$50 & Under Items That Are Totally Worth It

Sure, we know, $50 may not be a lot, but these days it can go a long way if you’re spending it wisely! In the past we’ve down a few of our go-to essential items that make our lives easier, from apps to entertainment, but what about those must-have tools and services that we can’t live without?

Well, we’re going to give you 10 items that we think are not only worth $50 but will have a huge impact on your life well beyond something fairly inexpensive.

 

1.Leatherman Keychain – $35

We love this handy little number from Leatherman, it’s truly a lifesaver. And while it may not seem like much, you will be blown away by how often you use the super useful combination of tools. One of Dorian’s go-to EDC items.

 

2. Minimal Hard Shell Phone Case – $12

You spent some good money on a great new phone so give it the protection it deserves with a case that’s not only protected but also slim and stylish. Looking for a few more options? Check out our phone case rundown.

 

3. Paperkarma $12-$20 Per Year

An insanely useful service that helps you get rid of obnoxious, unwanted junk mail. Simply download the app, take a few pictures of junk mail as it comes in and you’re good to go. Not only is it easy to use it saves you time, money and help cut down on unwanted paper waste for the environment. Win-win-win.

 

4. Herschel Charlie Wallet – $30

We’re big fans of Herschel’s goods and we reviewed another one of their options in our Best Wallets of 2019 article. This card case is perfect for those who like a slim, pared-down vibe. It’s a great bang for your buck and the leather is very nice. They’ve got a ton of great color options too.

 

5. Zojirushi Thermos – $26

This sleekly designed water bottle/thermos might as well be magic because it keeps your drinks cold or hot for what seems like forever. It comes in 3 different sizes and a bunch of great colors.

 

6. External Phone/Laptop Battery – $46

If you’ve ever known the sweet agony of having your phone or computer die at the wrong moment when traveling or working away from home you know how valuable one of these babies can be. Light and portable, one of two of these is money very well spent.

Picks:

Anker 1

Anker 2

Anker 3

 

7. Vintage Casio Digital Watch – $34

From a style perspective, we love the vintage vibe of these classic digital watches. They’re super affordable and add a great throwback-inspired vibe to your style. You can slap on a perlon strap to add a different look too.

Casio 1

Casio 2

Strap Options

 

8. Slow cooker – $30 – $50

While there is a serious debate in our house as to which slow cooker is best, there’s no debate about how awesome and practical both of our favorite slow cookers are. Drop in some ingredients and some flavorful items, hit the dial or button and you’re good to go. An absolute must for any busy guy who still wants to eat well and healthy.

Ashley’s Favorite: Crock Pot

Dorian’s Favorite: Instapot

 

9. Betterment – No Fees

A great new option for financial services, we love Betterment’s free checking and savings accounts. They both have zero fees and the savings account has one of the highest interest rates anywhere at 2.39%. So, essentially you get paid every month to keep your money in your savings account. Investment and retirement have an annual fee of 0.25% per year on your retirement balance, but since you’re getting paid in your savings account, it will likely cost you nothing.

Sign Up For Betterment Here

 

10. Incase Backpack – $49.95

Yup, we’re huge fans of Incase.  We’ve featured their backpacks and briefcases previously because we absolutely adore their clean, minimal design, functional features, and great price. This version in particular, at $50 is an absolute steal and one of the very best affordable backpacks out there. It comes in a range of colors but our favorites are the light grey and dark grey.

Top 5 Men’s Sneakers of 2019

You asked for it and we delivered! As you probably know by now, you can wear sneakers more places than ever these days and that means it’s even more important to give your sneaker purchases extra consideration. That said, this isn’t an excuse to just wear your gym shoes everywhere! Choosing the right pair of sneakers is more than just wearing athletic shoes with jeans or chinos, you’ve got to find the right balance of style and color and also consider the shoe shape.

With that, here are our picks for the Top 5 Men’s Sneakers of 2019 plus a few extra picks we really loved!

Nike Retro Sneaker

We love a good retro sneaker and this version from Nike is a new update on a classic silhouette. It’s got a suede and nylon upper and comes in some very cool bright colorways. A great casual shoe for chinos, jeans, or shorts.

 

Vans

You can never go wrong with a classic skate shoe vibe and this Vans sneaker is a total winner. It’s really well-priced and comes in two basic colorways that will go with everything in your closet.

 

Adidas Ultraboost

One of our absolute favorite running sneakers, this recently updated version of the Adidas Ultraboost is crazy comfortable and comes in a ton of great colorways. We love the bolder versions but the classic triple white, triple black, and grey are always stylish as well.

 

Wolverine High Top

This definitely isn’t a basketball sneaker. As we mentioned earlier, dressy and casual shoes are pretty interchangeable these days, and a nice leather high top can work with a variety of different looks. Wolverine is known for their boots and the leather is really excellent and the shoe is very comfortable. They also come in a sharp low-top version as well.

