" data-orig-src="http://blog.forthefit.com/wp-content/uploads/closet-912694_1280-1024x576.jpg" alt="Create your perfect wardrobe" width="1024" height="576" />Does the thought of picking out an outfit leave you with your head in your hands? Sure, sometimes we’re not in the mood for getting our fashionista on, but if you would much rather stay in for the night than have to choose an outfit for an evening with your friends, then it may be time for an intervention (especially if it isn’t laundry day)… Believe it or not, the perfect clothes may already be in your wardrobe – or, at least, the beginnings of a fantastic wardrobe may be. It’s just a case of finding and identifying the items that work. In my experience, people tend to fall into one of two categories – the Clothes Hoarder, and the Skeleton Wardrobe-r. Which one are you?
If your wardrobe, drawers and even space on top of your bedroom surfaces – yes, I’m including the floor in this – is covered with clothes, then chances are you’re a Clothes Hoarder. It seems counter intuitive, but this can actually mean choosing an outfit feels like a chore. Here’s why…
- You can’t remember what clothes you actually own. This can mean that you end up doubling up on certain items, but don’t have any of other pieces that you really need. Talk about ten thousand spoons…
- Your favorite pieces can get lost. If it’s really difficult to find that beloved sweater without turning your bedroom into a bombsite, you’re probably never going to get to wear it.
- You end up just throwing pieces on that don’t necessarily go together. It’s necessary if you want to leave the house before noon.
- You often keep clothes that don’t fit. Eventually, guilt will set in about your mountain of clothing, and you feel that you shouldn’t buy new clothes as you already have too many. You’ll just work with what you’ve got – only what you’ve got isn’t necessarily any good…
Do you wear the same t-shirt over and over? Do you only own one pair of pants? Trust me when I say that variety is the spice of life, and while shopping for clothes might seem like a dull or daunting task, with the right information and tips, you can expand your wardrobe without too many tears. Here’s why too few clothes can be bad for your wardrobe…
- Clothes get worn out more quickly. If you only own a few t-shirts, they may not last all that long, especially if they aren’t of great quality.
- You have barely any options for outfits. Even if you wanted to mix things up a bit, you can’t.
- Choosing outfits becomes boring. If you only have a few pieces of clothing, then you’re basically wearing a uniform – and how can you express your tastes then?
How to create your ideal wardrobe
Of course, you’re probably always going to lean to one side – either buying more or fewer items of clothing – but with a little diligence, you can keep your wardrobe under control and make it work well for you.
Make sure you’ve covered the staples
If you’ve got (good quality) essential items in your wardrobe – think t-shirts, dress shirts, casual pants, dress pants, a decent pair of shoes and so on – then mixing and matching becomes a lot easier. If you’re missing items, for instance if you only have one or two shirts, then outfit options become limited quickly. And as Dan Trepanier advises over at Articles of Style: “In a perfectly curated wardrobe, all of the pieces (well, almost all) should make sense together and be interchangeable. For example, each of the ties should work with each of the shirts, and each of the shirts should work with each of the trousers. In theory, you could get dressed in the dark.” Dan goes on to list some of the essential items he believes should be in every man’s wardrobe. It’s a great place to start, but of course your personal staple wardrobe may look a little different. Which brings me onto my next point…
Note down which clothing types you wear often
There’s no point in investing in 20 different suits if your office’s dress code is smart / casual. Think about it: are you in suits a lot for work? Do you tend to wear casual clothes more frequently? What about sportswear? Work out roughly what percentage of your week is spent in sportswear, businesswear, loungewear and so on, and this should give you a rough guide of how much of your wardrobe should be made up of each type of clothing. There’s your basic formula for your ideal staple wardrobe.
Aim for classic styles
Fashions come and go, and it’s great fun to experiment, but your real investment should be in a staple wardrobe full of classic styles that will last and last. If you choose good quality clothing in a classic style, it won’t go out of fashion, and it will physically last a long time, meaning that time spent shopping is reduced (great news if you’re a Skeleton Wardrobe-r). Keep your choices for your staple wardrobe simple and classy, and you’ll always look great – and never be stuck for a knock-‘em-dead outfit. Think of fashionable trends as an add-on wardrobe that you can have a bit of fun with!
Be ruthless with your current wardrobe
Pick out what you like from what you already own, and ditch the rest. Trust me on this one. Holding onto clothing that doesn’t fit properly or which isn’t good quality is just going to mean less space for the great new clothes you’re going to invest in. Antonio Centeno at The Art of Manliness offers some stellar advice here: “First, before spending a dime, you must commit to making the change. Do this by going through your current clothing and setting aside everything that you 1) have not worn for two years, 2) is noticeably stained, and 3) fits so poorly not even a master tailor could adjust it to fit. “Package it all up and mark it for the Salvation Army or eBay.” Antonio Centeno is a knowledgeable expert on fashion so why not listen to a podcast he did for Elite Man Magazine here. In the podcast he discusses the easiest ways to improve your style, why the casual look is okay, and much, much more.
When you find great clothes, buy a couple
If you discover a pair of pants that fits fantastically, or you fall in love with the color of a particular t-shirt, then get a back-up. This way, your beloved clothes will last twice as long, and you also won’t have to worry about laundry as often – score! It’s a good idea to get clothing that fits well in a few different colors, as this will widen the variety of your wardrobe, and also ensure that you always have clothes on hand that make you look great – the fit really makes a huge difference.
I hope that these tips have helped you to think about your own wardrobe and whether it’s working for you. With just a little time and effort, it’s surprisingly easy to fine tune your wardrobe – and doing so will make you feel like a million dollars.