Starting a new wardrobe

Created on Tuesday, August 11, 2009.
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Recently I looked at my wardrobe and noticed that I was wearing maybe six pieces out of it in total — I don’t go out much, so this is not as bad as it sounds. A lot of it had been gifted to me for my birthday or Christmas over the years, and now either didn’t fit or was not my style. Being aware that I have no interest in the vast majority of my clothes made me donate most of it to Goodwill and put a new collection together. You probably should do the same, so here’s how.

Clearing out your wardrobe

The rules of clearing a wardrobe are simple and obvious:

  1. If it doesn’t fit, remove it.
  2. If it is damaged (and you don’t have the manly skillz to fix it), remove it.
  3. If it is ugly (and you may need someone to tell you that, yes, it is), or you do not want to wear it, remove it.
  4. And then the hardest rule:
  5. If you have not worn it in the last year, remove it.

Don’t forget to check through your socks, underpants, undershirts and shoes. You should be left with only the clothes you wear most often.

Decide on a style

Look at the clothes you’re left with and consider why they appeal to you. I found that I only kept one t-shirt but kept most of my button-up shirts, for example, and that I had gotten rid of anything that had a big image or logo on it.

Based on this information, you can learn what kind of clothes you are actually interested in and begin planning out your wardrobe.

Planning a man’s wardrobe

What clothes should you get, then? We can make several assumptions here:

  1. You don’t want to spend more money than necessary.
  2. You don’t care if you wear a piece of clothing more than once a year.
  3. You want to spend less time doing laundry.
  4. You want choosing a presentable outfit to be easier.

The answer, then, is minimalism. Choosing only basic, simple pieces of clothing that you can then mix and match widely to create many unique outfits means you can get a more consistent look while having a diverse wardrobe without needing to own many clothes that you won’t be wearing regularly.

  1. Choose clothes that can match with other pieces. Colors like white, beige and light blue can be matched with any colour of pants, for instance.
  2. Avoid identifying marks. Things like logos, captions or pictures (especially on t-shirts), and bold patterns not only identify that piece as unique in your wardrobe (which means people will notice that you wear it every week), but also prevent you from matching it tastefully with other clothes.
  3. Dress up, not down. While you’ll probably want one or two sets of sports clothing and some stuff to wear while painting or whatever, try to choose clothes that are suitable for both casual wear and business casual settings. White long-sleeved shirts, straight-cut black pants or khakis, and blazers or other simple jackets fit this.
  4. Ignore fashion trends. I read somewhere that the trendy thing for mens’ fashion this year was gigantic scarves, as wide as your head and very long, so they can be worn draping over your chest. This is something that does not make sense to me.

Aside from all that, you’re a big boy, you can figure out how to dress. And if you want to spend $300 on a pair of jeans, that’s entirely your business; just know that they look exactly like every other pair of jeans to most people.

That's all there is, there isn't any more.
© Desi Quintans, 2002 – 2018.