A Man’s Beginner Guide To Accessories
Because accessorizing is not gender-exclusive
Whatever your style and whatever your aesthetic, a look just isn’t complete without the right accessories. There are accents that need to be added and finishing pieces to make an actual look out of a normal outfit. And the best thing is, once you have the right men’s accessories in your arsenal, you can hardly go wrong.
Repetition is no excuse not to top of your ensemble with an accessory or two. Throwing on an accent piece even on a normal day will make you look more put together and make it seem like you extended more effort into dressing up that morning.
Most guys will put on a belt for its actual purpose (ie, holding up pants), but if you’re going to use it, you might as well look good doing it. If you’re going to tuck in your shirt, make sure that your belt either matches something else in your ensemble or stands out as your sole accent piece.
Here’s another thing you probably haphazardly put on every day but actually has the potential to take you from average joe to wow-who-is-that. A statement watch will get anyone’s attention and the best part is that it need not be expensive. Get one with a colored strap to match your look for the day or—better yet—invest in one where you can easily change the straps depending on whatever else you have going on.
If you’ve lived in the Philippines long enough, you know exactly how the sun can beat down on us (even during the rainy season). Keep your eyes safe and yourself looking great with pair of sunglasses. There are plenty of silhouettes available out there, but don’t get overwhelmed. After all, a pair of classic aviators looks great on anyone.
If there’s an accessory that falls too far under the radar, it’s probably the sock. It’s understated, yes, but it’s probably the most surprising too. No one will know you’re sporting a pair of red socks until you sit down at the table or bench—that is, unless you crop your pants and show them off completely.
“To achieve the nonchalance which is absolutely necessary for a man,
one article at least must not match.”
You probably have an old baseball cap hung up behind your bedroom door, which you may not have touched in a while. Well, time to bring that baby out because it will always add another (figurative and literal) layer to your look. Besides, it keeps the sun out and hides wind-blown hair.
Are you a commuter man? If yes, then you definitely know how important a bag is. But while you’re out there buying a necessary item, you might as well get one that fits your personality. We love a basic as much as the next person, but there are just so many options out there that, well, why settle for the expected?
People say that the first thing others notice about you are your shoes, and they’re right. Everyone looks down at the floor at one point or another during a conversation and everyone does a head-to-toe look at anyone they meet. In other words, there is no escape. And since they’re probably your most worn-out accessory, then you should definitely invest in a pair—and there are so many trusted brands out there that have jumped from exclusively dressy to everyday casual. Have you taken a look at Florsheim recently?
Then again, there are those days you really need to show you’re on point. Big presentation at work? Celebrating an anniversary, graduation or milestone birthday? Time to kick it up a notch.
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If you still associate suspenders with grandfathers who need help holding their pants up, you need to join this millennium’s generation. After all, suspenders help turn a standard suit into a classic look the way a blazer does (except without that unnecessarily hot extra layer).
When the minimalist life calls you, there’s hardly any turning back—but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your personality. Cufflinks are the perfect subtle accessory to show off your passions and interests. You can get them in the shape of spades, initials or even a steering wheel.
Don’t settle for basic black in a classic shape when you can go for a printed number that’s both sophisticated and trendy. And while you’re at it, learn a knot other than the Windsor too.
“A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.”
We already discussed this, but formal wear calls for a different watch. Go for something classic in a metallic strap, but still inject your aesthetic with the shape and size.
Another repeat, a different point. Formal belts are different from your every day ones, largely depending on the buckle and how it pairs with your shoes. The standard rule is to match them precisely, but don’t be afraid to match based on family color instead.
There’s nothing like a pop of color to give a classic look some personality. You can wear a darker shade of your polo or slacks, but don’t be afraid to mix and match some patterns in there too!
“Being perfectly well-dressed gives one a tranquility that no religion can bestow.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Men, welcome to the world of accessorizing. Don’t let it overwhelm you and don’t run from it either, since—really—there’s no way to move forward but to embrace it.
Art Alexandra Lara