What defines a true man?
I went on a quest to find the answer to this question and gathered a few responses from different men. One guy said it was the watch on his wrist. Another exclaimed that it was the leather shoes he put on. Another even argued that it was the three-piece black tux he wears for special occasions.
From all the responses I received, one pattern was constant– everyone’s thoughts revolved around grooming. Personally, I would go for a man’s personality, but that’s a story for another day.
My point is: what you wear or carry with you as a man has a heavy impact on how the world perceives you.
It’s true that your attires don’t define who you are but it’s also undeniable that the road to success begins with a sleek three-piece suit. With that said, there are certain accessories that every outfit needs for a finishing touch.
Here Are 18 Accessories That Every Man Must Own.
Let’s begin with the basics, a traditional two-piece suit. Whether in a dark or light tone, a two-piece suit is a must-have for every man. It’s the foundation for a professional look. A dark suit can be paired with almost everything. A light suit, on the other hand, shows attitude.
Dark suits can be complemented with patterned ties or vibrant pocket squares. For a stronger fashion statement, add a chic turtleneck to the outfit.
Light suits are perfect for sunbathed days. Complete your look with a white shirt and a grey or black tie.
How expensive are two-piece suits?
The brand will decide. Get ready to part with chunks of cash if we’re talking about Armani, Calvin Klein, or Nordstrom brands.
But you can get more affordable, good-looking suits from brands like Banana Republic, DKNY, J. Crew, and Topman. How much are you willing to spend on your suit?
Pristine White Shirt
Still on the basics, a pristine white shirt is also mandatory for every man. It is the perfect complement for any type of suit.
If you had only one shirt in your wardrobe, it should be the pristine white shirt. The white shirt, aside from matching with suits, can also contribute hugely to the casual look. Nothing works better than combining a pristine white shirt with a pair of jeans and an accentuated belt.
To be on the safer side, I recommend having two (or more) pristine white shirts. One of the shirts should be neatly folded or hung in your wardrobe. You never know when a formal party comes calling. Nothing beats the versatility of this shirt!
It’s European, it’s eccentric and a little bit offbeat. But it’s perfect for breezy autumn days.
If you’re English, Irish or Scottish I bet you already have one. Well, good for you. A tweed jacket is not only traditional but also fashionable.
With the fabric and time used to make them, they come at quite a price tag. But are worth every dime. Dull tweed jackets of colors black, grey and tan will match any outfit worn. You can also choose to get a little flashy with brighter colors.
Quality Leather Belt
Two golden rules with belts: one, match the color of the belt with those of the shoes. And two, don’t skimp on the quality. Leather belts should be your first choice. They are scratch-resistant and incredibly long-lasting.
For a smart look, remember to keep your belt as simple as possible. The color should be basic preferably black, brown, or tan. The buckle should be compact and polished. Also, shinier belts are better.
Get this clear; owning an umbrella doesn’t make you any less of a man. With the weather constantly changing, you never know when you might need it.
The Kingsman movie redefined to us the purpose of a tactical umbrella – although I doubt that you’ll be getting your hands on such an umbrella any time soon.
When choosing a quality umbrella, check out for the size of its ribs, handle wood and canopy material.
Also, ensure that it’s waterproof, durable and compact enough to tuck away on warm weather. Avoid low-quality, cheap umbrellas that get destroyed easily.
If you lack an umbrella, then the trench coat is a must-have.
Those of us who find it hectic to hold an umbrella wherever we go will find comfort in a trench coat. Of course, an umbrella serves better on a rainy day, but the latter is more stylish and versatile. Moreover, you don’t simply wear a trench coat because it’s raining, do you?
Only a few outfits can beat that of a trench coat outside a two-piece suit, a pair of gloves on the hands, sleek pants and dress shoes (preferably oxford shoes). For an added fee, you can have your initials embroidered on the coat’s inner flap.
If you wish to remain trim and handsome in poor weather, the trench coat is your answer.
Go for black, beige and navy blue trench coats as essentials with green and reds as differentials. The last piece of the puzzle with a trench coat is a scarf on your neck.
Leave alone sneakers and open sandals, leather shoes are the real deal, and you must own at least one pair as a man.
One rule with leather shoes – keep the toe area rounded, and never square. Oxfords lead this sector as the best black lace-ups you can own. Penny loafers are also excellent alternatives for those who dislike oxfords, for one reason or another.
Both penny loafers and oxfords can be paired with suits and jeans, and deliver on any occasion. Your choice of socks will determine whether you’re going for a flashy fashion or a more conservative one. Ankle socks work perfectly with loafers.
Don’t be afraid to wear striped and patterned socks with leather shoes. They are not only acceptable but also dashing.
If there’s one trend that was, is and will be here in the next hundred years, then it’s the bag.
Bags are trendy, versatile and useful. No one ever looks good walking around with a load of items on their hands. This makes you appear disorganized and clumsy.
Are you having a midweek work excursion or an impromptu weekend vacation? Then you’ll need a bag large enough to carry a few days’ worths of luggage. For daily routine to work or school, an EDC bag will do the trick.
The good thing is that there are numerous types of bags that you could settle for, depending on your style: duffle bag, messenger bag, laptop bag, backpack and hobo bag among others.
Before going out of the house, ensure you have a bag with you. You never know what souvenirs you’ll be bringing back in the evening.
Not just a watch, but watches. You should have a collection of these, from different brands: Rolex, Tag Heuer, Hublot – You name them.