 

New Balance

Another great retro-inspired sneaker, this one mixes in technical materials and a sleek monochromatic colorway to give it a cool vibe that’s a great middle-ground between retro and modern. It’s definitely got an athletic vibe but it’s still sleek and sporty enough to work with denim, chinos, or shorts.

  

Koio Suede Sneaker

A suede version of a sleek minimal silhouette is a great way to add a bit of extra style and texture to your sneaker rotation. We were fans of their classic white leather sneaker from Koio and this suede version is excellent. We love the monochromatic design and the suede is very soft and high-quality. and there is a range of great earth tone colorways to choose from.

 

Nike Epic React

In a similar vein as the Adidas Ultraboost, the Nike Epic React is a super light and comfortable modern running sneaker that combines technical looks and a versatile silhouette. Like the Adidas, you can go with a simple monochromatic colorway or try a bolder color for extra personality.

 

Beckett Simonon

We reviewed these in a recent video and we absolutely loved them. The clean design, excellent price point, and high-quality leather make them one of our favorite sneakers this year for sure. A sure-fire go-to for casual or more dressy looks.

Nike React Element

Usually, we’re pretty picky about futuristic-looking shoes and tend to avoid streetwear trends, but this version from Nike features a really cool design but isn’t too chunky or odd-looking. It’s versatile enough to wear with denim or joggers and is very lightweight and comfortable. With a unique design like this, you can definitely lean into the bold colorways but also, you can never go wrong with a simple black and white combination.

Beckett Simonon Reid Sneaker Review – Are They Worth It?

By now you probably know how important it is to have a sharp white sneaker in your footwear rotation.  They’re probably the most versatile casual shoe you can own.  We’ve discussed other styles in the past, and in our latest edition of Worth It, we’re reviewing a new entrant in the minimal white sneaker game, the Reid from Beckett Simonon

We’ve been fan’s of their products in the past, namely their leather weekender bag, but how does this sneaker stack up? Tune in and find out if we think the Beckett Simonon Reid sneaker is worth it!

 

Pros

Great Design – We loved the clean, minimal design and sleek profile.  It has a nice shape and zero branding.

Good Materials and Construction – We really liked the high-quality full-grain leather and solid construction.

Multiple Colors – We tested the white version but there are a bunch of other versatile color options too.

Good Price – These are an outstanding value at $149.

 

Cons

While Dorian had a very small issue with the heel, Ashley had zero cons and we both really loved this shoe!

 

Verdict

Ashley and Dorian: Worth It!

We loved the design, quality, and comfort.  These are a great, very well-priced option in the leather sneaker market.

Shop The Beckett Simonon Reid Here

The Best Men’s Weekender Bags of 2019

Whether you’re taking a weekend getaway or packing up for a shorter business trip, a stylish, functional weekender bag is the perfect travel companion. We’ve discussed some of our favorite weekender-style bags before, but these bags are so useful and versatile that we decided it was time for an update. All of these bags meet carry-on requirements and are ideal for 1-3 days of travel. Here are our picks for the best weekender bags of 2019.

Check out all our picks below plus a few extra bags that we added for good measure!

 

Stuart & Lau -$385

A truly excellent bag, we love the mix of waterproof nylon and full grain leather, as well as the simple, lined interior and clean design. An added bonus, this bag comes in multiple sharp color options and also comes with a matching, full-grain leather strap. It may seem like a small detail but the two exterior pockets on each end are a really handy design detail that gives you some extra storage flexibility. The navy and tan colorway we tested was great, but we also really like the olive and black combo.

 

Herschel – $90

We’re big fans of Hershel’s backpacks, briefcases, and wallets, so it makes sense that their weekender bag would be excellent as well. This bag boasts a very nice price point that belies it’s sturdy, high-quality construction and materials. It’s constructed with heavy-duty nylon and has an integrated shoe compartment that we thought was a nice feature. While we preferred the basic, monochromatic black and grey colors, the huge range of colors and patterns is a nice bonus if you prefer more colorful options.

 

Everlane – $98

As with all things Everlane, this bag has a great price point and super simple, classy design. In our previous weekender video, we chose this one as well, but it had a rubber bottom. In this newer version, they’ve done away with that and added metal feet instead, which we feel is a downgrade. But overall, it’s still a great bag at a great price.

 

Combatant Gentlemen – $110

We loved the price point and mix of leather and canvas with the shoe handy shoe compartments and this bag is a really excellent value. The bag has a unique garment bag design to it but in the end, we weren’t a fan of this aspect because it could potentially affect the clothes you normally put in a garment bag as they can get smashed on the sides and bottom. But, other than this small part, this bag was really great.

