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How much is enough?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by AlanC, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    A forum member and I were discussing the edges of this question but I thought it might be worth a more direct look. What limits should one place on the size of one's wardrobe? The deals and sales keep coming, there are only so many days to wear what we have--how much is too much? This came home to me last night as I was trying to jam a couple of dress shirts in the closet after some late night ironing (bigger closet, maybe?). I'm not speaking of this from a moral standpoint (eg, you own too much--repent.). I'm talking about simply recognizing the limits of practicality. Now most (all?) of the people here are clothes hobbyists to one degree or another and some "excess" is to be expected. But, for an example, how many cufflinks do I really need (I've been on a cufflink spree of late) when I would wear them 4-5 times month on average (no comments, cuffthis. [​IMG] ). I don't necessarily aspire to have a vast collection of links, but I suspect my small number naturally will grow. Shoes are another obvious example around here. Ties, too. Anyway, just some thoughts.
     


  2. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Enough? Boy, I should smack you...

    Jon.
     


  3. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    [​IMG] (Just don't show the thread to anyone buying you gifts for the holidays...)
     


  4. Phil

    Phil Senior member

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    i have a strict policy, based pretty much on experience and available closet space. goes like this:

    Suits - I own 12 spring/summer suits, 12 fall/winter suits
    Sport coats - I own 3 spring/summer coats, 3 fall/winter coats
    Odd pants - not enough to warrant a limit
    Shoes - 15 pairs

    If I buy a new suit, one has to go. Thats my rule. Shoes I am a bit more flexible on, but not much.
     


  5. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    I have the same policy as Phil, but my needs are less (I mainly wear sport jackets and blazers with ties to work):
    7 suits
    7 sportjackets
    15 odd wool trousers (mainly gray)
    7-8 shoes
    20 shirts
    15-20 ties

    Much of what I own are duplicates (gray flannels, Alden loafers, navy blazers, blue Hermes ties, etc.).

    I'm always replacing an item that's either worn or "not good enough" with a similar item. "Just one more thing and I'll be done". Others are more honest and just collect-limitless cufflinks, shoes, ties, etc. And let's face one harsh fact-if you are collecting custom suits instead of,say, silk knot cufflinks, there's less money available to fund your child's education.
     


  6. ROT

    ROT Senior member

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    Amen. As soon as the kid gets the scholarship to university, I'm booking a flight to London. Of course she's just 7 1/2 weeks old...... .

    I have trouble getting rid of stuff, thinking that it'll fit me again one day or that the fashion will come back around (skinny ties here). But I'm learning. I had to have my closet rebuilt (the old one collapsed under the weight) and managed to sort through some stuff that just had to go. Honesty (with one's self is the best policy?)

    At present I own a baker's dozen suits (four of which are decent quality), the same number of sportcoats (half of which were my Father's Harris Tweeds), fifteen or so odd trousers (with far too many cotton), 25 pairs of shoes and 300 ties.

    As I upgrade the shoe wardrobe, I won't have any trouble getting rid of the cheap pairs. Worn out trousers (like cords and khakis) are used for puttering around the yard and house.

    I'm loathe to get rid of the suits, but will have to face up to facts one day. I keep promising myself that once I own 5 perfect suits.... that'll be it. Yeah, right. They'll wind up being the standard against which I judge new purchases.
     


  7. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    My rule of thumb is if I haven't worn it in 12 months, out it goes. I try not to buy stuff that overlaps with other things I already own.
    This seems to limit what I buy and what I keep.
     


  8. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    I've yet to reach any sort of limit yet, but I AM looking to move into a two bedroom apartment when I go back to New York from London. You know, one for sleeping, one for the "office" which will really be the closet. It feels sinful to have a custom suit hanging in a full (not stuffed, thank god) closet.

    I do agree though, that once you get to the 12 suits per season level, you probably don't need more. If they are good enough though, it's a shame to throw them away. Don't we all wish we inherited a wardrobe of excellent classic suits? There was an article on line once (can't remember where) about a guy who inherited hundreds of bespoke suits....
     


