Aah, yes, the Lean Wardrobe.

We discuss it a lot here on EG, and I’ve mentioned it many times in several different articles. But what is it exactly? And how do you get one?

Since the Lean Wardrobe philosophy is such an important one, I wrote a guide detailing exactly how to achieve it.

In reality, all it takes is a conscious, active approach to closet management and a long, hard look at each item you are considering purchasing.

The Lean Wardrobe: Five Principles to Achieve Closet Mastery is a quick read, but hopefully you find it full of useful ideas to help you get your closet on the right track. It’s difficult improving your wardrobe if your closet is full and bursting at the hinges with poor sartorial decisions of years past.

Here’s a screenshot of the Table of Contents, in case you’re curious.

Download your FREE copy via the EG Valet

EG Valet is a new resource for all EG email subscribers. In addition to having new EG articles sent directly to your inbox, you have access to exclusive content (style PDFs, exclusive articles, free guides, the new Lean Wardrobe book) that isn’t shared with anyone else… all to help you build and improve your personal style.

If you’re a long-time subscriber, you may have several (if not all) of these freebies already, but not to worry! I’ll add new stuff in there from time to time.

Join EG Valet for free and download your copy of The Lean Wardrobe.

Share Your Story

I’m looking forward to hearing stories about your Lean Wardrobe, or the one you’re working to achieve. Paring down and getting rid of the excess, followed by mindful restocking and constant curation is definitely no easy task.

Have you been working on a Lean Wardrobe? How has it been going so far? Would love to hear it in the comments below.

If you found this article useful, make sure to check out our Lean Wardrobe resources page.


17 Responses

  1. Nathan Grisham on

    I started working on changing my closet focus late last year! I’ve lost a lot of weight recently and since I have to rebuild nearly my entire wardrobe anyway it was good timing to evaluate the approach. I’ve been buying more versatile pieces, especially working with solids that can function as casual or slightly dressier when needed. It’s important to stay away from trendy styles that’ll look outdated after just a season or two. I’ve dumped the dozens of print shirts that only work with certain pants, etc.

    So far I’m much happier with my closet and see that it’s setting me up for long-term success.

    • Barron on

      Hey Nathan, Glad to hear it! And congrats on the weight loss. That’s really step one when it comes to this whole “dressing better” thing. I went through it myself years ago, makes a huge difference.

  2. Brandon Bergeron on

    I’ve been reading the site for awhile and recently picked up your two guides and this one too. The no nonsense practical advice that’s included in these guides seem so simple and “Duh, why didn’t I think of that” after you read it. It’s nice to see it compiled in one place where I can refer to it from time to time and make it a part of my routine.

    Like I said, I’ve been reading for awhile now and going through the guides has been confirmation that I’m on the right path and motivation to keep it going. I’ve gone through a few rounds of pruning my closet now and it’s looking better and better. Sure, I’m still holding onto some of that nostalgic stuff from back in the day, but at least its off of a hanger now and put in a basket up the shelf for me to…uh, I don’t know…take down and stare at from time to time.

    In any case, pruning my closet for whatever reason (weight loss, understanding better fit, being honest with how frequent I wear something) has been insanely beneficial for not only saving on on space and reducing clutter, but making my morning decision (or evening if I’m proactive) of what to wear to work that much simpler. PIcking up some OCBDs, slim fit sportscoats, straight fit chinos (thick thighs here), and burnished brouges along the way to replace some of the stuff I’ve thrown out has only added to the functionality of my closet and simplification of my daily decision making

    Side bonus, my wife sees the difference, understands and appreciates my effort, and is inspired herself to do the same with her wardrobe.

    • Barron on

      This is such a great comment. Thanks for reading, and I’m happy that having all the essential info in a few eGuides has been helpful.

      The whole pruning thing is a continual work in progress. I’m always editing, taking things out, replacing, etc. Keep it up! The beauty of a lean wardrobe is easy accessibility and simplicity in deciding your daily outfit, exactly like you said.

  3. TJ on

    I definitely know the perks of a lean wardrobe. I recently made a move to another state and I only had a 2-door honda civic to pack full of everything I owned. Fortunately I was able to pack 95% of my clothing. What is left is being brought my family in a couple weeks with their van (along with my furniture of course).

  4. freemybutt on

    Total scam on the “free” copy of eg valet. You have to buy another book for $26…ain’t nothing free about that!

    • Barron on

      Wait, what?

      EG Valet is the free resource page for all subscribers. The “free book” is referring to The Lean Wardrobe, which is the first link in EG Valet (also emailed to you, if you’re a new subscriber).

      Maybe you’re getting that mixed up with the eGuides that are for sale?

  5. Bea on

    This is also very good advice to girls, who tend to have even bigger wardrobes and wearing only half of it. I find a lot of good advice here, and most of the stuff is very logic and gets me thinking “how could I be so blind?” like buying pieces that go with other pieces already in your closet. Or buying basics before buying non-basics. Simple stuff we just forget really

      • Bea on

        My father already lived by these principles. I’ve always coveted how he never has “nothing” to wear and has a few basic yet top quality shirts. When comparing this fashion philosophy with mine I saw something was “off” and your tips are helping me gradually get a smaller yet better closet

  6. Eric Roseberry on

    This was great. I’m getting ready to buy some new clothes for the first time in about five years and I had no idea where to start. I would get so frustrated shopping trying to find things that fit (6’7/250) that I just gave up. This has given me a good place to start.

  7. Kelly on


    First, I am a woman who styles herself “gent”ly. I think your ideas and suggestions are smart and useful; I plan to put some of your suggestions to use effectively immediately.

    Thanks & Happy Friday


  8. Dapperly on

    A lot of good sense delivered here. Few question are OCBDs (lovely they maybe) too presciptive? Especially white and blue – I favour pink, vertical stripes, checks even. Also fond of a very specific kind of slim, button down polo, dark & slim denim. Plain, single/solid colour, V necked T’s and cutaway formals (they have a raffish, villainous vibe appropriate to formal dressing) I agonise over hats though; Fedora (Urgh!) Flat Cap (while driving in the winter) straw trilby (when extra sunny). Even the baseball cap (corprate logo gym sweat band) The beanie I’m finding is becoming too casual (despite its practicality :snow?) as old age creeps. I quietly dream about a dark bespoke 3 piece with 2 jackets (double/single breast) and 2 strides and a magnificently lurid orange silk lining an other more subtle details (real cuff buttons, ticket pocket, signature/ monogram, felt lapels, wood/pearl buttons …) In fact if I can pare the wardrobe down to 10 by 10 by 5 ill find someone to make this.