1. A nice handkerchief.
Whether you’re pulling it effortlessly out of your pants pocket to clean your glasses, or you just have it nicely folded in your breast pocket, hankies are such an underrated accessory. Dudes don’t get a lot of accessories to work with these days, and choosing not to embrace it is just such a mistake. I guarantee you that pulling an eye-catching-yet-tasteful hankie out to clean something off will field you some serious compliments, and make people think a lot more of you. It just looks classy.
2. Well-maintained shoes.
When I first started dating my boyfriend, I was truly blown away by his shoe game. It seemed so foreign to me, this idea of not only having fancy shoes, but wearing to places other than the office, and putting them on those little wooden shoe trees every night. But I quickly realized that caring for them, organizing them, and always having them look fresh as hell is a true pleasure for him. It was me that wasn’t used to the idea of a guy wearing nice shoes everywhere, or taking care of them to the point of wearing these little rubber protectors when it snows, which I lovingly refer to as his foot condoms:
It may seem like a lot of effort to go through, but good shoes mean good things for your life, and honestly I can understand how the ritual of it would be a soothing experience. (Oh, and, yes — brightly-colored laces are a thing. And it’s awesome.)
3. A good side-part.
Is there anyone who isn’t improved with a good coiffure? Gone are the high school days when the most important element in a boy’s hair was the swoosh factor of his ManBangs. A side part is something everyone can participate in, and which makes any man look handsome and put-together, like he put just a little bit more effort into his morning routine for everyone’s viewing pleasure.
4. A grey suit.
I’m not going to be one of those fancy men’s magazines that says things like “black suits are for funerals only,” but we can all admit that a grey suit just looks nicer. You can get dark grey/charcoal if you want something more somber, but still, grey is just good. And let’s not debate whether or not you should own a suit because, umm, yes you should.
(This feels like a good moment to have a minor rant, because I’ve had many men who don’t wear suits to work be like “Why do I need a suit?? Where am I going to wear it??” The answer to that is everywhere. My boyfriend and several of his friends wear suits in their regular lives, to a variety of outings, and you know what? No one thinks they look strange. People literally treat them like royalty. Everyone defers to them and assumes they have all the answers. It’s unbelievable. Recently I was at a bar with some coworkers where you typically have to wait in a line and take the elevator up, and my boyfriend came to meet us a bit later. He literally breezed past the whole line — he didn’t even realize there WAS one — and the doorman was like, “Oh, sir, after you” because he was wearing a nice suit and carrying a briefcase. IT IS A WHOLE OTHER LIFE, and I wish I could participate in it.)
5. A bar cart.
Okay, maybe the actual cart is excessive, but why doesn’t every guy have a couple good liquors, some nice glasses, and a few other drinks at his disposal? It just seems like the thing you would want most in your house, and as someone who has recently made it a point to have a well-ish stocked “cocktail cabinet,” nothing looks cooler than having people over unexpectedly and offering them a cocktail with more than two ingredients on a whim. It’s almost like a magical power.
6. A trench coat.
I honestly don’t understand men who don’t already have a trench coat — not only are they incredibly good-looking, they are an extremely useful clothing that serves a distinct purpose. There is no other coat you can really be wearing on those mostly warm but a touch chilly spring or autumn days where it’s drizzling all afternoon. It’s the only clothing item that truly makes sense, and it only helps that it makes the wearer look like a sexy detective.
7. Real pajamas.
Some people think that real men’s pajamas are corny, but I honestly think they’re very hot. You don’t need to wear them all the time, but if you’re going on a vacation with friends or family and want to have something presentable to walk out of the bedroom for breakfast and/or going to the bathroom in, you can’t beat this.
8. Something seersucker.
The gentleman’s fabric! Don’t you want to be sipping a cocktail, smugly overlooking a garden party or a sunny terrace brunch or whatever other circumstance you’re wearing seersucker in? Of course you do. Seersucker is the pinnacle of human clothing because it’s just so superfluous and impractical — no one wearing pastel seersucker is working hard or doing something painful. For when it’s summer and you want to relax but still look pulled-together and sexy as hell, it’s time to bring out the seersucker.
9. Stylish rounded sunglasses.
Granted, not every facial structure can pull it off (I know I can’t, I look like a bespectacled tomato), but when you can — vintage rounded sunglasses are so nice. They just look so fancy and classy and nice, and give you an air of dignity that a pair of Oakleys simply cannot.
10. A shawl-collar sweater.
Does any clothing item take you from zero to DILF quite as quickly as a shawl-collar sweater? It’s the look that says both “I’m here to cuddle you and maybe chop some wood if you get cold” and “When I take this off I have a gorgeous, gently muscled torso, but I don’t need to show off with skin-tight shirts.” It’s the gentleman’s sexy winter look.
11. A good shaving kit.
I know that nice shaving kits have become somewhat played out, but that doesn’t mean we should write off the whole practice as the activity of a hipster with too much time on his hands. The thing about a good razor and shaving soap is that they really do give you a cleaner, softer shave that is so wonderful and perfect to press a cheek against, and high-quality aftershave balm smells better than any cologne you’ve ever paid too much for. When my boyfriend started using his current kit*, women at his office would compliment him daily on how good he smelled and when they went to kiss his cheek (this was in France), would linger maybe a second or two. I couldn’t even hate. I was like, yeah, I get it. It’s just that good.
*Note for the curious, he uses Truefitt and Hill 1805 line, the soap and the balm. They are worth it.