BGW Year 5 of 5: Improving the Quality

Over the last 5 years I’ve been Building a Gentleman’s’ Wardrobe (BGW). Building A Well Appointed Gentleman’s’ Wardrobe is a 5-year project.  So I’ve talked about Covering the Bases in year 1, Building up the Collection in year 2, Broadening the Colour Palette in year 3 and Plugging Gaps, Pruning & Replacing in year 4.  Year 5 is all about improving the quality.

By year 5 of your project you have an excellent wardrobe of great breadth and depth. Hopefully, most of the gaps in your wardrobe will have been filled.  If there are still gaps remaining then in year 5 they can be plugged.  In addition, you build on the work of year 4 in Pruning and Replacing but with a particular eye to quality.

Clearly as in each of the previous years an annual budget needs to be set. Whatever the size of your annual wardrobe budget it will almost certainly have been stretched each year. However, by year 5, you may choose to reduce the budget slightly because you need fewer items.

By year 5 you should notice that your wardrobe items wear out extremely slowly because you are wearing them less frequently. If you own a single pair of shoes worn every day for work for, say, 50 hours per week, they will wear out 4 or 5 times as fast as if you had 3 pairs of shoes worn on average twice per week.  The same applies to shirts, trousers, and jackets.

So with a larger wardrobe each item is worn less frequently and thus will last exponentially longer. By year 5 of 5 you will hopefully require as few as 3 or 4 pieces per year so you can choose to make sure that these are good quality items.

Charles Tyrwhitt Monk Straps

I have already spoken about Cost v Quality and suggested that the advice to buy the best that we can afford is, on balance, probably good advice.  In year 5, even with a reduced budget, because you will require fewer items you can afford to purchase better quality. In so doing you will gradually improve the quality of the wardrobe.

The best bit is that because your wardrobe will only need a few items per year for the rest of your life, this gradual improving the quality can be an on going process if you so desire.  Happy hunting.

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