  9. gorgekko

    gorgekko Senior member

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    I wish I knew what the logical limit to my wardrobe is. Every time I think I'm satisfied I engage in a whole new level of excess and expand it further. Half the closets in my home are filled with my clothes now. Thank God I'm single...a female clothes horse would steal precious space from my collection.

    In fact, the latest expansion can be laid directly at the feet of the people in this forum. Until two months ago I was happy with my wardrobe -- made up primarily of Armani Collezioni, Boss Hugo Hoss and Donna Karan Signature and Couture. Now I find myself considering (and buying) Lorenzini's, Turnbull & Asser and all the other quality clothes.

    Damn you all. Damn you all to hell.
     


  10. arvi

    arvi Senior member

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    i'm afraid to count for fear of concluding what i already suspect subconsciously: i have no self-control and am an unbridled hedonist [​IMG] i guesstimate: 12 suits, 20 sports jackets,200 ties, 20+ pair of shoes,50 belts,60+ dress shirts, 230+ sport shirts living in a new york city apt i'm learning to discard what i don't wear too frequently [​IMG]
     


  11. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    For those of us who know we lack discipline, maybe we should conduct ourselves like AA and take a pledge. Something like this: I'll buy "x" tomorrow (whatever you want-doesn't matter) and, after that, no more purchases for ___ (fill in number) months. I'll be the first, if any of us think this approach has merit. Don't know if I'm kidding or serious. But it's probably more similar to trying to get sober in a bar. [​IMG]
     


  12. modsquad

    modsquad Senior member

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    I'll have enough when I can be invited to any event of any kind on the shortest possible notice and know that I can reach into the closet and pull out something appropriate and imaginative to wear and that I'll like it when I put it on. I want enough clothes to play roles: if I'm feeling biker, I want the jeans, the tank top, the leather, the metal. If I'm feeling Carnaby Street, I want the velvet blazer, the stripped flares, the tight suit. That goes for artsy, that goes for athletic, that goes for corporate, that goes for preppy, etc. And I want enough clothes so that my girlfriends don't have to put up with the same outfit or two every time we go someplace special.

    Am I the only one here who thinks like this?
     


  13. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Senior member

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    Look at my signature. I was doing so well (Chelsea boots) in July, August, Sep, Oct, and then I slipped back into the morass of StyleForum coveting. Actually, taking an inventory has helped guide my purchases for the next two or three months. I've been able to avoid most impulse buys and even allowed myself the escape route of free returns for a recent Bluefly purchase.
     


  14. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    I might be the odd one out here, but I have a pretty simple wardrobe. I am not intersted in having 50 suits, I have enough for what I need, most have at least 2 pairs of pants in order to last. I haven't bought a suit for 2 years, and I probrably will buy a few in 2005, but not more than 3 or so. I have shirts to last me for years, and I really don't want to have more than 4 or 5 pairs of dress shoes. I have gotten rid of most of my ties over recent years. Actually, as an ideal I would say that my warddrobe would be less than 10 ties, 20 shirts, 10 suits, 5 pair of shoes, and then various accessories. I don't want to spend too much time maintaining, or even thinking about what I wear in the morning.
     


  15. jekv12

    jekv12 Senior member

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    For those of you (ok, us) that have a lot of tailored clothing, I am curious: do you find yourself going to several favorites over and over? (I'm wondering if the 80/20 rule applies to members) how maniacal are you about rotating your clothes? It comes off the left side of the rack/closet, back in on right and you don't wear that garment again until it rotates through? Those of you with really large collections, maybe you rotate through blues, or stripes, or the Kitons before Brioni... [​IMG] When I was just out of college, this was easy - I had only 3-4 suits and maybe 10 shirts, two pair of shoes (one black and one brown)... Today, if I exclude 2-3 garments as special occasion, I find I have a lot of everyday business wear. But among those items, I tend to wear several pieces much more often than others...yet they all fit and are all 'wearable', by which I mean not 80's leftovers.
     


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