Every Guy Needs Man-cessories

Your life is busy. From watching football with the guys to attending job interviews to trying to impress a girl on a date, you need a versatile closet to keep up. But having an outfit for every occasion can be expensive — and nobody likes having to go clothes shopping. With the right accessories you can dress up or dress down your outfits as appropriate, as well as serve practical purposes.

Sunglasses

No matter where you live — sunny Malibu or wintery Mankato — sunglasses are popular and practical accessories to keep on hand. They’re available at all price points in a range of styles to suit your needs, as well as your aesthetic. Not only do sunglasses add a level of finish to your outfit, they also provide protection for your sensitive eyes from UVA and UVB rays and help you drive, play, and work better.

When considering styles that are best suited to you, stick to styles designed to flatter your face shape. Once you have selected a pair you love, it is critical to check the fit. As with clothes, they should neither be so tight as to make your face look like it’s been squeezed, nor so loose that they slide down your nose. If you wear glasses, it is often possible to have lenses fitted into your sunglasses that match your prescription.

A Messenger Bag

When you’re not wearing your sunglasses, you’ll need something to carry them in. Please do not commit the atrocity of putting sunglasses on your belt. Belt loops are meant for belts — and only belts. The only way to compound this sin is to invest in a belt holster for your cell phone. Not only are they awful, they also lead to countless lost pairs of sunglasses and damaged cell phones, respectively.

Many men worry that a bag will make them look feminine. If you’re one of them, you’re looking at the wrong bags. Keeping a good, solid bag shows that you are ready to take on whatever the day throws your way. If you work in a corporate setting, your bag becomes your mobile office. If you work in more flexible profession, your bag can hold anything the day might require.

When looking for your messenger bag, determine first your budget. Then, evaluate your own style ethos. Whatever direction your parameters lead, look for a bag that is solidly constructed, with a strong bottom and a strap that will hold up and not snap at the worst possible moment. If possible, seek out leather (check out these rugged options from Buffalo Jackson Trading Co.) or a vegan alternative. Do not consider unearthing your backpack from 1996!

Ties

Even if you own one suit or you don’t work in a suit-oriented profession, you should own a few ties. Not only can they make your simple grey suit look like a new suit every time, they add a touch of personality to your wardrobe. If you are more inclined to follow trends, ties can be a relatively affordable way to ensure that your outfit is contemporary. If you are the sort of man that prefers a more timeless look, your ties can also help you to build a wardrobe befitting a man of classic taste.

Whatever your tie selection, please learn how to wear a tie, which is about more than knowing how to knot it. You must also learn about proportion, how to pick the right tie for your build, your coloring, and the color and style of the shirt you intend to choose. Look for good quality natural fabrics like silk, and do what you can to avoid polyester.

If you are going to wear a tie bar with your tie, your tie should always be the same width as your tie bar, or wider. Never should your tie bar extend past your tie. A tie bar always goes between the third and fourth button of your shirt, and anchors the tie to your shirt placket. If you like vintage items, vintage tie bars are understated choices that can add even more depth and personality to your outfit.

Undershirts

Undershirts aren’t the kind of accessory that is meant to be seen, but they do play a role in taking your personal style to the next level. While it might be sexy to open your collar on a date, a loose-fitting shirt or sweat stains are not. And who wants to risk looking less-than-perfect at that interview for your dream job? Wearing a fitted undershirt like Underfit undershirts will help make sure you look good without peeking between your top buttons.

Scarves

A tie is to a suit as a scarf is to a jacket. The scarf of your choosing can bring an outfit together, adding texture, color, and pattern to your outfit, and help you look polished. It also has the added benefit of keeping you warm in cooler weather. When looking for a scarf, again consider the types of coats you own and which ones would go well with one.

When selecting a scarf, look for one in solid color or a pattern that appeals to you in a non-bulky fabric that will respond well to any number of knotting styles. Fabrics, as with ties, should be natural fabrics if possible. Avoid anything that will compete with the tone of your outfit, and choose scarves that balance functionality with style.

Worried about how to wear a scarf? Here’s some scarf-tying tips.

Socks

Most male fashion guides focus on shoes, but the shoes you select are not nearly as important as the socks you choose. The level of detail and nuance that is expressed in choosing the correct sock says so much about your ability to accessorize that it immediately sets you head and shoulders above the appropriately shod masses.

Generally, you should look for the right sock for your day’s activities. If you are going jogging, a synthetic athletic sock is your ideal choice. If you are wearing a dressy outfit, look for knee socks in a natural fabric that appeal to you. In this case, make sure that nothing of your leg is revealed when you move. Embrace color and pattern, focusing on overall harmony with the rest of your outfit in evaluating your socks.

A Final Note

No matter what you wear, the most important factors in clothes are the fit and the feel. If something fits and makes you feel good wearing it, know that you have discerned the most important elements of personal style that no guide can replace.

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