One of the age old questions in life is the old quantity vs. quality debate. Some argue that it’s more important to have high quality items and less of them instead of owning a whole lot of stuff that will wear out, or become useless, more quickly.
In my life one of the most prominent areas I’ve seen this play out is in my wardrobe.
When I got ready to build my first professional work wardrobe, I owned about 8 shirts and 3 pairs of slacks. I quickly found that this wardrobe contained neither quality nor quantity as both were seriously lacking due to my college-student budget.
After that, I decided to start upgrading my wardrobe, but I never sat down to figure out where I stood on the quality vs. quantity debate.
The Case for Quality
One on hand, I can see where people might want to build a wardrobe of only high quality, name brand, long-lasting, quality staples. They cost quite a bit of money up-front when you build your wardrobe, but they will not have to be replaced for at least a few years, even though your wardrobe is small and all of your items are worn quite frequently.
If you subscribe to the idea of a “Capsule Wardrobe” this might be the route that you want to go as your 33-ish item wardrobe will be used and abused day-in and day-out.
The Case for Quantity
One the other hand, I find that a limited wardrobe of only “classic pieces” does tend to make me feel restricted and boring after a while. I don’t dress too over-the-top, but I do like to experiment with new styles and trends now and then. Thus I like to have a bit more quantity in my wardrobe than buying only high-quality, expensive, pieces would allow on my budget.
Additionally, when you do experiment with different trends and styles, it makes sense to buy cheaper and lower-quality items as they will likely not all become staples in your wardrobe. If you decide after a few weeks that you love a new trend and want to adopt it on a regular basis, then it might make sense to invest in some more expensive and higher quality articles of clothing that match that new trend.
The Case for In-Between
As you might be able to tell, I tend to fall somewhere in between quality and quantity. I did used to have a fairly extensive wardrobe of clothes, but I recently decided to try out my own, less restrictive version of a Capsule Wardrobe.
This experiment has shown me a couple of things: 1. I can live with less clothes. 2. I need to invest in some higher quality clothes as some items have been worn way more often than others. For example, I’ve already worn my black slacks eight times in the past few weeks.
Finding some balance between quality and quantity is probably the best option for most people’s lifestyles, fashion styles, and budget. It might take a little experimenting to find out the best mix between quantity and quality that works for you, but ultimately you have to decide for yourself which way you want to lean a little more.
Do you tend to fall toward quality or quantity?