Accessories are the must-have finishing touch for any outfit. Though simply wearing accessories is not enough, it is important to be able to wear them with confidence as they can be the perfect flourish or the nail in the coffin to your look.
Whether you feel more comfortable in rugged casual or Saville Rowe style, there are certain accessories that every man should own. So we provide you with the classic list for the modern man, updated to suit his modern needs. Be sure to add these to your wardrobe, just choose pieces to suit your style and always buy the best quality you can afford. By spending a bit more now, you’ll end up with a piece that could last a lifetime (or more) and the quality will quietly boost your street cred too.
While it’s easy to own a watch or five, we are talking about investing in at least one, classic statement piece. It’s the one accessory you can wear every day, and it will speak volumes about your personal style. Stainless steel is a good place to start and today’s trends include both the super minimal, to the intricate classics.
Minimal watches are convenient and versatile to wear, and will comfortably sit under a suit’s cuff, or accentuate a bare arm in summer casual. There are several contemporary brands embracing this style, so look around until you find the perfect balance for you.
The classics include the heavier steel or leather strap watches with polished or even skeleton faces. These are generally more labour-intensive to make and certain brands have become known as heirloom pieces, thanks to their exceptional workmanship. Some famous investment options include the definitive luxury brand, Rolex, to the more select Audemars Piguet, makers of the first steel sports watch, and Patek Philippe.
In this case, spending more will not only make you stand out in a crowd, but you’ll also be doing your eyes a favour (so choose a pair with the best protection rating). Classic frames like Wayfarers, Aviators, and Clubmasters have stood the test of time for good reason, and if you opt for a neutral tortoiseshell or black frame, they’ll add attitude to every look. Avoid seasonal trends like mirror lenses or bright colours, or keep them as secondary backups.
It is said that the way you treat your wallet is a reflection of how you treat your finances. So, the one and only option here is the classic leather billfold to keep everything in order. While e-payments are picking up steam, cash is still king so store it in style.
Black and brown are your classic options: leave seasonal colours for your other accessories. To really show you mean business, get your wallet embossed with your initials, and if there’s even a hint of the velcro, just go ahead and burn that disaster right now.
A tie and a pocket square are perfect to add a little flash or show you mean business with understated elegance. In this case, aim to get a variety of options, from plains to patterns, to allow you to change it up to suit the occasion. Also, don’t just stick to ties, bowties have come back hard, or choose a tie pin or clip to really seal the deal.
A belt is not just a fashionable item, it’s the piece that holds your trousers up and pulls your look together. Again classic leather looks – one in black, one in brown – will do you best. Choose something handstitched, glue just doesn’t cut it, and spend a little more, to be sure this is one buddy that’ll stick around for life. Subtle, brushed metal buckles are best, leave those big graphic buckles to the Cowboys.
It goes without saying, that before you get the cufflinks, you’ll need (at least) one classic white shirt with French or single cuffs. Once that’s out of the way, you can get down to choosing the perfect set of cufflinks. Cufflinks come in many different styles from simple, metal balls, to elaborately carved and bejewelled. Start simple with classic silver, then get more adventurous with your next pair.
Recently, men have been taking back their rights to don rings with everything from crested signets to casual beaten metal pieces. The key is to wear your ring with confidence and be sure to get one that really speaks to your sense of style. While ready-made pieces are an easy option, embrace the look with a custom-designed piece.
The Perfect Scarf
Another piece that is functional and fashionable, is a good quality scarf. Finer knits in plain darker colours mean business, while chunkier options are perfect for casual Fridays, just avoid those nasty synthetics.
While you wear these every day, unlike a watch you don’t have to sink your entire paycheck into a pair of these babies. Though, as with everything else on this list, go for the best quality you can afford. There is a range of fibers to choose from including wool for warmth, bamboo for soft comfort and cotton for interesting colours and prints. Just, make sure your socks are long enough, don’t be the guy that flashes a slit of shin to the office every time he sits down.
A Great Bag
Whether you call it a tog, a holdall, a duffel or a weekender, a high quality, functional bag is the final vital accessory to ensure you’re ready to go at the drop of a hat. Classic brown or black leather will soften and develop a patina that speaks of all the travels and secret rendezvous of a lifetime.
Bonus Leather gloves
We appreciate that many climates will never be cold enough to warrant owning a pair, hence the bonus. That said, if you’re ever in below-freezing weather, a pair of cashmere lined leather gloves are a must-have addition. Leather strikes the balance between smart and casual, and if you’re spending on quality, why buy two when one will do?