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Closet inventory - is there such a thing as too much

fabricateurialist

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Is there such a thing as too having many items in your wardrobe ?

I've had this conversation a couple of times in recent months, and it was approached from different angles, from sustainable/more intentional shopping, to a minimalist wardrobe, to wanting choice because it's a form of self-expression. Since we all here care about our garments to some extent, I'd like to pose the question, how intentional is your wardrobe collection ? Is it ever enough ?

To give you an example, I reduced my shoe collection from 60 something down to 32 because there's no point in keeping that many of them around, when 50% are only being worn twice a year.

I am looking forward to hear everyone's pespective
 

Proleet

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No doubt the numbers are different per person but no doubt there is a maximum. Once you wear items 1-2 a year you’ve probably overshot it a bit. As I work mostly from home nowadays I definitely feel like that as it comes to shoes (around 40 pairs and planning to cut down a bit). Same would apply to suits, sport coats etc. I have items I haven’t worn in years…
 

Thin White Duke

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I think there’s an arc that many people follow when they become interested in style which starts out with feverish acquisition, slows down to more quality over quantity and the next stage - where I’m at - is contemplating reduction. I either work from home or get suited up a couple of times a week. I probably have less than ten years till retirement and I look at some of the stuff I’ve acquired and wonder how many more wears it’ll get. A lot of my work suits and jackets won’t easily transition to casual wear in Florida.

Then of course there’s the hilarious and frighteningly accurate graph trope that @acrid sheep posted many years ago!
 

fabricateurialist

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Many here can probably relate to the suit and tie sitting in our closets

I've put all suit commissions and purchases on hold for that reason, and as much as I love wearing one, there are just too few occasions to justify adding more to the collection

I think there’s an arc that many people follow when they become interested in style which starts out with feverish acquisition, slows down to more quality over quantity and the next stage - where I’m at - is contemplating reduction. I either work from home or get suited up a couple of times a week. I probably have less than ten years till retirement and I look at some of the stuff I’ve acquired and wonder how many more wears it’ll get. A lot of my work suits and jackets won’t easily transition to casual wear in Florida.

Then of course there’s the hilarious and frighteningly accurate graph trope that @acrid sheep posted many years ago!

love your blog, it's fun to see someone pull off colors that we simply can't in central Europe

do you happen to recall what @acridsheep post was called ?
No doubt the numbers are different per person but no doubt there is a maximum. Once you wear items 1-2 a year you’ve probably overshot it a bit. As I work mostly from home nowadays I definitely feel like that as it comes to shoes (around 40 pairs and planning to cut down a bit). Same would apply to suits, sport coats etc. I have items I haven’t worn in year
 

Gus

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My wife and I adopted the strategy of "If we don't wear it for a year then we get ride of it" (donate, give to a friend). In the spring and fall we rotate our seasonal clothing. That is the ideal opportunity to evaluate if we didn't wear something and to get rid of it. Regular editing of your wardrobe has many advantages 1) easier to see in your closet the things you actually wear and enjoy, 2) You discover what you need so you have a better plan for practical purchases 3) It keeps your wardrobe and style up-to-date.

We do make some exceptions for special occasion, formal or special purpose apparel.
 

Son Of Saphir

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Is there such a thing as too having many items in your wardrobe ?

Yes.
Found it better to have a small amount of exceptionally well made seasonal clothing items that mix and match well and get worn a lot.
It makes life easier and eliminates the clothing obsession and the time wasted thinking about clothes.

Wear your favourite clothes everyday and enjoy what you have.
When your favourites wear out buy new stuff.
Keep control and avoid addictions.
It is a great balance to have.
Having a peaceful mindset is worth its weight in gold.

The endless chasing of materialism conflicts with a peaceful mindset.
An awful way to live.
Enjoy what you already have.
 
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fabricateurialist

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I find the more stuff I accumulate, the less opportunity I have to enjoy the pieces I already have. I’m at the stage where I don’t really buy anything anymore unless I absolutely need to.

FatherStyle.com
I feel like hitting that stage too

There are of course a few unique pieces that I will add when the opportunity presents itself like an Alanui cardigan in the right color combination
My wife and I adopted the strategy of "If we don't wear it for a year then we get ride of it" (donate, give to a friend). In the spring and fall we rotate our seasonal clothing. That is the ideal opportunity to evaluate if we didn't wear something and to get rid of it. Regular editing of your wardrobe has many advantages 1) easier to see in your closet the things you actually wear and enjoy, 2) You discover what you need so you have a better plan for practical purchases 3) It keeps your wardrobe and style up-to-date.

We do make some exceptions for special occasion, formal or special purpose apparel.
that sounds like a smart approach, I've done this for the first time this year and might adopt it permanently

Yes.
Found it better to have a small amount of exceptionally well made seasonal clothing items that mix and match well and get worn a lot.
It makes life easier and eliminates the clothing obsession and the time wasted thinking about clothes.

