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Wardrobe reduction
Old 05-01-2015, 09:08 AM   #1
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Wardrobe reduction

Looking forward to leaving the work world this year. As part of downsizing, what changes did you make to your wardrobe?

What I expect for me is to go to a bin system for most day to day wear. One bin of pants (maybe two, one for shorts another for long pants) and one of shirts. These are for day to day wear working around the house and in the garden.

The items I'm having trouble with are more formal wear. Ties, suits, slacks, dress shirts. I'm thinking a single suit, one pair of shoes, a couple shirts, one more pair of dress slacks.

Suit and tie hasn't entirely gone away in the work world but it is on its way out. Still, there is an occasional need for such.

How has your wardrobe changed since you FIREd?

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Old 05-01-2015, 09:35 AM   #2
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This was one of the more interesting changes for me.

I had 7-8 really good suits, two dozen white shirts, etc. Also had a ton of 'business casual' clothes; blazers, khakis, loafers.

Once I Re'd, I found that my clothing need plummeted! I still have kept most of that stuff (that I can still fit into!) but I just don't have the need for them anymore.

Casual clothing, sure, mostly for night's out, but for my day to day outfit I find that I can wear the same shorts and polo for 2, 3 or 4 days...

Essentially, I wear the same set of clothes on a rotating basis. I could live on 3 pairs of shorts, one set of long pants, two sets of jeans and maybe 4 shirts and a sweater.

Just last week I discovered a drawer with about 20 Brooks Brothers dress shirts! They'll turn yellow and/or fall apart before I ever wear them again.

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Old 05-01-2015, 09:43 AM   #3
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Mine about 3 pair jeans, maybe 6 pair of shorts. Bunch of tee shirts, socks and even underwear. Past that not much need. I did keep some business casual stuff. It gets worn on our anniversary and DW bithday.

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Old 05-01-2015, 09:52 AM   #4
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About six months after retiring I got rid of almost all of the expensive clothing that I wore to work-related formal meetings and work related events. I did keep one "little black dress" to wear to funerals, although there haven't been any lately.

Since we dressed casually for everyday work, in polo shirts and slacks, I kept those clothes and I wear them in retirement. I don't wear the slacks so much, because shorts (which were not allowed at work) are much more comfortable in New Orleans during most of the year. But in the winter they are nice to have.

I think your idea of keeping one suit is fine.

On the other hand, my friend Frank kept a half dozen or dozen very fine suits when we retired five years ago. He doesn't wear them and is starting to talk about getting rid of them now. I think it was unusually hard for him to get rid of them, because he is one of the few men who really likes wearing suits. But, there seem to be few occasions in retirement at which a suit would be appropriate.
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:52 AM   #5
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A lot of needy people got some very nice, new and near new clothing when I retired. I hoped it help them more than it would have helped me.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:04 AM   #6
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My work clothing was mostly separates, with suits used only for formal occasions. I did purge some clothing that I knew I would never wear again. After two years, my wardrobe could probably do with another purge. I find myself wearing a small subset of favourite casual clothing most of the time. I've had to buy very little clothing since ER.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
I've had to buy very little clothing since ER.
Same here. I just checked, and since retirement I have averaged $368/year for clothes. Most of that went for shoes, but also I bought things like t-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, underwear, socks, a raincoat, and more.

Due to spending more time on fitness activities, I buy shoes a little more frequently than I did while working.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:22 AM   #8
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Interesting thread ... not quite there yet (planning to be in Class of 2015 or early 2016), but I started thinking about how I could purge or at least pare down my collection of suits and ties.

I've seen the whole evolution from suits every day to casual Friday to casual all the time and back again to suits on the East Coast megalopolis cities. Plus I've had to keep a current stable of suits anyway b/c of going to court, meeting with investors, investment bankers, customers or attending board meetings. I've been thinking I will go down to 2 very nice suits (one black for funerals and evening and one blue chalk stripe) a handful of my favorite shirts, ties and cufflinks and my tux ... but other than that likely to be jeans and casual shirts at best and most often board shorts, flip flops and T-shirts. Honestly, I can't wait, but I will likely hang on to the good clothing for a period of time (as others have noted here) to make certain that retirement is going to 'stick'. I would hate to have to go buy new stuff if I ever decided (or had) to go back to work and go interview.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:45 AM   #9
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I could use a nice pair of khaki pants 34 waist 32 length. I only kept one pair of nice wool pants (AZ sure), one white shirt still on the dry cleaners hanger, and one tie. I have an affair that I need to look like a cut above The People of Wal-Mart. I wore out all my Dockers working around the ranch.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:57 AM   #10
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My last w*rkplace was a notch above business casual (slacks and a blazer or sweater), although I did occasionally go to events that required a suit (pantsuit for me). I still have board meetings and such that I like to look a little polished for, but I've gradually pared down my blazers by about 50% and I'm down to 2 suits. I have kept more of the blazers than I need for sentimental reasons but probably need to donate another half-dozen or so. I do have a few dresses and skirts that I mostly wear to church in the spring and summer when slacks are too warm.

After a few years wearing polo shirts and jeans or shorts all year long, I got bored with that and now buy some more interesting shirts (one or two each season).

I try to follow the rule that if I buy something new, something old needs to go.
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Old 05-01-2015, 11:01 AM   #11
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When I retired, I went to Walmart and bought 2 pairs of blue jean shorts and a couple of nice T shirts. That's my everyday wardrobe.

