Gentlemen Gadgets: 11 Essential Items for Men

Key Points

  • Men's essential items don't always cost an arm and a leg.

  • Certain essential items for men help you physically and mentally.

  • Essential items for men provide experience and knowledge for you to grow.

  • Grooming items make you feel more confident.

Man in suit

You always want to improve yourself, even if you've arrived at a place in your life you've always wanted to reach. As a man, reaching the summit isn't something you necessarily want to get to; instead, it's all about the pursuit of getting there. Trying to be the best version of yourself every day is something men do, not boys.

There are 11 essential items for men that assist you with becoming a better version of yourself and allow you to reach your full potential! Dig into the full list below. 

1. Passport

“It liberates the vandal to travel…” – Mark Twain

To kick it all off, a passport is a key; it enables you to grasp the bigger picture of life by experiencing new cultures. Nothing makes you feel more independent and gratified than hopping around the globe whenever you please. The people you meet, the beautiful things you see, the passions you find, and the lifestyle of others provide you with the perspective that is quintessential to owning who you are.

“Finding” yourself is muck, but there is such a thing as “creating” yourself; there is no better way to create the man you’re destined to be than by owning a passport. Get out there and explore the world; it’s your birthright.

2. Books

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – William Faulkner

The above quotation exemplifies the mentality you have while reading a good book. It’s quite simple: Find a book that piques your interest and start reading. It’s one of the most accessible ways to cut out the seemingly intimidating aspects of your life. Life isn’t easy for anybody, but once you have read the entirety of a good book, you constantly reference its contents in your own life.

The brilliant minds of men and women who write literature give you the necessary confidence to break through the barriers you face on any given day. Along with that, it is comforting to know that these acclaimed authors have experienced the same hardships, joys, and successes that concern you. Above all, you start to collect your own ideas.

Man reading with pile of books

3. A Journal

“I live for myself and I answer to nobody.” – Steve McQueen

This one is important. No matter where you are in the world, have a journal. A journal cleanses the doubts, stresses, and pressures you may have throughout the day. On the other hand, it is a great way to document some moments you may want to vividly remember. There isn’t a “how-to” on writing in your journal; it doesn’t have to make sense or have a theme. It’s simply a way to document and possibly reflect on the raw, ephemeral feelings you undergo.

Your journal is for you and you only. Surprise yourself by reading a journal entry from a week ago, a month ago, or even years ago. It’s a great way to feel obligated to take care of yourself because you always want your life to be a little bit better than it is.

Be proud of every facet of what makes you a man; your journal shocks you when you recall all the hardships you thought you couldn’t take on while they were happening.

4. Dress Shoes

"It is totally impossible to be well-dressed in cheap shoes." – Hardy Amies

Dress shoes are acceptable no matter what occasion or season. Think about it: When you have moments when you need to dress for a wedding, graduation, anniversary, or an important business meeting on short notice, it's essential to have a pair of dress shoes on hand. You don't want to attend a fancy occasion on short notice and find nothing but a pair of grungy sneakers.

Note: Steer clear of square-toed dress shoes or dress shoes with lots of patterns. You are looking for a versatile and distinguished pair of dress shoes that complement your wardrobe.

An easy answer is the Stacy Adams' Kalvin Plain Toe Oxford dress shoes; a black and brown pair are standard. To make sure you feel as good as you look while wearing these dress shoes, Stacy Adams provides arch support and a molded heel sole. These shoes keep up with your busy lifestyle and do not fall apart. Just to add a bonus to this sweet deal, the shoes are only $120!

Man tying dress shoes

5. Low Top White Shoes

"There's an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes." – Forrest Gump

The time of wearing your running shoes with denim jeans is over! Unlike the dress shoe, a pair of casual canvas or leather shoes are going to provide you with the utmost comfort on foot. A simple pivot, like wearing white low-top shoes instead of sneakers, elevates your outfit. Not only do white low-tops go with all casual outfits, but the shoes pair nicely with business casual attire as well. This fashion statement says you're comfortable and put together.

Shoe companies like Vans, Spring Court, Converse, Novesta, and Superga make perfect white low-top shoes. Vans, Spring Court, and Superga run fairly true to size. However, you may need to size down a size and a half for Converse and Novesta. The price won't be a problem either: Vans sells white low-tops for $60!

Gentlemen, summer sneaks up on you quickly and there is no better season to bust out a pair of low-top white shoes — the quintessential summer shoe for all men.

