I’ve been buying quality menswear for a number of years now and I would like to think I’ve reached a point where I have a relatively harmonious wardrobe full of great stuff. However, it wasn’t until recently that I took a look at my accessories game and realized this was part of my wardrobe I may have neglected slightly over the years.
Upgrading some of my basics accessories and everyday carry has been a great experience but it has left me wishing I had some guidance in the beginning. Luckily for you, we’re following up our Building Blocks for a Better Wardrobe article with another edition dedicated to accessories.
So, if you’re just starting out in the world of quality menswear and feeling somewhat daunted by the seemingly endless amounts of product out there, we’ve put together this list of core accessories that will help you lay the foundations of a better wardrobe.
Nice socks are often the first snowflake in a Diderot snowball. They can be seen as trivial, and I’ve met a bunch of guys that will never stray from basic, athletic socks from a department store. While there’s nothing wrong with that, good quality socks are a really good way upgrade your outfits—especially if you’re cuffing your jeans—as that flash of sock-exposure can make a big difference.
These Silver Crew Socks by American Trench are a solid option to upgrade your basic crew socks. Coming in a host of colors ranging from the essential tonal options to bright pink and yellow, these socks are made from durable, medium-weight ring spun American cotton which features mil-spec silver filament knitted into the heel and toe line, an addition that helps to fight bacteria, control moisture, and reduce odor.
Available for $16.50-$36 at American Trench.
Seiko 5 Automatic Watch
In addition to keeping you on schedule, watches can polish off an outfit nicely. This Seiko 5 Automatic Watch is an effortlessly stylish timepiece with the added character of mechanical movement. It features a bold face with contrasting numerals and hands and day date complication, all of which is housed in a 37 mm stainless steel case which flaunts a skeletal display of the mechanical movement on the underside. Water resistant to 30 ft, the Seiko 5 is a durable watch that comes complete with a black nylon adjustable strap.
Available for $146.25 at Amazon.
Corter Standard Card Holder
A decent leather wallet will last for years and look better and better with time. While you can’t beat the classic bi-fold money wallet, we’ve chosen this minimal Standard Card Holder by Corter Leather.
Standard wallets can be busy with multiple compartments you will inevitably fill with dozens of loyalty cards, so a simple card holder like this can help keep your every day carry more straightforward. Built from natural vegetable tanned Hermann Oak leather, you only have to check our Fade of the Day features to see how leather of this ilk will develop as it ages. Coming with three slot construction, this card holder is hand sewn with contrasting stitching and finished with waxed edges and stamped branding.
Available for $52 at Corter Leather.
Tanner Goods Standard Belt
As well as holding up your jeans, a well-crafted belt will add an extra element to your outfits. The standard belt by the Portland-based brand Tanner Goods is a solid piece constructed from natural leather that will age handsomely—you just gotta put in the time. Made in the U.S.A., this belt features brass hardware and embossed branding on the strap.
Available for $105 at Tanner Goods.
Knickerbocker Watch Cap Type II
When it comes to the colder months, the knitted hat is the king of accessories. We’ve chosen the Knickerbocker Watch Cap Type II, a WWII-inspired piece of head-wear constructed from dense yarns that have been knitted on the same industrial knitting machines used by the U.S. Army. Finished with a small branded label on the cuff, this Watch Cap will soften with age and pair beautifully with a piece of classic utilitarian outerwear like a pea coat, deck jacket, or chore coat.
Available at Knickerbocker for $40.
FairEnds Organic Cotton Twill Ball Cap
Warmer climes, however, call for a ball cap. This FairEnds Twill Ball Cap is made from 100% organic cotton twill, with an unstructured body and adjustable nylon webbing strap which together make it easy for you to re-shape the cap to your preference. You can also customize this cap with your initials or other character-combination in chenille patch form via the FairEnds webstore.
Available for $48 at FairEnds.
Allyn Scura Ginsberg Sunglasses Black
Basic sunglasses will keep the sun out of your eyes but nothing compares to the quality and fit of a pair of well-crafted sunglasses. This pair of Allyn Scura Ginsberg Sunglasses is based on archetypal mid-century shades, featuring rivet shields and hinges and miter-cut frames. Made in Japan and priced under $200, these sunglasses deliver value for money as well as bags of cool.
Available for $175 at North Menswear.
Randolph P3 Sunglasses
If you’re looking for something slightly sleeker, the Randolph P3 features slim metal frames that are available in a host of finishes. Originally designed for use in Navy submarines, the Randolph P3 is made in the U.S.A. and features self-adjusting cushioned nose pads and offers 100% UVA/UVB protection.
Available for $239 at Randolph.
Joshu Vela Beach Tote
The tote bag has risen to prominence in the last few years due to its laid-back aesthetic and stuff ‘n’ go construction. If you haven’t picked one up yet, we’d highly recommend one. This Beach Tote by Joshu Vela is made in San Francisco from heavy duty, 24oz. canvas that will withstand daily abuse and hold heavy cargo.
Finished with 100% cotton webbing straps, this substantial tote comes in five colorways and is available for $65 at Joshu Vela.
Winter Session Waxed Backpack
Totes may be on trend, but when it comes to bags, it doesn’t get more functional than the backpack. Winter Session’s Waxed Backpack is a robust accessory designed for everyday use. It’s constructed from a 20oz. cotton canvas that has been waxed for water resistance, and features vegetable-tanned shoulder straps that will soften with use and mold to your body. Closing with sturdy YKK zippers, this backpack also features multiple pockets and a quilted back panel for extra comfort.
Available for $289 at Winter Session.