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Required Reading

15 Most Essential Men’s Accessories

February 4th, 2020

All the finishing touches

Putting a good look together is more than just the jacket, shirt, pants, and shoes that you wear. It’s those small details and accessories that can really make the outfit and pull everything together. With accessories though, it’s not just about clothing–they can extend to other areas of your life as well. Let’s check out 15 of the most essential accessories for men.

1. White Pocket Square

Number one. A white pocket square. This is one of the most versatile pocket squares to have. It’s super easy to style. You can wear it with a formal look. You can wear it with a business look. It can be business casual or smart casual. Works with a variety of jacket colors and patterns… Now, in my opinion, you actually need to have TWO white pocket squares. You should have one in cotton. And you should have one in silk. The reason for this is you want to be able to cover the spectrum from very formal to more casual. Silk being more formal. Cotton more casual. I will say that because you’re going to get so much use out of this, it’s worth spending some money on a really great example of each. My personal choices are for cotton, Paul Stuart or Eton. And for silk, you can’t do any better than Charvet.

2. Tie

Number two. A tie. Now maybe you’re someone who doesn’t need to wear a tie on a daily basis. But whether or not it’s a wardrobe requirement for your job, it’s something every guy should have. Again, like pocket squares, I don’t think one is enough. You should have at least two ties to cover you from a more dressy standpoint all the way to something more smart casual and relaxed. For that one, for the more smart casual tie, I’m going to recommend a navy grenadine. It’s got some texture to it so it lends itself to more casual looks. And then for the dressier tie, we’re going to go with a classic striped tie in silk. Again, to play it safe and get the most versatility, I recommend going with navy. Also a good choice if it’s your more dressy tie.

3. Tie Bar

Number three. So as an accessory for your tie–an accessory for the accessory–a tie bar. It’s a nice little extra touch every now and then. And also very practical as it keeps your tie attached to your shirt, so it’s not going to be blowing in the wind or dipping into your coffee, or anything like that. Choose one that is simple and one that matches most of the metals that you wear. So if you wear a steel wristwatch, I’d recommend the same for your tie bar. Stay away from novelty tie bars. Not the right way to attract attention.

4. Sunglasses

Number four. Sunglasses. Every guy’s got to have a pair of sunglasses. And the sunglasses you choose should really match your style and your personality. It’s hard for me to say this is the one pair of sunglasses you need to have. If you’ve got a more classic style, try some Clubmasters. If you’ve got a more sporty style, you might look into some aviators, like a classic Ray-Ban, Randolph Engineering, or American Optical. If you’ve got a classic style and you’re comfortable and confident with sunglasses, I would try something by Persol–either the 649 or the 714.

5. Scarf

Number five. A scarf. So scarves serve two purposes. Practical. They keep you warm. And aesthetic. They look nice. They can be an accent. They can complement your outfit and actually pull it all together. Again, the scarf you have should reflect your style and personality. I would recommend a wool scarf. If you’re a more traditional guy, just go with something in a solid color. Navy’s always a great choice. Camel or burgundy if you’re looking for something maybe a little more seasonal. If your style’s more adventurous, or say, more advanced, definitely go with a pattern. A big plaid is great. And you can also find scarves with really, really intricate and interesting patterns.

6. Belt

Number six. A belt. Now the biggest thing people wonder about belts is, do they need to match your shoes exactly? Ideally, your belt and shoes are the same color. It looks good when they match. But let’s be real here. If you have multiple pairs of shoes, it is impossible–well, not impossible, but unrealistic–to have a belt to match every single pair of shoes that you have. If you have a black leather belt and a medium brown leather belt, you will be covered sufficiently, in pretty much any situation.

7. Briefcase

Number seven. A briefcase. Now, just because you don’t have a traditional office job doesn’t mean you can’t carry a briefcase. Like I’ve been saying throughout the entire video, any accessory you have should match your style, it should match your lifestyle, and the purpose for which you would be using it. There are lots of different kinds of briefcases for all different kinds of people. If you have that more traditional kind of office job, I would say that a leather briefcase is a great choice. Frank Clegg happens to be my personal favorite. If you want something on the more casual side, a classic Filson briefcase in twill is the way to go. And then if you’re looking for something that’s kind of an in between style, I would recommend the Cary briefcase by Stuart and Lau.

