50 Things Every Man Should Own Before His 30th Birthday
Take a moment to think back…
Ever found yourself stuck in the rain with a wonky, bargain-barrel umbrella that would be of better use to a suicidal Mary Poppins?
How about bringing home a date with the secret knowledge that your only pair of sheets haven’t been washed since The Unspeakable Accident of 2014?
If you answered yes to either of the above, this list is undoubtedly for you. It’s also for the man who’s always seeking to better himself.
It’s not about being materialistic. It’s about understanding that the things you surround yourself with are an indication of your values, confidence and self-respect.
These are the 50 things every man should own before his 30th Birthday. Let’s get to it…
THINGS EVERY MAN SHOULD OWN
50. A Book Collection
Make no mistake.
A book collection does not kick off this list by accident. Reading is the crowning workout for your mind. It boosts intelligence, improves memory function, makes you more empathetic, and helps you relax.
All of these are crucial functions in every aspect of a man’s life. As an avid reader, your conversation will be more interesting, your relationships more rewarding, your training performance will improve, and you will make better financial decisions.
Does Reddit count as reading? I can’t believe you just asked me that.
49. A Pet
Whether it’s a dog, cat or an iguana named Ziggy Stardust, a pet can add a lot of value to a man’s life.
From companionship to stress relief, you will also enjoy the satisfying feeling of taking care of another living thing voluntarily. As opposed to involuntarily, like when you kept that rat alive in your college dorm room by never cleaning your kitchen.
48. A Towel Collection
Nothing says “thoughtful” like presenting your guest with a freshly washed spare bathroom towel.
Nothing says “sociopath” like suggesting your guest use the same towel you used to mop up Ziggy Stardust’s latest surprise on the couch.
47. A Leather Wallet
That’s the number of times you’re allowed to tell the joke about how your wallet is so bulky that it puts George Costanza’s to shame.
When the laughter ends (and it will), it’s time to go out and invest in a slim, leather wallet of quality build. You should only place those cards and items in it that you use on a weekly basis. If you go a week without using an item in your wallet, take it out and leave it at home.
46. Dress Shoes
Women notice shoes. Potential employers and clients notice shoes. Need I say more?
Invest in quality, leather dress shoes. Brown and black.
45. A Signature Cologne
A little goes a long way. A lot goes a long way toward emptying a room.
A signature scent separates the men from the boys. Why would you ignore an entire sense when it comes to style appeal? Simple. You wouldn’t.
44. A Leather Belt
There are two golden rules when it comes to belts.
Match your belt color with the color of your dress shoes and don’t skimp on quality. This advice is as helpful as the “birds and the bees” talk was from your Dad, trust me.
43. Drink-Appropriate Glassware
Ever been served a glass of wine at someone’s house in what could only be a described as an old Nutella jar?
How about a scotch in a “World’s Best Dad” coffee mug?
I’m two for two and it’s a big reason why “drink-appropriate glassware” makes this list. Know which glass to use for each drink and more importantly, have them clean and on-hand in your kitchen.
42. White Plate Set
Food presentation is important. Is that something I thought I would ever see myself writing down? Probably not, but it’s true and it’s something you will appreciate as you improve your cooking skills.
With less distractions for the eye, white plates make food look better. White plates are also easy to replace when you drunkenly drop them. Okay, enough plate talk. Go and get yourself some white plates.
41. Dress Shirts
Want to hear a secret?
When you walk around in your faded “Mr Men” t-shirt you are not telling the world, “I’m a quirky yet lovable guy with a great sense of humor”.
You are telling the world, “My Mom made my breakfast this morning”.
Start dressing like an adult and incorporate more dress shirts into your wardrobe. It seems obvious, but when choosing colors, select shirts that will match well with your selection of chinos and jeans.
40. Grooming Kit
Man has evolved beyond going to battle with other tribes with our long toenails as weapons. Invest in a grooming kit. At the very least, you should own a quality set of tweezers and nail clippers.
