A Guide to Everyday Carry (EDC) Basics Because a modern man is always prepared
Form and function, they tend to go go hand-in-hand. This is especially true when comes to the items you carry every day on your person. If it’s something you pick up on the daily without thinking about it, you want it to work with whatever you may be wearing for the day, and to (ideally) serve more than one purpose. There’s no definitive right or wrong way to do this, and you probably already carry some of these items, but we’ve put together this guide to help you on your way to owning the most functional EDCs (everyday carries) around.
It comes down to 3 things: readiness, convenience, and style. The more you can do with the items in your pocket (or bag), the better. You want your EDCs to express who you are and be ready for anything. Essentially, you carry them to make yours and potentially other people’s lives a little easier.
Grabbing these items before heading out for the day is second nature at this point. These will vary from person to person but, you’d likely feel naked without them, right?
Unless you’re still walking around with a flip phone, smartphones have eliminated the need for many EDCs–notebook, watch, and flashlight, to name a few. They aren’t by far an end-all, though. They have definitely made it so that you need to carry less, so there’s that (side note: the real question is, Apple or Android?).
You have to get over the Costanza wallet—get rid of all the bulk. A slick wallet with a few slots for your cards and some cash will do. Think about how much cash you carry. If it’s consistently a lot, you might consider a money clip in addition to or in place of the wallet.
We understand that watches aren’t completely necessary anymore, but it’s more about the principle of wearing one. On top of being a personal style statement, wearing a watch implies a keen awareness of time–it implies responsibility and organization. Additionally, depending on the watch, like a chronograph or a smartwatch, it can serve many other purposes, too.
You only get two eyes, so you might as well do the most you can to protect them. The style of sunglasses should depend on what you’re doing for the day, however, make sure you have something with UV protection or polarized lenses.
How many times have you been asked by someone if they could borrow a pen? How many times did you not have one? A pen is a nice touch to your everyday carry items. On top of having a stylish writing instrument, you’re more likely to remember something you jotted down. Plus, what’s the last time a note written on paper ran out of battery?
We’re not talking about walking around with a machete here. This isn’t for self-defense, but practicality, more than anything. A simple pocket knife won’t take up too much space, and will come in handy in many situations that would otherwise be tedious. Consider your state’s laws when purchasing one, as there are type and size limits.
This is an everyday carry for your bag. You will find that they are very helpful at the office or whatever coffee shop you find yourself at. A pair of decent headphones will provide you privacy and act as a shield from distractions, ideally helping improve your productivity.
You have the pen, why not have something to write on? Use a notebook to jot down thoughts, your genius ideas, to-dos lists, or your daily journal entries–there are many possibilities. Ultimately, we believe putting a pen to paper will provide you with a better experience than tapping or typing away at your phone or keyboard.
Obviously a flask is not an everyday carry (or is it?), but it does fall into the category of convenient and pocketable items. You can carry these in your jacket or hip pocket filled with your favorite liquor. Mind where you decide to carry one, and drink responsibly.
A lighter is a staple of the gentleman, always on the ready to provide a light for someone else or for yourself. You can’t conjure fire, so if the need ever arises, why not carry something that can? Stray away from the $1 lighters from the liquor store. Instead, opt for something more classy, like a copper Zippo lighter.
When a wallet doesn’t suffice, bring on the money clip. A money clip will keep your cash organized and in one place, rather than having a bulging wallet or having to look through multiple pockets.
A handkerchief could come in handy in many different situations, like dabbing spilled wine, wiping sweat, or blowing your nose. Although a pocket square could potentially serve the same purpose, don’t confuse them. While a pocket square is more of an ornament, a handkerchief is more about function and is not always meant to be seen.
Now that you have an idea where to start, your everyday can be that much easier. Believe it or not, there are actually communities out there dedicated to people sharing the cool items in their pockets on the daily–use this for inspiration. Keep in mind that these aren’t all items that you need to have on you all the time, but they are definitely convenient and, when chosen correctly, will become a part of your nonchalant personal style.