Introduction

After my last article on the ultimate streamlined capsule wardrobe, I received numerous e-mails asking why I didn’t include any accessories (other than ties). The reason I didn’t include accessories was purely due to the extremely personal touch that they bring to an outfit.

It’s easy for any man to start building his own capsule wardrobe – just buy simple, classic and versatile pieces – but accessories are a little more difficult. There are so many to choose from and they come in such a wide variety of colours, styles and patterns, I couldn’t even begin to contemplate adding them to the previous list.

However, the more I thought about it the more I realised that was exactly the reason why I should have included them. If I find the prospect of narrowing the world of accessories down to the ‘essentials’ daunting, then imagine what it’s like for someone who doesn’t pretend that writing about clothes is a real job. And if there’s one thing we aim to do here at FashionBeans, it’s support the ever growing community of stylish men out there.

The Streamlined Accessory Collection

So allow me to stop waxing sartorial and get straight down to the nitty gritty. As before, you could call this an ‘essential’ list (in fact, I did) but I hate that term due to its criminal overuse and the fact that it assumes all guys have the same taste.

What follows is a sort of check-list for guys out there who are looking to expand their current collection of accessories without getting too carried away and buying anything that comes in camouflage:

  • Formal Watch – silver or gold, it doesn’t matter, just own an all metal one that can be worn at formal occasions when needs be. Try not to get one with a ridiculously large face, it’s not a competition.
  • Neutral Coloured Socks – in navy, black and grey. Ensure they are made of cotton and that you’ve got enough to last two weeks.
  • A Leather Belt – provides the finishing touch to any formal or smart-casual look. Opt for a reversible black/brown leather version and you have something that will match both your brown and black shoes.
  • White Linen Pocket Squares – every guy should own a handful of these. They go with any kind of suit, shirt and tie combination and are a great way adding a point of difference to your look.
  • Other Pocket Squares – a lot of guys like to match their pocket square to the colour of their shirt, but that’s just too much in my view. I sometimes match mine to my tie but most of the time I’ll just wear whatever colour I feel like. I’m also a big fan of polka dots but feel free to find out what suits YOU. Block-coloured, patterned or printed, whatever you choose it’s always good to have a few others that can add a shot of colour and life to your outfit.
  • Pair Of Leather Gloves – out with the tatty woollen black fingerless ones, in with the timeless classic.
  • Tie Clip – should never be wider than your actual tie and should be worn properly. By which I mean at a point on your tie where it will keep your tie in place and out of your face on a windy day. And please do not wear one when you’re already wearing other items that serve the same purpose, such as a cardigan or a waistcoat.
  • Neutral Ribbed Knit Scarf – because the weather never really picks up in England.
  • Neutral Umbrella – of good quality, sturdy enough to stand up to the wind/rain/snow and big enough to share with someone else. Because no one likes a brolly hog. And because the weather never really picks up in England.
  • A Medium Sized Leather Holdall – big enough for a long weekend yet small enough to carry your gym clothes and work stuff during the weekdays without it looking embarrassingly empty.
  • Pair Of Sunglasses – really couldn’t recommend investing in quality more here. We should all be past the age where we think it’s a good idea to bring them along on a day/night that we know is going to involve a lot of alcohol, so don’t shy away from the £100+ mark. They will last you forever and, if you read our sunglasses guide this week, will actually fit your face properly.
  • An Item Of Jewellery – yes, yes, yes, I know it’s not just for girls. Have a think about this one though and make it personal to you. You may already have something like this but are too embarrassed to wear it. Don’t be, a piece of jewellery is a great way to personalise a look and really make it your own. Whether it’s a bracelet, necklace or a ring, it will soon become a trademark of your personal style. Just remember the rule of three: no more than three pieces at any given time.
  • Example Lookbook

    Here are a few of our favourite outfits that make use of some of the accessories mentioned above:

