I want to talk about the Top 4 sneakers for 2017. These are 4 sneakers I highly recommend if you’re looking to put together an intentional sneaker collection that’ll cover you for some of the different aspects of your life. For example, working out, traveling, or just needing an everyday, lifestyle sneaker.
4. Nike Flyknit Racer
This is a great athletic sneaker because it weighs practically nothing and the woven upper makes it very breathable. Also, these are a great lifestyle sneaker that you can wear with your casual clothes because the design is so minimal and it has a very sleek silhouette.
I love the minimal design of the UltraBoost. The knit upper makes it very breathable too. You can treat these as your everyday sneakers or make them your running/workout shoes because they’re super comfortable.
This one will be on my list every year until something better can replace it.
These are a great lifestyle, everyday tennis shoe. Also, they’re not expensive and relatively easy to keep clean if you give them a wipe down every week or two and don’t go hiking in them. Remember, women look at your shoes for an indication of what type of man you are. Clean white shoes = this dude’s got his shit together.
Notably absent in my list are basketball sneakers because those are for a very specific group of men out there who either play basketball or are crazy sneakerheads. Some guys can pull them off really well, while others end up looking immature and silly in them.
These are, to me, the 16 accessories every guy needs to own, regardless of your age, occupation, and lifestyle. Some of these items you may not wear often, but there will be an occasion, as a grown man, when you will need them and you’ll be thankful that you thought far enough ahead to take care of them before it’s too late and you’re scrambling at the last minute. I’ve also included my favorites for each of these items below. But these points below are just skimming the surface compared to the much more through Men’s Essential Accessories Series I did recently.
Like I’ve mentioned before, every man should have at least a grey suit. Even if you only wear it once every year, you’re going to need a suit. Along with that, looking well dressed is always about the details and a white pocket square is an easily overlooked item that really does make a big impact and it’ll only set you back a couple of bucks.
This is another overlooked item. I talked about this in my article about the 12 Things Men Wear That Women Love, but a tie bar is something that adds that special touch to your outfit. It’s also so cheap to own so order it once and you’ll never think about it again.
Get rid of your white socks. These socks can and should be worn as your everyday socks. If you need heavier duty, thicker socks for your job or because of the weather, there are plenty of companies that offer warmer versions.
Whether you’re a sunglass man or not, sunglasses are important because they’re going to protect your eyes from the sun, prevent you from squinting, which creates wrinkles around your eyes, and they can add a stylish, cool touch to your outfit. Check out my sunglasses story so you choose the right frames for your face shape.
We all have those lazy days, myself included, where you just say F it, I’m gonna throw on a hat. When it comes to baseball hats I have very specific opinions about them so I shared some of my recommendations below.
Everyone travels. Whether it’s to some exotic country, or across town, you’ll need to put your clothes in something AND trash bags are not an option. Like every accessory you own, it should not only serve it’s purpose, but look damn good at the same time. I have a whole article about weekender bags you should check out.
This item goes great with your weekender bag. Again, doesn’t matter if you’re traveling to another city or to the gym, a dopp kitt is essential because it’ll keep your grooming products organized and contained in a respectable manner.
Everyone has casual days, and white sneakers look so sharp on every guy regardless of your age or body type. If you’re really scared of wearing white, or think that it doesn’t look right, ease yourself into it with a nice low top lace-up black or navy sneaker.
Watches are one of the few pieces of jewelry that any man can wear that is universally acceptable. Other jewelry like rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets will have their detractors (myself included).
So for that reason alone, a watch is an accessory that every man should have. From a practical perspective, they are also nice for telling the date and time. But obviously not as required now that we’re carrying smartphones around with us all day long.
Just like I discussed in the series intro, there’s something amazing about owning a finely crafted piece of history and engineering perfection.
Whether you’re a watch guy or not, I think any self-respecting man should own a watch or two.
Before I get into the exact watches you should own, let me first answer the most common questions I get from clients, readers and viewers about watches:
What type of watch to wear with what outfits?
Suit = Dress Watch – you should never, ever wear a diving/chronograph/sport watch or anything but a leather or other hide strap with a suit. It drives me crazy when I see metal bracelets or nato straps with suits because they’re so casual in nature and they take away from the formality of a suit. It’s a SUPER amateur move.
