They say the clothing makes the man. We’d like to posit an addendum: The accessories make the man, too. Because, no matter how well-tailored the suit, no matter how spit-shined the shoes or form-flattering the clothes, at the end of the day, it’s the little things that count—especially once you’re of an age to have a well-established wardrobe. (That’s you, fellas in the 50-plus crowd.) Here, you’ll learn how to make the little things count as much as possible.
A do-it-all tote
O’Hare, by Want les Essentiels
$295; buy now at barneys.com
The tote is the best bag a guy can own: Just throw all your stuff in and go—no need to spend time organizing files and pockets and flaps. And, by investing in an über-stylish option, like this mélange bag from Want les Essentiels, you’ll still look like an adult for whom everything is in its right place.
An everyday knit tie
Textured Knit Tie, by Brooks Brothers
$79.50; buy now at brooksbrothers.com
The next time life calls for a tie—a Monday morning meeting, a white tablecloth dinner date—eschew the wide silk necktie. Instead, grab a reserved square-end knit tie that works with your entire wardrobe. This offering, from Brooks Brothers, comes in all manner of versatile colors, from a burgundy-flecked brown to a dashing aqua.
Liverpool Dress Boot, by Allen Edmonds
$495; buy now at allenedmonds.com
You may think the Chelsea boot is reserved for aging rock stars and the army of style-conscious dads of Brooklyn. But there’s no easier way to knock a few years off your look than by slipping into a sleek Chelsea boot. If you want a pair that both looks great and will last forever, look no further than Allen Edmonds’ practically bulletproof Liverpool. (Full disclosure: This is the go-to midweek shoe for one of our editors. He wears it most days during the fall and spring, has for the past few years—and hasn’t once had to get it repaired or touched up. That alone should tell you how much of a beast the boot is.)
Cufflinks fit for your age
Two-Tone Square Cufflinks, by Lanvin
$192; buy now at nordstrom.com
Yes, Paul Smith’s dinosaur cufflinks are a total blast. But once you hit 50, zany cufflinks come off less as a coy attempt to lighten things up and more as a lame attempt to grasp onto youth. Stick to the basics: Understated designs and matte metals are your friends. This two-tone offering from Lanvin fits the bill to a tee.
A robust pocket square collection
Trendy Light Blue Pack, by The Tie Bar
$45; buy now at thetiebar.com
Now that (most) workplaces don’t require neckties, the pocket square has ascended to the throne of mandatory suiting accessory. In other words: If you’re rocking a blazer or suit and you don’t have a pocket square, you’re doing the bare sartorial minimum—when you’re more than capable of infusing some style into your look. This starter pack of inoffensively blue pocket squares will get your collection started on the right foot.
An all-occasion tie clip
Classic Tie Bar, by Banana Republic
$40; buy now at bananarepublic.gap.com
Even though ties aren’t mandatory these days, if you’re going to wear one, you’d best do it right. A tie without a tie clip is like a suit jacket without a pocket square. It works, sure. But why condemn your wardrobe to permanent B-minus status? The good news: There’s no need to be fancy. A simple silver-tone piece, like this trusty option from Banana Republic, will work with your entire wardrobe.
A special occasion tie clip
Striped Sterling Silver Tie Bar, by Thom Browne
$425; buy now at saksfifthavenue.com
Weddings. Graduations. Anniversaries. Milestone birthdays. Sometimes, life requires you to dress to the nines. A pure sterling piece, like this artfully striped Thom Browne tie bar, is fit for even the most lavish celebrations.
A wallet worthy of your money
Oliver Billfold, by Frye
$128; buy now at thefryecompany.com
When it comes to the thing that holds your money, it’s worth investing in quality. Frye’s handsomely tarnished leather is the type of material that conveys true staying power—and spending power, too.
A jeans belt
Leather Belt, By Prada
$360; buy now at barneys.com
Jeans have become a staple across the wardrobes of men, from field workers to finance elites. But nothing can make a great pair of jeans look sad than a belt that’s simply unworthy. This classic, masculine style from Prada will make your more casual days a little dressier and your formal days and little more comfortable. That’s what we call a win-win.
