11 Things Every Man Should Own

man wearing watch

What makes a gentleman? Some would say you have to be born into it. When such things mattered Elizabeth Bennet said of Mr. Darcy “He is a gentleman. I am a gentleman’s daughter, thus far we are equal”. But today things are different. Birth guarantees nothing.

Nowadays we associate being a gentleman with a level of refinement, experience and taste. Think of James Bond – for experience and taste. Perhaps think of Cary Grant for refinement.

You’re a gentleman. You have this level of refinement and taste, and here are some things which oh, so subtly tell everyone else who you are.

1. Timeless Sunglasses

As with a lot of things sunglasses started out as practical – stopping sun glare. Once the hip kids started wearing them in the movies though, everything changed.

**Our Pick**

peace out square frame sunglasses in matte cognac tortoise

There’s something timeless about the tortoiseshell look, and these Peace Out Square Frame sunglasses are the epitome of cool. This classic look suggests confidence, sturdiness and a certain flair too.

The Carl Zeiss lenses cut UV and protect your eyes. The frames are made of high-quality celluloid acetate with nickel-free stainless steel arms, giving strength and durability.

The matte finish is both smart enough to wear with a suit but you could also be in jeans with these sunglasses.

If you don’t like tortoiseshell there is butterscotch which has a certain je ne sais quoi and black – if you really must.

2. Custom Shoes

This might be bad news but if you’re a gentleman, unless you are involved in a sport activity or on a boat, you must relegate those high-tops you love to the closet.

**Our Pick**

handcrafted shoes at Undandy

There’s a tradition of great shoes in Europe and Undandy in Portugal has taken the art of gentlemen’s shoes to a new level.

They have been making shoes for over 40 years; and now they bring their spectacular shoes, which they brand as conspicuously inconspicuous, to the US.

Best of all, the prices for these wonderful shoes is not outrageous, especially when you think of what you’re getting for the money. You choose from a range of basics so these shoes are personally yours.

Then the workshop adds its beautiful craftsmanship to your chosen design to make a one of a kind shoe.

3. A Moisturizer

This might come as a news flash, but men need skincare products too. Your skin is exposed to sun, air pollutants, and dirt. Your skin is already older than it was when you started reading this – you need to moisturize.

**Our Pick**

moisturizer from Dr. Jetske Ultee

Dr. Jetske Ultee’s Uncover skincare line includes this moisturizer which will appeal to most gentlemen. Like everything else we love, this is a product where the producer has paid attention to the details.

There is neither alcohol nor perfume but there are loads of antioxidants to help reduce skin blemishes and acne. Hyaluronic acid and glycerin help with the visible signs of aging, filling out the fine lines on dry skin and making them less visible.

It is light to use and quickly absorbed. No animals were hurt in the production of this moisturizer.

4. A Good Watch

Lots of gentlemen will not wear any other jewelry apart from a watch. (Wedding and other rings are an exception obviously.) Your watch says a lot about you and it is a must-have for any man, so choose carefully.

**Our Pick**

sternglass minimal watch with brown straps

This beautiful watch the Sterglas Zeitmesser has a style and elegance all of its own. There are no bells and whistles, but check out the design. It has a Bauhaus look about it. The face is elegant and clear.

The hands are not black like the hour marks, but a contrasting dark blue adding subtlety and sophistication. The dial itself is minimalist but clear. Its only embellishment is the date, displayed in an elegant serif-free font.

Incidentally, if you decide on the leather watchstrap notice that it’s stitched – just like a good leather belt.

5. Chef’s Knife

knife flatlay

Spoiler alert – it isn’t enough to own a chef’s knife, you also need to use it. The chef’s knife says “I am at home in the kitchen which my father viewed as a women’s place”. See how far you have come? Real men are ok in the kitchen, gentlemen cook.

6. A Dress Shirt

man buttoning up shirt

Mass produced shirts fit everyone of an approximate size, so they fit no one well. The best-dress shirt is one made for you, but it’s costly. If you’re not made of that sort of cash, here are a few things you can do to get the best out of your shirt.

The buttoned cuff should be too tight to put on or take off without unbuttoning.

When the top button is done up you should be able to slip two fingers between collar and neck.

The shoulder points need to reach your shoulder and go no further.

7. A Good Razor

man trimming beard with a razor

A gentleman used to be cleanly shaven. No longer! Gentlemen now sport all types of facial hair. Think of Prince Harry‘s current look. The difference is a gentleman looks after his facial hair.

That means a sharp razor for the areas which you do shave… there should be no nicks or cuts or razor burn either – all signs of a blunt razor.

8. Jeans

Of course, a gentleman can wear jeans. But you must wear jeans that fit. Here’s the difficulty; if you’re a man who – sorry there is no other way to put this –doesn’t have much of a butt, finding good jeans is going to be hard.

**Our Pick**

denim jeans from A Day's March

A Days March is a Swedish clothing company who puts all their attention into the details. They say they would rather make one good shirt instead of three average ones. They have taken this philosophy into everything they make including their jeans.

They decided to eliminate the middlemen to cut down on costs, and the result is a fair price for a product where design and a desire for perfection drive the results.

These jeans are comfortable, stylish but without hype and the frippery. You will not find slashed knees, or deliberately distressed areas, faux pant lines, etc. – just excellently made jeans that fit.

9. A Tailored Suit

suits hanging on rack

A gentleman’s suit is known as “bespoke” rather than tailored. But often a handmade suit is way beyond the budget. The good news is most suits can be tailored to make it look bespoke.

Keep your suit simple. If you’re only going to have one suit, make it a style that will not drop out of fashion. Stick to dark blue or grey – you can wear either color to most occasions.

10. A Well-Made Leather Belt

a curled up leather belt

What makes a leather belt well made? Easy answer, two things; it’s stitched not glued, and the buckle is solid, not a paint job.

Leather is a natural material so it stretches over time and, eventually, the glue will come unstuck. The unfortunate thing is sometimes retailers you would expect to know better will present a glued belt.

11. A BBQ

man barbecuing on a grill

What does a grill say about you? It says you know how to kick back and relax, and that you’re willing to take some effort to do it, although gentlemen try to make it appear effortless. It also suggests an air of the masterful host.

Being a gentleman is ultimately an attitude. It’s not what you have or who you know. Courteousness and kindness are the marks of the modern gentleman. He will be known by his attitude to women, children and wait-staff.

It is an absurdity of modern life that it is easier to tell you what a gentleman isn’t, rather than what he is. Wait-staff is a barometer. Watch how a man treats a waiter and you’ll know if he is a gentleman or not.

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