When it comes to fashion accessories, men tend to own only one of each type. This is not to say that they are unimportant, since men’s accessories can add polish and detail to casual and formal wear. The key to purchasing accessories is therefore versatility, meaning that they will blend in seamlessly with any outfit you choose. Classical shapes, colours and designs are the best way to ensure versatility, but this does not mean they have to be boring. In this article, I will look at the must own men’s fashion accessories with an emphasis on being modern and fashionable as well as versatile.
A classic belt should blend in with the rest of your clothes, and therefore should not be loud and ostentatious. Ideally all men should own a dress belt and a casual/jeans belt as they are very different and should not be mixed up. A dress belt has a narrow width (usually 3cm or less) with a small buckle, and is made from shiny leather. If you are going to purchase one dress belt, it should be black as most men wear black formal shoes (as opposed to brown or tan). When purchasing a jeans belt, it is advisable to steer clear of flashy buckles unless you already own a classic jeans belt. For the ultimate in versatility, look for a reversible belt which gives you the option of brown or black leather. A chrome buckle is more modern than a brass one.
Looking at men’s accessories for formal wear, every man should own cufflinks and a tie. Working attire has become more informal with a move to business casual, and consequently formal accessories are not as essential as they once were. There are always occasions when we need to dress up and it is vital to be prepared. For a tie that covers all bases, I would recommend a stripe tie with a predominantly classic colour such as navy or burgundy. Avoid very loud ties with busy patterns as they will not suit all occasions. A good idea is to match the dominant colour in your tie with your cufflink, although this may mean other ties won’t match your cufflink. For a pair of cufflinks that will match any tie, why not choose a chrome cufflink which offers a sleek and elegant look. Stick to classic shapes such as ovals, circles and squares and avoid any novelty designs.
Men’s bags are becoming increasingly popular, as designs are becoming increasingly stylish. The messenger bag is the best choice as it is suitable for all occasions and can be worn with casual or formal wear. The backpack is only suitable for travelling and walking, whilst the briefcase is a bit old fashioned and won’t work with jeans and a t-shirt. A plain black or brown messenger bag made from leather and nylon is smart and lightweight, but not too formal.
For the Winter, gloves and scarves are essential for keeping warm and looking good. Plain black leather gloves work with all types of clothing, and a cashmere lining offers warmth and comfort. It is best to steer clear of woollen gloves in bright colours, unless they act as a second pair.
Every man owns a wallet, and it’s one of those accessories that can last a long time. Be careful though that it does not become ‘dog eared’ and faded as this can ruin your image and look. A classic choice would be a plain black leather wallet, and stay away from velcro and large logos. If you like to dress more fashionably, then there are some very cool wallets by J.Fold that use perforated holes and great colours. The money clip is a bit old fashioned, and coin purses are too feminine. Perhaps the most important accessory a man will every buy though is his watch. Avoid oversized straps and faces, and coloured faces (white, black or off white is best). A stainless steel band watch offers a masculine and sporty look, and is very durable. A leather wristband has a timeless and elegant look, but is less durable and should not be taken into the water. Avoid oversized straps and faces, and coloured faces (white, black or off white is best).