From 15 casual pieces.
How is that possible?
Two words – interchangeable wardrobe.
When every piece of those 15 clothing items can be worn interchangeably with the other items…
You end up with a new outfit daily for 5 months!
Why would anyone intentionally build an interchangeable wardrobe?
- You get more outfit options from less clothes.
- No time/energy wasted as almost everything matches.
- Less money spent on clothing, more money to spend on quality and fit.
- Less clutter in your wardrobe.
- Your clothes are likely to be classic and timeless.
In this article, I give you a complete list of 15 casual clothing items to help you build an interchangeable wardrobe of 162 rugged outfits.
The general rules for shopping while building an interchangeable wardrobe are quite simple:
- Choose the right fit for your body.
- Choose classic style and patterns.
- Select an appropriate color scheme and stick to neutral colors.
- Choose high-quality fabrics.
Here's a list of 15 casual clothing items that you need to own:
- 6 Shirts.
- 3 Trousers.
- 3 Jackets.
- 3 Pairs of shoes.
Casual & Rugged Interchangeable Wardrobe Item #1 – Shirts
If your style is a little more casual start introducing small micropatterns into your wardrobe.
1. Light Blue Button-Down Shirt: A casual shirt is easily differentiated from a dress shirt by the material used and the color palette. A white or blue plaid shirt is perfect for the man who prefers to dress a little more smart casual. The colors blue and white help with the interchangeability.
2. Henley: A classic alternative to the t-shirt. This collarless shirt with a buttoning placket or “fly” in the front can be long or short-sleeved. The placket is usually two or three inches long and fastens with 1-5 buttons. Typically made from cotton/synthetic blends, Henleys are affordable and low-maintenance. You can throw them in the washing machine without worrying too much about your settings.
3. Pullover Shirt: A shirt that is “pulled over” the head rather than buttoned up. The relaxed fit on these shirts makes them a comfortable casual style that's easy to slip into (and out when you feel the spontaneous urge to jump into a lake).
4. Gray Long Sleeve Polo: An essential for the interchangeable wardrobe. A gray long sleeve polo is great for business casual under a jacket or when you want to travel in comfort without compromising on style.
5. Short Sleeve T-Shirt: Plain tees are the ultimate casual staple. They offer more versatility than their graphic counterparts and are ideal with a pair of sweatpants, jeans or smart chinos.
6. Red Checks Cord Shirt: A bolder option than the rest, a rich colored criss-cross pattern on a cotton corduroy is bound to attract attention. Select one with a spread collar and wood-style buttons.
Casual & Rugged Interchangeable Wardrobe Item #2 – Jackets
A jacket is usually the first item of clothing people will notice on you. It is also (along with shoes), the item that will probably be the highest investment decision to make.
For interchangeability, stick to basic colors – navy, gray, and olive green.
You don't need to buy five jackets at once. Start with these three jackets:
2 Sports Coats: Jackets with earthy tones project the rugged message. For the adventurous man with style be sure to find one that is both handsome and practical. You can accomplish this with the fabric type. For example, a jacket with a finished twill has the masculine look of leather, while still being lightweight.
1. Sweater: In order for a sweater to emulate the rugged message, look for one with a midweight fabric, similar to corduroy. The texture gives off a masculine vibe and pairs great with other pieces you want to layer with it.
Casual & Rugged Interchangeable Wardrobe Item #3 – Trousers
Look for durable trousers, whether jeans, chinos, or canvas pants. People can easily tell if you're wearing a $20 pair of pants or a quality pair of denim. Invest in higher quality and you won't have to buy often.
High-quality trousers sustain the wear and tear from rugged outdoors activities.
1.Beige chino: The beige chino is a great option for the business casual look. Chinos can be paired with smart trainers as well as dressier shoes. Look for a twill and a twill cotton canvas when making purchasing decisions.
2. Classic dark jeans: Solid dark wash denim can take the place of chinos and dress slacks and still keep your outfit looking professional. Jeans are the most versatile item in your casual wardrobe. Whether you're working on a field and need to maintain a semi-professional look, or you're going on a casual first date, keep it dark and either slim or relaxed fit.
3. Olive green of khaki trousers: Using a fabric like twill or corduroy will mesh perfectly with the rugged interchangeable wardrobe. When you combine that with earth tones like olive or khaki you will have both KEY components that you need in order to own your ruggedness.
Casual & Rugged Interchangeable Wardrobe Item #4 – Boots
Boots are the most versatile shoes for your casual wardrobe. With the right selection of boots, you can change up your style to look outdoorsy (to chop wood) and dressy (for a night out on town).
1. Weatherproof Lace-Up Boots: An ankle-high version of the dress shoe, a pair of solid, smart-looking boots can withstand a hike through snow and looks good enough to wear to dinner. Stick to the basic colors – brown or black.
2. Chelsea Boots: These laceless ankle boots have elastic panels on the side and are easy to slip on and remove by pulling the loop of fabric at the back. Chelsea boots work in both formal and casual situations.
3. Chukka boots: The rough-looking leather of a chukka gives these boots a strong casual appeal. Unlike the other styles mentioned above, chukkas feel light and loose when walking around in them. This makes them a popular choice for casual and sporty wear. Dark brown is the color of choice for shoes because of its versatility.
Requirements for rugged casual shoes:
- Weatherproof: These boots should keep your feet protected during inclement weather, rugged hikes, and days when you have to rough it in an urban concrete jungle.
- Dark color: Brown is the color of choice because of its versatility. A dark color won't show stains easily.
- Easy on lacing: A pair of boots that can be worn loosely, such as a Chelsea boot, or a pair of chukkas.
After you own complete outfits you can start to incorporate the details – a quality watch, hats, belts, socks, scarves, gloves, and sunglasses. These details are the icing on the cake.
- Hats – About 10% – 20% of your body heat is lost through the head. Trap this heat with a warm hat. The secret to keeping your head warm. There is nothing quite so brutal as a freezing cold scalp. Include a hat in your casual wardrobe for the cooler months.
- Gloves – A pair of thin, waterproof, and warm gloves that weigh only a few ounces will take up only a few square inches of your luggage. The breathability makes them wearable across a wide temperature range, the waterproofing makes them useful in the worst weather.
- Scarf – A scarf is a small and light but effective accessory in harsh weather. A cotton or cashmere scarf has several uses apart from making you look fashionable. Use one as nightwear, a standby beach towel, or wrap one around a jumper to make a pillow.
- Polarized sunglasses: Even weaker winter sunlight, when reflected off snow, can be rough on your eyes. In addition, the sun is lower in the sky, so is more likely to be in your line of sight or become a problem when driving during the short daylight hours. In those conditions, polarized glasses perform extremely well.
To obtain the highest number of outfits for the least amount of money, focus on quality.
That is the power of the interchangeable wardrobe.