Also, maintain a purposeful haircut style. Check out our list of 33 best guy haircuts for inspiration.
39. A Tailored Suit
We’ve all spotted the guy wearing the suit that is so big it looks like it’s about to swallow him whole. You know the look. The puffy shoulders and not an inch of cuff in sight. You can almost hear the local missing person announcement as you watch him disappear deeper into the abyss of oversized fabric.
If you’re one of these guys, firstly, I’m glad that you made it out alive. Secondly, with the affordibility of modern tailoring, this is something you can and should fix as a priority.
A tailored suit is the hallmark of your wardrobe. Yes, it is a small investment, but it is one that you will only have to make once (provided Bulking Season isn’t on the cards). The pay-off? A timeless look that will inspire self-confidence while offering a lot more comfort than your uncle’s former prom suit ever did.
As to colors? Build a tailored collection of navy, charcoal, and light grey suits. In that order. Once you have the staples down, you will undoubtedly be keen to expand to the blue suit / brown shoes combination.
38. Iron and Ironing Board
Want to be known as the type of man who doesn’t pay attention to the details? Grow yourself a unibrow that Anthony Davis would be proud of.
Alternatively, don’t iron your shirt.
But please. For the love of all things pure and sacred in this world. Don’t do both.
37. A Well-Fitting Pair of Jeans
When it comes to men’s fashion, there’s nothing more versatile than a quality pair of jeans.
Go formal with a tucked dress shirt, watch and dress shoes. Rock them with a plain white t-shirt and sneakers for a more casual weekend get-up. Or combine white socks with your two-sizes-too-big blue jeans for that classic “retired American tourist on vacation in Europe” look.
36. A Classy Pen
In a world filled with tweets, emojis and snaps, a classy pen makes a real statement. Set yourself apart from the biro chumps and ride the fountain.
35. High Quality Sheets
The Egyptians aren’t just great at building pyramids…
34. A Sturdy Suitcase
Travelling with a backpack makes you look like a 5th grader. Invest in a quality suitcase and travel light wherever possible.
33. A Passport
“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” Danny Kaye.
Inspirational quote aside, travelling is one of the most cost-effective investments you can make in yourself as a man. You will widen your cultural understanding, gain new insights, meet new people, and develop exciting stories. You will be a more informed and entertaining person to be around, increasing your overall attractiveness.
If you’re unsure about your purpose in life and you don’t have a passport, I’ve just provided you with a purpose for the next two weeks. Get a damn passport!
Protect your eyes from our favorite star while looking like a boss. Need I say more?
31. Wet Shaving Kit
Wet shaving really is just about the manliest thing you can do. While that should be reason enough to make the switch, you’ll also experience a cleaner shave and healthier looking skin and it’s much cheaper than catridge razors.
As a self-respecting man, shaving is going to be a big part of your life forever (yes even you, bearded bushranger). This one really is a no-brainer. What are your waiting for?
30. Shoe Polish
When I see a guy with scuffed dress shoes I have a similar thought to when I see a man with a rat-tail haircut. I think, “that problem could be solved in 10 seconds.”
Shine your shoes and standout as a man that cares about the finer details.
29. A Good Quality Watch
A watch is not just for subtly hinting that you’re done with that oh-too-forced forced coffee catch up with your growingly distant cousin.
A quality watch (with hands, guys) is the quintessential compliment to any outfit. Match the color of your watch band with your belt and shoes.
28. A Tool Set and Workbench
A man with tools is a man with the desire and means to shape the world he lives in. A man without tools very likely watches The Kardashians. For the story.
27. A Leather Jacket
One word. Attitude.
26. A Must-Read Coffee Table Book
Do you know what would look better than that empty Chinese food container on your coffee table? A stunning, full sized coffee table book that best captures your interests.
It looks great and your guests will thank you for providing them something to skim through when you spend 30 minutes in the bathroom due to drunkenly scoffing down those Chinese food leftovers two days too late.
