A version of this story first appeared in Gear Patrol Magazine. Subscribe today
Accessories are admittedly extra. You could get by without a single ring, bracelet, necklace, hat or horological instrument (aka a watch). But where’s the fun in that? These extras are where your personality can really shine through if you can’t wear graphics and patterned shorts to work or on errand runs. Let a necklace make strangers wonder whether it’s brand-new or an heirloom; let a ring send mixed signals (which finger you wear your rings doesn’t really matter much anymore, aside from showing you’re wed); let your fragrance linger (in a good way) in an elevator after you leave — make it one potent enough they can smell it through their mask.
I know, a scent isn’t technically an accessory. But for the sake of this guide, it is. Accept it. Although it may be something some people turn to daily as a part of their morning routine, I’d argue most men don’t need it every single day. Spritz it on for special occasions or important meetings. Make an impression; make it fun! That’s what all of this is about.
The best solution for bedhead? A hat. But not just any hat — toss your tousled locks into the deep recesses of a bucket hat. They aren’t bottomless, but they’ll do for days when your hair feels truly untameable. Also, the bucket hat is one hell of a statement piece (albeit one oft considered best left in the past), so be bold. Buy one with interesting texture, an engaging pattern or stunning simplicity.
MORE BUCKET HATS
Corduroy Bucket Hat
Having trouble picking a bucket hat? Avoid big logos and bold colors and go instead with neutral tones and interesting texture. See: pastel navy and fine corduroy.
Shirting patchwork bucket hat
Because all of the colors are from the same family, this patchwork bucket hat doesn’t come across as too bold.
You don’t need the thick leather belt you think you do. Sure, they’re a statement slipped through your trouser’s loops, capable of keeping both a tucked-in shirt in place and your pants up, but other belts can do that, too, with half the weight and for less than half the price. Pick up a woven belt instead. Whether it’s made from leather or canvas doesn’t quite matter, but remember this: the softer the material, the more casual it’ll seem.
MORE BELTS FOR MEN
Hand-Braided Leather Belt – Tan
Braided belts, even if they’re leather, are lighter and less constricting. Plus, they add visual interest, considering most leather belts are one solid strip of hide.
3.5cm Leather-Trimmed Waxed-Cotton Woven Belt
The beauty of braiding is that it makes relatively normal materials look elevated — like waxed cotton.
Folk Assembly BeltSand
Woven from linen and finished with leather and aged hardware, Folk’s Assembly belt is functional, of course, and looks really cool.
Invest in a piece of jewelry you’ll wear religiously — through meetings and mundane errands, fancy dinners and Friday-night concerts. You’ll feel less like you’re cosplaying as someone cool this way. Plus, the more a part of you your accessories become, the less likely you are to be shaken by someone staring at your rings, sneaking a glance at your necklace or double-taking at your dangly earring.
Flat Curb Chain Necklace
This is a simple, 14K solid gold chain from one-time women’s-only jewelry brand, Mejuri.
Dear Letterman Ayman RingGold
I would’t recommend getting this as your wedding band, per se, but if you’re a few years away from engagement (or have no plans to ever be engaged) get a solid gold ring to wear on the opposite hand, or on your middle or pointer finger.
14-Karat Gold Chain Bracelet
Just wearing jewelry is a statement in itself. Make a splash with simple, understated luxury from Miansai.
Brands play a disproportionate role in which items we ultimately decide to buy. A word of advice as regards fragrance? Ignore brands and find base notes — which are easier to forge an alliance with — that work for you year-round (or at least seasonally). Sure, some scents scream summer, like Vacation’s eau de toilette (which smells like sunscreen), but rarely should you wear something so overt. Fragrances should unfurl, not swing with a clenched fist.
MORE FRAGRANCES FOR MEN
Oud Satin Mood
Find the note that threads these three fragrances together. First, this one offers highlights like vanilla, patchouli and oud.
Smell the ginger, cardamom and vanilla.
Noir Extreme Eau de Parfum
Bask in the bergamot, vanilla and black pepper. Quiz is over. Which was it? (Hint: vanilla.)
Diehard watch lovers would croak at the thought of condensing their collections down to just two or three models. But, we’re here to tell you that’s all you really need: one for everyday activities, another for dressier affairs and, lastly, an affordable option you won’t worry about damaging (because you will — it happens).
MORE WATCHES FOR MEN
Q Reissue 38mm
This is the watch you gift someone who’s just getting into watches — or, honesty, to yourself. It’s dripping with cool, from the 12-hour bezel to the funky integrated bracelet to the easy-access battery hatch. It also comes in tons of different colors.
The Cartier Tank is perhaps the world’s most famous dress watch, full stop. Now, with the re-release of the Must line, you can get a relatively affordable version with solar charging. Honestly — what’s not to love?
Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925
Tudor struck gold with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight: well-sized and available in multiple configurations and metals, it’s a throwback to classic 1960s dive watches without being an outright reissue or homage.
Ray-Bans are the bare minimum — C+ if we’re giving out grades. You can do better. Seek out eyewear with eclectic influences such as art or architecture. The sameness of standard sunglasses may lend themselves to a longer list of faces, but they don’t fuel personal style.
MORE SUNGLASSES FOR MEN
All of Jacques Marie Mage’s sunglasses take cues from landmarks, architecture, nature or design. It’s clear, though. These are less seeing and more sculpture, if that makes sense.
Dealan D-Frame Sunglasses
Mage sometimes pluck colors from parks for his designs. The Dealan, although not a part of the Yellowstone Forever collection, which was influenced by the park but also benefitted it, has nearly the same hue.
1386 Square Sunglasses
Italian mansions come to mind when I look at Cutler and Gross’ 1386 Square Sunglasses. Green marble, right?
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