fleece, soft shell jacket, and poncho. Thats it!

    • Daniel Schealler

      Look, I'm all for the whole zen-like minimalism. Really. I am.

      But only one pair of undies? That strikes me as pushing it.

      Go for two. That way you can wear one pair while the other one is drying out.

  • autumnghosts

    Oh Brad, your article was splendidly written! Who cares about fashion when you can write well?

  • scin

    hahahaha oh man i almost never actually l-o-l at anything i read, but then there was:

    Everyone I encountered would look at my shoes and say something along the lines of, “Looking at your shoes makes me feel grief-stricken.”

    that did it.

  • mertzy

    well now i feel all materialistic.

  • inflammatorywrit

    I know a couple of boys (men? no, definitely not.) who have dozens of shirts! Dozens, I say!

    And almost every single one of the shirts- that these boys continue to wear- is stained (with blood, sweat, motor oil), riddled with holes, frayed, pockets torn halfway off, etc. I like your way better.

    Very nice article, by the way.

  • Dom

    Oh I wish I could meet you, you sound like an interesting guy… I can completely relate to paragraphs 2 & 3 because that's pretty much my life at the moment. Except it is only because I am poor and have to save money for when I go overseas on an exchange in August. In saying that, it's pretty refreshing not having to worry about what to wear all the time. & I definitely alternate outfits according to who I know I will see in class on different days! hahaha.

  • Gina Wei

    We need more of you, and less of I-buy-things-I-don't-like-the-next-day me.

  • padface

    I used to be like this (minus the sleeping in clothes thing). But I grew out of it circa age 15.

    But you really do need more shoes. Have at least one pair you can wear to a nice restaurant, one pair you can wear in the countryside and one pair for day-to-day use.

    • Brad Pike

      Knowledge acquired.

  • Michaela Jayne A

    Seriously, come talk to me (:

    I don’t know who you are really or anything about you but I definately would want to talk.

    Since I’m at the slight advantage of reading your posts, my blogs here

    Now it’s even (:

  • Tori

    I see no issue for common routine, although I might suggest getting a couple different outfits for different occasions you might encounter. Well, actually, that depends on…well, a lot of things, really. So whatever. Do what you do. I think it’s cool. Although getting some PJ’s or just some normal clothes you sleep in or whatever would be an A+ idea. And one or two more pairs of shoes. And maybe washing your clothes a bit more. That’s it though.

  • sarah

    Beautifully written. You should read about autism and how your characteristics seem to relate. I am similar to you, a creature of habit and routine. I hate shopping, especially clothes shopping! It gets my anxiety going, thinking about how ill look in this or that.. making decisions about what i really like and spending money on it which seems wasteful, even though i do need it. I wear the same 5 shirts and 2 pairs of pants to my desk job every week. I didn’t think anything was wrong with it, but after 8 months my boss actually approached me and asked me why i wear the same clothes all the time. I was mortified. I guess I didn’t think anybody noticed… but they did.  I like being comfortable in my clothes, and every time i attempt to go shopping I find nothing that im comfortable in!! and i hate it. I wont wear new clothing just bc its new, if im not comfortable in it. So you see, I am strange too. sigh.

  • Anonymous

    Ha Ha…I found this while I was searching “why most women don’t wear same clothes again wihtout wash”. What is your opinion on that??

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