Three essentials every man must own… that he can find at Target

Three essentials every man must own… that he can find at Target

Three Essentials from Target – Via

By Barron Cuadro of
Miss yesterday’s feature on the five most common male style bad habits?  Click here for that, and you’ll get a good idea as to what The Effortless Gent is all about.

When it comes to the essentials, men are faced with a ton of choices… and when we fall into a routine, we rarely stray away from such a well-worn path.  For these essentials, I think that makes perfect sense.  Over at The Effortless Gent, we stress the importance of finding your own style, but when you’re talking about basics, rarely is it important to experiment.

Case in point: A Michael Kors v-neck tee for $75, found at Neiman Marcus.

Who buys these things?  Who goes to Neiman for some 75-dollar tee shirts, when the same thing can be found at say, Target, for $10?  And that’s a pack of two. Honestly, there isn’t much of a difference when you look at fiber content and construction, at least not enough to warrant that $70 difference per shirt.

Which brings me to the point of this post.  I wanted to find several examples of basics every man should have, that he can find for a good price. I started at Target with the belief that a guy shouldn’t have to spend exorbitant amounts for the simplest items in his closet.

Here’s what I found:

#1  Dark, slim, all-purpose denim – Levi’s Signature Skinny – $27.99 | Slim Straight – $27.99

Under $30. Exclusively at Target.

When I say all-purpose, I simply mean you can dress it up or down… perfect for the office, or for the weekend.  Lucky for us all, Target carries Levi’s Signature, the little brother to the Levi’s red tab flagship brand.  There are two washes in particular I like, the Onyx Skinny Leg, and the Slim Straight 3D Rigid.  Both are of the Authentics Signature line, which seems to be carried exclusively by Target.

The appropriate fit is entirely up to you and what best suits your body.  The Onyx Skinny Leg seems to fit better on a slim build, similar to the Levis 511, whereas the Slim Straight 3D Rigid would give a little more room like the 514.  Both models have other dark washes which may or may not be available at your local store.

#2  Casual shoes: Merona Drivers – $34.99 | Converse One Star – $29.99

Doesn't get more affordable than these.

I look for no frills and standard colorways when considering a basic, non-dress shoe.  I save the fancy technology and shock-absorbing soles for my workout shoes.

Target carries One Star, which essentially is Converse’s line for Target stores.  Having the same look as the standard Converse shoes, these are a great deal.  Two options to consider: The dark laceless Converse One Star or the more traditional laced version.  Both come in a variety of colorways, but I suggest something in a more neutral or muted shade that you can wear with practically anything.

I also stumbled upon this Merona driving moccasin in black leather.  It has a rounded toe and the upper is all genuine leather.  The sole is made of rubber, and although the insole (the part inside the shoe where the bottom of your feet touch) is faux leather, I’m not sure that matters all that much.  If you’re tight on cash but want a good-looking casual shoe that isn’t a sneaker, this may be a good option.

#3  A classic watch – Timex Leather Strap – $39.99 | Timex Easy Reader – $29.99

Classic dial and case for under $40.

I love me a good watch, and I was especially happy to find this Timex at Target.  There are actually several models that have that classic look and feel.  For example, the Easy Reader is another great choice.  What I like most about these models are its simple, unadorned faces with minimalist markings.  If you don’t like the strap that comes with the watch, you can always swap bands to give your wrist a pop of color.

In case you’re in the market for any of these essentials, I suggest hopping on over to Target to see what you can find.  You’ll be surprised at some of the options they have and the money you can save.

Barron Cuadro runs The Effortless Gent, a site dedicated to better equipping the everyday man by helping him find his own personal style. You can find him on Twitter (@effortlessgent) and at He lives in San Francisco.