Saturday, 20 August 2011

Minimalist Wardrobe for Men

Are you a man looking to declutter your own wardrobe or a woman looking to help your boyfriend or huband create a minimalist wardrobe? If so, I am sure that you will find what follows useful.

There are many advantages to having a minimalist wardrobe and I will show you how to create one that ensures:
  • You have enough clothes for all your lifestyle activities
  • You spend less money on clothes and less time shopping
  • You have a tidy and organised wardrobe
  • You always have something to wear whatever the occassion
Creating a minimalist wardrobe for men in three easy steps.
Creating a minimalist wardrobe for men can be achieved by following these three basic steps.
  1. Identify your lifestyle activities.
  2. Make sure you have enough clothes for each of your lifestyle activities.
  3. Organising your wardrobe into mini-wardrobes

Step one - identify your lifestyle activities
The most important factor is to identify your lifestyle activities and the time that you spend on each activity.
I have put together a list of Lifestyle activities to get you started on your own list. They include:
Work, Running errands / Shopping, Smart-Casual Social events, Formal Social Events, Exercise, Leisure and Holidays.
The aim is to create separate mini-wardrobes for each of these activities.


For your work wardrobe, you need to take into account two main factors, the number of days during the week that you spend at work and how formal or casual your work dress code is. This should help you decide how many outfits you need and style of the clothes.
For example:
  • If you work full-time in a formal office, you might need a couple of suits, five shirts, two to three ties and a couple of pairs of shoes.
  • If you work in a less formal environment, you could wear trousers and shirts, for colder months pull-overs and more casual style shoes.
  • For a more casual work environment, such as working from home, or dress-down Fridays you would need a selection of more casual outfits.

Running Errands / Shopping

Most people need to run errands, such as shopping for groceries, going to the post-office or bank etc. Whilst you can get away with wearing clothes from your casual wardrobe, I would recommend having a comfortable pair of shoes that you use just for this activity, as it usually involves a lot of walking.

Formal Social Events

Everyone usually attends the following Formal Social events at sometime in their life.
  • Weddings
  • Funerals
  • Formal Interviews
For most men, one dark suit together with a white shirt and smart black shoes would be enough for formal social events such as weddings, a funeral and a formal interview.
To adapt the suit to the event, you would also need three ties, a black tie for funerals, a tie suitable for an interview and a more colourful one suitable for a wedding.
If you buy a white shirt, which are often quite see-through, I also recommend buying a white vest top to wear underneath so that if you remove your jacket, you can't see through the shirt.
Also buy a smart pair of black socks.
If  you choose a classic single-breasted style suit, it should last you for years. If you work in an office, try not to wear this suit or the shoes to work as this will wear it out.
  • Black tie
If you regularly attend Black Tie events, such as a ball, you may like to own your own Black-Tie Tuxedo Suit, otherwise think about hiring one when you receive an invitation.

Smart / Casual Social Events

It is often in the smart / casual element of people's wardobes that people don't have enough of the right type of clothes, which usually leads to the cry of "I don't have anyting to wear".
Events that come under this heading could include:
  • Eating out at an informal restaurant
  • Meeting friends after work for drinks
  • Going to the theatre
  • Going to someone's informal 40th birthday party.
  • Going to a nightclub
I would recommend building a mini-wardrobe based around two types of outfits, the first consisting of a smart pair of dark denim jeans a smart/casual shirt and smart/casual jacket.
The second outfit would be based around a neutral coloured pair of smart casual trousers, preferably that works with the shirt and jacket above.
You also need to buy some smart casual shoes.
To ring the changes and extend this wardrobe, you can add more shirts if you like.
Don't forget to buy some nice belts and cufflinks for the shirts.


  • Do you exercise regularly? Would you like to but lack of clothing may be one of the factors stopping you.
  • Write down the exercises you do or would like to do
  • Write down the number of garments / outfits you need together with the type of shoes you need. 

Hobbies, Leisure and Holidays

You may have some hobbies that require a separate set of clothes, such as if you play golf.
Write these down and work out what you need.
For a Holiday Wardrobe you need to think about the type of holidays you go on. For example:
  • Beach holidays - for which you would need swimwear,sunhats, beachfootwear
  • Skiing Holdays - for which you would need ski-wear
  • Citybreaks and sighseeing holidays - for which you would need comfortable walking shoes
  • Action / Activity holidays - for which you might need more specialist clothes.

How to organise your wardrobe

I believe that it is a good idea to organise you wardrobe so that all elements of the mini-wardrobes a kept together.
I keep clothes that I wear everyday to work in the main part of my wardrobe and on top of my wardrobe I keep the clothes that I don't wear very often. For example, your suit and it's accessories (for weddings, interviews and funerals) could go on the top of the wardrobe in a box, or hang the whole ensemble up in a clothes bag in the wardrobe.
The benefit of organising your wardrobe in ths way is that when an event crops up, you instantly go to the relevant part of your wardrobe and everything for that particular activity such as a wedding should all be in one place.

Review and Edit your wardrobe twice a year

I like to review my wardrobe twice a year, at the begining of spring and autumn.
Because my wardrobe is organised by mini-wardrobes according to each activity area, it makes the job much easier.
I simply find the clothes for a particular activity and see if they still fit, and still in good condition.
I then make sure I have enough clothes / outfits in this mini-wardrobe and if there are gaps, I put them on my shopping list.
This is the system that I use to create and maintain my wardrobe. As my lifestyle changes, I add or subtract mini-wardrobes.
It is imortant to make sure you have enough clothes in each of your mini-wardrobes. Any surplus can be discarded, leaving you with the bare minimum that you need. That to me is the essence of a minimalist wardrobe, one where you have enough clothes to meet your chosen lifestyle activities and no more.
As a result, each item in your wardrobe is there for a reason.

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