Business Casual or casual outfits – Dress watch or Sport watch with a metal bracelet, leather/nato/rubber band. You can also wear a dress watch with them, but it depends on how “polished” your casual outfit is. If you’re in shorts and flip flops, that might not look right with a dress watch.
How to Match a Watch To Your Outfit
It’s pretty simple. If you’re wearing:
A suit with black dress shoes and belt. You should be wearing a dress watch with a black leather strap.
A Suit with Brown dress shoes and belt. You should be wearing a dress watch with a brown leather strap.
Anything outside of a suit, even if you’re wearing dress shoes, you can wear any type of watch you’d like – that includes dress watches as well as any sport, chrono, diver, pilot, etc. type of watches.
What size should your watch be?
If you have a smaller wrist, around 6″, then go with a 40mm or smaller.
If you have average to a wider wrist, around 7″ or bigger, then go with a 40 to 44mm sized watch.
Most older watches, including Rolex’s diving watches, were 38mm or less, but they’ve since shifted to 40mm to follow the trend of larger watches now.
Traditionally, dress watches were made to be smaller and fit under your shirt cuffs, while diving or chronograph watches are bigger so they’re easer to read while doing the activities they were designed for.
It’s really up to your personal preference. I’m a little new school in that I think dress watches don’t need to be tiny – my favorite IWC dress watch (below) is very large for a dress watch, but I still love it. Unless your wrists are extremely small, then any size between 36 and 44mm will be fine. Which is fortunate because almost all watches fall within these sizes anyways. It’s when you get into vintage watches that the sizes tend to be smaller. So if you prefer a smaller watch, then vintage may be right for you.
How Many Watches Should You Own?
To cover all your bases, you should own 2 to 3 watches. You can absolutely get away with owning only one (which I’ll discuss shortly), but 2 or 3 different types of watches will cover you for all the outfits and scenarios you’ll encounter. A lot of my clients who are into watches own usually double or triple that amount, but we’re talking about the barest of essentials right now and anything else would be a speciality or just not used as much.
What Watches Should You Own?
1. Silver Dress Watch with a Black Leather Strap
Here’s the basics of what this watch should be. If you own one watch, this should be it. That way it’ll cover you for the most scenarios. You’ll also need a brown leather band to swap out as your outfit accessories dictate according to the matching rules I discussed earlier. So scroll to the bottom to check out my favorite band/strap site to get your extra straps.
Your black leather strapped watch should have the following features:
You want a silver case because, just like with the hardware on your belts, it’ll match with everything. If you were to get a watch with a gold or black case and black leather band, it won’t match as well or be too sporty to complement the rest of your essential wardrobe items.
As for the size of the case, that’ll depend on your preference and what looks best on you, but a classic dress watch is supposed to be very thin and small (sub 40MM, usually), but I’m a little new school in this regard and don’t mind a taller or larger case, something like the 44mm IWC cases is fine, but right on the edge, for me. Honestly, go smaller if you have a small wrist, and bigger, if you have a wider wrist.
The dial of your watch should be white because it’ll match perfectly with everything you could possibly throw at it. Black, blue, skeleton or other dials won’t match as well or will come off as too sporty or gaudy. I just think of all the sleezy salesman guys wearing their Movado watches at the bar after work – bleh.
Black Leather Strap
You can also use a leather alternative or other hide – kangaroo, ostrich, alligator, etc. The one thing you should never do is wear a nato or rubber strap with a suit. If I can be blunt – it looks like shit and is an amateur move. The quickest way to look like a teenager or style blogger is to wear a nato or rubber strap with every outfit. Those should be reserved for casual outfits only.
In regard to the stitching on the strap, I’ll forever dislike contrasting stitching, just like I do on wallets, so ideally, the stitching should match the color of the strap.
Subdials or complications
I’m a little new school in that I don’t believe a dress watch needs to have the cleanest dial possible. I don’t mind a few subdials or complications like a power reserve, subdial seconds, moon phase or month/day date. Just don’t go crazy and use a chronograph with a leather strap as a dress watch, please.
2. Silver or Gold Dress watch with a brown leather strap
The requirements for your brown leather-strapped dress watch are nearly identical to the black leather strapped dress watch above – with one major exception:
This is the one time when a gold case is acceptable because the dominant color of the accessories you’d be matching with would be brown, regardless of the hardware color of your belt. I’d still prefer a silver case if given the choice, but a gold case would work just as well.
