The Numbers Game

First, some remedial education as to why you need more than an armful of clothing.

Having too few clothes:

Can make you look poor or cheap.
Can make you look dirty (if observers assume you're re-wearing without re-washing).
Can negatively affect your physical comfort (through clothes that are too heavy or too light).
Requires more frequent laundering.
Limits the occasions for which you are visually suited (the workplace, parties, and so forth).
Generates a psychological feeling of being in a rut.
Still, the more the merrier is not a good guideline. Storage space, money, quantity-versus-quality, the need to be able to easily pick an outfit to wear, and other factors limit the number of clothing items you can or should own.

Then how many clothes should you have? Even a hermit should have in his wardrobe at least -

1 mid-weight navy blue or gray suit
2 dress shirts, at least one of which should be white
7 casual shirts that one would want to wear in any given season. This should include at least one sweater (for travel, if you live in a tropical climate) and one tee shirt
5 pairs of pants wearable in any given season
2 pairs of non-white casual shoes or sneakers and 1 pair of black dress shoes
2 outdoor jackets, one mid-weight and the other light-weight or heavy-weight

Gentleman's Best Friend Rule #124: All items should be of reasonable quality and be in at least respectable condition.

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