A roundup of easy self-care rituals and EDC basics that the 21st century man should never be without
What makes a well-kept man? Mulling over this, my mind immediately goes to a teacher of mine from the third grade. He once told our class that he was a “certain type” of man: nails trimmed at all times, shoes shined and spotless and hair neatly done. Oh, he also always had breath mints.
When it comes to the premise of presentability, I could not agree more that these are timeless elements—fundamentals, really—that make the building blocks of grooming and dressing for any young gentleman. But, of course, the young lad eventually grows to learn that there’s a lot more to it than manicured nails, spotless shoes and tamed tresses.
Navigating the real world as a modern gent, if anything, can be likened to behaving like a grown-up Boy Scout: he has to look the part, act the part and always be prepared (cue: everyday carry essentials to the rescue). Ahead, a crash course on rather more elaborate essentials that are still easy to keep track of and take on. Here are the top to-do and to-bring for the modern, working gentleman:
Think about how you bring these everyday carry essentials with you.
“Everyday Carry” or EDC refers to the basic items needed throughout the day and, naturally, these vary from person to person. For instance, the mainstays in my EDC bag are: my laptop, chargers, wallet, a pen and an external hard drive.
However, regardless of profession, personal style or mood, the bag dedicated to these everyday carry essentials should be able to take a man from formal settings to more casual ones, day to night and office to coffee shop. The classic nylon backpack fits the bill: Minimalist and luxurious-looking but striking and utilitarian, it’s the city-friendly version of the rugged knapsack.
MICHAEL KORS MEN Kent Nylon Backpack in Black
Find the perfect pomade.
Since looking sharp is a head-to-toe endeavor, turn your attention to those tresses. In hot and humid climates, it isn’t entirely unusual for your haircare products to succumb to the weather (picture this: pomade melting over your forehead). The alternative is to opt for products formulated to withstand particular weather conditions or those light enough to stay intact and blend seamlessly into your hair. I personally use water-based pomades since these hold extremely well, don’t melt off during the day and are easy to wash off.
Photos Gian Villanueva
Accept that your nose hair needs grooming, too.
Have you ever had a conversation with another man and noticed tiny strands of hair sticking out of his nose? He probably didn’t notice them (who’s to blame him? They’re relatively easy to overlook). Scenarios like this is proof that paying close attention to detail pays off. Now, take a long hard look in the mirror and give yourself the same assessment.
Just remember, when it comes to grooming nose hairs, do not trim too close to the skin. These strands are there to keep foreign particles from entering through your nostrils. If you think electronic nose hair trimmers are too pricey, you can always spring for a pair of miniature grooming scissors. These can easily be tucked into one of the smaller compartments of your everyday carry bag, too.
THE FACE SHOP Daily Beauty Tools Nose Hair Trimmer, P175
Get rid of that neck hair.
A beard that makes its way all the way down your neck is not only unsightly, it also creates the illusion of a double chin (if not, accentuates it). A well-groomed beard is supposed to frame the face, not blur the distinction between the face, chin and neck. So if you intend on growing yours out during No Shave November, keep in mind that upkeep is essential. Groom that neckline. If you have difficulty determining the beginning of your neckline, simply put two fingers above your Adam’s apple. The top of your fingers is the line where you should start trimming.
In the past couple of years, we've seen more and more men sporting a beard. From a rugged look to a more prim aesthetic; having a beard has most certainly become a style statement. But did you know that men used to get taxed for having beards? Yes, TAX! It was first introduced in the UK. The amount taxed depends on one's status in society – making having facial hair a status symbol. #TheRefinedPH
Retire the worn-out fabric wallet.
This one’s a no-brainer: a man should never be without a decent, presentable wallet. This means no food stains, ripped seams, corners coming undone or a wallet that’s bursting with receipts you’ve collected over time.
The classic leather wallet, with proper care, can last a solid decade, so this one should definitely be seen as an investment. The ideal everyday carry wallet is sleek, doesn’t call too much attention to itself and has organized pockets for cash and credit cards. For convenience, it should fit easily into the back pocket, too.
MICHAEL KORS MEN Harrison Leather Billfold Wallet
Invest in quality beard and face oil.
A newfound appreciation for growing facial hair may steer your focus away from this, but remember: it’s equally important to nourish the skin underneath it.
Beard oils are great for this. They contain a blend of essential and carrier oils that moisturize the skin, help with beard styling, and let’s face it, they smell amazing. If you’re feeling a little crafty, you can always buy the ingredients yourself along with some amber bottles and look up some beard oil recipes online.
The rules of engagement for the working gent change all the time, but the items above are the pillars of grooming, dressing and lifestyle that withstand it. Think of this as the art of everyday carry essentials: a chance to break down your personal necessities, reassess whether or not you’ve been scrimping on them and see if you need an upgrade. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for doing so.
Greenbelt 5 Ground Level Greenbelt 5 Mall Legazpi Street, Ayala Center, Makati City. (02) 728 61 32
Shangri-La Plaza Mall Suite 354, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, EDSA corner Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. (02) 637 71 54
The Refined 2/F Fort Point II Building, The Fort Strip, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. (02) 838 26 98
Featured Photo Michael Kors Philippines
Words Gian Villanueva
Art Alexandra Lara