Deep down in every man lies a kind of instinct, a sense perhaps, for what makes him a man. It’s a tough sensation to articulate but we feel it when we pick up something of permanence with our hands, feel the way it was thoughtfully crafted, and then put it to use as intended. It’s the weight of your Grandfather’s gardening shovel, the smell of your Dad’s baseball glove, or clink of a perfect ice cube in an etched whisky tumbler. Something just feels right, and damnit you deserve to feel that in everything you own.

We’ve compiled a list of those objects and tools that we think stands up to that intangible test, linking out to our recommendations where appropriate. If you’ve got recommendations of your own, please let us know in the comments below.

A well tailored 3/4 season suit

A suit that fits never goes out of style.

A well crafted leather wallet

Fact: Your grandson will not be excited to inherit that No Fear Velcro Tri-Fold. Give him something nice.

A full shaving kit

Besides the fact that it looks like you know what you’re doing, it…actually does a much better job. No man who owns a Safety Razor ever complains of ingrown hairs.

A fully stocked tool box

The absolute worst thing on Earth is realizing midway through a job that you’re not properly prepared with the right tools.

Thoughtfully roasted coffee

Coffee is universal; quality coffee is not. Seek out the good stuff, you’ll be rewarded by a cleaner buzz with less crash and incredible flavor.

Quality chef’s knife

It’ll last forever, and smooth chopping makes it look like you actually know how to cook.


“I love men who smell like old gym socks.” -No one. A good bottle should last you a couple years. If it doesn’t you’re wearing too much.

Moleskine journal

Men have feelings too, but not all thoughts deserve to be blogged. If you listen to Tim Ferris’ interviews you’ll start to quickly find a pattern: most successful people keep track of their thoughts in one way or another.

Vintage Playboys in your bathroom

Jokes aside, if you’re gonna be a well-rounded dude, you should know have a good handle on the history of guy culture.

A non-iron shirt

It might sound gimmicky, but Brooks Brothers has been making the best ones in the biz for…ever. If you’re in a pinch (read: one night stand) you’ll wake up the next day looking right as rain.

A vintage ashtray

You don’t necessarily have to be a smoker to own an ashtray. The campier, the better. Your dad probably has one kicking around. Steal it.

Cuban cigars

Stop smoking White Owls, this isn’t middle school. Besides, these puppies are legal now.

Luggage that doesn’t have wheels

Your grandfather didn’t wheel his gear through Normandy. Toss it in a well-made duffelthat’ll get better with age.

Framed film posters

Take down that Boondock Saints poster and put up Metropolis, or at the very least find a still photo from Boondock and frame that.

Industrial-grade flashlight

Light for when the power’s out, and directional light for when you invariably drop something behind the fridge.

A pair of leather boots you can have resoled

A truly well-made pair of boots should last a lifetime, but not without a bit of work.

A pair of leather dress shoes

Same goes for what your feet’ll be wearing to work.

A cobbler

See above. Trust Yelp reviews on these.

A mechanical wristwatch

Leave your iPhone in your pocket.

A decent tent

Don’t go too crazy here, but when your buddies are headed upstate, or your gal wants to roast marshmallows by a campfire: be prepared.

Duct tape and zip ties

With both of these in your arsenal, there’s literally nothing you can’t fix.

Power tools

It’s just part of the genetic code. Ask Tim Allen.

A quality umbrella

If you can handle adulthood, you can handle keeping track of a nice umbrella. Plus, they don’t buckle under a slight gust of wind like the cheap crap you buy on the sidewalk.

A shirt that needs cuff links

James Bond never wore button cuffs. End of story.

An unopened bottle of scotch in the desk

For spontaneous celebration, or rapid consolation. When you need it, you’ll be glad it’s there.


Nobody’s ever actually weighted paper, but they have definitely made art out of desk adornment.

A decent Bluetooth speaker

If you want to go big, we’re here to help, but in general a UE Boom goes a long way the second you need to take the party on the road.


Because bongs are for college kids and the unemployed. Time for an upgrade.

Aviator shades

Classic cool—good enough for Maverick, good enough for you.

A sports coat

It’s casual enough for hanging at a bar, and formal enough for dinner with the boss.

Tortoise shell comb

Not real tortoise, preferably. These things last forever.

A cast iron skillet

Burgers, steaks, eggs: all better when done on a proper skillet that gets heat perfectly even.

A way to make quality coffee at home

“You want to come up for some coffee?” only works if you’re not talking about instant Folgers.

A thick pile bathrobe

Even if you don’t rock it every day, you can be damn sure that when your gal comes over she will. Embrace this.

A black belt AND a brown belt

But not a double-sided black/brown belt. Your belt needs to match your shoes. Spend a little extra here, you’ll have these things for decades.

At least one bow tie

Change it up once in a while, old sport. It’s also shockingly easy to tie, despite what everyone tells you.


It’s a dying art, but the handwritten note goes a long, long way. Big bucks? Go Cartier. Smaller bucks? Go Terrapin Stationers.

Driving moccasins

Timeless style meets comfort, with a dash of functionality thrown in.

Barware that matches the drinks you drink

Martinis taste like ass out of a plastic solo cup.

Books, both fiction and non-fiction

Ever go to someone’s house that doesn’t have books in it? Feels creepy, right?

At least one plant

There’s a ton that take next to no effort to keep alive, and an endless array of tech solutions to help you do it.

A decent stereo

Much like the bluetooth speaker, a little goes a long way here. If you’re not ready to fully commit to something from the big boys at Meridian, Sonos makes a killer product that won’t break the bank.

A charcoal grill

If your building lets you, you have no excuse not to experience the sweet, smokey flavor of a baby Weber.

Pocket knife

Opening a letter or tightening a screw on-the-go should feel like a strategic mission, not a clumsy mistake.

A well-trained pet

If you’re gonna do it, do it right. There’s no excuse for a 5-year-old fluff ball that pisses everywhere. Rescue if you can, there’s a lotta little guys out there that need love.

Good headphones

You don’t have to go nuts here to change the game, the SR80s from Grado are an awesome place to start.

A steel roadbike

There’s nothing like riding a bike that’s not only durable enough to last decades, but also timeless enough in its design to still be cool.




Complete bollocks, maybe man made in the fashion of Beckham ]real man needs roof, food, bed and beer

Who even wears white pants and those blue slippers without socks anyway? Looks horrible…. This list is horrible. BBQ’s are awesome though, but not strictly for men.

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