Bentley Caldwell

MAY 2023 “Visualizing a Clean Closet”

Each month Nashville #1 Men’s Personal Stylist, Bentley Caldwell will weigh in on the latest trends and answer men’s styling questions. His partner in crime, Carson Love will share her style tips for women.


Gents, let’s talk about closet clutter and how to eliminate it! The first step in building your amazing wardrobe is getting rid of items that no longer serve you. I like to call this process a “Closet Edit” or a “Closet Detox.” Here are three questions to ask yourself when figuring out what to keep and what to detox.

Have I worn this item in the last two years?

Men tend to get gifted a lot of clothes. Whether it’s a present from a well-meaning partner or hand-me-downs from a family member, we may wear it once or twice and toss it into the endless abyss: the back of the closet. We also tend to hold onto clothing that has lived long past its prime. As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t worn an article of clothing in the last year or two, it’s time to let it go. If it has visible dust or cobwebs on it, you might be a hoarder — and that’s a whole other set of issues, but that’s for you and your therapist to unpack.

Does it fit?

Our bodies fluctuate. We lose weight; we gain weight, but the fit is king in menswear. I tell my clients: “We dress the body that you have.” You want to have a wardrobe that represents the body you have now — not the one you had. Be kind to yourself: discover the mental relief that accompanies detoxing your closet of clothes that used to fit. Release, release, release!

Does it speak for me anymore?

Your clothing choices are a type of first impression, speaking for you, even before your mouth does. What do you want your clothes to say? You go through different chapters and phases in life, and your wardrobe should reflect that. As you evolve, your wardrobe should grow and change as well. If it no longer “feels” like you, it’s not. Let it go.

From consignment to donations, there are various ways to repurpose your gently used clothing items. They may no longer serve or represent you, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help another. Lighten someone else’s burden.