Top Gun aviators
Original Aviator, by Ray-Ban
$203; buy now at sunglasshut.com
It’s no surprise that the aviator is a well-minted classic: the style works with everything, every time. If you don’t have a trusty pair by now, it’s time to change that. Thankfully, nailing the action-hero look is as simple as sliding on a pair of Ray-Ban’s original model.
Drive leather gloves
Perforated Leather Driver Gloves, by Saks Fifth Avenue
$120; buy now at saksfifthavenue.com
Because what guy doesn’t want to ooze Ryan Gosling vibes?
A reliable weekender
Signature Leather Duffle, by L.L. Bean
$299; buy now at llbean.com
There’s a reason L.L. Bean hasn’t changed the design of their flagship duffle in eons: They got it right on the first try. Handsome burnished leather on the outside, rugged 16-ounce canvas on the inside, the bag might well and truly be the toughest duffel in history. It’s also, at 44 cubic liters, practically bottomless. But best of all, it’s downright beautiful, meaning it’s the type of bag you could just as easily lug along on a long weekend in Milan as you could an au natural escapade in Yellowstone.
A reissued vintage watch
Heritage 1948, by Tissot
$1,400; buy now at us.tissotshop.com
Vintage watches look great, but you can quickly run up a five-figure tab tracking one down. Thankfully, companies these days are reissuing styles straight out of last century. It’s the old look, but good as new—and cheaper, too.
A timeless cashmere scarf
The Classic Check Cashmere Scarf, by Burberry
$430; buy now at burberry.com
Everyone knows the camel-based Burberry check. But nowadays, it’s available in nearly 20 different shades, so you can hew to tradition and stand out from the crowd at the same time. (We’re partial the the roguish “claret check,” pictured.) The scarf is a bit pricey, sure, but it’s carefully made—pure cashmere, hand-crafted—and is the type of iconic accessory that instantly conveys well-earned gravitas.
A loud-and-proud sock collection
Quarterly Sock Subscription, By Nice Laundry
$49; start subscription now at nicelaundry.com
Listen, we get it: guys have a limitation to the amount of panache given to a nine-to-five outfit most days of the week. So establishing a varied wardrobe of statement socks has all but replaced the tie. But just like some bold ties look great, and others just grate on nerves, the same is true with over-the-top socks. Nice Laundry does, well, a nice job giving your sock drawer depth and dimension without making you look, well, stupid.
A better gym bag
Novel, by Herschel Supply Co.
$85; buy now at nordstrom.com
Enough with the sweat-stained gym bag you’ve been lugging around for years. It’s high time for an odor-proof upgrade. This duffel from Herschel is lined with polyester, for industrial-grade stink protection. But the real selling point here is the extra shoe compartment: That way, you can keep your sneakers (and their odor) away from the rest of your gear.
Luxe weekend sneakers
Baldwin Lace Up Sneaker, By Vionic
$130; buy now at vionoc.com
No need to reinvent the wheel guys. You need a good pair of sneakers that aren’t built for your workouts but can handle your walkabouts—and your brunches. Here’s the thing: you don’t need to spend a fortune on them, contrary to popular belief (but we still love you, Common Projects). This pair in white from Vionic will look great with absolutely everything you wear, and aren’t so pricey you’ll feel the need to save them for a special occasion. Because, you know, they’re sneakers.
An idiot-proof umbrella
Traveler Umbrella, by Davek
$89; buy now at amazon.com
Show of hands: Who’s struggled with opening or closing a finicky umbrella in the threshold of a busy walkway? Well, with Davek’s compact, easy-use travel umbrella, such inconvenience will become an instant thing of the past. One click and it’s open; another, closed. Plus, it’s huge (big enough for two people), and comes in six colors (though we’re partial to the black). In other words: This beats the stuffing out of garden variety throwaway umbrella you picked up at the pharmacy for ten bucks.
An instantly recognizable scent
Aventus, by Creed
$325; buy now at bloomingdales.com
Every man should have a signature scent as part of his wardrobe by the time he hits 50. This head-turning fragrance is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on anyone you meet. It’s no wonder that since it’s launch just under a decade ago, this has become the best selling fragrance in the entire history of a brand that has been around since the 18th century.