    Men's Accessories Lookbook

    brioni ss13h&m spring 2013he by mango ss13boomerang aw12ted baker ss13cruciani ss13GQ Japanhe by mango ss13massimo dutti aw12
    Example Pieces
    • Rotary Mens WatchRotary Mens Watch
    • Roamer Mens Saturn Automatic WatchRoamer Mens Saturn Automatic Watch
    • Bulova Mens Dress Watch 96a115Bulova Mens Dress Watch 96a115
    • Reiss Shackleton Plain Rib Sock NavyReiss Shackleton Plain Rib Sock Navy
    • 3 Pack Of Pringle Socks3 Pack Of Pringle Socks
    • Pantherella Ribbed Sea Island Cotton-blend SocksPantherella Ribbed Sea Island Cotton-blend Socks
    • Asos Reversible Leather BeltAsos Reversible Leather Belt
    • Reiss Dart 2 Reversible Formal BeltReiss Dart 2 Reversible Formal Belt
    • Austin Reed Black And Tan Reversible BeltAustin Reed Black And Tan Reversible Belt
    • Reiss Yacht Plain Linen Pocket Square WhiteReiss Yacht Plain Linen Pocket Square White
    • Linen Pocket SquareLinen Pocket Square
    • Topman Red White Spots Pocket SquareTopman Red White Spots Pocket Square
    • Reiss Abyss Linked Diamond Print Pocket Square Bottle GreenReiss Abyss Linked Diamond Print Pocket Square Bottle Green
    • Drakes Printed Cotton Pocket SquareDrakes Printed Cotton Pocket Square
    • Mp Di Massimo Piombo Printed Cotton Pocket SquareMp Di Massimo Piombo Printed Cotton Pocket Square
    • John Lewis Fleece Lined Leather Gloves BlackJohn Lewis Fleece Lined Leather Gloves Black
    • Dents Mens Black Leather Cashmere Lined GlovesDents Mens Black Leather Cashmere Lined Gloves
    • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Leather GlovesPaul Smith Shoes & Accessories Leather Gloves
    • Austin Reed Gunmetal Rectangle Tie ClipAustin Reed Gunmetal Rectangle Tie Clip
    • Lanvin Tie ClipLanvin Tie Clip
    • Austin Reed Semi Plain Tie ClipAustin Reed Semi Plain Tie Clip
    • Asos Fleck ScarfAsos Fleck Scarf
    • Chunky Rib Knit Scarf Ugg Australia GreyChunky Rib Knit Scarf Ugg Australia Grey
    • Austin Reed Black Chunky Knit Plain ScarfAustin Reed Black Chunky Knit Plain Scarf
    • London Undercover Pinstripe UmbrellaLondon Undercover Pinstripe Umbrella
    • Paul Smith Multi-striped Trim UmbrellaPaul Smith Multi-striped Trim Umbrella
    • Austin Reed Countryman UmbrellaAustin Reed Countryman Umbrella
    • Reiss Rye Holdall Mid BrownReiss Rye Holdall Mid Brown
    • Allsaints Newark HoldallAllsaints Newark Holdall
    • He By Mango Hold-all BagHe By Mango Hold-all Bag
    • Ray-ban Flat Brow Wayfarer SunglassesRay-ban Flat Brow Wayfarer Sunglasses
    • Cutler And Gross D-frame Tortoiseshell SunglassesCutler And Gross D-frame Tortoiseshell Sunglasses
    • Dior Homme Sunglasses Combination Aviator Sunglasses 143566Dior Homme Sunglasses Combination Aviator Sunglasses 143566
    • Allsaints Clidean NecklaceAllsaints Clidean Necklace
    • Maison Martin Margiela 11 Mens Hidden Section RingMaison Martin Margiela 11 Mens Hidden Section Ring
    • Miansai Woven-leather And Metal Hook BraceletMiansai Woven-leather And Metal Hook Bracelet
    Final Word

    So there you have it, a list of accessories that I think should be in every man’s wardrobe. I tried to stay away from talking about colours and patterns too much because, as I said, that should be a personal choice that reflects variables such as your personality, skin tone and personal style.

    However, for those of you out there looking to start expanding your collection, this would be a great place to start.

    As always, I want to hear what you have to say. Did I miss something off? Should I have included more of something? Is writing about clothes a real job? If yes, then please tell my dad that!

    Let me know in the comments section…

    Matt Allinson