You know that closet full of clothes you have: The rows of shirts, sweaters and jeans you have folded, and the jackets and overcoats you have? Well, as it turns out you only wear a little over one tenth of your entire closet. A recent study from thread.com, a site that sells clothes, found that most men only wear 13% of all the clothes in their closets.
The abundance of clothes — be it because you haven’t cleaned your closet out in who knows how long, you have gifted clothing that you didn’t like or need, you have pieces that a significant other forced you into buying, or trendy pieces you never got the chance to wear for numerous reasons. “Guys are wary of those more daring pieces, like prints or brights, because they’re not sure how to mix and match,” says Thread stylist Sophie Gaten to Men’s Fitness.
This closet problem seems to be specific to men, as consumer behavior consultant Philip Graves theorizes that men wear less of the clothes they own because they can, and it’s quite a different story for women, “[They] don’t want to be seen in the same dress twice,” Graves says, “but there’s no male equivalent for that. Men are more interested in projecting a consistent image, whereas society pressures women to constantly reinvent themselves.”
So how can you go from wearing 13% to 100% of the clothes you own? Go minimalist. Pare your wardrobe down and build yourself a capsule wardrobe. It’s not only meant to help save you money, but also cut closet clutter and create more outfit options. While the idea of a capsule wardrobe is nothing new, “Unfancy” blogger Caroline Rector recently popularized the craze.
It’s simple: A capsule wardrobe includes a collection of clothes and accessories that are considered essentials. It’s a basic collection of coordinating clothes that can be used to form outfits for all occasions. The items you own will be between 25 and 30, and you should be able to piece them together during a 3-month period (or each season).
“Having dark jeans that fit you well, a fitted tee in a neutral, and a navy, gray, or black sweater is a great starting point,” says Gaten. Men’s Health UK polled 11 of the UK’s most respected style advisors on the exact key pieces that should make up a men’s capsule wardrobe, and concluded the lucky number to be 24 in all.
These 24 items are meant to take you through the average week — from work to the weekend, the gym, a night out, the after work dinner date, each piece was selected specifically for versatility. The result is not only that you’re going to save a hell-of-a-lot of money, but you’ll have a smaller closet with less clutter and maximum utility. To note: Your numbers may change depending upon the season and inclimate weather — accounting for extra layers and weather specific items like snow boots.
Here is a list of the essentials, according to Men’s Health UK.