A pen with permanence
Ecridor Lignes Urbains Ballpoint, by Caran D’Ache
$150; buy now at mrporter.com
There’s just a thing to fountain pens. They’re regal, classy, and ooze gravitas. They’re also inconvenient—and (generally) expensive. But if you pick up a well-crafted writing utensil, like this palladium-coated pen, you can reap all of those benefits without breaking the bank. It’s the type of pen that’s as permanent as ink.
A professional business card case
Washington Grand Leather Card Case, by Cole Haan
$85; buy now at bloomingdales.com
Face it: No one’s gonna connect with the guy who hands out a bent-up business card. Keep yours in tip-top shape with a handsome leather carrier that oozes composure.
An heirloom timepiece
Master Control Geographic Automatic, by Jaegar LeCoultre
$16,895; buy now at jomashop.com
By the time you hit 50, you should have a signature timepiece—something that’s less a watch than it is an investment. It’s the thing you’re gonna give your kid, and he’s gonna give it to his kid, and on (and on). Let’s be clear, though: This is not the type of thing you’ll want to buy willy-nilly over the internet. Check it out in person. Get a feel for the mechanisms and materials. See how it looks with you best suit—and worst jeans. (You’ll be wearing it with everything, after all.)
If you need a starting point, check out the peerless wares of Jaegar LeCoultre. Their top-notch materials and elegant designs project a globe-trotting sophistication that’s impervious to the fickle and ever-changing tides of fashion trends. Put another way: A Jaegar watch will be cool from now ’til the end of time.
A leather luggage tag
Leather Luggage Tag, by Mark & Graham
$55; buy now at markandgraham.com
Monogrammed luggage is the height of luxury. And if you’ve ever part of a mistaken luggage kerfuffle, you’ll know it’s the height of travel insurance, too.
Brass Collar Stays, by Saks Fifth Avenue
$13.50; buy now at saksfifthavenue.com
Fact: every button-up looks best when it’s brand new. With collar stays, your shirts can always look good as new. And if you pick up a pair of indestructible metal ones, you won’t have to swing by the dry cleaner to restock on flimsy plastic stays every few weeks.
Pebble-Grain Leather Portfolio, By Valextra
$1,250; buy now at mrporter.com
There are times in a man’s life when he needs to keep documents clean and pristine, with or without a briefcase. This perfectly sized leather portfolio from Valextra will take the wear-and-tear on behalf of your important papers, and look better everyday by doing so.
A wrap bracelet
Intrecciato Leather Wrap Bracelet, By Bottega Veneta
$200; buy now at mrporter.com
Less is usually more when it comes to a man’s approach to accessorizing, and that couldn’t be more true when adding a little flare to the wrist. A simple leather wrap bracelet like this one from Bottega Veneta adds a subtle touch of sophistication to your appearance and can only compliment the pièce de résistance—the timepiece.
Bankston, by To Boot New York
$395; buy now at bloomingdales.com
Give your lace-ups a rest. A double monk strap is just as professional, just as elegant, and infinitely more unique. And if you get a stylized one—like this pair, from To Boot, that features a handsome burnished patina—it’s just another way to amp up your style.
Canvas laptop bag
Charles, by Bleu de Chauffe
$500; buy now at mrporter.com
If you’re an office worker in 2018, it’s a good bet your laptop is your most essential possession. Keep yours safe with cushioned laptop bag. This one, from Bleu de Chauffe, is more than just a protective shell, though: it’s also a beautiful piece in its own right, with grained hand-tanned leather and a rugged deep blue canvas interior. Think of it like a modern day treasure chest.
A flashy card carrier
Snapshot Card Case, by Marc Jacobs
$78; buy now at marcjacobs.com
Billfolds are often cumbersome and bulky. When you’re looking to streamline your silhouette—or just trying to avoid a George Costanza-like injury—a narrow card case is your best bet. It’s also a way to surreptitiously inject some fun color into your repertoire.