 

Frost River – $215

The Frost River bag is made in the USA and boasts a great mix of affordability and quality.  It’s constructed with heavy-duty materials that will age beautifully and last a long time. The leather accents are very nice and the hardware is sturdy. The top zipper design opens up very wide to make packing easier and the exterior pockets are perfect for stashing books, magazines or an iPad, both nice design touches.

 

Filson – $395

Another made in the USA, heritage brand, Filson builds extremely durable, handsome bags that will literally last you a lifetime.  If you favor the more rugged, woodsy look, this is the bag for you.  It’s constructed of very sturdy canvas, outstanding leather accents, and strong hardware.  It has a very large capacity and features a beautiful all-leather shoulder strap. This bag takes some time to break in but will only get better over time.

 

Want Les Essentials – $450

This stylish weekender bag boasts a sleek, monochromatic design that we really loved. There’s minimal branding and it features very nice cotton canvas accented with Italian leather details. We loved that the entire base was leather, a very nice touch. While the shoulder strap wasn’t all leather, overall this bag is very nice and has exceptional design.

 

Billykirk – $550

Another outstanding American-made bag, Billykirk is known for their leather goods and excellent quality.  This handsome bag is made from heavy waxed canvas and very nice leather accents (including an all-leather shoulder strap!) that will age beautifully. The style is clean and simple but with a bit of a rugged vibe that’s not too over-the-top. It’s really a great mix of modern classic styles. It comes in two great colorways but we especially love the all-black version, it’s really sharp.  This bag also comes in smaller and larger versions, so if you’re looking for more or less space but love the looks you’ve got some options here.

 

Frank Clegg – $925

Dorian has owned this bag personally for 4 years now and it looks brand new. This bag has it all: clean, classic design, buttery soft tumbled leather that just gets softer with age, an all-leather shoulder strap, lined interior and no metal feet on the bottom. Plus the design features just the right amount of structure to it. It’s a pleasure to own and use this bag, it’s the best of the best.

Best Men’s Wallets Of 2019

Just like the right briefcase, a stylish and functional wallet is a smart way to keep your life organized and looking good. We’ve discussed some of our favorite wallets before but we wanted to update it with some new picks and styles. To recap, here are a few things we look for in great wallets:

  1. No Contrast Stitching
  2. Minimal logos/branding
  3. Classic & minimal design

With that said, here are our current picks for the Best Wallets of 2019!

 

Bryker Hyde – $40-$43

A great value, this bi-fold wallet from Bryker Hyde features excellent leather quality and great functionality with multiple interior slots and an id window. Branding is fairly minimal but there are multiple logos. The wide range of colors and RFID blocking are nice bonuses too.

 

Herschel – $30

For the man who prefers a minimal carry, this leather card case wallet from Herschel is excellent. It features really nice pebbled leather and multiple slots for cards and cash. Construction and edges are great and the finger cutout is a nice detail for ease of use. There’s a bit more branding than we usually prefer but overall this wallet is a great value.

 

Herschel  – $89

We also loved this bi-fold leather wallet from Herschel as well. It features the same excellent pebbled leather and clean design. This option features RFID blocking and Tile tracking, which are great security features (there’s also a similar, non RFID version too) and the interior features plenty of card slots and space for bills.

 

Carl Friedrik – $83

This option from Carl Friedrik is bi-fold / case hybrid, so it’s got a nice slim design but also has a good amount of storage. It features beautiful Italian leather and construction is excellent. There are a variety of color options available too. We loved the very minimal design and thoughtful details like an exterior pocket with finger cutout.

 

Bellroy – $169

We’re big fans of Bellroy’s goods and their leather bi-fold wallet doesn’t disappoint. It’s made from excellent leather and features a very clean, slim design with great craftsmanship. This version has RFID protection (there’s a non RFID blocking version also) which is a nice bonus too. The interior features 3 pockets, space for bills, and a pull tab feature for convenience.

 

This Is Ground – $175

Another brand we love, This Is Ground always brings really high-quality design and leathers to all of their products.  We loved the unique magnetic attachment design in this phone case wallet as well as the clean, minimal design with no branding. The interior features just the right amount of pockets and the wallet closes up with a nice, heavy duty zipper.  Good, slim phone wallets are tough to find but this version from This Is Ground really knocks it out of the park.

The Best Men’s Leather Briefcase Of 2019?

As we recently discussed in our briefcase rundown, the right briefcase/messenger bag is definitely a worthwhile investment for every man to make. We recently we got our hands on one from Carl Friedrik to test out; is this the best men’s leather briefcase of 2019?

As a bonus, our readers can get $50 off and Free Shipping to the US with code: AWX10

Shop this briefcase here: Carl Friedrik Briefcase

 

 

Design & Materials

The briefcase comes in a few different colors but we tested the chocolate brown color. The color was beautiful and very rich-looking. The construction and leather quality was very good and the overall design aesthetic was just what we like, clean and sharp with minimal branding. The bag also has a good amount of structure, which we really liked.

