Imagine if you were to walk into a closet blindfolded and you just grabbed a shirt, sports jacket, a pair of trousers and shoes, probably some socks and maybe a pocket square and tie as well, but we’re not going to count those right now.

If you were to do that and you walked out most likely in your current closet, nothing would match. That’s not an interchangeable wardrobe.

Interchangeable wardrobe in a perfect world, everything there would go together.

Now, every few men — in fact, I don’t have a perfectly interchangeable wardrobe, but most of the items in my closet do work well with each other, and it’s somewhat interchangeable. We’re going for perfection here, but we can’t always achieve it.

In any case, if you simply have two pairs of shoes — let’s say you had a pair of Wolverine 1000 Mile boots — I know those were some of Brett’s favorite pair — and you had a pair of Baroques.

You had, let’s say, a really nice pair of dark colored jeans, pair of chinos, and a pair of grey flannel trousers.
These are nicer chinos, ones that you could actually wear with a sports jacket, let’s say, in a warmer environment, yet a sports jacket and maybe a blazer.

With that, you had five shirts. All of these are light-colored shirts, maybe with blues and whites, a few patterns here.

They’re really small patterns, so nothing really noticeable from a distance, so five shirts, two pairs of shoes, three pairs of trousers, and two jackets, how many outfits, gentlemen?

Now, most of us, what we do when we go shopping is we just buy something because it’s on sale. We like the way it looks, but we don’t think about how it interacts with everything else in our closet.

So the goal of the interchangeable wardrobe and what you need to be thinking about every time you purchase something is,

Will this work with the foundation pieces I have?

Now, go check out the article. I started to lay out some of the foundation pieces. I only kept it at 2000 words.

If you want to learn more, definitely go check out Real Men Real Style, or I link to a number of articles over at The Art of Manliness that are foundation articles, articles that you can use to build your interchangeable wardrobe.

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