$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.

Welcome To Our Studio and Office!

We previously gave you a tour of our new home and now it’s time to give you a sneak peek inside AWxInc HQ! Our studio/office is where Ashley has fittings for all of her clients, where we run our business, and create all of our videos for you

Welcome to our Studio and Office, enjoy the tour!

Head to squarespace.com/awxinc to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain. Thanks to our friends at Squarespace for sponsoring this video!

Ashley’s recommended steamers:

Stand Up Steamer

Portable Steamer

Our video camera:

Panasonic 

Our Favorite Podcasts? / Best Podcasts 2019

Just like a ton of you out there, we love a great podcast.  Whether we’re in the car, cleaning the house, or just taking some time to ourselves, they’re a great way to learn, be entertained, and get motivated.  Recently a viewer asked us what some of our favorite podcasts were so we thought we’d share some of our go-tos, for entertainment, business, and more.

In this episode of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re running down a list of our favorite podcasts and why we love them so much!

 

Dorian’s Favorite Podcasts

Dorian loves a mix of history, business, current events, and entertainment in his podcast diet.  Here are some of his favorites.

Conan Needs A Friend

A hilarious and insightful interview pod hosted by Conan O’Brien and featuring great guests like Dana Carvey, Bill Hader, Jimmy Kimmel, and more.

The Rewatchables

Part of The Ringer’s awesome podcast network, The Rewatchables recaps classic action, comedy, and thriller movies in a really funny way.  if you’ve ever found yourself on the couch on Saturday or Sunday afternoon watching movies like Step Brothers, Bloodsport, Top Gun, and really wanted to discuss how perfect these movies are, this is the pod for you.

Revisionist History

A great deep dive into notable historical and current events but with a unique perspective, this educational and entertaining show is hosted by Malcolm Gladwell, the brilliant mind behind such classic books as “The Tipping Point“, “Blink” and “Outliers“.

The Daily

Dorian loves the mix of important news stories and outstanding news stories from The New York Times editorial team.

Slow Burn

Dorian has mentioned his love for history, and in particular, presidential history and this killer series has seasons on The Watergate scandal and the Clinton/Lewinsky affair.  We’re definitely excited about Season 3, which will cover the murders of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.

Economist: The Intelligence

Another current events podcast, this time from The Economist, it offers excellent business coverage as well.

Revolutions

Another podcast for you history nerds out there, this one focuses on some of the most important and, well, revolutionary revolutions in history.

Seincast

Dorian’s love of Seinfeld is deep and strong, so obviously he’s going to be into this hilarious podcast.

Batman – The Animated Podcast

An offshoot of the awesome animated series (definitely not for kids), this serialized podcast is super entertaining and a must for all comic book fans.

 

Ashley’s Favorite Podcasts

Ashley loves true crime, technology, and some interesting non-fiction in her podcast menu.  Here are her go-to’s.

Reply All

Not so much a technology podcast, rather, it’s more about human stories with bits of tech, social media, and communication within it. We also love the great rapport between the two hosts.

Criminal

Ashley is a huge true crime fan, so this one is right in our wheelhouse.  Sure, it’s probably obvious that this one is about crime and criminals, but the stories are crazy and out-of-the-ordinary in a really entertaining way. Guaranteed to blow your mind!

Couples Therapy

A podcast with Casey Neistat and his wife, Candice, this podcast is pretty raw, unfiltered and a really interesting look into their relationship (and all relationships, really).

How and When Should Men Wear A Tie?

Ties are a fundamental accessory in a man’s essential wardrobe, they can add personality, elegance, and formality to many types of looks, no matter what your personal style is. Rules about style and formality, in both work and social settings, are changing so quickly that it can be tough to know when you should and shouldn’t wear a tie.

So, in this episode of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re discussing when and how men should wear a tie! For a full breakdown on our favorite ties and specific tips, make sure you check out our tie article!

 

With What?

A key thing to remember about ties starts with what you should be wearing them with. Dressier looks like suits and sport coats are definitely options you can and should wear a tie with. For more of a hybrid look, try wearing a tie with a bomber jacket, it can give your casual look a cool dressy vibe. One word of warning though, you don’t want to wear just a tie on its own without a jacket, it just doesn’t look right.

 

With What Types of Dress Codes?

When to wear a tie can also be determined by the dress code or how formal your place of work happens to be. Dress codes like “Formal”, “Cocktail Attire” or “Cocktail Party” often call for a suit and a tie. Business casual tends to lean slightly more casual but a tie can be appropriate given the right scenario. One tip we love, try a knit tie in those less-dressy situations, they’re not as dressy as a silk tie and will give your look a cool vibe.

If you aren’t totally sure about dress codes, ultimately you want to go with the crowd and let that dictate when a tie is appropriate. Always being stylish and a bit more dressed up is a great thing most of the time. But, you don’t want to be significantly overdressing for occasions or workplaces that don’t call for it. It can seem like you’re trying too hard or attempting to stand out, and not in a good way.

When Should You Wear A Belt?

To belt or not to belt, that’s the question in this week’s edition of 2 Minute Tuesday! It may seem simple but there are actually some key situations and outfits you need to keep in mind when you’re thinking about putting on a belt. Previously we discussed what belt size to buy and our favorite belt picks, but now it’s time to break down exactly when you should and shouldn’t wear a belt!

 

Belts Are An Accessory

First and foremost, belts are an accessory, not a utilitarian piece. As we said in our fit guides, your pants should always fit properly without a bet and you shouldn’t be using a belt solely to keep them up.

 

Don’t Wear A Belt: When Wearing Suits

Even if a suit has belt loops, you don’t want to wear a belt with a suit, it ruins the line as the eye will be drawn directly to your waist and it will break up the overall vertical look.  Like we previously said, your suit pants should fit properly so your pants should sit on you without needing to be held up.

 

Do Wear A Belt: When Your Shirt Is Tucked In

Whether your shirt is fully tucked in or just partially tucked in (aka the French Tuck), you always want to wear a belt, regardless of whether you’re wearing jeans, chinos, or dress trousers.

 

Do Wear A Belt: With Jackets and Blazers

Typically with jackets and blazers, your shirt should be tucked in (unless its a very casual look with a t-shirt) so you’re going to always want to wear a belt with these types of looks.

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.

I Lost 30 lbs In 6 Weeks [The Check In #1]

Welcome to our newest series, The Check In!  We wanted to try something new for our viewers and readers so in this series we’re checking in with each other on a few personal things, talking about some stuff we’re excited about right now, and giving you guys a few updates on what’s going on in our lives (like Dorian’s weight loss).

We hope you enjoy this new series, let us know what you think and if you have any questions or topics you want to see us discuss!

 

Things Ashley Is Into Right Now

Chain Necklaces – Ashley loves a little bit of silver or gold peeking out as a nice bit of bling. Look for what’s known as a club chain in a small size like 2 or 3 millimeters.

Braided Belts – A cool twist on belts and they just add something special to your outfit.  Look for them in leather or cotton and you can wear them in a variety of basic colors like brown, tan, black, navy, or gray.

Belt Picks:

Belt 1

Belt 2

Belt 3

Belt 4

 

Things Dorian Is Into Right Now

Dorian is loving the documentary Apollo 11, a fascinating take on the space mission.

Watch the trailer here

Buy/Rent the documentary here

 

Dorian’s Book Recommendations

The Passage of Power by Rober Caro is a 4 volume history series about one of our country’s most interesting Presidents and his rise to power.

Buy It Here

Frank Miller’s Batman is a hugely influential series of editions featuring one of DC’s most legendary characters.

Check Them Out Here