The state of existence for an article of clothing after it has been worn but before it is officially "dirty" (i.e. the state between clean and dirty). Clothes in purgatory are usually stored in the floordrobe or chairdrobe until they have been properly dispositioned.
There are three possible fates for clothes in purgatory: 1) they are declared "clean" (usually determined by the "sniff test") and then worn immediately. Note, clothes that fail the sniff test can be "freshened up" by spraying with fabreze and/or placing in the dryer for a few minutes with a fabric softner sheet. 2) They are declared "dirty" and washed immediately with other items of the same type and color. In this case the item is arbitrarily determined to be dirty without a sniff test as an expedient to make up the difference in volume of a small load of laundry. 3) They are declared "clean" and put away properly (i.e. hung up or folded), Note, this determination is the rarest fate for clothes in purgatory.
Clothing purgatory is most often associated with clothing that is "home laundered." Dry-clean-only items are usually worn and immediately hung back up or declared "dirty" and placed in the "dry cleaning bag," although it is not entirely uncommon to retrieve a "dirty" article of clothing from the dry cleaning bag and "touch it up" with the iron in order to wear it again immediately.
Ashely searched for her favorite jeans (the stretchy ones that make her butt look cute) and found them in clothing purgatory. She quickly sniffed them and decided that the slight reek of stale beer and cigarettes would not be out of place at the hookah bar.
I only wore the khaki's for two hours, so I threw them in clothing purgatory.
"Is this clean?" Todd asked as he held up a sweater he found on the chair. "I dunno'?" said Nicole, "but you can go ahead and wash it if you're doing a load of colors."