Ignore the stiff, goofy expression, please. My wife either snaps a photo after my natural smile has waned and a pained expression takes over, or before I've relaxed and can give her a genuine smile. Maybe one day, we will get ourselves coordinated a bit better. A mix of Brooks Brothers and Land's End items here with Cole Haan tasseled loafers on the feet. These shoes my black rainy day pair, the reason I have not yet replaced them with something a bit better.
How do you know when you've got the right amount of stuff? When you can easily assemble a different combination of clothes at the start of your day almost without thinking about it. A guy does not need a huge amount of stuff in his wardrobe either. Neither does kicking up your everyday style several notches and dressing better than average need to take a lot of time (a common misconception). The main thing to keep in mind is, with all acquisitions, add only items that can be combined, without too much trouble, with stuff you have already in your wardrobe.
As for things that work with relatively few other items, either jettison them from your wardrobe, or don't buy them in the first place. I'm actually in the midst of weeding out a number of items that just don't get much wear, or aren't as great in practice as they seemed when I first got them.
The ensemble shown above took about two minutes to assemble after showering and shaving this morning with maybe another five minutes to put on everything. Add the necktie, and I was back downstairs and ready to walk out the door about 15 minutes after replacing my shaving mug and brush on the shelf. Factor in the shower and shave, and we're talking 30 minutes tops to appear reasonably presentable for public consumption.
Looking decent does not, repeat does not need to take an inordinate about of time. The belief that dressing better than average somehow will take more time that you have is fallacious and an excuse. I'd be willing to bet that very few average guys are so busy that they can't find half an hour to pull themselves together a bit more than has become the sad, pathetic norm in our pilled fleece world of 2014. Heck, you can always get out of bed 20 minutes early, right?
Tomorrow is the Friday of Homecoming Weekend at my small liberal arts school. While administrative offices will be open, there are no classes. Yes! Time for yours truly to take two recently thrifted wool flannel suits -- a double-breasted Ermenegildo Zegna number in creamy Glen Plaid and a chalk stripe three-piece by Polo Ralph Lauren -- to my tailor Mrs. V. for a few minor alterations before I can wear them. I must also drop off a pair of gray flannel pants and corduroy sports jacket and retrieve my wristwatches from the jeweler between walking our son to preschool early in the day and picking him up in the early afternoon. Somewhere in there, my wife and I will meet for our semi-regular Friday cafe date too. Busy, busy, busy. . . but a nice kind of busy