How men can create minimalist wardrobes

A mens help-guide to a minimalist wardrobe

How could we leave out men? What were we thinking? We got a comment from a man about our minimalist fashion post and he said  – “What about guys and our minimal wardrobes?” Plus, he didn’t think he’d look so great in the heels we suggested, anyway.

Gosh! I never thought about men and minimalist wardrobes! I aways think that men’s wardrobes are so simple and easy – don’t they just grab some pants, find a clean shirt and maybe a jacket and go out the door? And what about Steve Jobs as a minimalist icon – black turtleneck and jeans, 24/7. 

But never mind my stereotypes. In fairness to guys, I did a little research to find out how men can look great and not have stuffed closets, either. Fair is fair, after all!

Guess what? I learned so much that I think women should pay attention to this. It’s all about mixing and matching and when you do that, you hardly need any clothes at all. Watch the video and see how the man looks great and seems to have lots of new outfits. Who knew? Ready?

I’m going to give you the general rules that I learned, but of course, certain professions require different clothes, so adjust as needed. For example, you’ll need more than one suit if you work in profession like law which requires you to wear a suit every day. Or maybe you work in a trade, so add more Carhartt overalls and jeans, and so on. But for closet basics, here’s all you need:

1. Charcoal grey suit for weddings, funerals, interviews and the like. Here’s how to get mileage out of that suit:

  •  Wear the pants as trousers with a dress shirt and no jacket or tie.
  • Wear the suit as a suit for formal events and change out the tie for different events.
  • Wear the suit jacket with jeans and a white shirt.

2. Khaki or blue chinos. How many outfits can you create with these? Start with pants and build from there. Here’s how: 

  • Pair with just an oxford dress shirt and brogues. Now you have simple, but classy look.
  • Dress up the pants by adding a seasonal jacket. In summer you can pair with a blue seersucker jacket and in winter, add a corduroy or wool jacket. If you want to dress up further, add a tie.
  • Dress down by removing the jacket and tie, add boat shoes, and roll up the sleeves of your shirt.
  • Dress down even more with a T-shirt and converse shoes.

3. Dark denim jeans

  • Wear with T-shirt and classic sneakers.
  • In cooler weather, wear with a henley and classic work boots. The man in the video loves his Wolverine 1000 boots
  • Wear with a white oxford shirt, tuck in, add a belt and a pair of Wolverines or Brogues.
  • Dress up even more with a brown corduroy sport coat plus Wolverines.
  • Add basic layering, such as a red V-neck sweater over your white shirt, and add a sport coat.
  • Remove the sport coat and wear just the V-neck sweater over your white shirt.
  • Wear the jeans with a plaid shirt .

I was really impressed with this video. You can get seven – count-em – seven outfits out of one pair of jeans. 

Here’s rules to planning your wardrobe 

  1. Start with your pants, then add items like the V-neck sweater, or change your shoes, change your shirt or add a tie or jacket.  As you can see, you don’t need a lot of shirts, pants or jackets to constantly rotate your look.  
  2. Get five dress shirts in plain or small pattern. As you saw, you can wear them with your suit or jeans.
  3. Get two or three sweaters – two in basic colors like navy blue and grey and one not basic, like red.
  4. If you buy shirts off the rack, get yourself a good tailor to make those shirts fit you perfectly. Suddenly your $30 shirt will look like a million on you. 
  5. Be ruthless getting rid of clothes. Twice a year you should purge your closet. For instance, at the end of winter, look at your winter clothes and if you have clothes that you haven’t worn for the entire season, take them to charity. Do this again at the end of summer. Why haven’t you worn the item? Did it not fit you, do you not like it? Get rid of whatever you haven’t worn for six months because that means you’ll probably never wear it. Having your closet cluttered with clothes you don’t wear but think you “might someday” or “should wear,” is not conducive to the simple life. This is how you maintain your minimalist closet. Guys, how am I doing? 

If you need a little extra push in the right direction to kick off your minimalist wardrobe, I definitely recommend checking out the book, The More of Less, written by man who practices minimalism – Joshua Becker.


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