25. An Electric Shaver
Put yourself in a woman’s shoes.
With the option of taking the carefully maintained pathway, would you really want to dive head first into the forest? There’s nothing feminine about man-scaping.
24. At Least One Piece of Art on the Wall
Look, sadly it’s time for the Scarface poster to come down. Yes, I know it’s totally awesome but does it really speak to your personality? Find a decor or style of art that does, and slowly introduce relevant pieces into your living space.
Better yet, have a piece “commissioned” on the cheap from an artistic friend. Whether it’s a painting, photograph, or a lifesize replica of your childhood dog, you will enjoy a completely original piece of artwork serving up fresh vibes daily in your home or apartment.
23. A Well-Made Weekend Bag
You will notice a trend as you develop into a self-respecting adult man. The growing importance of appropriateness. Appropriate clothing, appropriate demeanour and in this case, an appropriate bag.
Impromptu weekend away with a new girlfriend? Mid-week work excursion? You’ll need a bag that is the perfect size to carry around a couple of days worth of things while still being manageable enough to handle with ease. Meet my good friend, the weekend bag.
22. A Good Quality Umbrella
Let’s face it. If you even own one, your umbrella probably sucks. If it doesn’t, congratulations. You’re one step ahead of most modern gentlemen.
The honest truth is that the mighty force of Mother Nature will ultimately always defeat a $6 umbrella. It’s like pitting a ten year old boy against Chuck Liddell in a no-rules cage match. Something’s going to give.
It seems obvious but the best umbrellas are waterproof. They’re also durable and should be small enough to tuck away when the sun is shining. Make the one-time investment in a quality $40 plus umbrella and only get wet when you want to.
21. A Way to Make Real Coffee At Home
I don’t know about you, but I rank coffee up there with sex, great conversation and Arrested Development as one of life’s great pleasures.
However, you don’t always have to buy coffee on the go. In fact, starting from around $3 a pop, this can become a costly exercise quite quickly. Even if you don’t like coffee, you should have a way to make coffee at home. It’s enjoyable to make, smells great and instantly elevates your score as a dinner host.
20. At Least One Plant
Do you like breathing fresh air? If so, get yourself an indoor plant. If not, I’ll let you get back to World of Warcraft.
If the thought of sustaining a living thing other than yourself still frightens you, the ZZ Plant is the perfect low-maintenance option. You could neglect one of these bad boys for as long as you neglected your ex-girlfriend and it still wouldn’t perish. Brown thumbs rejoice.
19. A Portable Sound Device
The first step to becoming a good tunes merchant is having portable speakers on hand. The second step is developing an art for playing music that everyone in the room will enjoy.
If it’s just you in the room, I suppose you can keep playing Nickelback. Just know that it’s very unlikely to entice anyone into joining you.
18. Survival Essentials in the Trunk of Your Car
Bear food. That’s what becomes of the man who isn’t prepared.
I opted for a dramatic example here for good reason. Another key trend that those paying attention would have noticed developing across this guide is the importance of preparedness. A man should be ready to deal with anything that life throws at him, which often requires having the right “things” on hand.
Get yourself a car emergency kit and travel with the piece of mind that you’re far less likey to become at one with the grizzly.
17. An Aging Bottle of Scotch
Want to be a little more alpha ala Don Draper of Mad Men? You should. Haven’t seen Mad Men? You really should.
There is something undeniably cool about a man who drinks scotch. Dripping with masculinity, it screams to the world that you know what you want out of life and more importantly, that you know how to get it.
16. Great Soap
Unlike scheduling a “Gossip Girl night” with your little sister Becky, having great soap in your life is not a feminine act. It’s the staple of every man’s grooming routine. Smell great and you shall prosper.
15. A Wash Bag
Have a pre-packed wash bag ready to go at all times. Save space in your suitcase / weekend bag and never taste leaked cologne on your teethbrush again.