8. Weekend Bag

Number eight. A weekend bag. I’m talking about a duffle bag. A suitcase is fine, but to me, there’s something much more stylish and classically elegant with a good weekend duffle bag. Fits everything that you need and nothing that you don’t. It really helps you become a more efficient packer also. The most stylish and, of course most expensive, weekend bags are leather duffle bags. You get what you pay for here in terms of the quality of the leather. A higher quality leather bag will last longer AND look better over time. Again, my pick is Frank Clegg. For something more casual and outdoorsy, Filson is a great option. I would go with a medium size.

9. Watch

Number nine. A wristwatch. Come on, you couldn’t be watching this video and not know that I was going to choose a watch. I think it’s good to have two watches in your collection–a dress watch as well as something on the sportier side. Dress watch should be rather simple and not too. It could be time only, just have a sweep seconds hand, possibly a date window, and on a leather strap. Sporty watch can be bigger, on a metal bracelet. Of course, the sky is the limit when it comes to pricing in terms of watches. You should pick something that fits your budget as well as your style.

10. Wallet

Number 10. A wallet. Full disclosure, I am not a huge wallet guy–I actually use a card case, which is also a good option. A good wallet or something to keep your valuables in, like IDs, cash, credit cards is absolutely essential. And like all accessories, the one you choose is really something of an expression of your personality and your personal style. There are lots of cool more techy oriented wallets out there, but if it was me, if I was a wallet guy, I would choose a leather billfold or trifold wallet.

Number 11. Cufflinks. Well, if you don’t have a French cuff shirt you don’t need cufflinks, but you should get a French cuff shirt because they are super stylish. A simple pair of cufflinks is an absolute must. Again, think about the metals that you wear most and get your cufflinks in a matching metal. You can do a simple oval. You can do a knot. These are both very versatile and can work across a variety of outfits. Cufflinks can give you the opportunity to show off a little bit of your personality or your interests. Tons of different kinds of cufflinks out there all the way from bicycle gears to rubber chickens. However, avoid these more novelty style cufflinks, especially if it’s going to be the only pair that you own. You want your details to be subtle and not crying out for attention.

12. Pen

Number 12. A pen. And I’m not talking about a Bic or the pen that you stole from the last hotel you stayed in. Having a pen, in my opinion, one of the marks of a modern day man of style. Like when you go to a restaurant, it feels nice to take out your own pen to sign the bill. If you’ve done it before, you know what I’m talking about. It doesn’t have to be a super fancy pen. It can be something like the Fisher Space Pen or the Karas Kustoms Retrackt pen. Or it could be something a little fancier, more expensive, like a Montblanc.

13. Dopp Kit

Number 13. A dopp kit. When you travel, you need to have someplace to store all of your toiletries and grooming supplies. Don’t just haphazardly throw them into your bag or suitcase. Get a proper dopp kit. A decent dopp kit will run you around 30-40 dollars but you can, of course, pay for a more premium product. Whatever one you get, make sure it’s durable and that it’s big enough to hold all of your stuff.

14. Pocket Knife

Number 14. A pocket knife. This is a great too to have and one that comes in super handy when you least expect it. From opening up packages, to cutting twine, to spreading peanut butter, or just being the guy who HAS the knife when somebody randomly asks, hey does anybody have a knife? It feels good to either help out and just get things done quickly and easily. It could be something as simple as a Swiss Army knife. Or there are any number of high-end knife makers out there that you could spend LOTS of money on. I have a few okay knives, I would say. I have a Benchmade Griptillian. Also from Benchmade an Emissary. And also a Spyderco Sage.

15. Flashlight

And finally, number 15. A flashlight. I’m talking like a small, pocket-sized flashlight. Like a knife, this is something you won’t use all the time, but when you need it, you will be extremely glad that you have it. I don’t have a ton of experience with different flashlights. For the last 10 years or so I’ve had this really small Fenix LD01, I think the E01 is the newer version. It’s like 40 bucks on Amazon. Gets the job done.

Anything I left out? Chime in below.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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Videography by Rob McIver

Video Editing by Ian Johnston