Loungewear - Tidying by category works like magic

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing - Marie Kondo 2014

Tidying by category works like magic

Downgrading to “loungewear” is taboo

It seems a waste to get rid of something that is still perfectly usable, especially if you bought it yourself. In cases like this, my clients often ask me if they can keep clothes they know they’ll never wear outside and use them as loungewear. If I said “yes,” the pile of loungewear would grow ever larger without any decrease in the overall volume of clothes.

Having said that, I admit that I myself once did the same thing with clothes I knew I’d never wear to go out. Pilled cardigans, outdated blouses, dresses that didn’t suit me or that I just never wore—it wasn’t long before I had developed the habit of demoting clothes like these to “loungewear” rather than discarding them. Yet nine out of ten times I never wore them.

I soon discovered that many of my clients also had collections of dormant “loungewear.” When asked why they don’t wear them, their answers are very revealing: “I can’t relax in them,” “It seems a waste to wear this inside when it was really for going out,” “I don’t like it,” and so on. In other words, these castoffs are not really loungewear at all. Calling them that merely delays parting with clothes that don’t spark any joy. There are stores dedicated solely to loungewear products, and the design, material, and cut are all aimed at relaxation. Obviously, it is a completely different genre from what we wear outside. Cotton T-shirts are probably the only type of regular clothing that could be reused in this category.

To me, it doesn’t seem right to keep clothes we don’t enjoy for relaxing around the house. This time at home is still a precious part of living. Its value should not change just because nobody sees us. So, starting today, break the habit of downgrading clothes that don’t thrill you to loungewear. The real waste is not discarding clothes you don’t like but wearing them even though you are striving to create the ideal space for your ideal lifestyle. Precisely because no one is there to see you, it makes far more sense to reinforce a positive self-image by wearing clothes you love.

The same goes for pajamas. If you are a woman, try wearing something elegant as nightwear. The worst thing you can do is to wear a sloppy sweat suit. I occasionally meet people who dress like this all the time, whether waking or sleeping. If sweatpants are your everyday attire, you’ll end up looking like you belong in them, which is not very attractive. What you wear in the house does impact your self-image.