What are some dressing hacks everyone should know?
Answer by Keith Procter:
- Wear Shirts in a Sequence
For several years I have had a set of about 8 shirts that I wear in a weekly sequence. The sequence that I have followed is spectral, but any pattern will do just fine, as long as you can figure it out without hardly a thought.
Monday – Red shirt
Tuesday – Orange / Yellow or Tan shirt
Wednesday – Green shirt
Thursday – Blue shirt
Friday – Purple shirt
Why do this?
The order saves me a lot of thinking in the morning – I know what day it is so I know which shirt I'm going to wear. No thought needs to be expended. Otherwise I was having to remember what I have already worn that week to avoid the "embarrassing" situation of showing up two days in a row with the same shirt, and figure it all out in the morning when I'm usually not quite awake, and really don't have time to stand around assembling an outfit. This probably save me a few minutes in the morning, or about 700-1000 minutes per year. Do you have 12h to sit down and plan out your wardrobe for the year? I don't. I've saved 4+ whole days so far doing this.
Cleaning – having the shirts in order means that I can keep track of how many times I've worn a shirt, and which may be dirtier than the others. I do not wash and iron the shirt after each wearing. Because I wear a t-shirt style undershirt, and have a job that doesn't involve lifting greasy pipes or something, I can wear a shirt several times before the collar or elbows get dirty. I can wear the same shirt ~4 times (your mileage may vary) by making diligent lunch choices – careful with spaghetti, tacos or ribs. I'm also in a location where I'm never too hot, so I don't sweat.
Less cleaning is cheaper, and better for the environment, and also makes the shirts last longer.
Low inventory – I only need 5 shirts, but have an extra 3 for days where the normal rotational shirts are at the cleaners.
I can also look at pictures of myself over the last 8 years and be able to tell immediately what day of the week it was. Likewise throughout the day I have to remember what day it is. There have been several occasions where I just look at my shirt, and say "oh, Wednesday!" – already figured that out today.
I should probably clarify that I have a sequence length of 8 shirts, but that I might only wear a shirt for a year before it's toast. Other shirts I have still look good, fit and align closely enough with fashion after 5 years. Over the last 8 years I've gone through numerous shirts and replaced them as necessary – I haven't been wearing the same 8 shirts for the last 8 years.
Ok, sure, it's not that exciting, but since you know you can wear the same shirt for years dropping a good amount of coin for a quality shirt is worth it. Most of my shirts are in the $60-$80 CAD range, and are always wrinkle-free, no-iron, stain resistant. Also, literally zero people have recognized the pattern, supporting my theory that shirt selection is not something that I should put much brainpower into. I have noticed coworkers wearing the same shirt on Thursday that they did on Tuesday, and such – highly embarrassing for them – that's a wardrobe management fail right there. Surprised they weren't fired on the spot. Am I wrong to judge these amoral miscreants so harshly? I don't think so.
- Similar Pants
I have three pairs of tan pants that go with all the shirts that I wear. Typically I can wear pants several days before they need washing. You can cycle through the pairs to give time for them to be pressed between wearings, but generally unless I've had spaghetti I wouldn't have to wash them very often.
- Heavy starch your shirts and pants
Starch fills the pores of the fabric, and helps to keep dirt an stains out of the fibres, resulting in them not requiring cleaning as often. Also helps keep them free of wrinkles.
- Keep your ties tied
I can easily tie my ties, but I elect to keep them tied and just slip them on and off over my head and hang them all on one hanger. This way they also queue in sequence, and I just about always pick the lowest one on the hanger. If there are ties that seem to hang around and filter to the bottom of the stack, they are prime targets for disposal.