Men can be a little superstitious about some things. We have our lucky shirt or favorite pair of shoes, a certain tie; maybe even a particular driving route to the office. We also have our talismans – a favorite pair of cuff links or certain watch, for example.
Personally, I have a lucky coin; it’s usually with me wherever I go. My coin is a large 50 Franc piece; a memento brought back by my brother from a trip across Europe in the 1970s. It’s not like I must have it, some people can become obsessive a bit obsessive over things like that. On occasion I have left it home by accident and survived. I’m just used to carrying it around and feel a little naked without it’s weight in my pocket.
Apart from the coin, I may carry some cash in a lovely sterling silver money clip that was a gift from my wife; otherwise I prefer to keep my pockets fairly empty. It’s a personal thing – I just don’t like the bulk of having keys or a cell phone jammed into my pockets. If I to take stuff out of my pockets to comfortably sit down, it’s too much.
What a man carries around in his pockets is telling. Is he a hoarder or a minimalist? What does he consider the necessities of life? This of course ties in with my own penchant for bags, a more logical way of carrying around the ever expanding list of one’s day-to-day supplies.
With dress pants in particular, having more than a few small items in your pockets just looks bad. The line of your trouser is thrown off and an odd bulkiness of stretched fabric ensues. Key chains are a big offender. Why on earth someone would feel the need to lug around a ring of sharp, heavy keys in their front pocket escapes me. How is that comfortable?
Some men like to carry a small pocketknife, which can be very handy as long as you’re not rushing to catch a plane. Rather than a big multipurpose thing, complete with magnifying glass, a little monogrammed pen knife in silver or gold is a wonderful accessory and a nice heirloom to boot.
A pocket full of change is to me one of those particularly annoying things – as are the people who feel the need to jingle said coins incessantly. Here’s a better idea: get a nice handmade English change case, fill it up and throw it in your bag.
Wallets are a major issue too, or more precisely overstuffed wallets. The fine fabric of dress pants can be stretched and damaged by a bulky wallet, so consider alternatives. I have no problem carrying mine in a back pocket when it makes more sense than lugging a bag around, but I do make a point of occasionally going through it and clearing out the old receipts and rarely used credit or store cards.
Some men opt for a thinner breast pocket wallet, but those are only practical if you wear a suit or sport coat every day. Another option I sometimes employ is to put all my credit cards and license in a nice compact card case and forgo the wallet altogether. It forces me to carry only what I really use and is much more discreet.
Some men like to keep their wallet in a front pocket. Whether for security or comfort – sitting with a wallet in your back pocket can cause all sorts of spinal issues – just make sure it is a small, thin one. Still, as a general rule, sturdier pants like jeans, khakis and cords are best suited for carrying wallets.
When getting dressed up, pare down your pocket accessories to a minimum. For example, I have a very nice slim calfskin wallet that I use for formal events. I’ll take only my license, a credit and bank card and some business cards. Everything else is left at home. The lucky coin goes up front and that’s pretty much it.