We Asked 5 Women to Wear ‘That One Thing’ in Their Closet

You know, the one thing they just can’t seem to get rid of…but never wear


“You only get to keep an item if you wear it regularly.”

It’s the quintessential rule of closet cleaning and one I take incredibly seriously. At least until I don’t, at which point I effectively toss it out the window. As in: Sure, if I were invited to more Zombie Spice Girls-themed parties I would definitely wear this artfully distressed baby tee “regularly.”

Enter Allure Fashion Director Rachael Wang, stylist Nneya Richards, Tibi founder Amy Smilovic, creative director Azede Jean-Pierre and Harper’s Bazaar’s Features Director Kerry Pieri, five exceedingly accomplished and stylish women who agreed to hunt down one such rule-breaker in their closets and, well, reverse the order.

Whether you’re a die-hard minimalist, a Konmari enthusiast, or a functional vagabond at the whim of a rotating cast of greedy landlords, you’ve likely given your closet a good several stare-downs over the last decade, right? Which means you’re intimately familiar with the geographical landscape of a bedroom during such an endeavor.

There’s the Trash pile of pit-stained white t-shirts that need to vanish in a fire.

The Donate pile of ill-fitting sweaters that only get the job done in the most utilitarian sense.

The Sell pile of dresses purchased with someone else’s body in mind.

And, of course, the Keep pile of stuff sincerely loved and frequently worn.

And then, finally, there’s your One Thing. The piece whose gravitational pull incites a tsunami of cognitive dissonance that shatters your closet-cleaning confidence and makes a rebel out of you.

Truth #1: This item does not fit your current style.

Truth #2: You have not worn this item in years.

Truth #3: You just know you’re going to need it one day.

And so you keep it. Obviously. And then a couple years later? You keep it again. Obviously! But there’s nothing like the turning of a season to shake us out of our shoddy excuses and make our exceptions into rules.

Rachael, Nneya, Amy, Azede and Kerry immediately copped to their One Thing and agreed to join me in my challenge to finally wear it — nay — wear the shit out of it for Man Repeller and further, ourselves. And I’m so glad they did.

Find evidence of my attempt and their genius in the above slideshow, and then tell me about your One Thing in the comments! Or better yet, dust it off and prove yourself wrong.

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.


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