A heavy duty scarf
Heattech Scarf, by Uniqlo
$15; buy now at uniqlo.com
For blizzards and other wild winter weather, you’ll want a scarf that can take a beating. (And you’ll want it at a price point where, if it doesn’t hold up, you won’t be upset.) Uniqlo’s standard-issue option is exactly that. Made from a proprietary fabric designed for maximum insulation, you’ll stay warm no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.
A lazy man’s belt
Dark Brown Belt, By Suitsupply
$59; buy now at suitsupply.com
Being lazy doesn’t mean you need to look lazy — it’s all about efficiency. Opting for a belt that requires very little in terms of the on-and-off means opting for this braided belt from Suitsupply. It looks great with everything, it gives a little when necessary and best of all, you can put it on in the dark since no matter where it fits, it fits.
A watch box
Charcoal Stackers Watch Box, by The Container Store
$31; buy now at containerstore.com
If you’ve invested in a watch collection, it’s worth dropping a few extra bucks on a safe storage space. By keeping your off-duty timepieces stored on watch rounds (those are the bars), leather bands will maintain their shape. Plus, a handsome wooden lid keeps dust from impacting mechanics on automatic timepieces.
An envy-inducing knapsack
Rucksack, by RRL
$995; buy now at ralphlauren.com
Sure, your instinct might tell you that backpacks and knapsacks are childish, a relic from your high school or college days. But it doesn’t have to be like that. With the right bag, like this certified Italian-leather knapsack from Ralph Lauren’s high-end line, it can be the pinnacle of luxury. Plus, it’s practically bottomless, and sure to get you where you need to go—and back again, over and over—with all of your gear intact.
A subtle lapel pin
Small Lapel Flower, By Hook & Albert
When suited for occasion, every man should have a tie—that’s a no brainer. But today, there are often times where a tie alone just doesn’t cut it. Solution? An understated lapel pin. Hook & Albert’s mini navy flower pin adds a touch of flourish without putting you on the level of those twenty-something dandy dudes we all see taking over Instagram.
A forever pair of loafers
Leather Penny Loafers, by George Cleverly
$700; buy now at mrporter.com
If you haven’t leaned into the over-50 look yet, do so with immeasurable panache, by embracing a pair of luxe loafers. This pair, from the esteemed shoe-smiths at George Cleverly, may look plain to the naked eye. But make no mistake: 100-percent leather through and through (including the soles, which make an imposing clack! sound as you walk), they’re of the utmost craftsmanship.
Singular Cuff, By Miansai
$155; buy now at miansai.com
There once was a time when sterling silver was the gold standard in sophisticated men’s jewelry. Sterling doesn’t look cheap, but it doesn’t break the bank, either. It looks just as good out of the box as well as it does worn out over years. It’s basically the perfect metal to use when adorning yourself simply. This Miansai sterling silver cuff is streamlined so it seamlessly integrates itself into any entire outfit in a way where only the keenest of eyes will notice—and that’s the point.
A suit belt
Shine Dress Belt, By Cole Haan
$80; buy now at colehaan.com
Lately belts have become more of an afterthought often resulting in the function outweighing the form. Keep your pants up and your sense of style high by opting for a dress belt that is simple and classic like this guy from Cole Haan. Chances are, it will last you longer that those trendy skinny suit pants you were talked into buying.
$57; buy now at bombas.com
Solid Dress Sock Pack, By Bombas
It goes without saying that the bold socks come after the classics have been established. These Bombas socks are incredibly comfortable, stay up nicely and actually do a bit of good for the world—every pair sold means a pair is donated to a shelter. See, even your silent socks can make a pretty bold statement.
A lace-up boot
Renzo Boot, By Aquatalia
$550; buy now at aquatalia.com
The older one gets, the more one looks for a good value proposition. This Aquatalia boot may look like any other dress boat out there, but it has a proprietary weather-proofing technique that takes these boots from dry days to drenched nights without missing a step. Snowy outside? No problem—wipe salt off with a cloth or an unscented baby wipe and they are as good as new.
