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A guide to help the average man... look less average

Filtering by Tag: keychain

Style in what you carry, not just what you wear

Mark Kwak

Today, let's just assume that you know everything it takes to look good. You've read every menswear blog, magazine, and article in the world, and have developed the perfect wardrobe specifically for you. Well now that you're playing in the big leagues, perhaps it's time to step it up to the next level and focus on the details. Let's talk about not just what you're wearing, but what you're carrying on you!

Sure, most people won't ever get a chance to see the things you carry, like your wallet, phone or keys. But what's important is that you'll see them. Pretty much every single day of your life, actually. So doesn't it make sense to invest a little more in the things you carry? Wouldn't it be nice to crack a smile every time you pull out that awesome-looking handmade leather wallet from Portland, Oregon?

If you feel like we're speaking the same language, here are some tips on how to jazz up your "everyday carries."

1. Keychain: If you live in an apartment/house, drive a car, or even just have a mailbox, then you have keys. Time to put those keys on a half decent keychain. Mostly this is for aesthetic pleasure, but it does make a difference. This one is mine and I'm a huge fan of it. It almost makes carrying around my keys a bit of a pleasure. If you drink beer as well, I'd recommend attaching a nice looking bottle opener to the chain. This one's pretty cool.

2. Phone: I think statistics say that the modern American spends more time on their phone than they do on everything else in their life, combined. Just playing, but you get the point. You use it often, so put a nice case on it to not only protect it, but also make it look better. My favorite materials to case phones in are wood, leather, and metal. I personally use the leather case that Apple carries in-store. It's expensive, but I love it.

3. Wallet: I recommend keeping your wallet slim, it just looks better all around. Minimalism, man! For that reason, card holders like these (I have this one from Everlane) or money clips do the job the best. The days of chunky wallets are over, so do yourself a favor and ask for a nice card holder this Christmas! By the way, you can never go wrong with black or brown leather.

4. Bag: I talk a little bit about it in this previous article, but having a stylish bag is a big plus. I can go into this topic in quite a bit of detail, but I'll keep it simple here. If you're wearing a backpack, simplicity and slimness are the names of the game. A pretty inexpensive option is Herschel. I think Herschel makes some nice looking bags that hold up well over time.  If you're going with a messenger or single strap bag, think about canvas or leather as the primary material. I've preached Filson a million times before, but I'll continue to tout it here. There are so many other makers of good bags out there, so here's a link to someone who's done far more research to help you out (though this is more specifically briefcases).

Upgrade your "everyday carry game" my friends. In the slight chance that someone notices your wallet or keychain, you might even get a compliment or two. Stay awesome and eat plenty of turkey y'all.

Having just one accessory

Mark Kwak

I think too often, we approach accessories as items we can easily interchange. Magazines and fashion blogs are constantly pushing people to buy a variety of different accessories, just so they can wear one color or fabric on a given day, and something completely different the next day.

Think wristbands, or watches. Sunglasses and scarves. Changing between different types day by day.

Well today, I feel the need to say quite the opposite of all these magazines and fashion blogs. Personally, I'm a fan of a person who consistently wears the same accessories, and ultimately, through repetition, really makes them his own.

I'll give you an example. Ever since I was a little kid, my father wore the same wrist watch day in and day out. This accessory of his became a small, but tangible part of who he was to me. If I saw him without his watch anytime our family went out somewhere, something was definitely a little weird.

One of my roommates is another example. He wears one pair of sunglasses, and hasn't even thought about getting another. "I have one that looks and works well, what's the point of getting another one?" I kind of agree.

Anyhow, I think it's refreshing to see a person wear their tried and true accessories over and over again, without making any changes. As long as they're confidently worn, and out of your choice.

Here are the accessories I think make for good "one-only" pieces:

1. Sunglasses. When I think Tom Cruise, I think Ray-Ban aviator. Him wearing another pair (which I'm sure he does) just doesn't seem right.

2. Eyeglasses. One of my buddies alternates between two glasses. However, he used to wear just one type before. I like his image wearing just the original pair.

3. Watches. I personally have two watches I'd like to rotate between, but there's something really cool about someone who just wears one watch everyday. As long as it's relatively conservative in appearance, why not?

4. Wallet. Don't really see the point of alternating between a bunch of wallets since it's in your pocket most of the time.

5. Keychain. Same argument as wallet.

Sure, some people like to rotate between different types out of each of these accessories because it can be boring to have the same one all the time. I don't disagree with you! Nonetheless, I'm saying there is some virtue to just having one.

My suggestion is to get a worthwhile, high quality version of each of these accessories, and stick with just one of them. People will associate the accessory with you, and there will be a sentimental aspect to that said accessory over time.

Plus it makes your life simpler. You'll be a simpler man. Yep I went there.