Gear Up: Six Accessories That Demand Your Attention

In a world of shirts and pants, how can you stand out from the crowd? It's all in the trim, my good friend. From how you carry your gear to what you wear under your trousers, every choice you make is one that can make you stand out.

Hey Gents —

Some of you may think accessorizing is a task better left to the fairer sex, with their fancy purses, shiny jewelry and other elaborate accouterments hanging in the window displays of every boutique and department store. However, the educated gent knows that the right accessories can set him apart from other men. Below are six underrated men's accessories that demand your attention.


Most men don't think twice about the layer closest to their skin. No one's gonna see what's under your pants anyway, right? Wrong. Think about it: would you prefer to see your lady in a pair of stained, baggy sweats and a ratty, oversized tee… or in a something like this?

For her, not you


Women understand the importance of underwear. You should too. Ultimately, you have three choices: boxers, briefs, and boxer briefs. There are other options (such as man thongs), but I suggest staying away from such extremes. Determine your favorite cut and style—do you prefer colorful, dark, or plain white? Solid or striped?

I recommend a dark-colored, solid boxer brief. They're snug, but comfortable… simple, yet sleek. Best of all, you won't have to worry about novelty prints if you're ever caught without clothes on.

Calvin Klein Steel and Hanes short leg boxer brief

Men's accessories boxer briefs

Pocket Square

Pocket squares, or handkerchiefs, are a great wardrobe addition. They add character to a well-tailored suit jacket or sport coat, and if you're feeling daring, experiment with them in the pockets of your shirts, shirt jackets, or vests… but not all at once, of course.

Generally, you want to pair finer silks with more formal jackets, and cotton and chambray versions with more unstructured, casual sport coats. Be experimental, and remember the fundamentals of color matching (or mismatching, depending on how you look at it). Don't let the rules limit your creativity, though; if you have a chambray pocket square you think would look good with your tailored cashmere sport coat, stuff that bad boy in there. Life's too short.

Start with these:
Fine and Dandy / Lands' End / J.Crew / A Peace Treaty

3 handkerchiefs

3 beltsBelt

It's simple: You'll need at least 2 belts, but preferably three (or more). One should be unmistakably dressy, one unmistakably casual, and everything else can land somewhere in the middle. Done.

Duffel Bag

That tattered nylon Adidas duffel you used during college soccer practice just isn't cutting it anymore, so aim for quality and durability when purchasing your next duffel bag. Whether for an overnight stay or a weekend getaway, this is a versatile carry-all that you'll use more often than you expect, assuming you pick the right one. Look for something neutral-colored and constructed of a heavy-duty twill, canvas, or leather. Also make sure the zippers and other hardware are just as rugged and long-lasting.

Here are some great options from Filson, Saddleback Leather Company, and J. Crew.

Saddleback leather bag

A Quality Watch

“Quality” is a highly-debatable and open-ended term when describing timepieces, but in this article, I'm referring to a well-built watch that can easily be paired with a variety of outfits… a non-sporty watch with a classic face and unadorned bezel.

Here are two more affordable options:
J.Crew timex military watch / Victorinox Swiss Army Classic Alliance Mens Watch

Timex watch

In case you're looking for a classic timepiece to pass on to your future offspring (and have an extra $20k burning a hole in your pocket), go with this Patek Philippe.

Manicure Kit

Women notice the details. More importantly, women notice when YOU notice the details. Keep your nails trimmed, your unibrow plucked, and your nose hairs clipped. How? By purchasing one of these manly manicure kits.

Useful Things / Bey Berk

Manicure kit

That's it, gents. Keep in mind the key to a polished look is paying close attention to every little thing, and focusing on these often under-appreciated accessories will help you pull it all together.

Barron Cuadro

Barron Cuadro runs The Effortless Gent, a site dedicated to better equipping the everyday man by helping him find his own personal style. You can find him on Twitter @effortlessgent, Facebook, and at He lives in San Francisco.