As a man, there are certain items that make going about life’s daily tasks a little bit easier. After all, as an adult, you’re often juggling multiple responsibilities while simultaneously trying to squeeze in moments of pleasure, leading to a full plate. Below is a list of eight items every man should own and carry on a daily basis in order to be prepared for life’s many curveballs.
- Watch – Part of being a gentleman is knowing when to arrive on time; or when to show up fashionably late. Though most are quick to check their phones if someone asks for the time, a quality timepiece projects a level of maturity and luxury no phone can replace. A watch should be an investment, as you never know whom you might impress when you pull back your sleeve. With that said, you still want your watch to reflect your lifestyle and personality and compliment your daily wardrobe. For a cheaper, very day wear, check out the Timex Weekender. When you’re ready for a timepiece with a bit more class (and one that won’t break the bank), I recommend an Invicta brand watch (here).
- Leather wallet/Billfold/Money clip – Your wallet should be small enough to fit in your front pocket, as that’s where it’s safest and meant to go. Billfolds make that easier, but also limit the amount of cash and cards you can carry. Money clips prevent you from toting any more than the essentials (license, credit card, cash), ideal for those who are prone to losing their wallet or simply want to travel light. Whichever you prefer, make sure you always have some cash in hand for tipping your bartender or valet and for places that only take cash.
- Pocketknife/Multi-tool – Every man should own a quality pocketknife or versatile multi-tool, as these handy apparatuses will be called into action more frequently than you may think. Whether you need to cut the top of a package, open an envelope, slice your lunchtime apple, or spontaneously uncork a bottle of wine, you’re blade will be within reach and make performing your tasks all the more manly. Go for a blade made from high quality steel that comes razor sharp straight from the box. Benchmade, SOG, Buck, and Kershaw are all reputable manufacturers to consider. Swiss Army-style multi-tools are also incredibly useful all-around tools for everyday tasks. In addition to a standard blade, they include things like scissors, toothpicks, tweezers, screwdrivers, and other miniature tools. Victorinox is the maker of what most people know as Swiss Army knives, but Leatherman and Gerber also make great multi-tools.
- Phone and case – Most people can’t go a day without their phones. They keep you connected to friends, family, and the rest of the world via texting and the Internet. Whether you’re for Apple, Droid, or an old-school flip-phone classic, make sure you have a sturdy case to keep it protected and looking stylish at all times. While bulky, plastic shockproof cases are great, a genuine leather sleeve does the trick with an added dash of sophistication.
- Flashlight – Flashlights these days aren’t the monstrosities your parents used to bring out when the power failed. Today, LED flashlights can run for hours on end powered by batteries the size of a nickel. Like knives, flashlights come in handy more often than you might think, and not just at night. Whether you drop your keys in a dark parking lot or watch a piece of jewelry roll beneath the couch, having a flashlight on hand makes recovery much easier. You can find flashlights in many shapes, sizes, and degrees of brightness that will do the trick for everyday carry. There are single-bulb LED lights the size of a pen, Nano-sized keychain lights, or compact handhelds that can fit in your jacket or pants pocket or attach to your belt. Surefire, Streamlight, and Maglite are among the best–and brightest–brands around.
- Key ring – When you’re at the cash register and are searching your pockets for your miniature membership tag that grants you 10% off, don’t be surprised if you receive more than a few dirty looks as you hold up the line. A basic, single key ring affixed to a carabiner-style clip that can attach to your belt loop will allow you to easily consolidate these odds-and-ends so they’re easy to access. However, make sure that the collective items on the ring aren’t so collectively bulky that they protrude from your pockets or affect your walking.
- Pen – Despite the fact that both many business transactions and personal correspondences now occur online, the most official documents and intimate notes will always be signed by hand. In addition to allowing you to jot down a number, write yourself a note, or sign a check, a pen can make a bold statement about your taste.
- Lighter – Lighters aren’t just for smokers; they have long been an item of everyday carry for men of all trades. This accessory can come in handy in many ways: igniting a faulty barbeque, lighting candles for a romantic meal, and–of course–starting a campfire. Fire is an integral element for survival, and the ability to produce it in the palm of your hand at a moment’s notice proves you are a man prepared for anything. Plastic Bic lighters do justice, but a vintage Zippo-style lighter (here) will last longer and compliment the rest of your gear.
Most men love the idea of having the perfect tool for every task, but only few actually do. Get a jump with the items listed above and help fulfill that doctrine. Allow yourself to become a modern-day gentleman MacGyver with everything you could ever need to get through your day.