Military fellows have it a bit easier. With a basic outfit and gear set, they can attend almost any event they'd like with assurances their portrayal will be appropriate to the event scenario. Maybe they're portraying a Pennsylvania infantry volunteer instead of their core Massachusetts infantry volunteer; but it's still a Federal infantry soldier.
Non-military men have it a bit different because our portrayals change drastically based on the portrayals appropriate for the specific scenario. And we need a suit and gear for them all. From a plantation owner with a medical degree in Virginia to an apothecary in Pennsylvania to a farmer in Maryland to a canal boatman in New York to a river boat pilot in Ohio to a statesman in Washington City giving a speech.
The first step in compiling a functional Wardrobe Toolbox is assessing the events you do to see exactly what portrayals you do most and what their wardrobe needs are.
Make a list of your events in the last three to five years. Then notate some information about what your portrayal was at those events.
Of course start with the obvious, your occupation and a generalized category for your economic and social status; but don't stop there.
The activity we see your portrayal engaged in or the occasion depicted at the event- At many events, the event depicted is a special occasion or an interruption of the daily routine of our portrayals. If your events only include a work day, you can likely skip the Sunday Suit. Allow that not seen wardrobe piece to be a presence in your mental inventory rather than your physical one. In other words, if you asked your portrayal to list his clothing, he would tell you he owns a Sunday Suit, but you've only ever seen him in a denim trousers and work-shirt in the wagon.
The season of your events- these guide the types of weather protective garments you'll need. If your events center in the warm months, you maybe don't need a top coat but will spend the extra for a great straw hat.
Interior/Exterior- like the Season, this guides the types of protective garments you'll need. If a lot of events are outdoors in morning grass, those rubber over-shoes are a priority, whereas all the interior winter events means you can skip the snowshoes.
Number of Days you dressed for the event- this will guide how many of each garment you'll need minimum.
If you were to put that information into a spreadsheet or chart, using a set group of terms, you would quickly see the patterns emerge.
You might see that you portray a professional class and trade class man in the medical professions, in transitional seasons, mostly in historic buildings, for at most 4 days.
From that, you can start compiling a wardrobe of professional class garments that can be dressed down with choice less nice pieces, some rain gear and and warm layers. You would see that you could skip the full dress suit and the heaviest winter top coat. You'd see you'd like about 5 shirts and drawers for the 4 days you'll dress.
You could also use this assessment to chart your gear, from your bedding and dishes to your Personal First Person.
Event Assessment Template