I now have 2 pairs of khaki pants, a bunch of golf shirts and about 4 nice pairs of shorts. For winter, I have 3 pairs of jeans. For those "formal" nights, I have 2 sport coats and a few pairs of wool pants (from the working years.)

I probably don't spend $200 a year on clothes. If I died tomorrow, my wife would have to go out and buy a suit coat (separates) and a current width tie to bury me in.

And fashion is just not a word in my vocabulary. I no longer care--now that I'm retired.
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wardrobe reduction
Old 05-01-2015, 11:01 AM   #12
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wardrobe reduction

This will come as good news to some southern Californians.

(Reuters) - Leaders in the Los Angeles beach district of Venice have asked that women be allowed to sunbathe nude on the beach, saying they want equality and a more European feel at the popular tourist destination, local media reported on Wednesday.
How's it going to end..............
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:00 PM   #13
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I'll never have to buy another T-shirt in my life; I have so many from various promotions, athletic events, etc. My daily wardrobe is a T-shirt and pants or shorts, depending on the weather. I still belong to Toastmasters and attend church so I have things from Chico's when I want to look more respectable.

I'd planned to retire at age 65 and pulled the plug 4 years early due to nasty politics. At about age 55 I "discovered" bespoke tailoring. I own 2 suits, a skirt, numerous separates and 3 shirts with french cuffs. (Yeah, I've got 14K gold cuff links, too.) I do wear the separates occasionally. I'd planned to wear the pinstriped suit to a "black-tie optional" wedding but then USAirways fouled up our flight and we never got there. I'm taking some of the separates with me to another wedding next weekend to wear to the rehearsal dinner; still debating about whether to bring the suit for the wedding.

In many ways I regret spending so much on that wardrobe, but how did I know I was going to retire 4 years early? Fortunately, my weight is stable and these are classic pieces, so I'm keeping them.

I nearly spent $3,000 on a pair of cuff links last year. They were mother of pearl and looked like little crabs and they were SO cute. Now I'm glad I didn't.
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:06 PM   #14
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My usual clothes around the house and village would be jeans (or jean shorts) and a nice tee shirt or polo shirt. For some events, I'll wear khakis (or khaki shorts) and a golf shirt. I kept a couple blazers and one suit, a pair of wingtips and a couple ties but rarely wear them (mostly just weddings and some funerals).

I could probably get rid of 50% of what I have and never miss it. Another rainy day project to add to the list.
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:07 PM   #15
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It took me way too long, but I've gotten rid of all suits except a nice blue one for funerals and weddings, all but three dress shirts and all but two pair of dress casual pants and a few collared short sleeved shirts.

I live in blue jeans and T shirts with a light fleece hoodie, in winter.

Be ruthless, you will never wear most of that stuff again.
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:43 PM   #16
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I went casual at my workplace a couple years before I retired, but kept all my business casual attire and suits in case they changed the rules. Once retired, I kept 2 suits, one sports coat and about half my business casual clothes, donating the rest. It's about a year later, so I sifted through everything, keeping one suit and half the business casual again. I forgot to go through my ties the first time, so I'm donating half of them this time. I'll probably half them again next year. My main wardrobe is now jeans and t-shirts. I am starting to wear my more casual button down work shirts.

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Old 05-01-2015, 12:59 PM   #17
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I was just thinking about this today, I have about a dozen suits but only a couple would be suitable for donation. At work I wore a lot of hardware under the coat and that wore holes in the linings on most of them.

I'll keep a couple for weddings/funerals and pitch the rest.

Oh, and I need to break down and buy another half-dozen pair of jeans. DW is saying I'm starting to look disreputable again. They don't even have holes, just frayed at the cuffs! Oh well.
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Old 05-01-2015, 01:39 PM   #18
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Having just had to buy a couple of new things for a work function last week, y'all are making me very jealous. I dress very casually for work, but have to dress up at least a few times a year. It is onerous. I cannot imagine what would happen if I had an entire closet full of dress clothes.

Even I just tossed 3 garbage bags of unused clothes (mostly stuff my mom, god love her, gives me) into the Goodwill bin. Nice stuff, just not my taste or sometimes, size.
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Old 05-01-2015, 01:55 PM   #19
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I was lucky at work... I pretty much wore capri pants and a polo, with flip flops or sandals every day. One of my bosses used to complain if we had teams coming in from our east coast location because he felt he had to wear long pants rather than shorts. LOL. (Not being a boss - I didn't feel the need.)

Despite this - I had to buy a bit of new clothes in the past 6 months... because I dropped a size AND wore the old stuff out. So I recently purchased 3 new pairs of capris. Woot woot.

Upon retirement I also decided a goal was to purge my closet and dresser of worn out/stained/never-fit-right clothes. My dressers now have plenty of room and the closet was downsized enough that it was easy to move into 1/2 of a standard closet as needed for the construction phase of our master bath remodel. (We lost a closet, but will gain one later... so DH and I share small, non-walk in closet.)

I have 1 nice dress for weddings/funerals... and 2 or 3 sundresses for casual parties or just when it's too hot for pants of any kind. But most days I'm in capris... or if it's cold, jeans.
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
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Old 05-01-2015, 01:55 PM   #20
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I'm an engineer, so I don't dress up for work.
I might be in minority here, but I don't anticipate any wardrobe reduction in retirement.
It's even possible, that my wardrobe would expand slightly with more decent "dancing" clothes, as I would have more time to go dancing with DW.

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