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"the stylish man's closet..."

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What you really need.

Want to really scare yourself? Shine a flashlight into the dark corners of your closet. Back there where you keep the bell-bottoms, ever ready for Woodstock some day.

Now cast caution to the wind and pull everything out. We're not saying that you have to throw away the clothes that you haven't worn for the last decade. But there must be a storage place in the basement-or a museum-where you can visit them whenever a wave of nostalgia overcomes you.

"Divide what you've salvaged into fall/winter clothes and spring/summer clothes," says Ken Karpinski of Sterling, Virginia, image consultant to Fortune 500 companies, the U.S. military, and numerous corporate executives, and author of Red Socks Don't Work. Subdivide those into piles by apparel. See how closely what you own matches the suggested wardrobe below. Where you find holes in your wardrobe-or actual holes in the garments-think about buying items at the start of each season to fill in the gaps.

Peter Walsh, fashion director of DNR (Daily News Record), the newsmagazine of men's retail and fashion, suggests organizing your closet according to the three Ws: work, workout, and weekend. "Think about the various social and business events that you attend," he says, as well as what we used to call play clothes before we grew up and learned to call it sportswear. This will obviously vary depending on your needs. The Wall Street stockbroker will probably own at least half a dozen suits, while the construction worker will own as many sturdy jeans. Let function fill your closet-not whimsy. You'll spend your money more wisely. And you'll probably have room left over to squeeze that varsity jacket back into the back of the closet. But, really, take it from a friend: Lose the bell-bottoms-they have as much chance of making a comeback as Freddie and the Dreamers.

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