What men wear has changed, and that means closets can be organized differently today than they were 20 years ago. What follows are useful suggestions on how a man can efficiently organize his closet – a closet that likely has more fitness gear, athleisure wear, and gym clothes than it does business suits.
How the Suit Closet Gradually Became the Fitness Closet
Every person’s circumstance is different, but if you’re a health enthusiast who has been living the fitness lifestyle, it’s likely that over the years you have accumulated a fair amount of gym clothes and athleisure wear.
Some men used to wear suits to work, depending on their profession.
Over time, fewer professions required suits.
Many of those professional trades you think of as hidebound – such as finance, legal, real estate, and medical – have long since switched from formal suits to business casual. This is doubly true in geographical areas that experience year-round fair weather.
It used to be that a well-appointed man would spend more time, energy, and money on his professional clothes than his fitness wear:
- Casual wear for men meant perhaps one pair of favorite jeans, a gray pair of 10-year old sweat pants, and several baggy t-shirts.
- Today’s athleisure wear and gym clothes for men look much different than our father’s old knockabouts. They are better fitted and less boxy. They are crafted from higher quality microfibers.
- A mature, healthy man today is more likely to have a well-appointed fitness closet that holds more atheisure wear than business suits.
Benefits of Organizing Your Athleisure Wear
Many people have a closet full of clothes, yet wear the same 3 outfits over and over. This means most of all the other clothes were probably a waste of money:
- The solution to this is to become a hardcore minimalist and donate all your other clothes to charity (except your 3 most-worn outfits).
- Or, as an alternative, you can keep your clothes – and instead organize your closet so that you can actually see and easily find what you need in a matter of moments.
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An organized closet allows you to easily rotate your inventory.
Just like at the grocery market when the stock clerk puts the new cartons of milk behind the older cartons of milk, so, too, your closet can rotate its own inventory. The clothes you’ve gone the longest without wearing can appear on top or upfront.
The Problem with Dresser Drawers for Athleisure Wear
Dresser drawers are great for socks and underwear. Whether or not dresser drawers are good for anything else depends on how many clothes you have and from what fabrics those clothes are made.
If you have all-cotton t-shirts and don’t mind fold marks on your t-shirts, then they can be folded neatly and stored within dresser drawers.
Many of today’s t-shirt styles are tailored with a V-shaped silhouette and are made from wicking, anti-stain/anti-odor microfibers. The fabrics of these shirts are so lightweight that they can be hung easily – usually without creating creases or bumps in the fabrics from the hangers.
Over the years, I’ve realized that hanging up my workout t-shirts and tanks is what works best for me.
Additionally, instead of stuffing all my workout shorts into dresser drawers to be wrinkled, I have found it works better to store shorts in stackable, see-through containers on my closet shelves.
You can use a label maker (or post-it notes) to create categories of your athleisure wear and gym clothes. Here are examples of possible categories:
- gym shorts (classic cut)
- outdoor workout shorts (short cut)
- longer shorts (lined)
- longer shorts (unlined)
- cardio shorts
As I fold clean laundry, the freshly laundered clothes are placed at the bottom of each corresponding storage box. This helps to ensure that I wear all of my athleisure wear and gym clothes regularly (and not just the same 3 outfits over and over).
Final Tips for Arranging Your Athleisure Wear and Gym Clothes
There’s an old adage that “how you do anything is how you do everything.” Having an organized fitness closet will help you show up for your workouts energized and on time. It sends a message to your subconscious that fitness and self-care are important and to be prioritized.
Here are some final tips:
- Keep your athletic footwear in neat rows with the shoelaces tucked inside (I personally don’t like to store my shoes in boxes because I like my footwear to air out between wearings).
- If your dresser drawers seem to always become a jumbled mess, consider using drawer dividers to help everything stay in place (they can be purchased inexpensively at home supply stores).
- Mismatched hangers in lighter shades seem to blend in with the shirts and make the closet appear more cluttered. Over the years, I’ve found that matching black hangers help the clothes stand out visually.