GQ Magazine’s Style Guy, Glen O’ Brien, can’t live without colorful Paul Smith socks. Designer Tim Hamilton regards his long sleeve layering tee as a necessity in his daily life. Nor can Hip Hop Star Andre Benjamin live without his navy Converse Chuck Taylors. Every month, I check out men.style.com, and see what famous satorialist can’t live without. 10 essentials to be precise. Inspired by that original column, I present my 10 essentials that I simply can’t live without (with more reasoning and details).
1. Ipod Nano
In this new millennium, the iPod has become the absolute outlet for music goers. CD players have become obsolete while track players belong to our grandfathers of the bicentennial era. Is there any product that allows you to listen to 1,000 songs in a miniature size? None so far. I bring my Ipod wherever I go, and I have the pleasure from switching to pop singer Madonna to Bossa Nova Jazz singer Astrud Gilberto.
2. Metallic Inverted Triangle Necklace
A symbol of immense pride, I wear this necklace everyday to show my pride and my identity. Dating back to the atrocities of World War II, Hitler branded homosexuals as inferior beings incapable of reproduction. He marked almost 63,000 people with the pink inverted triangle. Pink was a sign of femininity and weakness while the inverted triangle demonstrated the social hierarchy of the Third Reiche, which homosexuals belonged in the bottom. For almost 30 years, the gay community lived in oppression until the LGBT movement of the 1970s revived that dark symbol. We should be proud and not hide anything.
3. Workout Ab Wheel
After a long, stressed out day, I simply can not work out to my full extent. This magic piece of device solves that answer. I feel my abs tight and my body invigorated. Only $10, it’s also portable.
4. Starbucks China Green Tips Tea bags
Besides water, tea has become my secondary drink. I feel calmer and skinnier. As a low-budget college student, I put a few tea bags in my bag so I have something to soothe my senses before class. Whether I just ate or I’m relaxing by reading a book, I drink tea wherever I go. And as for the health benefits, the possibilities are endless. But you already knew that.
5. Detail’s Men’s Style Manual
Detail’s Magazine recently published a book on how to dress, and it has become my permanent style bible. The book provides a classic sense of style hearkening back to Old Hollywood or 20th century refined gentlemen. Nothing is off limits from t-shirts to polos to accessories to jeans to suits. I recommend this book to anybody trying to improve their style. It certainly has improved mine.
6. Levis Corduroys
I should just put this out there and say “I love corduroys.” Unlike jeans, corduroys have that simplicity, classiness, and ruggedness combined in one product. With the Levis version, the attention to details is so precise, it’s almost unbelievable. I own three other color versions (gray, black, and brown), but nothing beats the class khakis. You may feel like a wandering traveler writing in his journal like Gael García Bernal in Motorcycle Diaries.
7. Messenger Bag
Every man should own a messenger bag. It hangs off your shoulder and you could pack all your other essentials in it. Backpacks belong in high school and luggage should only be for travel, not for going downtown or work. My version is simple, dark green, small, and I bought it from Target for less than $20. You can’t beat that.
8. Armani Black Jean Jacket with a hoodie
I would not wear a blue jean jacket ever again. That was passé in 2000 when I matched it with matching jeans and a red Fubu shirt. Oh the pain I suffered. But I fell in love with a black version that had a hoodie and sleeves made for a sweater. It felt slick, dangerous, and perfect. I felt like a rebel or even an underground superhero. Black beats Blue any day.
9. Black Casual Shoes
Black Shoes give your outfit a sense of style and refinery. People should really stop buying 80 pairs of Jordan’s because they look stupid and gaudy. Really, black shoes match with everything from jeans to suit pants. I need a new pair, but I feel more confident with them.
10. Light-weight Grey sweater
I bought a simple, form fitting grey sweater from H&M for $8, and I never regretted it. If I can’t think of what to wear, I put it on and I still look good. I look confident and I show off some muscles. As a side note, I want to add tight, form-fitting black tees as an essential because they are simple and also show off your muscles by looking casually refined and rugged.