If you have the budget for only one watch, or only want to own one dress watch, then make sure to get a brown band to swap out with your silver cased watch as your outfit accessories dictate. It’s a little bit of a pain, but not so much that this isn’t an option. Changing watch straps is quite easy and I have a great place to get really nice straps for cheap.
These watches are often called Sport watches, as well. You want this type of watch to round out your collection because it goes with any outfit from business casual on down. Unless you’re wearing a very sharp casual outfit, you shouldn’t be wearing a dress watch. That’s when a sport watch comes in to play. And please, for the love of all that is holy, please don’t wear your sport watch with a suit. I immediately know a guy doesn’t know much about looking good when I see a sport watch with a suit.
Here’s the details of what I look for in a good sport watch.
Black or Blue Dial
If I had my choice, I would choose a black or blue dial, with a slight edge to blue, as long as it’s more navy like Omega’s Speedmaster in Titanium (below) and not a royal blue like the Rolex Submariner in 16k white gold. The latter is just way too loud.
Silver Metal Bracelet
There’s nothing better for casual outfits than a diving or chronograph watch with a metal bracelet – in either titanium or stainless steel. Just like in the dress watches above, I prefer these materials and colors over a black or gold bracelet because it goes with everything and all the hardware on your belts, tie bars, etc. I also really love to see the metal bracelets swapped out for leather, rubber, perlon or nato straps, as well, but metal bracelets are a necessity for any sport watch – so you want to make sure it comes with that, first. For different watch straps, scroll down to the bottom of this article for my favorite place to get additional straps.
First and foremost, there’s no substitute for OEM straps or bands. But a really close second is my favorite aftermarket strap/band site – CheapestNatoStraps.com. Don’t let the name fool you, they’re neither cheap, in terms of quality, and they make a lot more than nato straps. I’ve been swapping out watch straps and bands for clients for a long time now and this is the only place I go for aftermarket straps.
I talked to the owner, Sofie, and she was kind enough to offer you an additional 10% off your purchase if you use offer code: AshleyWeston
A big thanks to reader/viewer Travis and the team over at www.Horobox.com for letting me bounce thoughts and ideas off them and providing their expertise and insight for this story. Definitely check them out!
If you’re relatively new to pocket squares, the worst thing you can do is go overboard with them. I see it all the time. It’s a very fine line between looking sharp and tacky. Classy and subtle wins out over loud and flamboyant every time. So please don’t complicate your pocket squares any more than necessary.
Before we get into the pocket squares you should own, let me answer some of the common questions I get asked about pocket squares.
Do I always need to wear one with all my suits and blazers?
No, but I’d suggest wearing one more often than not. To me, the more casual the outfit, the less necessary one becomes. But even then, the quickest way to add a little extra polish to an outfit is with a pocket square.
How Do I Match My Pocket Square to my outfit?
First off – if you’re matching your pocket square to your tie exactly – stop immediately.
Matching your pocket square to your outfit is pretty straight forward.
The safest thing you can do, which looks great 100% of the time, is to match your pocket square to your shirt. You will NEVER go wrong there – as long as you’re not wearing some obnoxious dress shirt color like red or orange. Even then, it wouldn’t look… horrible. So do that if you’re going tie-less or wearing a black tie.
Solid tie that isn’t black
Make sure your pocket square is a similar color (not exact) to the color of your tie. Or, if you’re using a white pocket square with colored tipping, make sure the tipping is a similar shade of the same color.
Find a color in the tie and have your pocket square, either the tipping, pattern, or solid color of your pocket square have a similar color in it. It doesn’t need to match perfectly, but it should have a similar shade of the color as your tie. So if you’re wearing a blue tie, have a blue shade in your pocket square.
Match your pocket square to your dress shirt. It doesn’t need to be perfectly matching, just a similar shade of the same color. That will keep a nice contrast between the items you’re wearing.
Again, match your pocket square to your shirt color.
So if you’re wearing a blue suit and white dress shirt, then you can wear a white pocket square.
What Material Should My Pocket Squares Be?
This one is simple: cotton.
Cotton works in 100% of situations, no matter the outfit, color, etc. and goes perfectly with your essential silk ties. So don’t waste your time or complicate things further by even considering other materials.
I occasionally use wool or linen pockets squares with clients or on shoots, but they have very specific use cases and cotton pocket squares would still work in all of these situations, so stick with cotton and you’ll be just fine. For silk pocket squares, I think I can count on one hand how many times I’ve used them over the course of my career.
