Suit Up, Gear Up: How to Everyday Carry Like a Gentleman

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We’ve touched on why you may want to go the less-tactical route when assembling your EDC in part one of our Carry Smarter guide to classier ways to carry. Here, we'll focus on a more traditional “gentleman’s carry” – a sophisticated set of essentials you’d find on the likes of James Bond or Selina Kyle at an upscale restaurant, on a night out on the town, or at an important business meeting. You can be the sharpest-looking man or woman in the room and the most prepared one with our tips and recommendations of how to best gear up after you’ve suited up.

Why should I invest in a gent’s carry?

Leather and brass are great for daily wear or the weekends, but sometimes we need something for a more formal setting such as at the office or a social event. A gentleman’s carry is usually just the essentials, but a great one should be an extension of your outfit - sharp-looking, effective, comfortable, and confident. Avoid overloading yourself by carrying only what you may need in a formal situation.

What are the hallmark design cues of items I can add to a gent’s carry?

In contrast to the vintage, well-worn items we dubbed “classy casual,” a gentleman’s carry is just the opposite: polished, modern, and luxurious — to best match your formalwear and professional attire. Clean lines, smooth surfaces, polished chrome and glossy black accents are all commonplace in these setups. Keep an eye out for these three things to assemble a top notch EDC for your suit pockets:

Elegant Style: Formal wear calls for more formal gear. A beefy diver’s watch will snag on your shirt sleeve, so a dress watch with a slimmer profile will be much better in this situation. Tactical knives can be intimidating, and most certainly overkill if you’re opening a letter in an office. Something smaller with a less aggressive appearance can still impress without putting forth the wrong image.

Light Weight: It’s a drag to have clunky gear weighing down a suit jacket. The last thing you’d want is to have your heavy knife and flashlight falling to the ground when hanging a jacket on the back of a chair. When you may have as much as a knife, keyring, wallet and flashlight in a single suit jacket, every ounce matters.

Streamlined Designs: There isn’t a whole lot of room in a suit to store your EDC. Thinner fabrics used in formalwear exaggerate bulging pockets. Slimmer is always better. Not only does carrying bulky items look unrefined, it can also be quite uncomfortable. Ideally, you won’t want to notice your knife, wallet or pen until you need to use them.

Check out our recommendations for great places to start when putting together your own gentleman's carry:

Al Mar Hawk Ultralight Pocket Knife

When trying to keep your EDC knife both thin and light, there are few better options than the Al Mar Hawk Ultralight. Built to extremely tight tolerances and hand finished in Japan, the Hawk Ultralight is a classy gentleman’s folder that will handle simple tasks like opening a letter with ease. The 2.75” AUS-8 steel blade is an ideal size for everyday carry and will maintain a razor sharp edge. Weighing in at less than an ounce, the Ultralight will easily disappear in your pocket, but it’s there when you need it.

BUY ($145)

Klarus MiX6 Titanium Flashlight
Trying to keep weight and bulk to a minimum is key when assembling a Gentleman’s carry. The Klarus MiX6 is a high-quality AAA light with an 85 lumen output. A solid titanium body looks sophisticated enough for a formal dinner, but is tough enough to be your backup daily driver. Twist to activate any of the four output modes and easily find your seat in a dark theater or help read a dimly-lit restaurant menu.

BUY ($80)

Swiss Army Knife Money Clip

Formalwear doesn’t tend to have a ton of pocket room. Avoid ruining your look with pocket bulge by carrying only the necessary cards and cash. While there are lots of options out there, few provide as much utility as this money clip from Victorinox. The shiny silver body will match the rest of your carry and there’s no doubt that the small blade, nail file and scissors will come in handy.

BUY ($28)

Keyport Slide 2.0 Key Solution

Real gents move in silence. Cut down on key jingle and bulk by slimming down and streamlining your keys. The Keyport Slide 2.0 holds 6 custom key blades that turn your once messy keychain into an easy to use fob that fits in a pocket. Don't have 6 keys? There’s also custom flashlight, pen, flash drive, and bottle opener inserts that fit into the Slide to further declutter your EDC.

BUY ($79)

Pilot Hi Tec C Cavalier

Ditch the disposable pen when you’re adding some extra notes to those business cards you just collected. The Pilot Hi-Tec-C Cavalier’s black lacquer and gold accents give off a professional vibe. The classic design and brass construction coupled with one of the most popular gel pen refills in the game result in an excellent pen for your EDC.

BUY ($33)

Orient Bambino Automatic Dress Watch

An overbuilt dive watch or a mil-spec pilot watch are going to be out of place when wearing a button down shirt and jacket. The Orient Bambino is an excellent entry into dress watches. Its easily wearable 40mm case combines brushed stainless steel and a slightly domed mineral glass crystal for a stylish, unique look. Inside you’ll find an in-house 21-jewel automatic movement including a date window. Black and silver are easy to match, perfect for a night out or around the office.

BUY ($139)

Now you know all you need to put together timeless, sophisticated, and undoubtedly classy carries. When you suit up, what are your favorite essentials to carry? Let us know in the comments below what gear you think deserves some recognition from the most discerning gents.

Items Shown in the Header: Parker Sonnet, Victorinox Swiss Army Money Clip, Rolex Datejust, Al Mar Hawk Classic Talon, KeyPort Slide 2.0, 4Sevens QMiNi123 Ti NW

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Discussion (10 total)

Very nicely done! That Talon looks terrific and I am green with envy. Something that has worked well for me when swimming with the suits and the sharks in a lengthy meeting or for an off-site is to have at hand a charging device with appropriate connectors - a gentleman can then be of discrete but very direct service to whomever's battery is on its last 5%. People remember the help gentlemen provide. While not on my person, in my hand carry I always have an Anker or a Ventev with enough juice to get someone back into the game.
Really great point — people are connected now as ever. I definitely win brownie points with friends when I bust out a backup charger.
Never thought of that. Must get a backup charger. Also, the Keyport looks good, except at $79 we felt.....<passes out> <Wakes up> Melons! No, scratch that. We'd like to put forth the humble $18 Keyn. It's....gentlemanly and such.
This is an amazing piece, great work Ed! I think an Al Mar is in order ASAP.
Also it may be time to upgrade from stainless to the Ti Klarus.
What a beautiful selection of carry kit.
What great lights.
Thanks I liked this article, a note for you, the torch, knife, watch and money clip are different from the header photo to the article :-(
I liked the Keyport, (excellent idea, I'll use the bottle opener and USB, good options), and money clip are on my to buy list and maybe the watch, see the sense in black as colour tone. MikeNZ
looks good but high on price across the board.
145 bucks for a single blade knife, that's amusing. The Keyport is a great idea.
What is the knife in the header picture? Looks different to the one in the article.
Hey Ben, that's my Al Mar Hawk Classic Talon. I think there were only 150 made. It's classy but it has heavy brass liners. The rest of the header pic items I list at the bottom of the article too, just in case you were curious.
Sweet thanks

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