Sure it’s just stuff. But stuff can make life easier, more enjoyable, etc… Every so often we ask one of our favorite, style-appreciating people to rattle off their five favorite things. Sometimes those things will fit into the realm of “affordable,” and sometimes they won’t. We’re going for the favorites here.
Ryan N. is a professional web developer for (and alum from) the University of Delaware, who keeps a close shave as to not be confused with his strongly-bearded twin brother. He plays guitar and drums, and loves going to concerts with his wife.
His commute serves to chip away at a backlog of podcasts and audiobooks, and he keeps his Kindle stocked with digital reading material from his local library via OverDrive. A recently-converted early riser and fledgling meditator thanks to The Miracle Morning, he enjoys those few precious moments of calm and clarity before the kids wake up, and a fine scotch or IPA after they go to bed. Cheers!
As the second-newest item on this list (you’ll see), these have quickly eclipsed my beloved Stafford Deacons (RIP) for the title of my favorite footwear. The initial break-in period was ROUGH, but well-worth it for the high-quality leather and custom fit. The charcoal shade is warm, the brassy accents look sharp, and it complements everything in my fall/winter wardrobe.
American Eagle 360 Extreme Flex Black Denim Jacket
Never thought I could pull off a denim jacket, but this staple has single-handedly changed my fall-to-spring wardrobe. The material is sturdy but stretchy, allowing me to layer and still keep a trim silhouette in the cold, or hike the sleeves up when spring comes in with a slight breeze. Again, the color goes with everything, which gives me more freedom with the rest of my outfit. (Currently only available in medium wash denim.)
Easy hold, no shine, no fuss. Part styling wax and part dry shampoo, you can also use this on second-day hair to clean up oily spots, and nothing allows me to re-shape my hair over the course of a day quite like this. Even after a few hours in a thick wool beanie, it only takes a few seconds to get everything right back in place.
A bit spendy, but I can’t go back to “normal” holed belts after trying these. The micro-adjustable “teeth” allow you to dial in your fit down the 1/4″ rather than the usual 1”. Throw in the ability to mix-and-match buckles and straps, and you’ve got a game changer.
Thrifted (and Re-buttoned) Royal Blue Blazer
I lucked into this blazer some 5 years ago, when apparently someone with my exact dimensions gave it away. Due to its near-perfect fit, I didn’t have to tailor it even a millimeter! The shiny gold sailor buttons weren’t jiving with how casually I wanted to wear it though, so I swapped them out. It was insanely easy (thanks, Art of Manliness!), and after pulling the perfect replacement buttons off a $4 “donor” Goodwill jacket, this is now easily my favorite blazer. I can dress it up or down, and even pair it with closely-colored H&M slacks to make a laid-back spring “suit”, like I did this year on Easter Sunday.
BONUS: Becoming A Dad
I definitely hemmed and hawed over this inclusion on this list for a while, trying to narrow down the perfect 5 things, when I realized, “things” are just that. Welcoming Russell here into the world a few short weeks ago truly put “things” into perspective for me. He gives me a reason to be a better man each day, and helps me not worry about “stuff” so much.
#HM1 – Target basics. I’d be remiss if I didn’t give these a shout, since on any given day, my outfit is probably at least half stuff from Target. Mossimo, Merona, and Goodfellow make up the majority of my basic tees, chinos, and sweaters.
#HM2 – Pixel 2 XL smartphone. The camera is outstanding (every pic here was snapped with it), and has helped me capture so many awesome moments, and streamline my day.