Keeping your closet in order is Gentleman preparation 101. Organized chaos might be alright for a garage or your desk at work, but making sure you’re ready for any type of day is paramount. Perhaps you already have all of your essentials lined up, or maybe you’re like a lot of people out there with clothes all over the floor and unable to close the closet door because shirts are all bunched together without any rhyme or reason.
If it looks like Bourbon Street after Mardi Gras on your bedroom floor, it’s time to do some pre-spring cleaning and get your closet in order. We’re going to take a look at a few essentials to help you build your perfect wardrobe, and a few principles to make sure it stays that way.
First Thing’s First, Let’s Get Organized
Before you can start setting up the perfect man closet for yourself, it’s important to get prepared. An easy way to start is to pull everything out of your closet and organize the pieces into categories. Put shirts into one pile, pants in another and so on and so forth. Once you’ve organized everything into piles, go through and ask yourself these five simple questions:
- Does it fit?
- Do I ever wear it?
- Does it make me feel good?
- How many outfits can I make using this piece?
- Do I have many similar items?
So many times we shove pieces into our closet and forget about them over time. We buy them because we think we will wear them, buy them for an occasion int he future and end up wearing something else, or because it’s a “trendy” piece at the time. When you ask yourself these questions, it will make it much easier to get rid of clothing. Lastly, before you start to put everything back into the closet, try it on. Like the first questions asks “does it fit?”, xyou may look at a piece and think “yes it does” when in reality it doesn’t. Take the time to try things on because it will make organizing int he long run much easier.
Hang it Up
Now that you have decluttered your closet it’s time to hang everything back up. A few simple tricks that make a big difference is to first organize your closet into sections. Put all your short sleeve shirts together, long sleeves together, dress shirts and then sweaters. By separating them into subcategories, you’ll be able to reach into your closet even easier because you know where everything is located. If you want to become an organizing pro, you can color coordinate all your clothing with ROYGBIV; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. By organizing by type and color, you’ll be able to locate the piece you’re looking for 100x easier.
If you have some “go-to” looks you always grab for, like certain suits with certain shirts, have a section in your closet with “pre-put together” outfits that you can easily grab for and not think about pairing pieces. You should always organize your space in a way that makes life easier for you.
Now that you’ve organized your closet, you can now see the pieces that you need because the foundation is just as important as the highlight pieces. Here are a few man closet essentials you need to have that, while not always seen right away, are just as important as the new tie you want to rock. No lengthy descriptions here, just a list of things you should have:
- Both white and colored button up shirts
- Good quality undershirts (specifically white, but a few that match your button up shirts)
- Dress pants in multiple colors (make sure they’re pressed and ready to go)
- Chinos in khaki, black, and at least one bold color.
- Quality jeans that fit right
- Brown and black dress shoes
- Brown or black casual shoes, like a Chelsea or Chukka boot
- Sneakers and/or Converse-style shoes
- A coat for every occasion. A heavy Winter coat, wool coat, light spring coat, casual jackets, like a bomber or jean jacket.
- A variety of socks (not just white or black. Have a plethora of at-the-ready socks for any ensemble. Have some formal, some fun, some for shorts-weather etc.)
- Designated areas for watches, jewelry, and accessories (including sunglasses)
- A nice option of belts to choose from (specifically black or brown that match your shoes)
Your closet shouldn’t just make going to work easier. It’s for every place you might end up going. Having a fresh combination of looks will always have an advantage. Sure, it’s especially good for work, but what if you start going on a string of dates and want to keep looking your best without looking the same? What if you want to up your vacation looks?
This is where variety comes into play. With your closet separated and organized, you can see which areas might be lacking a little. With suits specifically, this can be very helpful. If you’re tired of wearing the same black or grey suit all the time, look into a navy one. You might notice you have more plaid shirts than solids ones or even more of a certain color than others. Keep an eye on your inventory. Stay unpredictable, be adventurous, and keep that closet organized.