Ten essentials: 10 things I can’t live without / use daily / bring with me everywhere… plus 5&B launch event news

April 25, 2011 · 13 comments

in Accessories

Since a lot of you guys were asking what items I have and can’t live without, I thought I’d compile this list. I could live without some of these (maybe), so think of it as a list of things I use daily or happen to bring with me everywhere.

my eleven essentials

Clockwise from left to right:

11″ Apple MacBook Air – the ultimate portable productivity machine. I bring this wherever I go so I can whip it out and do work when I have a couple hours of free time (which honestly hardly ever happens, but you never know). Some days I go to the coffee shop and work all morning, and this is my companion.

keys – to lock and unlock things

hanky / pocket square – no matter what, I always take one along with me. You never know when you’ll find yourself sans napkin, or need to clean up a mini spill. Simply fold and carry it in your back pocket; you won’t even notice it’s there, but you’ll remember you have one when you need it.

sunglasses – I’ve had these Montblanc shades for a couple years. I picked them up at Loehmann’s for $50; they were originally $300 if I remember correctly.

I used to buy expensive designer sunglasses until I realized how ridiculous that is. Most consumers don’t know that big brands select models from a display case of pre-made frames, slap their logo on, and charge $300 when their cost was probably in the single digits.

When buying sunglasses, worry about fit and overall appropriateness over brand. If you still want a brand name, go to discount stores like Ross or Loehmann’s for super deals. It’s hit or miss most of the time, but you can get lucky if you’re persistent and patient.

wallet – I’ve had this J.Crew slim wallet for seven years now. It was a bright kelly green but it’s taken on a whole new shade (like a green/black) since it sits in the pockets of my dark denim. I love the slim silhouette and the fact that it allows me to carry only the necessities. Bulky backsides are a no-no.

earbuds – these are from V-MODA (called the Vibe Duo) and they can run $100+. These are the best earbuds I’ve owned, and you really do have to invest a bit more money if you want quality. Doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal though, so check Amazon or eBay. I found mine on Amazon for around $60. They have them on Amazon for $27 now (aff link) – holy moly that’s cheap.

notebook – I carry this red Moleskine for when i need to quickly jot things down, or want to get ideas out of my head and onto paper. Sometimes writing and sketching things out is easier than trying to outline it on a computer.

pen – this is my favorite pen. It’s one of those 4-color pens that’s really popular among 4th graders and it has green, red, blue, and black ink. It’s helpful when I’m hashing out ideas because I can write stuff in different-colored ink to emphasize things, or differentiate them from whatever else I’m writing down.

watch – My watch is an old Seiko Titanium Perpetual Calendar I’ve had since I was 16, making it my oldest watch in the drawer. It’s lasted this long, and I’ve only changed the battery once, so it’s a trooper for sure. Hopefully I can use it for another 10 years, if not longer.

Apple iPhone – the modern-day swiss army knife. This is the one tool I get upset when I leave at home. It does everything for me. I write EG articles on this thing when I have nothing else, I use it to find my way, keep in touch with people, check my email, update Twitter and Facebook… it’s the best phone I’ve ever owned. If I had to only pick one thing to carry with me all the time, it would be this little guy.

So those are my ten essentials, the ten things I have with me practically all the time. What are yours? Take a picture and tell us about it in the comments below!

Some 5&B news before I let you go

Fifth&Brannan, the menswear line I co-run with Katie, is having a launch event on June 18! So if you’re in or near San Francisco (or even if you aren’t, and would like to attend anyway) check out our official launch event page: http://fifthandbrannan.com/launch

It’s been a long time coming and we’re super excited to finally release our small collection of shirting, which we plan on expanding to tailored pants and fitted jackets in the coming releases. It’s been a labor of love (and the cause of some sleepless, stress-filled nights, to be honest), so we’d love to have you at our launch party to celebrate with us. Once again, here’s the official page for it: http://fifthandbrannan.com/launch

Hope you can make it!


Barron is the founder and editor of Effortless Gent, a site dedicated to helping guys figure out what looks best on them. He's based in San Francisco. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

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