Declutter Your Pockets, Guys!

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Declutter Your Pockets, Guys!

Unless man purses come into fashion, we're dealing with more and more junk to carry around these days - wallets, phones, keys, changes, pocket tools, etc.  Pockets bulging in the wrong places are unsightly.  You want as clean of a look as possible on your pants as possible and leave the bulging to where it's relevant.  Here are some tips on keeping your pockets lean and clean without having to resort to vertically striped pants.

1. Your wallet. You don't want a thick wallet.  It screams someone with too many burdens, an overzealous World of Warcraft player, or an obsessive-compulsive packrat.  Really go through your wallet.  Toss as much as you can.  Throw out old receipts.  Cancel excessive credit cards.  Burn that useless VIP membership card.  When you're done, it'll feel really good.  If you really have trouble pruning, buy a thin secondary wallet or money clip used for you go out and transfer only the essentials: cash in larger denominations, one credit card, driver's license.

2. Loose change. Get rid of it. We're mostly in a cashless world, though clubs still love cash for tax reasons, and some businesses like Chinatown grocery stores still love cash. If for some reason, I have to use cash, I just throw the change into a jar.  Once a year or so, I take the jar to a bank or Coinstar machine and cash it in. Most Coinstar machines charge a commission, but some machines don't levy the commission if you use them towards a gift certificate to specific retail stores.

3. Breath Fresheners. Gum, Pocket Paks, mints, etc. You need to carry a pack of these no matter what - bad breath is your enemy.  I've had varying experience with different kinds, though I generally stay away from the mini spray canisters and stick gum because the paper packaging makes them vulnerable to heat.  Listerine Pocket Paks take up the least space though I find the traditional tablet gum lasts the longest.

4. Keys. You really only need your car and house keys, unless you've upgraded to fingerprint technology.  Keep them on a detachable so you only go out with those, and leave the other keys at home.  

5. Your phone. Unfortunately, you have to make room for this since it's pretty much your lifeline these days. Plus, how else are you going to collect phone number/social media? That being said, I know some of you carry an extra work phone. Leave that at home, or if you really have to, switch to a dual sim phone.

Extra Note: Never wear your phone on the outside of your pants on a clip.  I know it's really convenient, but in terms of style, it's an eyesore. I need to emphasize this because it's like the fashion faux-pas of wearing a t-shirt under a shirt.

6. Extras. The only other thing I carry are some ear plugs to protect my hearing when it's too loud (it often is). They come in a fancy case, but I just put them in a small plastic ziploc. 

Other than that, there are a host of other "little things" that could take up extra precious pocket space - lib balm, battery charge pack, pocket tools etc. Leave those at home.

Exceptions. If you have a medical condition that forces you to carry medicine, inhalers, etc that fatten your wallet, then by all means carry these items.  If your pockets are getting bloated by these or of the above items, I have seen some decent looking waist bags that hang stylishly off your belt, and don't look like purses.  I've seen overpriced Gucci waist bags, but since waist bags are popular in Asian culture, I know some Japanese fashion stores carry Japanese men's Hanpu waist bags that carry the same function and look even better.

Also, you might consider wearing a sports jacket or a heavily pocketed military style jacket as part of your club wear to get more carrying capacity.  Just remember, the clubs get hot.  I love how a jacket or club blazer looks, but it doesn't combine well with dancing unless you sweat very little and have a high tolerance for heat.


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