A watch compliments a man’s outfit. It’s not only attractive but also signals focus and decency. If you want to be taken seriously as a man, whether on a date or business meeting, then a watch must be on your wrist.
I’m I asking you to spend $500 on a watch? Not really. There are lots of watches that come at decent prices. The size of the face, the brand, features and function served all determine the price tag. But avoid cheap watches at all costs.
What time is it?
Back in the days when I was a young man, my friend and I went for a few drinks in a bar. A nicely dressed, good-looking lady approached me and asked for a lighter. Since I didn’t smoke then (or now) I said, ‘Sorry’.
My friend reached out to his pocket, took out a golden lighter and lit the lady’s cigar while on her lips. She puffed, said thank you and winked at him. And that’s how the two woke up together the next morning.
Later, I asked my friend why he carried a lighter if he never smoked. He looked at me, took out his sunglasses and as if he’d been waiting for that question for ages, casually replied, “For moments such as those.”
The following week, I visited a store and bought a lighter that I have been carrying around ever since.
Moral of the story: every guy should own a lighter.
Tie and Bow Tie
These two should be obvious. The art of tying a tie is passed from a man to his son, throughout generations. That, therefore, means that man without a tie or bow tie is committing a fashion sacrilege. A tie is the simplest way to complete your outfit without trying too hard.
A bow tie gives you a sophisticated look. It shows people that you take great pride in your looks, and in turn, they reciprocate this with respect. What to choose between the two depends on the occasion.
Ties are designed for work, bow ties are for formal partying.
Fashion comes and goes, but socks remain one of the most important parts of a man’s outfit. Wearing high-cuffed pants to show off your socks is the new fad in town. With this, the patterns and designs of socks have vastly increased.
But amidst all this, it’s still important to own a neutral-colored pair of socks that can be comfortably worn with an official outfit. I’m talking about black, grey and white socks.
But if you’re the type to show off your socks through high-cuffed pants, it’s okay to settle for something eye-catching and abstract.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with blue, red and even purple socks. Look for patterns that will portray you as a unique and quirky individual.
I still remember what my kindergarten teacher used to smell like. Janet was a great teacher, but I significantly recall her scent more than her face. I’ve numerously overheard girls say that scents turn them on. I initially thought these were all lies, till I was a victim of the same.
Let me share with you one secret: women love men that smell nice. A nice scent evokes good memory. That’s why your girlfriend will constantly smell your shirt when you’re far off on long trips.
Have your signature scent. Something that separates the men from the boys. The best way you can do this is to visit a store and try out different colognes and perfumes. Don’t go home without finding something appealing.
These are not only great because they require less laundry, but dark jeans go well with almost every casual outfit – shoes included. They are comfortable, attractive, versatile and if you find one with lots of pockets, essential. What more could you possibly want from a pair of jeans?
Dark jeans blend perfectly with dress shoes, but you can as well pair them with lace-up boots for a more relaxed feeling. They as well match perfectly with blazers or sweaters. In short, you can never go wrong wearing a pair of dark jeans.
How much will you spend on a decent pair of dark jeans? Anywhere between $100 and $200. For a bargain and some luck though, you could go lower than this range.
Sunglasses – an accessory that you should own as a man whether you’re into fashion or not. But prioritize quality over quantity. Sunglasses can be pretty expensive, I know. But their stylish aesthetic will give you a mysterious, sophisticated yet professional look.
Protect your eyes from the raging sunrays while looking like a boss.
A close friend during financial situations, a wallet should be the most important thing in a man’s back pocket (since the car keys are on his side pocket). Avoid bulky wallets that show through your pants and instead settle for something slim, leather and of quality build.
The traditional colors of black, brown and tan are great for a wallet, but other tints are permitted as well. The main focus of a wallet should be its functionality. Choose one with lots of compartments for your business and credit cards, ID and cash.
One unspoken rule with wallets is that you should only store items that you’ll use on a weekly basis. If a week passes without using an item from your wallet, take it out and leave it at home.
Taking out a piece of tissue to blow your nose is disgusting. If you don’t have a hankie, then make an effort to own one or two or three. The more you have, the better. Handkerchiefs portray you as a decent, and organized man who takes hygiene seriously.
But there’s more to handkerchiefs than just blowing the nose. You can use them as pocket squares, clean your sunglasses, or offer one to your lady to wipe off her tears. Linen handkerchiefs are my favorite as they are incredibly long-lasting.
You could argue that a fountain pen is cumbersome to write with. Moreover, its ink doesn’t work well on all surfaces. But have you seen corporate people signing contracts or agreements? What do they use? Yes, that’s right – a fountain pen!
Ballpoint pens are great for jotting things down quickly, but fountain pens depict class and professionalism. Having a fountain pen with your initials engraved in it is even more intimidating. For lawyers and doctors, this is mandatory.
In a world filled with emojis, snaps and tweets, make a real statement by owning an engraved fountain pen.
Being well-groomed sets a good first impression. Whether it’s for a job interview, conciliating new partners and clients, or closing a business deal, how you look plays an integral role in the final outcome.
A successful man is easily noticeable from what he wears (Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg being exceptions). His look is a reflection of his hunger for goals, and nothing can stand in his way. With a little help from your wardrobe, you can achieve this.
My 18 accessories are only a small sampling. Mentioning all the must-have men’s items will take more than one article. But these are the most important. What items would you add or subtract from the list? Let me know.