6. A Watch

“We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.” – John F. Kennedy

Wearing a watch on your wrist implies that you value your time as well as others. Yes, checking the time on your phone is what most people do in 2023, but your phone is a distraction from what you need to accomplish by the end of the day. A watch has one use and won't decrease your productivity. It’s the most efficient way to keep track of where you are in your day and how much time you have to get a task done.

Since most guys don't wear jewelry, a watch is the easiest accessory to wear. While you're browsing watches, make sure the style and color match with most of your clothes. For example, don't spend your money on a tacky, bright-colored watch. Typically, you are going to want to have either a gold or silver watch; classy, yet distinguishable. Whether it be a digital or analog clock is completely up to you (analog is the most common), just make sure you are able to tell what time it is — and look snazzy while doing so.

Man wearing watch

7. Sunglasses

"With my sunglasses on, I'm Jack Nicholson. Without them, I'm fat and 60." – Jack Nicholson

Adding to the accessories category, sunglasses are a must-have for all men. Not only do sunglasses provide symmetry, they simply make you look cooler. 

Aesthetics aside, it’s important to take care of yourself, and blocking UV rays prevents damage to your cornea, pupil, and lens. The last thing you want is your vision impaired and the most cost-effective way to make sure that doesn't happen is to wear a pair of sunglasses that just so happen to look sharp on you.

8. A Signature Fragrance

"If I splurge on anything, it's cologne." – Zac Efron

Scenario: You're walking down the street and smell a bad odor from an individual — the first thing you do is run in the other direction. On the other hand, you've probably encountered someone who has a very distinct inviting scent. Understand the two vastly different outcomes of smelling bad versus smelling good.

Your scent evokes emotions from others and you always want to make the best impression. When you purchase a cologne that accompanies you, it attracts the right people. Of course, you style yourself and look presentable, but cologne separates the men from the boys.

To point you in the right direction, some everyday fragrances that attract the ladies are Blue Seduction by Antonio Banderas, Allure Home Sport by Chanel, Sauvage by Dior, Jazz Club by Maison Margiela Replica, and Legend by Mont Blanc. On the other hand, if you are the kind of person that likes to wear fragrances specifically for going out on the town, then Dylan Blue by Versace, Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani, and L'Homme by Prada make you stand out amongst the crowd.

Man spraying fragrance

9. Headphones

"Music is for every single person that walks the planet." – Robert Plant

Whether you're traveling, exercising, trying to become inspired, or just enjoying music, you need a pair of good-quality headphones. Music just makes everything that much better; it brings out how you're feeling at any given moment. There may be days when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, but if you listen to music with headphones on your walk, it’s the fuel that keeps you going! That's not the only reason to purchase a pair.

You may be the kind of man who gets distracted easily by background noise. In this instance, listening to music with noise-cancellation headphones helps you not waste time and get your tasks done promptly. Luckily, the future is here. If you live in a noisy area, the frustration of getting a headache due to car horns and construction workers is over!

Appropriately, you don't want your headphones to bust your eardrums and cause you to wear a hearing aid at the ripe age of 40. Luckily, ZDNet dove into which headphones have the best sound quality for your ears.

10. A Pocket Knife

"Survival is the ability to cope with difficulties, with circumstances, and to overcome them." – Nelson Mandela

An essential utility item to have is a pocket knife. Between breaking down boxes, cutting loose threads, slicing fruit, stripping electrical wire, or gathering brush for a fire, a pocket knife is a practical, labor saving tool. The manliest thing is to do a task without stressing over it and if you don't have a pocket knife for the listed tasks, everything is needlessly difficult.

Man with pocket knife

11. Basic Grooming Kit

"Taking care of yourself is the most powerful way to begin to take care of others." – Bryant H. McGill

Across the board, you need a nail clipper, shaver/shaving cream, a toothbrush, shampoo, and a comb. For most men, hair grows everywhere, so you also need a hair-trimming tool.

It’s self-explanatory that some of you have facial hair; don’t neglect it! Beard oil is a legitimate cosmetic item to use because not only does it moisturize your skin under the beard, but it softens your beard while making it grow fuller.

Equipment for the Man in the Mirror

"Remind yourself that you cannot fail at being yourself" – Dr. Wayne Dyer

When you apply these habits or collect these specific items, you find that your life is more of a breeze. Taking care of yourself, as well as creating that lust for life is the gift that keeps on giving. You attract people in your life that value you as much as you value yourself — and vice versa. You can't go wrong!

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