A leather chronograph
Portugieser Chronograph, By IWC Schaffhausen
$7,600; buy now at mrporter.com
Watches are a status symbol among men. Set yourself apart by choosing a luxury chronograph like this one from IWC. It’s the perfect watch to wear dressed up or dressed down, since the white face and Arabic numerals keep it casual, but the alligator band makes it next-level dressy.
Harvard Double Thickness Scarf, by Smart Turnout London
$109; buy now at smartturnout.com
Hark back to glory days with a university scarf. Whether or not you went to Harvard doesn’t matter: with this smart accessory, people will think you did—and that’s the key.
A gala-appropriate bow tie
$250; buy now at bergdorfgoodman.com
Large Grosgrain Bow Tie, By Tom Ford
Here’s a cardinal rule: Do not, under any circumstances, by a self-tied bow tie. There is absolutely no excuse for a man of your age and sophistication to phone in such a simple task. The asymmetry of a self-tied bow tie is exactly why it’s appealing. It shows you know how to do get dressed like a big boy and, if you show up in something inimitably sumptuous, like this silk grosgrain option from Tom Ford, you’ll turn heads, too.
A rest-of-the-time belt
Collegiate Stripe Bungee Belt, By Vineyard Vines
$68; buy now at vineyardvines.com
You don’t always need a leather belt to hold your pants up and look good doing it. In fact, sometimes being the man wearing the traditional collegiate stripe belt like this one from Vineyard Vines says you’re confident in your ability to accessorize without feeling the need to be so buttoned up.
A winter weather beanie
Signature Merino Cuffed Beanie, By Polo Ralph Lauren
$45; buy now at macys.com
In the cooler months, you need to keep your head warm. You don’t need to spend a ton of cash on a beanie though, since they are usually the first to go missing after a cab ride home after the holiday party. Get this one from Polo Ralph Lauren in merino wool. Merino will be way less itchy than standard wool, but will still provide the warmth we expect from the winter fiber.
Boxer Briefs, by Mack Weldon
$24; buy now at mackweldon.com
Arguably the most important layer of any dude’s outfit, by the time you hit 50, you’d best have your underwear game on lock. If not: Take a look at the offerings from Mack Weldon. They’re made with a proprietary moisture-wicking fabric, for maximum scent control, and available in 26 different colors, so your base layer uniform can be whatever color you want it to be.
Running shoes that won’t break your knees
Air Zoom Pegasus 35, By Nike
$120; buy now at nike.com
The older you get, the more important it is you stay in shape. That said, you should also be mindful of what you need to protect yourself in the process. Nike’s Air Zoom Pegasus 35 running shoe is one of the top rated among runners out there, meaning it provides the right combination of comfort, cushion and support at a time in life when a little extra certainly wouldn’t hurt.
A killer shoehorn
Handle-Grip Shoehorn, by Abbeyhorn
$40; buy now at mrporter.com
Miles better than your average plastic shoehorn, this rock-solid accessory (crafted from actual bull horn) comes with an easy-grip handle so you’re certain to start your day off on the best foot possible—literally.
A smart luggage set
The Aluminum Edition Set, by Away
$1,495 for set of three; buy now at awaytravel.com
Away Travel has come up with a set of luggage that survived the recent TSA ban on smart luggage because the designers worked smarter and harder to make carry-on batteries ejectable. At a great price, you can get solid set of luggage—or for a little more, opt for the even better grade aluminum set.
A powerful power tie collection
Pompom H Tie, by Hermès
$180; buy now at hermes.com
Gone are the days of shiny silk ties with double windsor knots being the essential item of the powerful businessman. These days, men show their confidence at the office by making better investments, both in the work and the wardrobe. Ties like this subtle hand-folded heavy silk tie from Hermès say, “I don’t buy stuff to show off. I buy stuff because I have great taste.”
A killer grooming regimen
You already own the greatest accessory a man can have: Yourself. No amount of wardrobe upgrades mean a thing if the guy they’re on isn’t well-kept. Get a haircut every six weeks. Keep your facial hair trim (or clean shaven). And for the love of all that is holy, don’t forget to moisturize.