All gentlemen who step out about town with their style intact know the importance of the contents of a man’s pockets. If you’re asking yourself what a gentleman should carry, here’s a rundown of the odds, ends and fashionable extras I’ll have stashed in my pockets.
Don’t be fooled into believing that only a smoker should carry a lighter. Fire has been the cornerstone of human life for millions of years, and has many more uses than you think. When camping, I carry two as a minimum at all times, and am alive today because it.
But with such a vast range of lighters on the market, it’s important to choose one that suits you and your habits. If you’re a frequenter of cigar lounges then find an elegant lighter with jet flame. If you’re a man who likes his cigarettes, or finds himself around others that do, then choose a Zippo or something similar, and learn how to use it with flair and precision.
And maybe, just maybe, a girl in need finds herself needing a lighter, and there just so happens to be one in your pocket. Just make sure you remembered to gas it.
It’s a myth that only alcoholics carry hip flasks. Rather, see them as a contingency plan for when the bar closes and you and your friends are out of service but not out of luck. Choose something slim, quality and stylish and made from quality stainless steel. A hand-worked leather wrap is always a nice touch. Now all you need is a fine single malt to fill it.
A POCKET KNIFE
Every man should carry a pocket knife. I choose a small folding blade by Beretta, modelled on the receiver of the Beretta S05, an Olympic level top-of-the-range under-and-over shotgun. And when asked why I’d carry a knife, I say out of the tradition that sees velvet slippers on my feet and Egyptian cotton on my back, out of need to cut string, open a letter, or decadently eat an apple whilst feeling like a true gentleman.
Choose something elegant, classic and meaningful for you. And then look after it. Dull edges and nicks are abominations. Keep your knife sharp, oiled and learn to sharpen it yourself. The time you spend with a whetstone will teach you life skills that make you handy in the kitchen and around the campfire.
And don’t be fooled by a combination knife. Choose a quality blade over a gimmick, and use a corkscrew to open your vintage reds.
A COMB (BEARD OR OTHERWISE)
Carrying a comb was a matter of fact in the ‘50s. Tonnes of product and hours of effort were spent by our forefathers getting just the right amount of slick on those curls, and you’re damned if you think they’d risk setting foot out of the bathroom without a comb for emergency image repairs, and some dramatic flair when your soon-to-be mother wandered by.
But somewhere along the line we lost our way and started to leave the comb at home, until it became unusual to see a man with a teethed piece of plastic on the street. But with the resurgence of beard popularity change is afoot, and the beard comb is leading the hair accessory revival. So if you’re a man of style about town, carry one. Because without doubt I’ll turn the car around if I leave my beard comb at home.
So fill your pockets like a gentleman should.
Each item should tell a story. It should be selected with care to reflect the man you are, and the man you aim to be. And whilst common items will do the job just fine, a sartorial expert will choose just one elegant, quality piece to last him his lifetime.