Rule #1 Weed Your Wardrobe
Keep the number of separate items in your wardrobe as low as possible. Throw everything out, except the very best items in your wardrobe.
This means that you’ll get rid of anything that:
- Is torn, marked, frayed or otherwise damaged
- Isn’t of the highest quality
- Doesn’t go with everything else in your wardrobe
- Isn’t suitable for the activities you engage in
- You have too many of
- Doesn’t express your personality
- Doesn’t look absolutely fantastic on you
Rule #2 Be Hungry to Learn
There is always more to learn about style and clothes.
Read the best books and blogs about style.
These are some of my favourite online resources:
- Dress Like a Grownup!
- Effortless Gent
- Masculine Style
- Real Men Real Style
- Restart Your Style
- Simpler Man
- The Art of Manliness: Dress and Grooming
Notice what other chaps are wearing, and see if you can figure out why they look good / not so good.
A couple of tips:
- Don’t get caught staring at other guys. They might get the wrong idea.
- Don’t criticise others
The best way to learn is to experiment with your own style.
Rule #3: Emphasize Quality
Only ever buy the highest quality items that you can afford.
For most of us, this is easier if you take your time to rebuild your wardrobe rather than rushing out and buying a whole lot of stuff all at once.
Rule #4: Buy for Versatility
Buy clothes that you will wear in a wide variety of situations, and which go with a wide variety of other clothes in your wardrobe. That way, you can decide what to wear when you’re getting dressed rather than when you’re shopping.
Rule #5: Group Your Clothes
Make your choice of clothes easy when you need to make it by storing your clothes so that it is easy to pick out the right outfit for the occasion. The easiest way is to group items in your closet by activity. For example, your groups might be:
Minimizing the number of clothes in your wardrobe makes it easier to find things.
Rule #6: Respect Your Body
Accept the body you have, and choose clothes that make the best of it.
Accept the Things You Cannot Change
There are some things about your body that you’re stuck with. For example, your your height, your eye colour, your tendency towards baldness etc. There is no point in trying to be someone you’re not.
Change the Things You Can
Some things you may be able to change about your body, and these may include your attention to cleanliness, grooming, nutrition and exercise. Some times it takes a little while to deal with some of these things – loosing weight and staying fit is a battle for all of us. The important thing is to be realistic and dress in a way that’s suitable for the way you look today.
Apply Wisdom to Hide the Difference
Choose items that:
- Accentuate your best features, and which draw attention away from your less desirable qualities.
- Are a perfect fit, or better still have them tailored to fit. From now on, assume that everything you buy will need at least a little alteration, and plan / budget accordingly.
- Complement your colouring.
Rule #7: Create a System
Your wardrobe isn’t about individual items, but about things that go together in a variety of ways to achieve a look that expresses your individual style and which makes you look great. So, start with the basics, and use them as the foundations of your own personal style.
These rules might be simple, but that doesn’t make them easy. It takes time to build a great wardrobe, but the results are surely worth it.
- If you’re stuck for a place to begin, start with a great foundation and then build outwards.
- The Effortless Gent has some great articles on the subject of the Lean Wardrobe, as well as an excellent free book on the subject.