Style advice is often exclusively focused on the luxury and grandeur of things, in other words 'big picture stuff'. Less frequently discussed are those smaller, more mundane tools that help us tie all the pieces of our look together. A well sourced outfit from brand names A, B, and C is fantastic but the minute I spot a crumpled shirt or a scuffed up shoe - it's game over. Today I wanted to discuss the 5 utilities or tools every man needs in his arsenal to make sure he's on his A game day in and day out. Some of these may seem painfully obvious, but speaking from experience it can be very easy to ignore these minor crucial steps when getting dressed.
It doesn't matter if you spent $800 on the perfect suit if you step out with it covered in creases. This comes across as shabby and communicates laziness, completely reversing the effect a good suit is meant to have. Spent 10 minutes the night before laying out your outfit for the morning and go the extra mile by having everything pressed and ready to wear. Personally, having all my clothes ironed gives me that extra piece of mind and confidence to conquer what the day has in store for me. I'm putting my best foot forward both literally with my outfit as well as figuratively by feeling in charge and prepared.
One too many times I've been guilty of investing in a great pair of leather shoes and failing to properly care for them, diminishing their durability. Shoe polish is cheap and easy to come by and takes mere minutes to apply. Previously I would always remember to polish my shoes just as I was heading out the door and ditch the idea altogether for lack of time. I started to realize that when I met new people I would do a quick scan of their body language and outfit - it's natural. We all base our interactions with others on the cues and hints they make available to us. Turning this thought inwards, I would be embarrassed to be giving out signs that I am a scruffy and unkempt individual based on the appearance of my shoes. The lesson? Polish your shoes. First impressions last, so make sure you don't cock it up.
This is one of those things you do for yourself, not for appearances. We all spend a great deal of time, effort, and money investing in items for our closet that make us feel and look our best. However, as fast fashion has taken over the 'buy cheap and throw soon' mentality has found increasing popularity. I've been guilty of hurriedly slipping my feet into a pair shoes, damaging the back cuff or 'counter' over time by creating folds and ruining the appearance of the leather. I figured, if I take time to invest in my shoes I might as well also take the time to wear them the right way. Shoe horns are cheap and extremely handy in maximizing the longevity of your shoes, especially the leather pairs. Instead of forcing your shoes on and using your finger as a buffer to get your heel in, take 5 seconds to use a shoe horn and get going on your way.
4. Watch box
Over the past year, I've been really getting into watches. Wanting to start a watch collection of my own, I can tell you that this is not a cheap hobby. Growing up, my dad was an avid collector of timepieces and some of the watches I own today have been passed down from him to me. He taught me early on to never just chuck my watches into a bag or a cluttered drawer since they are bound to make contact with one another and incur scratches and damages. Watch boxes are an inexpensive - although they can also go up to cost a pretty penny - and sensible purchase that, at the very least, help kick your organization skills up a notch and are a great way of displaying your collection. Think of this box as your bar cart, from which you pick what you're in the mood for dependant on the day. For watch collectors, each piece generally has sentiment or a momentous occasion (graduating, first job getting married etc.) attached to it and it's important that they protect these watches the way they treasure those moments.
If you are a pet owner or cold climate inhabitant, it's not new to see your clothes covered in a permanent layer of dust, lint, or fur. Having lint on my clothes is probably one of my biggest annoyances and I cannot do without a lint roller. I generally have a couple at my own house, one in mine or Karuna's bag and one at Karuna's house. It's a quick, cheap, easy to find solution for a perennial problem - no brainer.
All in all, if you can take the effort to invest in your outfit and accessories, it's equally important that you take the time and effort to care for them with the right tools. All of the items mentioned above are available at reasonable prices and in any number of department stores. Shop these tools easily in the carousel below and start focusing in the quality and longevity of the items in your closet.
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