Wear your favourite clothes everyday and enjoy what you have.
When your favourites wear out buy new stuff.
Keep control and avoid addictions.
It is a great balance to have.
Having a peaceful mindset is worth its weight in gold.

The endless chasing of materialism conflicts with a peaceful mindset.
An awful way to live.
Enjoy what you already have.

I hear you, and with all the streamlining and optimizing we do in our lives, clothes can be one of those things where a little more cognitive load is rather pleasant - once someone's wardrobe is big enough, they might come up with outfits that they never thought about when they bought an item
 

Harwid

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At my advanced age I should not be buying many clothes but I can’t seem to stop buying. I am really good at getting rid of things I don’t like.

Donated 16 pair of pants, 1 shirt & 2 pair of shorts yesterday. Lost some weight.

Jeff
 

Thin White Duke

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I find the more stuff I accumulate, the less opportunity I have to enjoy the pieces I already have. I’m at the stage where I don’t really buy anything anymore unless I absolutely need to.

FatherStyle.com
Yeah I came to this point in accumulating some nice watches. There are a couple more I’d like to get if and when the opportunity meets the budget but I’m mindful not to fall down the rabbit hole. You can only wear one watch at a time and the more you acquire then the more money you have sitting in a drawer accumulating dust, slowly deteriorating (or obtaining patina!) waiting for their chance to be selected for a day or two in the sunshine before being redeposited in the drawer.
 

fabricateurialist

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Yeah I came to this point in accumulating some nice watches. There are a couple more I’d like to get if and when the opportunity meets the budget but I’m mindful not to fall down the rabbit hole. You can only wear one watch at a time and the more you acquire then the more money you have sitting in a drawer accumulating dust, slowly deteriorating (or obtaining patina!) waiting for their chance to be selected for a day or two in the sunshine before being redeposited in the drawer.
I made that choice regarding watches more consciously some time ago, and even with a few, I end up wearing one 90% of the time - so obviously tricking myself into believing that the next one will change my wearing habits
 

JCT22

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At some stage it becomes more about the hunt than about enjoying what you have. And that can turn into an appetite that is never satiated, so you have to ask yourself why you're doing it at all?

I have a lot of experience with this and have been liberated by letting go some of my collections. It felt great once it was done.

MarieKondoQuotes.jpg
 

An Acute Style

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At some stage it becomes more about the hunt than about enjoying what you have. And that can turn into an appetite that is never satiated, so you have to ask yourself why you're doing it at all?

I have a lot of experience with this and have been liberated by letting go some of my collections. It felt great once it was done.

View attachment 2018803
You used the right word, “collection”. Many of us are collectors. We happen to be able to wear our collection. The hunt is just as fun as wearing the items. I thrift the majority of my clothes.

I think the collection has gotten too big when you forget you have certain pieces. Organization is key. As is memory for us older folks.

I think it’s fine to only wear something once or twice a year. I have several Christmas pieces that get that treatment.

I also like having the pieces to make any given outfit. I went to a party with a fire theme and I was able to make something I liked a lot. I doubt I would be able to do that with a minimalist wardrobe.

Lastly, we should normalize wearing what you like when you like. You can wear a suit to go grocery shopping if you want. No one knows or needs to know why. You can wear a suit to work from home too. You don’t have to let your clothes sit in your closet. You can also wear more than one outfit a day. Just saying.
 
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fabricateurialist

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You used the right word, “collection”. Many of us are collectors. We happen to be able to wear our collection. The hunt is just as fun as wearing the items. I thrift the majority of my clothes.

I think the collection has gotten too big when you forget you have certain pieces. Organization is key. As is memory for us older folks.

I think it’s fine to only wear something once or twice a year. I have several Christmas pieces that get that treatment.

I also like having the pieces to make any given outfit. I went to a party with a fire theme and I was able to make something I liked a lot. I doubt I would be able to do that with a minimalist wardrobe.

Lastly, we should normalize wearing what you like when you like. You can wear a suit to go grocery shopping if you want. No one knows or needs to know why. You can wear a suit to work from home too. You don’t have to let your clothes sit in your closet. You can also wear more than one outfit a day. Just saying.
Totally agree, when you feel like wearing a suit to run errands, do so

It's something people should practice more, what's the point of all this "stuff" if it just ends up being collected for the right moments
At some stage it becomes more about the hunt than about enjoying what you have. And that can turn into an appetite that is never satiated, so you have to ask yourself why you're doing it at all?

I have a lot of experience with this and have been liberated by letting go some of my collections. It felt great once it was done.

View attachment 2018803
"why we buy" - everyone's primal brain gets triggered 😂
 

Gus

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You used the right word, “collection”. Many of us are collectors. We happen to be able to wear our collection. The hunt is just as fun as wearing the items. I thrift the majority of my clothes.

I live in the 3rd largest art market in the US so I've had the chance to meet some wonderful dealers/gallery owners. The top tier ones when speaking about strategies for successful collecting anything will encourage you to 1) "be a collector and not an accumulator" 2) buy the best examples you can afford 3) educate yourself by reading for greater appreciation and making smarter purchases.
 

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