What Colors and Patterns Should My Pocket Square be?
I’ll always default to classic and timeless colors and patterns so stick with these and they’ll go with any suit or jacket you’ll own:
Plain white (if you have 1 color, this is the color)
White with gray or navy tipping
Navy or gray gingham patterns
Any other types of patterns or colors and you’re venturing into territory that’s outside the scope of this series and where things can go wrong very quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing – and trust me, most guys don’t know what they’re doing in this department, even the so-called “experts”.
I’ll do a whole other video or series about patterns and materials later on, but that’s next level stuff and is not appropriate for the Essential Accessories Series since these are the items that need to work with my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials and also need to work for every guy, regardless of his age or body type.
Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong with any pocket squares, as long as they’re cotton and you’ve stuck to plain white, white with colored tipping and navy or gray gingham patterns. So if you have a preferred place to get your pocket squares go ahead and use them.
I get hit up by a gazillion tie and pocket square companies all day long, but for all my pocket square needs – and they’re not paying me to say this – I use TheTieBar.com.
I’ve been a customer of theirs since they were a little company, who didn’t know who I was or what I did for a living and and they’ve continued to impress me each and every time I order from them. Suffice it to say, they’re amazing. And trust me, I use them A LOT.
The Tie Bar Solid White Cotton Pocket Square
The Tie Bar Solid Pocket Square with Navy Border
The Tie Bar Cotton Pocket Square with Dark Charcoal Border
Just like all the other essential accessory pieces, you want your ties to work perfectly with all the items in your essential wardrobe. If you own a suit or blazer, then you absolutely need ties! Unfortunately, I see a lot of guys also completely crapping the bed with their ties.
the wrong material or fabric weights for the outfit
A big mistake most men make, whether they’re just starting out or have a little better handle on their personal style, is thinking they need to go overboard and have their accessories be these big statement pieces. That’s when men get into trouble.
Some men think it’s “boring” to stick to the basics, but they’re basics because they work for everybody and look timeless and sharp. And with the right accessories to round out your outfit, you’ll look well-dressed throughout your entire life. If you never own another type of tie in your life, my suggestions will cover you for every situation you’ll ever need.
How to Match Ties To An Outfit
The most common question I get about ties is how do you match them to and outfit. And it’s pretty simple:
The safest thing you can do, which looks great 100% of the time, is to have a similar color in your tie (not exact, just a similar shade) to any other color you’re wearing in your outfit – outside of your dress shirt.
So if you’re wearing a gray suit, white dress shirt and black dress shoes, wear a tie that has black or charcoal/gray in it. If you’re wearing a navy suit with brown dress shoes and charcoal socks, wear a blue or charcoal tie. If you’re wearing a gray blazer with dark wash jeans and brown boots, wear a tie that has some blue or charcoal in it. Brown leather jacket and boots, wear a tie with some brown in it.
Anything outside of that is next level stuff and can go wrong quickly if you’re not sure what you’re doing. You can go your entire life only following this rule and you’ll never go wrong – I promise.
What materials should your ties be?
You really only need ties in two materials to cover you for the whole year.
Silk Ties Silk ties work year-round with every kind of outfit where a tie can be worn – dress, business and casual.
Knitted/Woven Ties For the Spring and Summer months only – Check out Summer Essentials Ebook for details about those specific ties, but since they’re not for year-round wear, I won’t cover them in this article.
Any other types of materials, like pure wool or linen, have pretty small use cases and definitely won’t be as versatile as the above options and you should wait to get them until you’re much further on your style journey.
What color ties should you own?
Like all the items I recommend in the essential wardrobe series, you want to stick to black, charcoal, and navy, with one exception – which you can throw in there, if you like, and that’s silver or light gray.
These colors will go with 99% of the outfits you’ll wear. Just like with tie materials, any other colors will have specific use cases and are outside the scope of this series.
Once you’ve gotten those basic colors, then and only then can you start expanding to lighter shades or darker or brighter colors like burgundy, brown and other pastel or jewel tones. Again, that’s once you get more comfortable and really understand how to add them to an outfit.
But if choosing tie colors is still tough for you, then those default colors go with pretty much everything and you’ll never have to worry about not looking sharp and put together.
What patterns of ties should I own?
