The Complete Guide to Accessories for MenWritten by Gavin Humphreys
Accessories turn heads.
Accessories are the part of an outfit that can make it feel right - or wrong!
The best accessories are practical too.
Yet, the majority of men don’t bother to accessorize - we perhaps don’t even think about it much.
So, here’s the complete guide to all the adornments and decorations you ever need consider for your get-up.
There are certain accessories that most of us wear and use regularly. We might not even think about them - but you should.
None of these accessories are out of the ordinary; they are all everyday items.
These are part of your image, and it’s worth taking a bit of time and money to make sure that these are the most appropriate for you.
Ties are amazing ways to compliment your outfit. Get a color that goes not only with the shirt and jacket, but also works with your skin tone. And why not experiment with designs and different ways to tie your tie?
You can’t beat a selection of classic leather belts. You should own belts that match the colors of your shoes. Have some dressy belts, like our Nelson belt collection, and some belts for everyday use, like these Molina belts made from a single cut of leather.
There are sunglasses to suit everybody, so it’s worthwhile taking your time to buy good-quality sunglasses that suit you and will last - as well as protect from dangerous rays. Select shades that are the right shape for your face, and that work with your skin tone.
Again, these are accessories we all use - and you want to have the appropriate bag for going to a meeting (like this messenger bag or a briefcase) and the right bag for a short trip away (such as a leather backpack or our weekender). Again, well-crafted leather goods are a fantastic option because they are water-resistant and will last many years.
Talking of leather, you shouldn’t look past a leather wallet. This must be part of your wardrobe that you are comfortable with and doesn’t feel bulky or awkward, after all this is a utilitarian piece at the end of the day. If you want something more discreet, why not buy a minimalist card sleeve. Remember, your wallet should look the part if you are going out on a date or a formal evening.
This is one area that you can show off your personality. Avoid dirty rubber adornments; try to find attractive trinkets that age well in your pocket. I like to add useful things to my keyring - for example, it’s always handy to have a bottle opener at hand. Or perhaps even a little corkscrew!
Not as popular as in the old-days, but most of us have worn watches at one time or another. In the modern world, these accessories are as much about a fashion statement as telling the time. Not only should you take into account the style you want to go for, but remember that you want something suitable for your wrist size and circumference - otherwise it can look ridiculous!
Come the winter, gloves are one of the top essential accessories. It’s worth having gloves that you wear to shovel snow, and more attractive gloves on hand that you might wear to the theater, to a funeral, or even commuting to work.
Mobile phone cases
The case you use for your mobile phone is perhaps one of the accessories that is seen the most - it’s on display whenever you pull it out to check the time, or get together for a photo. Again, it’s usually a good idea to have options so that you can change it over, depending on the occasion.
Other accessories are not part of all our outfits, but why not? There’s a good chance you have worn most of these at times, and it wouldn’t be far out for most people to put these on on occasion. These are worth considering investing in.
A nice gold or silver chain can look classy (it’s not just for the Mafia Don or the rapper!). A discrete chain, or pendent, can be understated and an interesting feature of your outfit.
Most men only wear the wedding ring, but there are lots of options out there for adorning your hand with rings.
Hats are a great accessory to have on hand. Some of us like to wear hats all the time, and for others, it’s a rare, if never, occurrence. Again, there are horses for courses - it is worthwhile to keep hats for formal / informal wear, and to be ready for any weather. For example, you can’t beat a Panama Hat in the summer.
Hats also boast their own range of accessories - from feathers, to broaches, to colored bands.
Tie pins have the function of holding your tie in place - but they can also look great. And they come in a variety of forms, including pins, clips, and bars.
Leather bracelets, brass rings, Buddhist beaded bracelets, surfer hemp bands - there are a variety of manly options out there for your wrist.
These became popular with men in the ‘90s, but it’s not something that all men can carry off. If you decide to wear an earring, or other piercing, you are making a fairly big statement.
Suspenders are not just to keep your trousers up, they are also a nice addition to an outfit. This should be used as an alternative to a belt (not as well as).
Business card holder
A nice, metal business card holder is always good to have if you want to impress when you are networking.
Lapel pins can also be an eye-catching (or subtle) accessory to an outfit. These can tell a little about who you are and can be a great conversation starter.
Cufflinks on your shirt can be gorgeous. They could also be a family heirloom or say something about your personality. They should ideally be a color that goes well with your tie or your pocket square.
Handkerchiefs are one of the most useful of all accessories. They are also an attractive part of an outfit, when they are well kept and used well.
Special occasion accessories
If you like to dress more formally - or need to dress up for an occasion, then these are worth considering.
Very few of us actually use a pocket watch these days - other than our mobile phones, one might argue. However, for a smart occasion, it is a great addition to a suit or a waistcoat. The pocket watch chain is arguably even more important than the watch itself because it is going to be on show all the time, so invest in a nice one.
This broad waist sash is a super part of black tie, or white tie, attire. It is an eccentric statement that can really make your outfit stand out.
Again, this is an offbeat option for a well-dressed gentleman.
This is something that we should all have for special occasions (or why not more often?) because they add something special to a suit or jacket. It is advised to use a pocket square of a similar color to the tie - but not matching.
If you have been honored for military service, there is nothing wrong with polishing up your medals for a special occasion.
Finally, a bow-tie can be seen as a quirky addition to everyday wear, or an essential accessory for a black-tie event.
That’s just the start
While I branded this The Complete Guide - in fact, there are hundreds of variations in every one of the accessories I mentioned. You can investigate, experiment, and play with all these additions to your outfit. See what works for you.
And check out our range of accessories on this website. They are all handcrafted from full-grain leather to last and to look great.
Our belts have a beautiful range of colors to match our shoe collection.
Have I missed out an accessory that you enjoy using? Do you have a favorite? What would you never use? Please drop me a comment below, and I’ll get back to you.