A Fashion-forward Guide to A Man’s Everyday Carry

A man’s everyday carry, or EDC, are the items he keeps with him at all times to assist him in his daily life. Amongst the EDC community, there is a philosophy that every item in a man’s EDC should serve at least one purpose; it should help a man function adequately, even in unexpected situations. The goal of the EDC is to help a man be prepared for the worst and perform at the best.

Typical EDC items include a phone and wallet, house keys, a watch and pens, but it can be worthwhile to carry a small prepping kit that includes a flashlight and a multitool that assists with simple handiwork like opening cans and driving screws. Every man has a different EDC, and seeing what other men choose to include is what brings the community together.

Unfortunately, while the goals of EDC are a mixture of minimalism, self-reliance and personal expression, few EDC enthusiasts consider fashion when putting together their everyday kit. Here are a few questions to guide you toward a more aesthetic EDC and everyday look.

What Will You Carry?

Everyone’s EDC is different — in items and in style — but typically, EDCs contain the following essentials:

  • Phone
  • Wallet or money clip
  • Keys
  • Pen
  • Flashlight
  • Notebook
  • Multitool or pocketknife

By no means does your EDC have to perfectly match the items listed above. Depending on your daily activities, your region and climate, your personal preferences and more, you might add or subtract any number of items, from gear more oriented to disaster prepping to work-related equipment like a tablet computer. 

Regardless, you should strive to invest in quality items that fit into a unified aesthetic, as opposed to a hodgepodge of items that look grubby and ill-matched. Sleek, minimal designs tend to be best, but you should be sure to invest in materials that are both lightweight and durable, like aluminum and leather. A neutral color palette ensures that your EDC will fit with any outfit; masculine colors like black, charcoal gray, khaki and dark green are ideal, and you should stay away from patterns, which can age poorly or clash.

If you struggle to identify items that go well together, you might commit to purchasing most of your EDC from one brand or store; typically, sellers will create a cohesive aesthetic for you, making shopping for fashionable gear faster and easier. Some excellent EDC purveyors include:

How Will You Carry It?

While a primary goal of EDC is efficiency, you simply cannot expect to contain your entire EDC in your hands. Thus, EDC is about both the items you carry and how you carry them. For this, you have a few options:

  • Pants pockets. If you can slim your EDC down to a few compact items, you might be able to fit them in typical jeans or slacks pockets. Otherwise, you might want to invest in a fashionable pair of men’s cargo shorts — but be sure they fit well and are well-styled, to avoid the middle-school-boy or harangued-dad look.
  • Jacket pockets. If you live in a region where you can comfortably wear a jacket year-round, you might consider investing in a few jackets with several pockets to hold your EDC. However, you should avoid over-stuffing your pockets with items; you want to avoid bulges or interruptions in the smooth lines of your clothing. 
  • Bags. If you simply have a large number of items in your EDC, or elements of your EDC are large themselves, you will need to invest in a bag. A briefcase is suitable for some work environments, but you might prefer a small messenger bag, backpack or tote. Unlike other elements of your EDC, it might be useful to have several different bags for different occasions. Again, you should always invest in a quality item made from attractive materials, like leather, in neutral colors. 

Researching EDC tools, trying out different combinations of items and carrying your EDC in real life can be fun and fulfilling — but your EDC only add to your style, not detract from it. Fortunately, by investing in the right items and appropriately updating your wardrobe, you can enjoy a functional EDC and look great, too.

xoxo D.