It's always useful to find ways to do more with less, and one way to reduce the cost of a wardrobe, particularly early on, is to minimize the cost of accessories. By this I don't mean the price of the items but the number of shoes, shirts and neckties needed to provide variety.
The usual advice is that a man should begin with gray and and blue suits. Left unsaid is that the cost of a suit is significantly increased when a man must buy entirely new shirts, ties, squares and shoes to accessorize it correctly.
In the early stages of wardrobe building, and this can occur after a significant weight change as well as early in a career, it can be considerably more cost-effective to begin with suits of a single color. Acquire, for example, a gray semi-solid and a charcoal pinstripe in spring and fall weights before expanding into navy or brown. Build a collection of accessories that complement those gray suits, and consider suits of another color only after acquiring a complete set of accessories for the gray ones.
So the man who chooses gray as his first base color may put six gray suits in his closet, complemented by at least three pair of black dress shoes, a dozen shirts in ecru, pink and light blue, and a collection of complementary neckties and pocket squares. Done correctly, everything in his wardrobe will complement everything else, giving him a wide variety of looks.
The opposite approach is more limiting. When the same shirts and ties must complement three navy suits and three gray, each suit may have only two well-accessorized looks. Repetition will make the ensembles more memorable, and that's the opposite of the goal.
Photo: The Luxe Chronicles
As an example of this technique worn by a man whose finances are virtually unlimited, consider Deigo della Valle of Tod's. He's always photographed in a navy suit, black shoes, solid shirt and a simple necktie with a white handkerchief. The variety in his looks comes from alternating single and double breasted jackets, and from rotating tan, blue and silver neckwear.
There's a lesson there about doing more with less.