Here’s the number of clothes you really need!

Here’s the number of clothes you really need!

Straight up: enough ensembles to rotate for two weeks! Anything more is a function of your status, means, passion for fashion and ego.

Once you have enough sets of clothes and accessories (and four or five pairs of good and comfortable shoes) to see you through two weeks, which you maximize to the fullest as interchangeable pieces, you are good to face life’s economic rigours sartorially.

Remember, we are talking about everyday ensembles. And if you know the game well, you can stretch the 10 to 14 ensembles (depending on how long your work-week is) to last a whole month! By creatively and mindfully mixing and matching…

For weekends, you need four sets of casual or leisure wear. While for worship and parties, five ensembles each are more than enough.

For undergarments (pants, briefs, boxers, bras and t-shirts or singlets), two weeks’ worth is safest!

Altogether, we have counted 24–28 ensembles (10 to 14 for everyday economic engagements, four for weekend leisure and casual activities, and 10 for worship and parties), excluding undergarments.

Once you vote for elegance and simplicity, fit and comfort and throw in appropriateness (for your career and lifestyle), you have exceedingly succeeded.

What’s more important is to sharpen your sartorial skills by methodically picking only items that splash zeal and zest to your world, garbs that inject more colour and excitement!

Remember, we don’t wear most of our clothes (researches state we regularly choose only 12–47 percent of what we own, and the other 53–88 are items we don’t like, bought on sale, purchased erroneously, no longer fit, in bad state, or inappropriate for our age and today).[1 and 2]

The clothes and accessories that really serve us faithfully, make our heart flutter and warm and glow are not that many.

So, the trick is to understand your style and what gives you utmost joy, and concentrate on picking quality and durable items based on those metrics.

If you can confidently lay claim to 24–28 winner ensembles (as a basis), you have conquered well!

Many leading lights in fashion and style support the claim that what’s important is a collection of first-rate, elegant, classic, comfortable and fit-for-purpose ensembles which enliven and enrich our lives!

o “You don’t need a million options to be stylish. You just need a few good pieces that make you feel great.”

— Michael Kors (the American designer, 65 this year, runs the flourishing eponymous brand).

o “I think people are really starting to realize that you don’t need a lot of stuff to be stylish. You just need a few great pieces that fit well and are made well.”

— Jason Wu (the 41 year-old Taiwanese based in New York, USA, served as creative director of Hugo Boss from 2013–2018).

o “The most stylish people are those who can make a few good pieces look great, not those who have a lot of mediocre clothes.”

— Phoebe Philo (from Chloe to Celine as creative director, the 50 year old British designer launched her brand in 2023).

o “I believe in having a small wardrobe, but one that is full of really great pieces that you love and that fit well.”

— Anna Wintour (the 74 year old British-American media executive made fashion more marketable and exciting with Vogue magazine since 1988).

o “You don’t need a lot of clothes to be stylish. You just need a few good pieces that make you feel confident and comfortable.”

— Diane von Fürstenberg (with the wrap dress, the 77 year old Belgian designer etched her name indelibly in high fashion).

The objective is to carefully identify (or assemble) 24–28 winner ensembles as you settle for a fail-safe and confidence-boosting style (as a foundation), and you have conquered well.

Take a moment to imagine this scenario: for an entire month, every day you go about your grind awash with pride and confidence in your outfits. You feel blessed with a wardrobe full of elegantly tailored clothes and carefully crafted accessories that make you look like a winner. Joy envelopes you as you step forth in pieces that highlight your best version—either at work or play, in solemn and exciting moments. Your confidence is infectious, and you can’t help being grateful for the simple pleasure of getting dressed in adorable duds.

Let’s paraphrase jazz great Duke Ellington (April 29, 1899–May 24, 1974), the winner of 13 Grammy Awards and leader of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, who summed up our topic today succinctly: ‘just look as good as you can.’

-Kunle Bakare for Omoluwabi by KB (03.05.2024)

[1] The percentage of unworn clothes in a year, according to Movinga, which surveyed 18,000 heads of households in 20 countries in 2018, are 53 percent in Italy and Switzerland, 73 percent in the United Kingdom, 77 in Norway, 79 in Canada, 82 in the United States of America and 88 percent in Belgium!

[2] Another study (of 6,000 respondents) in 2022 by WRAP, an environmental group, found that 26 percent of clothes in the wardrobes of UK citizens haven’t been worn in the last 12 months.

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