14. Playing Cards
What’s the link between card games and Coco Puffs? Both probably formed a big part of your childhood, unless you’re still devouring Coco Puffs in the morning like a savage man-child.
A deck of cards and a few fun games up your sleeve is a fantastic thing for any man to have. Have a girl over for the first time but you’re struggling to take things to the next level? You wouldn’t be able to playfully suggest a game of strip poker without owning a deck of cards now, would you?
13. Superb Socks
Having strong sock game really is the too often forgotten frontier of men’s fashion. Yes, it takes confidence to pull off but doesn’t anything worthwhile?
12. A Cast Iron Skillet
The cast iron skillet is the De Niro-in-his-prime of cookware. Dynamic and versatile, this thing is what your Grandpa used to impress your Grandpa on their third date and it’s still the best piece of stovetop cookware you can have today.
It’s indestructible, it retains heat like nothing else and it costs about as much as two steaks. Get one.
11. A Tent
There’s nothing more romantic than a camping getaway under the stars. Be a man that owns a tent. Don’t be a man that tries to cook in one.
10. A Cutting Board and Chef’s Knife
Listen guys, a butter knife is for buttering your toast. For general all-purpose meal preparation, get yourself a Chef’s knife. At least 6 inches in length.
The best part? If treated with care and always used witth a cutting board, you’ll only ever need one.
9. An All-Purpose Pump
Flat bike tire? No problem. Basketball looking pretty sad? You’ve got it sorted. Found yourself in the doghouse and need to blow up an air-bed? I think you see where I’m going here…
8. A Grill
Let’s be honest. Every man’s home should have a grill. If you don’t know why, you haven’t tasted grilled ribs.
Also, a grill turns cooking from a boring old dinner into a full-blown party. A delightful, rib-filled party.
7. Running Shoes
Outside of playing ball, your Converse shoes are for impressing girls at a Taylor Swift concert. Not for running.
Take the plunge and invest in some quality running shoes that fit you well. Your ankles and knees will thank you for it.
6. Quality Coasters
The surfaces in your home love you. Why don’t you love them back?
Candles are awesome. If you’re the average guy who never thinks about candles, you should definitely be thinking about them more.
Do candles make your questionably odorous house smell better? Check.
Are good scents mentally healthy for you? Check.
Do good smelling things turn women on? Checkmate.
4. A Home Office
The modern man should have a space to work and play that’s clean, comfortable and well lit.
A clean desk is a clean mind and a clean mind limits those Facebook binge-spiral sessions where you end up on your high-school gym teacher’s cousin’s page 4 hours after sitting down to start your project.
3. Pair of Good Quality Headphones
Your ears have provided you with years of pleasurable audio experiences. All they’ve ever asked in return is that you keep them at a fair distance from knives scraping against a glass bottle. You feel it just reading it, don’t you?
Why then, do you insist on jamming those cheap and nasty ear-drum zappers inside of them? Trust me, once you opt for quality, you’ll never go back to ear-abuse.
2. A Bicycle
See more of the outdoors…
Help the environment…
Get fitter while making that third round trip this week home after again staying at that girl’s place who but for those seven drinks should really have been a “swipe left”.
1. A Gym Membership
Last but certainly not least, is a gym membership. No, I didn’t say gym selfie – why are you taking your shirt off…?
Your health and your body has an impact on every aspect of your life. From your happiness, to your confidence, to your quality of sleep, to your stress levels, to only hitting snooze 4 times in the morning as opposed to 10. Look after yourself and good things will follow.
At the very least, have some kind of exercise regime. Whether it’s running, playing social sport, or chasing your cat around the house.
There you have it.
These are the 50 things every man should own before his 30th Birthday. Let us know in the comments if you think we missed something important (note: a selfie-stick is not important).
And finally, if you feel you haven’t found your passion in life yet, check out our massive list of 101 hobby ideas for men to get your inspiration flowing
See you at the candle store, fellas.