First, stick with plain, solid colored ties in the colors I discussed in the previous section. Then, you can move onto some striped ties with no more than 3 colors in them (ensuring at least the major color in the tie is one the colors I discussed above) and you can also throw in some smaller polka dotted ties in there, too. Also in the same colors I discussed previously.
What Size Tie Shoud You Own?
Follow these rules for your tie widths based on your height and body type so your proportions will always be balanced. Trust me, I deal with clients of all shapes and sizes all day long and these tie widths will work for you.
Tie lengths really don’t come into play because most places you’ll go don’t make tall or short versions anyways and they’re not entirely necessary unless you’re ridiculously tall (over 6’5″) or short (under 4’10”).
To take your tie width measurements, just use the widest part of the tie near the bottom.
Under 5ft 8in and very thin
You need to get a 2″ width tie. If you’re not sure if you’re very thin, then you probably have an average build. Under no circumstance should you ever wear this width of tie unless you’re very thin and under 5’8” because it will look silly on you. I’d say that at least half the men I see wearing skinny ties shouldn’t be. Don’t fall into that group!
Under 5ft 8in & average/broad Build
Wear a tie that is 2.5″ wide.
5’8” to 6’3″ tall
thin to average Build
Wear a 2.5″ wide tie.
You need a 3″ wide tie.
6’4″ tall and above (no matter your build)
You need a 3″ wide tie no matter what. This will help balance your proportions.
The Best Men’s Ties
I’ve been a customer and user of TheTieBar.com for years now, and they continually prove to me that they are, by far, the best place to get quality, affordable ties. I have never taken a dime from them to promote their products because they deserve all the praise and business in the world. Unless a designer has specifically made a tie for a client, I use them every time.
If you’ve downloaded any of my Free Ebooks, then you already know I’ve got some pretty strong opinions about socks – especially white ones. Most of my clients come to me with a drawer full of white, mid-calf length socks, possibly some ankle socks thrown in there, and a ratty pair or two of dress socks they pull out from time to time. This is unacceptable and frankly… gross. Before I took my nephew George under my wing, his sock drawer looked like this, but he had an excuse – he’s a little kid!
Socks area one of the few items in menswear when it’s perfectly acceptable to go absolutely crazy without looking ridiculous. You can use them to show off some of your personality and have fun with them. I’ve got clients who wear their favorite sports teams, crazy patterns, super heroes, etc. People will only really see them when you’re seated and they’re great conversation pieces, so I say go bonkers with them!
The Cardinal Sin of Socks
The only rule you cannot break from this day forward is: NO WHITE SOCKS – EVER. That’s it. They’re the cancer of the sock world. There’s no excuse or reason for owning any white socks anymore.
How many Socks Should I Own?
How many plain & patterned dress socks to have depends on what you wear and how often. I would say have enough to get you through a week, so about 7 pairs.
Best Material For Socks
Socks come in all sorts of fabrics/materials – wool, cotton, cashmere, silk, nylon or blends of each. In my experience, merino wool and cotton blends are best, because they’re more forgiving and comfortable than the other fabrics. They also look great and can be worn with both casual and dress outfits, and they’re just the right thickness. My choices at the bottom of this page will come in either fabric or one or the other. Silk, silk-blended or nylon-blended socks can only be worn with suits and dress shoes and will wear out quicker than other fabrics.
The types of socks to own
Plain & Patterned Dress Socks
I say dress socks, which are usually thinner than regular white socks, but I really just mean colored socks of any material. Think of these as your replacements for your white socks.
Like I said, it’s perfectly acceptable to go crazy here, but you should also at least have the standard colors of Black, Gray/Charcoal, and Navy in your sock drawer. That way, if you’re going to something where maybe it’s not appropriate – like a funeral or when it’s best to be more conservative.
As for material, like I said in the materials section, stick with merino wool or cotton blends because they’re most comfortable and can be worn with casual and dressy outfits. Just beware: Thick cotton or wool socks looks horrible with suits because they’re just too thick and informal. So if you need socks like that, wear them with casual outfits only.
These are to be worn when working out ONLY.
These are sometimes called low or short socks, depending on the company. Either way, they should have a little lip at the top. Anything higher, is to be avoided.
As for color, stick with black. White or other colors will get dirty and look gross very quickly.
For materials, merino wool or cotton blends are best.
