We’ve had a number of people ask us over the years how many suits should a man own or how many suits do we own ourselves. The problem with this question is it can widely vary depending on the circumstances and person. However, there definitely is a minimum we’d suggest you have in your rotation.
If you work somewhere that you wear a suit every day then I’d have to say ideally, you’d have 5 suits in your closet. One for each day of the week.
The aim is to be able to cycle through them enough to keep each fresh. You don’t need to have a suit you wear every Monday, a suit you wear every Tuesday etc. You don’t even need to wear each suit every week, wearing the same suit on Monday and Thursday is fine. Once you change the tie and possibly shirt colour or style you will look sufficiently different that people won’t really remember you wore it on Monday come Thursday.
A wise man (or woman) somewhere once said ‘Option is a beautiful thing’, and that’s what 5 suits will give you; options.
Now, if we talk absolute minimum, I would have to say 3 suits. Allows you to switch it up enough that you aren’t wearing the same suit you wore yesterday tomorrow. If you’ve managed to spill something on, or God forbid rip something on your suit you still have a rotation to work with while one suit is out of action.
Unless you have a uniform for work, imagine every time a client sees you are in the same suit? Not even a change of tie is going to help that perception. Consciously or not, people look at your attire and form opinions of you. While first impressions count, they can be changed, and biases built up. That could go for your boss too…
What about for events?
Even with all the examples I’ve given you above I haven’t even mentioned what to wear should you have a wedding or social event to go to that requires formal wear. Would you wear one of your 3 suits you batter day in day out to a wedding?
5 suits should cover you for work and social events however I’d suggest that 1 suit would be specifically for events. It should be something that is bold in some way that says, ‘this is not a work suit’.
Then we also have black tie events. If you are like me early in my working life (and even tailored suit life), I just wore my standard black suit and put on a bow tie. However, that doesn’t really cut it, you should have a genuine tuxedo at the ready. I currently have 3 tuxes, let alone 3 suits.
This brings me back to my original point; how many suits should a man own? Depends on who we are talking about. Evaluate the number of times you regularly wear suits, where you wear them to and you will be able to hopefully now come to a better conclusion on what is personally best for you.
How many suits do you currently own? How many suits do you think you should personally have? Let me know your thoughts on my breakdown and drop me a comment below.