I was corresponding with André Churchwell the other day and he mentioned that he lays out his clothes for the next day before he goes to sleep for the night. Great minds think alike, says I. After all, assuming a man has no-one to do it for him, and who does, choosing one's clothes the night before saves time in the morning. It is not so much that the time required can mean a missed flight. No, the important thing is that one never has to spend the day grumbling under one's breath over a not quite right necktie that there was no time to change.
I begin the process by choosing my tailored clothing based on the most formal thing I will be doing the next day. The choice is a function of rotation more than anything else. The season's suits are on a closet bar with the most recently worn on the right. Odd jackets are on a separate bar. If it is a suburban day, for example, choosing something is just a matter of pulling an appropriate item from the far left on the bar and hanging it on a valet so I can choose accessories. That is where the trouble comes in.
Choosing accessories basically means I have to decide whether the day will feature a tie or a shirt. If I have a new necktie that I want to wear, for example, then the shirt has to complement it. Or, I may want to try a particular shirt with the jacket, and need a necktie that works with the two of them. Selection of the primary accessory generally takes no time to speak of. Deciding on the other is the hard part, usually requiring me to look through every option I own. Sometimes more than once. Sometimes a lot more than once. I am a case study in how long it can take to decide on a black knit necktie but things are all downhill after that.
Shirt and tie in hand, it is just a minute more to choose a pocket square in a different texture than my necktie. Shoes follow, then socks that complement without matching, braces and cufflinks if I will be wearing them.
Trust me, this is all better done the night before. One needs time for jacket steaming and shoe brushing in the morning. I need a valet.