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5 Steps to an Interchangeable Wardrobe

When it comes to style, men with unlimited budgets have it easy. They don’t have to worry about what their style costs; they can buy anything they like and know they’ll always look good. For the rest of us, however, who have to worry about bills, food, and paying back that car loan, purchasing every tweed jacket, suit, and item of men’s clothing we want can quickly eat up our extra cash.

That’s why interchangeability is such an important concept for us. Creating an interchangeable wardrobe with fewer, but more specific pieces, allows us to look good without breaking the budget.

Creating an Interchangeable Wardrobe

Having an interchangeable wardrobe means purchasing items of clothing that can be mixed and matched in various ways. Here’s how to do it the right way.


  • Check Your Current Wardrobe- Take a look at what you have hanging in your closet and sitting in your drawers right now to see what you can work with and what you haven’t. Don’t automatically dismiss those odd pieces you rarely wear; they could offer new, surprising looks you never thought about before. However, be sure to throw out anything that doesn’t fit (and can’t be tailored to fit) and items that were trendy once but now would be considered bad style. If any men’s suits, shirts, or trousers need repairs or adjustments, set them aside. Once this is done, arrange the clothing to express their common themes. Are they for work? Special events? Casual?


  • Choose Core Items- Core items are basic staple pieces of men’s clothing that go with anything. While everyone is going to have different types of core items that define their personal style, every man should have dark men’s suits in charcoal or navy, a tweed jacket, a blazer, and five to six small-patterned or solid light dress shirts in blue or white. You should also have two pairs of casual shoes, two pairs of dress shoes, and at least two pairs of trousers.


  • Begin to Expand- Expanding your wardrobe may sound a lot like adding to it, but there’s a difference. Expanding it doesn’t mean purchasing the next men’s tweed jacket that catches your eye. It means exploring new styles that improve the look of your core items without leaving them totally in the dust. For instance, if the majority of your wardrobe is for business, you can benefit from purchasing softer sports jackets and more casual trousers like chinos.


  • Use Accent Pieces- An interchangeable wardrobe is relatively neutral for a reason- it allows you to easily mix and match the different items of clothing without worrying about colours or even most patterns. This, however, does not allow for much personal style. To make each outfit unique and fit your personality, step away from the generic and begin adding in accent pieces. Pocket squares, ties, cufflinks, watches, belts, and outerwear can add colour, interest, and turn your core items into a functional wardrobe.


  • Quality Investment- One of the most important thing you should learn when building a wardrobe is how to say the word “no.” You should say no to men’s suits that don’t fit, no to fabric that is low quality and isn’t constructed well, and no to items that don’t fit in with your personal sense of style. Being a little picky now can ensure a lasting, beautiful interchangeable wardrobe later.

Men’s Suits, Tweed Jackets, and Trousers: Creating Your Wardrobe

Living on a budget means you have to be smart when it comes to your wardrobe. Invest in quality, use accent pieces, and be sure you have the basic core items you need to make your wardrobe work for you.

By Brook Taverner 3 February 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments