Small changes in our life can make a big difference.
Maybe it’s a new cologne.
Or noise-canceling headphones.
Or even a standing desk.
Every man should consider owning something on this list. The list isn’t about the accumulation of useless things, but rather a list of things every man should own if he wants to improve his life.
It doesn't matter if you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s. This list contains everything any man could own. Some of them are one-off purchases and others you’ll need to top up every so often. Either way, I hope you find something that you hadn’t thought of that will make an impact on your life.
1. Polarised sunglasses
Sunglasses are the easiest way to give a man a distinct style. Think of James Bond, Tom Ford, or even The Rock. They’re always wearing a pair of classy sunglasses that enhances their character. Of course, they also keep your eyes safe! So I highly suggest a pair or two. I switch between Tom Ford FT0751 (~$350) and Bailey Nelson Palmer's (~$100). You don’t need to spend a truckload of cash to rock a nice pair, even a nice pair of Oakley's are a great option.
2. Slim wallet
You might be thinking “why a slim wallet?”. I’ll tell you right now, thick wallets are not attractive. And if you’re like most men who decide to sit on them every day, then you’ll hurt your back. Do yourself a favor and buy a nice slim leather wallet. It’s a good opportunity to also clean out your wallet and only keep the necessities.
3. White sneakers
Every man needs a pair of high-quality white sneakers. They go with absolutely everything. You can rock them with shorts, sweatpants, and even a tailored suit. Good quality sneakers will have you covered for a couple of years. I usually rotate a pair of Asics Japan S, Common Projects, and Reebok Club C 85s.
4. Leather boots
The right pair of leather boots should stay with you for over 10 years. They give you some height, they’re classy and they pretty much go with any smart casual or formal outfit. My go-to pair of boots are the Black RM Williams Comfort Craftsman. I’ve worn them for years and they still hold shape, they’re comfortable and classy. They’re handmade in Australian workshops and shipped anywhere in the world.
5. Side bag
Side bags (or cross-body bags) are underrated. They're versatile, comfortable, and stylish. You can rock them when you’re out and about or use them as an everyday bag for your accessories. Casual and luxury side bags are coming back into fashion and you’ll likely see a guy wearing one every time you go out. My favorite is the Bellroy Sling Mini, I keep my keys, glasses, AirPods, wallet, and lighter in here.
6. Apple watches
Whether you hate them or love them they serve a purpose. You can track your workouts, sleep, and of course, tell the time. It’s the perfect device for men who want to live healthier lives. I wear my Apple watch most of the time, I’ve even upgraded the strap to make it more durable and comfortable for my workouts.
7. Air Jordans
Most men already have a pair of Jordans. But if you don’t then you should really jump onto the hype train. Michael Jordan was one of the greatest athletes to ever live. He created an iconic brand that is now the face of streetwear. There's a style for every type of man to choose from.
8. Men’s journal
Journaling has benefits that no man should overlook. Whether it’s improving your mental health or helping you achieve your goals. You should develop a journaling habit. My favorite journal for men is the Mind Journal. I’ve been impressed with the layout, content, and prompts that are relevant to a man's life.
9. Diving watch
A diving watch is designed for divers who need to keep track of their time underwater. They also happen to be very stylish. James Bond even wears an Omega Seamaster in many scenes. Diving watches are durable, they suit any outfit and can stay with you for a lifetime if you pick the right one. I’ve recently been wearing a Tag Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 and it’s been awesome.
10. Sports coat
A sports coat is similar to a blazer or suit jacket but more casual and doesn't need to match your pants. You can wear one when you want to dress more stylishly or casually yet remain “professional”. They’re great for dates, dinners, networking events, and even wearing to work. The padded shoulders will give you a wider frame as well, making you more attractive to women.
11. Leather belt
There are many types of belts, so you might be wondering “why a leather belt?”. A leather belt is classy and it lasts longer. Besides the fact they’ll keep your pants from falling down, they can also improve your outfit.
12. Classy underwear
You wear underwear every day (I hope). So might as well feel good by wearing the best material you can possibly find. Cotton or bamboo underwear is usually the most comfortable and high-quality you’ll find. I personally prefer Calvin Klein since they have a range of sizes, colors, and styles to choose from.
13. Signature cologne
This should be a staple in your wardrobe. You will become instantly more attractive if you smell nice. There’s no need to drown yourself in cologne but you should make sure you’re wearing your signature scent when you’re going into a social setting. Try to find an “au de parfum” since it will always contain more perfume oil than the “eau de toilette”. This means it will last longer and be more potent. People will remember the way you smell so it’s important to leave a lasting impression.
14. Leather jacket
When I think of a leather jacket I think of Tom Hardy on a motorbike. This is how you want people to think of you when they see you in a leather jacket. Tom Hardy on a motorbike might be a stretch but you get what I’m saying. You want to be seen as “the man”. They’re versatile, keep you warm, last for years and they’re stylish.
16. Quality mattress
I could pull out every single sleep study to prove why a comfortable mattress is important. But I’m sure you already know this. Upgrading your mattress is the easiest way to get better quality sleep. As a result of better quality sleep, you’ll be more productive in every aspect of your life. High-quality foam mattresses such as Tuft and Needle have great reviews and are a much cheaper option.
17. Gym towel
Don’t be that guy at the gym without a towel, or worse the guy who wipes his face with a dirty old towel. Gym towels are a very cheap accessory that will improve your hygiene. You can even find gym towels that have a zipper and pocket that can fit a phone and keys.
18. Wireless headphones
I wear wireless headphones every day. They are comfortable, have noise-canceling features and the sound quality is great. If you work or exercise in busy parts of your neighborhood then wireless headphones will improve your concentration. Since investing in them I’m able to spend more time working at cafes or concentrating in busy parts of the office. My favorite pair are the BoseQuietComfort 35’s, even the newer pairs aren’t nearly as comfortable and durable.
19. Swim trunks
Whether you’re on a yacht, at the beach, or in the sauna you need a pair of swim trunks. Having a pair that is comfortable and fits your leg size and height is key to looking good. No one wants to wear long and baggy swim trunks that look worn out. Chubbies shorts are the best option I’ve come across.
20. Quality bath towels
I never realized how much of a difference high-quality bath towels make. You feel like a king wrapping your body in a heavy, thick, yet soft towel. Your guests will also appreciate the fact you care about yourself. Towels can get very expensive but you don’t need to go to the extreme of buying luxury towels. American Soft Linen is fairly priced with great reviews.
21. Electric toothbrush
Stop using the same old nasty toothbrush. Teeth are the first thing people notice when they speak to you. The second is your breath. The easiest way to keep this is to simply brush your teeth (and tongue) often. Good electric toothbrushes come with an app and a timer to make sure you’re really doing it properly.
22. Standing desk
If your work involves a lot of screen time then you need a standing desk. Health experts like Andrew Huberman have made it clear that sitting down all day is detrimental to your health. It ruins all the hard work you do in the gym, so do yourself a favor and get a standing desk. Your future self with thank you for it.
23. Book collection
Reading is one of the best ways a man can improve his life. It can improve your memory, and focus, reduce stress and anxiety, and even increase creativity. Some of the greatest men in the world have created books to pass on their knowledge to the younger generation. If you want to become a better man then it’s important you read.
Related article: Best books for men to read in their 20s
24. Plain white t-shirts
You can not go wrong with a plain white t-shirt. They’re neutral, stylish, versatile, and familiar. A nicely fitted plain white t-shirt will make your shoulders look broader and your arms bigger. It will give off the illusion that you’re more masculine. If you’re in great shape it will enhance your natural masculinity.
25. Baseball cap
Everyone should rock a baseball cap, not just the balding guy who’s running out of options. If you don’t want to style your hair you can simply throw one on and call it a day. It’s one of my favorite men's accessories. I have a collection of 20+ hats although my go is a Pittsburgh Pirates Black 9TWENTY.
26. A business
Firstly, this isn’t for everyone. I recognize that. However, the economy is a bit rocky right now and a business is a great way to build your wealth without having to rely on other people. Creating a business also comes with a great deal of personal satisfaction. If building a business seems daunting you can always buy one or start with a side hustle first.
Related article: Best side hustles of men.
This is the most expensive thing on this list. And maybe it’s not achievable for everyone anytime soon. However, it’s a great way to hedge your risk in economic turmoil. It also helps you build your wealth and have some security. If you don't know anything about property investing, now could be a time to read a book or two and learn.
28. Duffle bag
Duffle bags are both practical and stylish. You can fit your food, gym gear, and anything else you’ll need during work or travel. If you go on a cheeky trip to another state or country you can also use it as carry-on luggage. The only duffle bag I use is a black one from LuluLemon that I purchased in London. It was expensive but it’s still with me three years later.
29. Boxing gloves
You might be thinking “why the hell do I need boxing gloves if I don’t box?”. Well, maybe this is your sign to learn a martial art like boxing. You’ll increase your confidence and fitness immediately by learning how to fight. Plus, most women prefer men who can protect them and stand up for themselves if a situation ever requires it.
30. Ergonomic chair
This should be a non-negotiable if you work behind a screen all day. Standing desks are great but eventually, you’ll want to sit down, and when you do, your chair should be comfortable. Ergonomic chairs will promote the correct alignment of your shoulders, spine, and hips. This means less pain and better posture. The Herman Miller Aeron Chair is one of the highest-rated ergonomic chairs you will find on the market.
31. Aluminum water bottle
Keeping hydrated is key. According to MayoClinic, the average man should drink 15.5 cups or 3.7L of water each day. The easiest way to get this done is to have a high-quality water bottle with you. Aluminum water bottles last longer, they’re healthier and they keep your water cold! I personally prefer Takeya’s 40oz insulated water bottle but the Iron Flask Sports bottle is also great.
32. Air purifier
Air purifiers make your space clean and fresh. Not only will this improve the quality of air within your space but it will keep you safe from nasties. A good air purifier won’t make much noise and will work in the background so you don’t even notice it’s on.
33. Smart scale
Regular scales are cool but smart scales are practical. If you’re trying to watch your figure a smart scale is a great way to stay accountable. You can easily track metrics such as your weight, body fat percentage, and muscle mass. Smart scales usually have an app that will plot your progress on a chart. I’ve been using a FitTrack for a couple of years, it’s reliable and accurate.
34. Motivational wall art
You can’t leave all your walls empty. You’ll need something to brighten the place up. Might as well fit it with something that motivates you. Whether it’s a scene from your favorite movie, an athlete or an entrepreneur, something meaningful will help your place feel like home. The Ikonic has a large selection of artworks you can choose from.
35. Natural deodorant
You’re either going to love this or hate this. Natural deodorant isn’t as effective as artificial deodorants but they’re much better for you. A natural deodorant won’t have chemicals that can mess up your hormones. If you’re still on the fence about this just ask yourself “Do I want to have lower testosterone because I choose Old Spice over Native?”. The answer should be no.
36. Skin care products
We all know it’s important to take care of your skin. But men have a bad habit of letting this escape them because it seems like a waste of time. As you age the difference between a man who takes care of his skin and a man who doesn’t will be very noticeable. It’s one of the easiest ways to look younger.
37. Masculine candle
A high-quality soy candle can quickly improve the vibe of any space. Your guests will also appreciate the nice smell. The best part is they don’t need to be fruit or girly (unless this is what you want, then more power to you). However, if you’re after a masculine scent, look into leather, musk, and lemon myrtle.
38. Coffee machine
We all love our coffee. So imagine how good it would taste coming from a high-quality coffee machine. The best thing is that regardless of your budget you can still find a great option. Anything beats instant coffee!
39. Screwdriver set
Think back to the last time you needed to unscrew or assemble something. For the men without a screwdriver set, you probably spent a couple of minutes looking for a pointy object to try and get the job done. Save yourself the hassle next time and invest in a high-quality screwdriver set you can keep for life.
40. Foam roller
Foam rollers are great for massaging your muscles and stretching your body. They’re proven to help relieve muscle tightness, open up your joints and even relieve inflammation. Try to find a high-quality foam roller that will last a long time.
41. Cast iron skillet
A cast iron skillet (also known as a cast iron pan) might seem a little strange at first but stay with me. These particular pans get very hot and they stay that way for longer periods of time. You’ll cook the best steaks without having to risk your health since they won’t have any carcinogenic materials. Plus you’ll look like you know what you’re doing in front of guests.
42. Gym membership
This is essential to any man who wants to improve his physical and mental capabilities. Training is the best way to stay fit. You can find a cheap gym near you, or you could join a top-tier gym and expand your friendship circle to other high-achieving men. Either way, if you don’t have a gym membership make sure you get one soon. And start using it!
43. Tailored suit
A tailored suit isn’t just for the refined man. All archetypes of men should have at least one fitted suit they can wear when they need to. At some point in life, you’ll attend a funeral, black tie event, or cocktail party. So it’s best to have a tailored suit ready for the occasion and look your best.