 

Strap and Interior Features

The bag has an all-leather strap (a nice bonus) and really cleverly-integrated shoulder strap set up with attachment hoops built into the handle attachments. The bag features a nice cloth interior in contrasting grey with a bunch of functional pockets.

 

Cons

Metal Feet – Not our favorite feature as they can tend to scratch floors or tables depending on how careful you are with them.

Loose Interior Cloth – The interior padding is pretty minimal but it has enough structure to keep everything safe and secure. We weren’t huge fans of the looseness of the interior fabric though.

 

Price & Value

This bag is fairly pricey at $500 but overall we really loved the quality and design and felt that it was definitely a good overall value and for a nice briefcase. There is quite a bit of competition at this price range and felt that if the bag was slightly less expensive it would be a slam dunk, but nonetheless, it’s still a great bag that is fairly priced.

As a bonus, our readers can get $50 off and Free Shipping to the US with code: AWX10

Shop this briefcase here: Carl Friedrik Briefcase

Top Men’s Briefcases / Messenger Bags For 2019

A stylish and functional bag is one of the most important accessories a man can own and we thought it was high time we updated our previous picks. We love a good backpack of course, but no matter what type of field you work in, carrying your goods in something sharp and professional is important. You’re better than that old, falling-apart school bag.

In this video, we’re running down a batch of the latest and greatest new men’s briefcases and messenger bags for 2019!

 

Incase – $70

We loved the clean, simple design for those looking for a budget-friendly option. It features a clean, no-frills design and is made from rugged canvas with plenty of padding to protect your goods.  It also comes with a shoulder strap for extra flexibility.

 

Italic – $250

Another bag with a clean, minimal aesthetic, the Italic bag is a great leather option. It features really nice pebbled leather that feels luxurious, especially for its affordable price point. This bag also comes with a removable shoulder strap (in nylon) and an interior padded laptop compartment. The metal feet on the underside were the real drawback as they can sometimes cause damage if you aren’t careful.

 

Stuart & Lau – $325

This bag features a nice nylon base with leather accents and matte hardware giving it a very sharp design aesthetic.  While not all leather, it would be an excellent option for those of you who don’t work in super formal environments.  It has nice details with a ton of functional interior pockets and a nice-looking leather shoulder strap with matching hardware. Overall we really liked this bag and felt it was well worth the price given its excellent design and functionality. It comes in multiple colors too.

 

Bellroy – $590

Dorian is a big fan of their phone cases so we were excited to see one of their briefcases as well.  The Bellroy features really nice leather and a lot of structure, which we really like.  It has a clean, functional design and some nice touches with its interior contrasting color and nicely integrated eyelets for the shoulder straps.  Two things we weren’t in love with were the leather accented nylon shoulder strap and a little bit of excess branding.  It’s on the expensive side but we felt like it was definitely worth the investment for those looking for a modern, structured briefcase.

 

This Is Ground – $649

We’ve featured some of their products before and we’re definitely fans of their high-quality construction and great leather.  This bag is on the slim side so it’s definitely for the guy who carries less stuff.  It’s got a great minimal design and an exterior pocket for extra storage as well.  The interior is very cool and it features a bunch of different organizational compartments for your extra goods and features an interior magnet set up that works with their innovative mod products.  It’s definitely on the expensive side but well worth the price for its quality.

 

Frank Clegg – $900

Dorian’s bag mentioned in the video, very high-quality leather and handmade construction.  An investment bag that will last you a lifetime.

 

Oliver Cabell Low 1 Sneaker Review – Are They Worth It?

By now you probably know how important it is to have a sharp white sneaker in your footwear rotation.  They’re probably the most versatile casual shoe you can own.  We’ve discussed other styles in the past, and in our latest edition of Worth It, we’re reviewing a new entrant in the minimal white sneaker game, the Low 1 from Oliver Cabell.  Tune in and find out if we think these white sneakers are worth it!

Pros:

Great Design – We loved the clean, minimal design and sleek profile.  It has a nice shape that’s reminiscent of another one of our favorites, the Adidas Stan Smith, but with a bit slimmer profile.

Good Materials and Construction – We really liked the high-quality leather and solid construction.

Multiple Colors – We tested the white version but there are a bunch of other versatile color options too.

Good Price – While not cheap at $178, they do compare well to pricier options.

Cons:

Squeaking – Our main issue with the shoes, and it was a big one, is that they are incredibly squeaky.  We tried two different sizes and unfortunately couldn’t figure out what the issue was, but it was very distracting.

Verdict:

Ashley and Dorian: Not Worth It

While we loved the design and quality, ultimately the squeaking was so pronounced that we just couldn’t get on board.

Shop The Oliver Cabell Low 1 Here