You want to go with black because it’ll look the best the longest. You can also go with patterns and other colors, but no one will really see it, so it’s a bit of a waste. If you’re wearing white shoes, you can wear white ones, but they tend to get gross and nasty pretty quickly so I just avoid them. Whatever you do, don’t get nude-colored ones. It’s really gross looking.
How to match socks to an outfit
Patterned Or Colored Socks
(Any colors or patterns outside of the standard colors I listed above – black, charcoal & navy.)
The best thing to do, and what I do with my clients, is have a color in the socks, regardless of whether they’re plain or patterned, that is similar to a shade of any item in an outfit – whether it be your shoes, pants, shirts or accessories.
So if your tie or pocket square has a bit of blue in it, wear some socks with blue in them.
Just don’t match your socks to your shirt color if it’s white. Again – NO WHITE SOCKS!
Standard Plain Colored Socks
(Black, Charcoal & Navy)
Jeans and any color sneakers = any of the 3 standard colors.
Black suit (you better be wearing black shoes only!) = black socks
Navy suit (shoe color doesn’t matter) = navy or charcoal socks
Gray suit w/ black shoes = charcoal or black socks
Gray suit w/ brown shoes = charcoal socks
With that said, though, you shouldn’t worry about matching 99% of the time, though, because socks are one of the few places in menswear when you can (and should) go absolutely bananas.
When should you replace your socks?
When they’re worn thin in certain areas – usually around the heel or toes.
When they’re faded, stretched out or stained.
When they’re severely pilled (those weird little balls of fabric usually around worn areas are called pills). Pilling is usually the beginnings of them starting to get worn out in that area.
The Best Men’s Socks
Plain & Patterned Dress Socks
They’re some of my client’s favorites – and mine, of course. They’re soft, super comfortable and about as durable as any socks I’ve encountered.
The kicker is that they come with a lifetime warranty, so if anything happens to them, send the company an email and they’ll replace them free of charge, for life. Obviously, this comes at a price, because they’re not cheap, but I don’t find the price too offensive compared to other brands that don’t offer a lifetime guarantee.
They’re a merino blend, so they wick sweat and moisture away from your feet, keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They’re also seamless on the toes, so you’ll never have to deal with the discomfort of excess fabric around your toes.
Their cushion versions are the best, but even their non-cushioned socked are great. I found the other sizes, like their micro crew, to be too short and you’ll be flashing some shin when crossing your legs – which is to be avoided – so stick to the crew length or mid-calf lengths.
The only annoying thing is that they don’t sell socks directly, so you have to get them via third parties, like Amazon, REI or GearX
If you want a great budget-friendly cotton options with LOTS of different colors and patterns, look no further than Uniqlo’s Crew Socks.
Gold Toe’s are the old standby and are great for their price, but you’ll be replacing them once ever six to 12 months.
Just like with their dress socks, I really love Darn Tough Ankle Socks. They’re comfortable as hell and come with that amazing lifetime guarantee.
For budget-friendly and variety, almost nowhere beats Uniqlo. They call their ankle socks “short” socks.
No Show Socks
I honestly say get the cheapest ones you can find because they’re all very similar. Some companies sell cotton blends and others sell more thin, nylon blended socks.
Some clients prefer one type over another, some like to have both and wear the thinner ones with dress shoes and the thicker ones with sneakers. This one is up to you, so try both and see what you prefer!
If you ever travel, even if it’s just across town for the night, or to the gym, then you absolutely need a dopp kit or toiletry bag. No proper gentleman should ever be without one.
Why Own a dopp kit or Toiletry Bag?
The reasons you need one are many, but allow me to give a woman’s perspective and reasons for a moment.
In dating and life, we’re always looking at the smaller, subtle details to learn a little more about a person. We’re more sensitive to these subtleties and when a client asks why a dopp kit is important to own, I tell him that when a woman sees a man is organized and respects himself enough to have nice things, it makes us feel validated, like we found “a good one” because this small detail supports a notion that he probably has his life together and is a potentially good mate. It’s a very visceral, biological reaction that we get.
I often say it’s a similar thought to the old saying, “A messy bed equals a messy head” meaning that the way someone’s bed looks gives you some insight into their mental state.
On top of that, it’ll make traveling or going to the gym that much quicker and easier for you by keeping all your toiletries nice and organized. It’ll also help protect your clothing and luggage if you ever have any toiletries leak or spill.
What should a Dopp Kit do?
