Earlier this week we looked at ways to store a wardrobe using reach-in closets. Reach-ins are all well and good, but it's complicated to store even a mid-sized wardrobe of forty items of tailored clothing and accessories in multiple reach-ins. By the time a man needs a fourth closet he needs to re-think. And re-thinking quickly leads him to walk-in clothes storage.
Now there are two principal types of walk-in storage: the bespoke closet and the converted bedroom. I know of at least one Manhattan bachelor whose spare bedroom is filled with clothing racks and I'll wager he's not alone. But he's missing a bet as he could store two to three times more clothing in that bedroom if he had it fitted out.
The details of a large walk-in warrant more than a blog post. At a high level of abstraction I will say that designing one is considerably simpler than carefully squeezing every bit of storage out of a reach-in. Take a bedroom sized room of 10' by 15' (three by 4.5 meters) or more, put shelves and double bar around the four walls, and build an island in the center that has a countertop for packing and under-counter drawers on two sides. Add lighting and it's done (men who insist on an easy chair and a television may have their priorities mis-placed).
According to my calculations, if the space isn't shared with another a 10' by 15' walk-in will comfortably hold a hundred suits as well as the rest of a suitably scaled wardrobe. That's comfortably into Duke of Windsor territory if not quite to the level of legends like Charles Revson of Revlon.
One point in favor of the converted bedroom approach is that it sets an important precedent. If the wardrobe eventually expands to overflow even this available space, no-one will be surprised by a plan to convert another bedroom. The kids should be grown by then anyway.
The photos are from the gallery of Southern Closet Systems.