44. Waterproof trimmer
You shouldn’t be walking around with a neckbeard or an outgrown bush. The easiest way to keep on top of this is by using a waterproof trimmer. This way there’s less cleaning up to do and you’re more likely to be consistent with your grooming if you can do it in the shower and save some time.
A dog is a man's best friend, right? The best part about a dog is you can buy one. Either as a puppy or a rescue. It's really your choice. A dog can shower you with unconditional love, support, loyalty, and security. These are things we struggle to receive from other humans at the best of times so it makes sense to have a dog in your life.
46. Fishing rod
Fishing is a great hobby and an underrated skill. It’s a great way to relax and spend quality time with your friends and family. Besides, nothing feels as primal as casting a line into the water, catching a big fish, and eating it. You can always catch and release but you get the gist. There's no need to spend thousands on this. A simple fishing rod and tackle set are enough to get going.
Laptops aren’t cheap by any means, but they’re important. You can research, stay productive, build a business, learn a new skill, and do so anywhere you like. Depending on how you treat it, it should last you at least five years before the software and hardware start to play up.
48. Brain.fm subscription
Concentration and deep work seem to be a challenge for every single smartphone user. Brain.fm helps me get into deep work for long periods of time. After testing it with a 2-week free trial I became dependent on it. Some might argue this is an issue but the level of output I can achieve listening to Brain.fm is impressive.
49. Grooming kit
If you’ve ever listened to the Fresh and Fit podcast you might notice that the majority of women complain about men's hygiene. It’s clearly a red flag for women, however, it should be a red flag for you as well. Hygiene and grooming are important. Having a set of nail clippers, nose trimmers, and tweezers can help you stay on top of this very easily. While you’re at it, add some toothpicks and mints to the collection.
50. Phone case
This is obvious but the amount of money you’ll waste fixing or replacing your phone could be easily mitigated with a good case. There are thousands of highly rated cases to choose from these days so it shouldn't be hard to find something good. Castefiy has the largest range of cases and customization options.
A good pair of jeans will serve you well for years. Whether they’re ripped, slim-fit, baggy, or shorts, it doesn't matter. Your style will determine which pair of jeans you buy but make sure you have a clean reliable pair that you can wear when you need to. Ksubi is my favorite brand for jeans, they have every style you could imagine and the quality is great.
This could be one of the most valuable things you own. If you don’t have a passport make an effort to get one so you can start exploring the world. Traveling abroad is an amazing experience and it will open your mind up to new cultures and world issues. You might even meet someone special!
I can’t explain how many times I’ve needed a basketball and haven’t had one. I finally got two basketballs. I have one at home and one in my car at all times. You never know when the boys will want to play a game of pickup.
54. Pull up bar
I'm not sure why but every time I see a pull-up bar I feel this urge to get under it and start repping some pull-ups or chin-ups. Every place I've ever lived has either had a makeshift one or a legitimate one I've purchased. I don't think I could ever live anywhere that didn't have one. It's one of the few home gym accessories that are cheap and effective.
Frequently asked questions
What are 3 things every man should own?
This one is a tricky question because it depends on your age, and even then it can be open for discussion. Men should at least have a bank account with six months of savings, a passport, and a gym membership. Everything else is nice to have. Nothing is more important than your health and a financial safety net.
What should men own by 20?
At 20 years old you have likely just become a man. You might still be figuring things out. You'll be figuring things out all your life. However, there are some stapes you'll need and some habits you want to form early on in your life. If I was 20 again and there were only three things I could choose it would be a new laptop, gym membership, and a journal.
These three items alone will help you shape the future of your life. Your decisions and habits will be the determining factor for your success.
What should men own by 30?
At 30 years old you should be more refined, experienced, and confident in yourself. Of course, this isn't always the case and that's okay!
Here are five things men should own by 30:
– Leather boots
– A Passport
– Ergonomic chair
– Skincare products
This is open for debate although they can all make a large impact on your wealth, health, or happiness.
What should men own by 40?
I hope by 40 years old you're a man of substance and experience. It's more important than ever to stay on top of your health and fitness. Regardless of whether you're single, married, rich or poor, you'll want to have the following items:
– Book collection
– A dog for companionship
– Fishing rod
– Grooming kit
– Air purifier
Related articles you might want to check out: