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Thread: Size of Wardrobe

  1. #1
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    Size of Wardrobe

    Good morning!

    As some one who is building his wardrobe I constantly wonder how much of every item (shirts, dress shirts, pants, jeans is the right amount for me.

    I realize that for most, that 'right' number depends on many factors such as work, no work, activities and personal preference. So I am sure there is no "correct" answer to my question, it's just born out of curiosity.

    Add to this that I'm finding many of my purchases have more to do with wants, rather then needs. Not that there is anything wrong with that I'm wondering if when that is the case have I reached the optimum number in that category.

    Once I started purchasing in earnest and signing up for e-mails notifications and mailing lists, the daily advertising bombardment has been quite impressive. Frequently I take a look and often I find something that I like, feel is a fair price and then internal debate begins if I really want/need that item.

    So taking out of the equation clothes for work (to the extent that is possible) how large should a wardrobe be?

  2. #2
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    I would say my wardrobe is pretty mature; meaning I have focused on quality and fit, then narrowed brands to finally find a place where I am happy.

    This is what has worked for me. You said take work clothes out of it, but I have a job in a smart/business casual workplace so there is a lot of crossover:
    5 dress shirts
    4 polos
    3 casual shirts
    3 jeans
    5 chinos
    5 blazers
    2 suits
    4 sweaters
    2 scarfs
    10 ties
    1 rain jacket
    1 casual jacket
    1 leather jacket
    1 tuxedo and shirt
    2 swimsuits
    handful each of T-shirts, tank tops, workout pants, and pjs

    as far as shoes go, I am not one to give advice. I have rarely found a shoe I didn't want.

  3. #3
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    I think there's an initial stage in someone updating their ward robe where they buy, buy buy ... then you figure out what you like and don't like and start to pair down to essentials and focusing on small updates and replacements. Everyone is different but I've noticed that a lot with myself and some postings here.

    For me the optimum number focuses on function, amount of laundry I want to do and space. I need suits and jackets (along with ties) every work day, so I have enough there to stretch it with some at dry cleaning or if not for the proper occasion.

    I try to ensure I can get through two weeks in between work clothes and under garments. I learned that from college when the laundry mat was on the other side of a busy road and I had to run across it carrying everything

    I've prob got too many clothes now, so really will only be replacing and pairing down.

  4. #4
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    At some point in the wardrobe evolution, quality over quantity invariably starts to creep into the equation.

  5. #5
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    Sure variety is the spice of life but indulging in that principle will make me obese (clothing-wise);

    I avoid a cramped closet where clothes are hanging squished to one another. I want to be able to somewhat slide the hanger left/right.

    I do have some clothes in an off-site storage and I rotate clothes for cool and warm season. I'm fine with that and won't try to reduce to avoid storing between seasons.

    EDIT: No, I can't exclude work clothes. Work and play clothes share the same closet. That's why my wardrobe is mostly business casual--I can wear the same outfit to the office or McD.

  6. #6
    TMann
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    I was thinking about this same topic today. There were a couple of good articles on old/worn clothing in the last week or so that really got me thinking:

    This one is on the joy of old, comfortable clothes: https://putthison.com/the-joy-of-old-clothes/
    This one is on the lost art of mending clothes: https://dieworkwear.com/post/1821260...bility-to-mend

    I realized after reading those articles that I probably have enough clothes to last me several years without buying anything new. (Not including socks and underwear.) My closet currently contains:

    Button-up shirts: Probably 15 or so, 3 of which are dress shirts.
    T_shirts: 12-15, mostly short sleeve plus a few long sleeve shirts.
    Sweaters: 6
    Sweatshirts: 5
    Coats: At least 15, ranging in weight from a heavy wool overcoat to a light nylon jacket for hiking.
    Suits/Blazers: 1 suit, 1 tux, 5 blazers.
    Jeans: 5
    Other casual pants: 5
    Shoes: 2 sneakers, 2 dress shoes, 5 casual shoes, plus a few old extras.
    Watches: 5, plus a few old ones.


    So...perhaps it's time for another No-Clothing-Purchase fasting period. Reduce, reuse, repair.

  7. #7
    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeysc23 View Post

    I try to ensure I can get through two weeks in between work clothes and under garments.
    That's my rule of thumb as well. Well, two weeks plus one day. Although I probably have three weeks' worth of dress shirts and boxer briefs right now. But it's a smart way to go, especially if you take your shirts to the cleaner. That way you will not find yourself forced to rush to the cleaner when you run out of shirts just so you can go to work.

    Casual clothing and "event" clothing is where I overdo it. We go to several costume and "theme" events a year and frequent lots of different types of social events from dive bars to black tie. I can't seem to get a handle on the quantity of clothing I need. But I know I have too much.

    And shoes. Jeez, I have enough shoes to last me the rest of my life.
    WHY ARE THE GUYS IN SUITS HERE? HAS SOMETHING GONE WRONG?

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    The right sized wardrobe is one that allows you to dress appropriately in minutes for any probable occasion or climatic condition. The key word is PROBABLE. Make sure you’re planning for situations that are likely to occur.

    Analyze your social calendar and geography to figure out what you need to complement your lifestyle. Once you see where the gaps are, research select pieces that make the most impact. Acquire new things slowly and with a plan, knowing exactly when and where you’re likely to wear a given item. Email marketing exists to goad us into buying things we don’t need (or sometimes even want). Use the email and other marketing to find items that fit into your plan.

    Most people have too many clothes, usually multiples of the same item with only the smallest of stylistic differences. Fortunately men can wear the same staple pieces over again if they are classic, well made and fit properly.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    It's always good to have some sort of direction or strategy rather than deciding on a per item basis when purchasing as you'd probably end up with redundancies.

    It would be better to list down everything you think you'd eventually want to buy, then work on completing that list. That way your wardrobe aesthetic will be dictated by what you really want as opposed to what you came across and which items are on sale. It will take time, but it'll be fun hunting for those specific items. Make your list on a spreadsheet and include the specific colors of each item so you can see how everything will go with each other.

    As for deciding which items to include, it's down to a combination of wants and needs, combining style with function and practicality. My most common item is a polo shirt as it's probably the most versatile piece that can go with shorts or with chinos under a blazer, so I have it in almost all colors for those wear-this-certain-color moments, plus they are perfect for the summer when colors are welcome and it's too hot for a jacket, so the different colors add a lot of variety. Then I have 3 henleys in my best colors, 3 ocbds in the usual versatile colors (white, blue, pink), 3 long sleeve linen shirts (for summer casual or beachwear with shorts), and 5 plain v-neck tees in dark colors (to hide sweat and dirt) that double as house clothes or summer clothes. It's cold for 9 months in a year where I live, so I have 4 summer/spring jackets, 4 fall/winter jackets, and 4 transitional/water repellant jackets, all in black, navy, gray, and green per season. i also have a variety of knitwear/midlayers in charcoal, light gray, and dark brown to go with my jackets.

  10. #10
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    If it doesn't spark joy, get rid of it. --Marie Kondo

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