It should carry your toiletries, of course.
You also want it to be easy to use. There’s a lot of dopp kits out there, but my favorites are always the zip top style (see my choices below for examples) because the other styles aren’t as easy to pack or access items without having to move other things around. I had a client take a big chunk of out his finger with his razor while carelessly going through his non-top loading Dopp Kit and that’s what started me on the quest to find the perfect one. The next best alternative is the wide-mouth style (see the Shinola example below), but I find these tend to sacrifice some storage space to have the hinge. Even the original Dopp kit does this. My example below is the best I found with a hinge because it takes up less space than similar bags.
The last thing your Dopp Kit should do is last for the rest of your life. Unless things change dramatically over the course of your life, this should be the last one you ever buy. So if you’re hesitant because of pricing, don’t be. The cost per year will be so small that it’s absolutely worth it.
What Should it be made of?
Like with all the other bags I recommend in this series, I think there’s just no substitute for leather. It doesn’t stain as easily, and those stains will happen much quicker than your other items since it’s close to a lot of water and toothpaste, etc. Also, leather just looks much classier. Cloth or plastic alternatives are okay, but they just don’t compare, in my eyes.
What color should it be?
Just like all your other accessories, black or brown are my favorites. You can definitely go with other colors since not many people will see it, but I always stick to the classics here. Do you need to match it to your weekender bag? I would default to yes, because why not? But if you really like a brown dopp kitt and own a black weekender bag, then I don’t see an issue with that.
It is my absolute favorite and one I’ve gifted to a lot of family and friends over the years. It’s simple, not too big or small, and has my favorite zip top design, so it’s very easy to access your items. I like just the simple pocket on the top, as well as the small side pockets for items that can fit there. Like all dopp kits should have, it of course has a waterproof lining, so if anything spills, it won’t be a total disaster for the items in your luggage.
This is one of the few traditional style dopp kits that I could find with a hinge top opening, which allows you to access the entire compartment. Shinola’s leather is really damn good and even though it only comes in black, if you prefer this shape over the zip top style, this one is definitely for you.
While these are not technically a toiletry bag or dopp kit, they call it their “Tech Dopp Kit”, I’ve found the multiple size opens and construction as close to perfect as possible. The only thing it’s missing is the waterproof lining, but as long as you’re relatively careful with packing your liquids, it wouldn’t call this a deal breaker.
I show the different sizes in the video at the top of this page, but I would recommend you get their “regular” size since it’s comparable to your average dopp kit’s size. But if you want something smaller or bigger, I think it’s great that they have those options available, too.
Definitely get it monogramed for that little extra special touch!
Like all their products, it has a nice, supple leather with a great, tactical edge. I like it a lot because it has a unique look compared to all the other dopp kits out there and the inside is fully waterproof, so if anything spills, it won’t be a total disaster. While not a requirement, when you’re not using it as a dopp kit, it can also double as a folio by squishing it down a little bit. I thought this was a nice touch, but I don’t know how often it would be used like this. It’s definitely on the larger side of the spectrum, so if you’re looking for a larger dopp, this one is right for you.
So we’ve already established (in the series intro video) that the details in your wardrobe & appearance matter, and just like I talked about before, the first thing someone looks at is your face, so the things that sit ON your face, like sunglasses, should add to the overall sharpness of your outfit/appearance, not detract from it.
How many sunglasses should I own?
I’ve been asked this quite a few times and I think you should own 2-3 pairs. This will ensure your sunglasses will look appropriate with whatever outfit you’re wearing – no matter what. While you can use just 1 pair, I would recommend at least two to be safe.
Do I need to match sunglasses to my outfit?
You don’t technically need to match them to your outfit, but there’s an argument to be made for it, which I’ll get into in the next section.
What color sunglasses should I have?
In order to cover you for all outfits and seasons, you should own a black pair and tortoise shell pair. If you want crazier colors then you should definitely get them, but only AFTER you’ve got the basics covered.
You want a black pair because they go very well with more formal outfits and/or they match with your black accessories – i.e. your shoes or watch strap. To me, it’s not ideal if you’re wearing brown accessories – shoes, watch strap, etc, and then throw on a pair of black sunglasses, but it is still perfectly acceptable because it’s far enough away from these other accessories that it won’t ruin the cohesion of the look. If you only have 1 pair of sunglasses, you should go with black because it goes with any outfit you could be wearing.
