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Gentlemen, here’s how to dress your wardrobe

LiveMint logoLiveMint 19-05-2017 Troy Patterson

Maybe, having taken the message of best-selling decluttering manifestos to heart, you’re ready to Kondo your wardrobe of all but its most excellent items.

Or maybe you’ve invested heavily in new summer clothing and, driven by an amalgam of pride in the purchases and shame at their price tags, you’re motivated to treat the garments with the respect they deserve. Perhaps your spouse is threatening to leave if you don’t literally get your house in order—or, at the very least, get your balled-up tuxedo out of the tote that’s still under the bed. Or perhaps all of the above circumstances apply, in which case you’re definitely in need of a closet upgrade. Here are some suggestions for stuff to get to keep the stuff you’ve already got in its best condition.

A Hans Wegner valet chair for Johannes Hansen.

Take a stand

The most desirable and most expensive item on our list is the valet stand or valet chair. Arguably, it is also the least essential item on the list. But the idea is quite fundamental indeed and indisputably sound. It’s like a launch pad or a dedicated staging area for your outfit, signifying dignity and encouraging order. Whether your tastes in this matter run towards Danish cool (like the Johannes Hansen teak chair available at 1stdibs for $13,313, or around Rs8.5 lakh) or something more pragmatic, you should value it as a joyful piece of furniture in its own right.

Many of the more elaborate valet stands will feature shelves or drawers or seats that lift to reveal suave storage spaces. One thing to consider storing inside is a clothes brush. Justify its expense by reasoning that brushing your suits is better for them and cheaper for you than making many visits to the dry-cleaner’s.

A sweater box from Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project.

Hang out in style

Speaking of your dry-cleaner’s, let us take a moment to lament that he does not abide by the Joan Crawford rule of metallic closet supplies. No matter. But you do want, upon unsheathing your dry-cleaning from its flimsy garment sleeve, to place it on a good wooden clothes hanger. I prefer to keep three types of hangers around: one for suits, one for shirts, a third for trousers.

If you want to step up the care of your suits further, find some garment bags made of a breathable material. If you find it silly to dangle slippery pants from hangers, consider loosely folding them into sweater boxes, for $145 each, from Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project: They’re not just for sweaters any more.

Many good hangers are made of cedar or other kinds of wood that are all-natural weapons in the unending war against moths. You might begin exploring your affinity for this wood with a cedar belt hanger or a cedar tie rack.

Tuck box by Lawrence Chu at the MoMA Design Store.

Frame a clear message

You’ll want some transparent shoeboxes to organize your sneakers and wingtips and also to keep them kicking longer by protecting them from dust. You can also use other containers, such as a tuck box—like the one from the MoMA Design Store—for your cufflinks and collar stays and tie clips, a valet tray for your wallets and keys, or a superfluously sumptuous leather box for more of your fancy-lad knick-knacks.

With these objects, your closet will be almost fully dressed. All that remains is a wide mirror, so you can look yourself in the eye and reflect on the tidy sum of your closet-arranging accomplishments. Bloomberg

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