We talk a lot about clothing, but you need more than just clothes to live the stylish life. You need the right tools to get the most out of your clothing.
I'm talking about the supplies that aren't necessarily used everyday, but that are crucial when you need them.
This is the stuff that no one except you really sees. The stuff that you rely on.
Here are 13 crucial items every well-dressed man needs:
1. Seam Ripper – Ever buy a new jacket or suit and wonder why you can't get your fingers in the pockets? They're not fake pockets, they're just sewn shut. You could use a knife or scissors to cut them open, but a seam ripper is the safest and quickest way to do it.
2. Collar Stays – Even the best collars will start to fly away (or curl up) after extended wear. Keep your collars under control with collar stays. They come in all sorts of varieties, but you can't go wrong with plain old metal stays.
3. Armpit Stain Remover – If you wear deodorant with antiperspirant in it, yellow armpit stains are pretty much unavoidable. These aren't caused by sweat. It's the chemicals in your anti-perspirant that are to blame for the discoloration. Luckily, you can fight chemicals, well, more chemicals.
4. Tide To Go Sticks – These are especially useful when traveling, like if you're out of town for a wedding. Even if you don't need one of these magical stain-fighting wonder sticks, you very well may save the day when a damsel in distress (i.e., that pretty bridesmaid you've been working up the courage to talk to) gets red wine on her dress.
5. Shoe Trees – You don't need shoe trees for every single pair of shoes, but you should be using them for your leather shoes and boots, especially nice ones. Shoe trees will extend the life of your shoes by helping to maintain their shape and absorb moisture.
6. High Quality Hangers – It's time to ditch the small army of mismatched metal wireframe hangers you've accumulated over the past decade (or three). Replace them with wooden hangers. Not only do they look much better, but they're also better for your clothes (especially dress shirts, jackets and knits).
7. Clothes Brush – Sure, you can use one of those disposable sticky rollers to remove lint and debris from your clothes, but a brush is more effective and less damaging. Plus it won't need to be replaced.
8. Shoe Horn – We've all been guilty of mashing our feet into our shoes at one point or another. This might be acceptable when you're rushing out the door to get to the gym, but you should never force your foot into a dress shoe or boot. Use a shoe horn to slide your foot in gently, like the classy, dapper man you really are.
9. An Ironing Board – Because the dry cleaner isn't open. Or you need that shirt ironed right now. Or you don't want to pay the $2.50 fee. Or maybe you find ironing to be a zen like experience on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of coffee and your favorite podcast playing in the background (just me?).
10. An Iron – You know, to go with the board. Ask around first because your mom/girlfriend/roommate might have an extra one stowed away somewhere.
11. Shoe Care Kit – Whether you shine your shoes every week, once a year or only before funerals, every man needs a shoe shine kit. Shining and polishing your shoes is not only good for them (and for your appearance), but it's actually kind of fun.
13. Liquid Stitch Adhesive – This is great for making a quick hem without going to the tailor or learning how to sew. It will also come in handy for any quick fix that requires holding fabric in place without thread.
How does your arsenal stack up against this list? If it's looking a little bare, now might be the perfect time to stock up with some new supplies!
What else would you add to the list? Leave a comment below!