“I only recently discovered your blog but it had such good advice I read through all 38 pages in one night! There was one question I have been wondering for a while: If you have a few staple clothes/shoes, they look amazing and are versatile, but how do you avoid saturating the occasions to which you wear them without totally voiding your wallet? What are your thoughts?”
First of all, thank you! I’m impressed you made it all the way back to the beginning; I think I would be sick of me by then.
Secondly, that’s a great question, and one I’ve thought about a lot before too.
I’m a big proponent of a ‘have fewer, but nicer things’ philosophy. It’s a simple concept, but one that I don’t think gets put into play by either men or women nearly enough. Because look, I get it. You walk into Forever 21 and can buy five shirts. You walk into Brooks Brothers and can buy one. It feels like a better value to go for more stuff, but when that stuff starts falling apart after a couple spins in the wash, it doesn’t seem like such a great deal anymore.
I don’t have any delusions that a guy is going to scrap all h&m or Target from his wardrobe, and hey, there’s a place for cheap-o basics. But when it comes to signature pieces – a solid pair of dress shoes, a great suit – it’s worth it to pay a little more.
And if you’re paying more for certain pieces, you might as well wear them more often. I mean, sure, you probably shouldn’t break out that tuxedo hanging in the back of your closet for brunch, but most other stuff can make appearances more often without fear of “saturation” as you put it. It won’t be like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry thinks the woman he’s dating only owns one dress, I promise.
The key is to mix those pieces with what’s already in your closet so, like you said, you’re not breaking the bank trying to elevate the entire outfit to the same level. A really great navy sportcoat for instance, could be worn with jeans and a dress shirt one day, and again a few days later with trousers.
Ladies won’t be wondering, “Didn’t he wear that jacket on Tuesday?” They’ll be saying, “He always looks so put together, I wish more guys dressed like him.”