10 Reasons You Still Have Your Ex's Old Clothes

When you lose someone, you'll do anything to hold on to their memory.

woman looking through clothes Tirachard Kumtanom / Shutterstock

By Mallory Arnold

You’re totally over him. You might have been a little down for a while, but after weeks of angry Pilates classes and one conveniently timed drastic haircut, you’re on a post-breakup high.

You flirt with the boy sitting across from you in chemistry, bat your eyes at the guy buying you some drink at the bar, and avidly text an array of men on a day-to-day basis.

But at the end of the week, it’s inevitable that you’re going to hunker down into bed wearing that one slouchy big t-shirt he happened to leave one night.


RELATED: Sorry Not Sorry! 30 Best Comebacks For Your Awful Ex

Every time someone poses the question: “Why don’t you just get rid of it?” you have a perfectly acceptable list of reasons to pull right out of the pocket of your... well, maybe even his sweatpants.


Here are 10 excuses you whip out when asked why you still have your ex's clothes:

1. “It’s just so comfortable!”

2. “This? Oh I never wear it. This is like, totally the only time."

3. “It’ll be a good rag one day!”

4. “I just really appreciate the design of the logo on the back.”

5. “It smells really really good.”

6. “Hey, until he gives me back my pencil he borrowed, I’m keeping his shirt.”

7. “Everything else in my closet was dirty!”

8. “I’m only wearing it because I don’t care if I spill on it.”

9. “Um saggy stained t-shirts are so in.”

10. “This isn’t even his... I swear!”

RELATED: 11 Psychological Tricks To Make Your Ex Regret Losing You


To all the girls who have used any one of these lines or are secretly writing them down to repeat later, stop what you are doing. There is no reason that you have to answer to anyone about how you are coping with a past relationship.

Society allows about one day for a girl to mourn over a lost significant other, but if not moved on by then she is considered to be moping, a tragic waste of space.

Why do we choose to hold on to something as silly as a t-shirt with a dumb logo on it or a sweatshirt with a stain you know won’t come out? Because when you lose someone, you’ll do anything to hold on to their memory.

Suddenly, that t-shirt seems a little more important when you can no longer see your past significant other wearing it all the time.


It’s terrifying to think that you may forget about the memories you built with your past, and when everything starts slipping away, you struggle to hold onto anything you can.

Beware “the trash bag fury” phase. After a breakup, a lot of times girls will take anything that reminds them of their ex, stuff it in a big bag, and drop it on their porch with a “see ya” attitude. Calm down there, cowgirl.

Allow yourself to heal. If he meant anything to you, then completely removing him from your life will be difficult. Letting go piece by piece is perfectly healthy and should be done at your own pace, but it definitely shouldn’t involve a trash bag.

Only after you’re ready, one day you’ll be looking through your closet and find that ratty old t-shirt balled up behind your itchy sweaters. You’ll unfold it, smile fondly, and maybe even laugh a little bit.


Then you can return it to the original owner and buy your own shirt, because hey, it’ll probably fit better anyway.

RELATED: I Asked All My Exes Why We Broke Up — And They Didn't Hold Back

Mallory Arnold is a writer and former contributor to Unwritten. She is currently a freelance writer for Cincinnati Magazine and assistant editor for Outside.