This color goes very well with casual outfits, but also looks fantastic with a navy suit and brown accessories. Again, you can get away with black sunglasses with a navy suit, but it’s not ideal.
Any Other Color
If you want to have a crazy fun pair, then go nuts here, but just don’t wear it with anything but casual outfits, otherwise you could start look like Bruce Vilanch. Again, a well-dressed man shouldn’t have anything standing out in an outfit, he needs everything to work in perfect harmony to create an amazing whole. This absolutely applies to sunglasses.
Aviators – The Exception
If your face shape allows you to wear Aviators and you want to wear those, always go with a silver/charcoal metal frame and black/grey/green lenses as the default or “black” option, like I talked about above. For your “brown” pair of sunglasses, go with a gold metal frame and brown lenses. You don’t want a black or brown frame because it looks cheesy and deviates too far away the timeless look of Aviators.
What Color Lenses should I have?
This one is simple and the default lenses are usually great, but here’s my preferences:
Gradient – They look amazing and just give the sunglasses a nice, little extra touch of class.
Standard shaded/polarized – Most glasses will come with this type of lens that will probably match the color of the frame (black = black lenses, brown = brown lenses, etc.) and it’s perfectly acceptable, but if given the choice, I’d go with a gradient lens every time.
Anything outside of these lens colors and types, included mirrored lenses, are a no go. They’ll detract from the polished look of your outfit and this is to be avoided because your accessories should never overshadow anything else you’re wearing.
Don’t be this guy.
The best sunglasses for your face shape
The type of sunglasses you should own is dependent on you face shape. You generally want the shape of your sunglasses to be the opposite of your face shape, so they’ll help provide balance to your facial features.
A quick note about the below chart, including other resources out there – most of them will be talking about as many as 10 different face shapes and trust me, it’s a waste of time. There’s really only 3 face shapes that every man falls into:
Everything else is just nit-picking to fill up space on a website or magazine. The one that drives me the craziest is heart-shaped – that’s just an oval face with a wider forehead. If you’re considered heart-shaped according to the charts below, then just go with my oval suggestions.
You’ll notice that, outside of Aviators, I’m not recommending any frame-less style sunglasses and that’s because I think they just don’t look that great and never put my clients in them.
If you have a round shaped face, you want to avoid round frames and go for more square/rectangular frames (i.e. Wayfarer style) or teardrop frames like Aviators. These styles will help give your face some dimension and break up the roundness, which is a good thing!
A quick note about why I don’t recommend Ray-Ban’s classic Wayfarers: I hate the angle of the lenses on them. Yes, they’re classic, but that still doesn’t mean they’re good. Notice how the frames are resting on the cheeks in the below picture? It’s annoying as hell and just looks bad on everyone.
Oliver Peoples Jack Huston Sun in Black + G15 Polar Glass
Oliver People Jack Huston Sun in Cocobolo + Bourbon Polar Glass
For this face shape, you’re lucky, because you have the most choices for sunglasses. You can wear round, square/rectangular, or rounded square-shaped sunglasses. The one thing you want to do is make sure the frames are as wide as your face – this is very important! Otherwise, it’ll look like you’re wearing kid sunglasses. Also, don’t you ever wear teardrop frames, like what most aviators have, because it’ll also make your face appear long or droopy.
Tom Ford Snowdon in Shiny Black
Tom Ford Snowdon in Havana
Oliver Peoples Masek Matte Black + Grey Mineral Glass
Topman Matte Black Sunglasses Warby Parker Downing in Jet Black Warby Parker Downing in Walnut Tortoise The thinness of these plastic frames compliment its round shape and are great for men with oval or square faces. I also like that they kept the arms thin because some designers would go with wider arms which would make these frames look unbalanced. These aren’t as wide as the Tom Ford and Oliver Peoples frames that I recommend above, so if you do decide to try these out, then make sure they’re the proper width for your face.
For this face shape, you should look for round or teardrop frames. This will soften and balance your angular features. Avoid square or rectangle sunglasses because they’ll literally make you look like a block head
Persol Sunglasses Suprema PO3007S in Black
Persol Sunglasses Suprema PO3007S in Tortoise
Oliver Peoples Finley Esq. Sun in SMBK Moss Tortoise + Graphite Polar
Oliver Peoples Finley Esq Sun in Hickory Tortoise + Cosmik Tone Mineral Glass