I’m quite fortunate in that I quite often don’t work 5 days a week; it’s usually 4. And, at my current place of employment, there are multiple campuses, which means that I’m usually only in one location for 2- 3 of those days. What does this mean? I truly don’t need that many work clothes, which can save a significant amount of money over the l0ng-term since I really only need 3 complete outfits to wear. Here’s my system:
I only use mix and match items where nothing I own must go with any other one item and I generally follow a basic color scheme of brown/black/grey/white to make matching easier. I will buy only high-quality, non-trendy items which can be used year after year. It’s a bit more expensive initially, but the cost/wear becomes very low over time.
For example: I will probably spend $60-100 on a nice pair of pants. Let’s go with the upper price of $100. If I wear those pants once/week for 33 weeks out of the year, for 3 years, that’s down to $1/wear which isn’t bad. And for a shirt, which I might spend $30 on, the cost/wear is probably even lower.
I have 3 pairs of pants which are appropriate for summer weather and 3 pairs which are good for winter. And for shirts, it’s about the same ratio. I have 3 sweaters which I rotate in if needed when it’s cold. And for shoes, it’s easy: one pair of black shoes, one pair of brown and a pair of dress sandals.
When one of these things wears out, I throw it out. Then, I think about whether or not I truly need to replace it. If yes, I will and if not, I’ll just increase the wearing frequency of the items I already have.
Here’s an example of a pair of shoes that I might wear to work: comfortable, high-quality and not trendy.