So, how has 2020 been going for you? Taken up any new hobbies or read any good books? Or has all this time indoors seen you insanely good at COD Warzone and finally clear a massive backlog from your Netflix queue?
For me, the ever-changing lockdown period has had me making some major changes to my wardrobe and bathroom cabinet. The lack of needing to iron a shirt and trousers for work every day hasn’t seen me slip fully into joggers territory while I’m on Zoom calls with the rest of the office, but I have picked up a few items along the way which are making being stuck indoors just that much better.
All the money saved from not going out has shifted into what I’m calling my “self-care” fund. It’s not all toiletries and beard oil (which I already had anyway) but some key items I think every guy should have to make staying indoors that much more comfortable. In no particular order, here are five I think you need to know about.
1 – Longer charging cables
My phone usage has skyrocketed this year. If yours hasn’t, I can only presume your phone is broken or stuck down the back of the couch. A friend told me about longer cables, and it is, with no hyperbole, an absolute game-changer.
They’re simply charging cables that can be anywhere from a foot to three metres long. Imagine a world where you’re no longer leaning over in bed to watch YouTube while the phone needs to be six inches from the socket or the possibility of a video call on full brightness lasting more than 20 minutes.
I’ve seen the future my friends, and it involves longer charging cables.
2 – Ridiculously good coffee
The morning commute is out, and that means no more expensive americanos on the walk from the station to the office. If you’ve been relying on instant every morning for your first cup of the day, STOP!
Get yourself a French press and some good coffee. A decent bag of pre-ground bags from online stores is only about £8/$12 dollars, and if you find a local store selling coffee, they’ll grind the beans there and then for you, resulting in the freshest coffee you can get your hands on.
It’s now become the first thing I look forward to every day. So much so that when things get back to normal, I can myself expertly brewing a cup rather than wasting money (and so many coffee cups) on a drink I’ll pick up and throw away every single morning going to work.
3 – Fresh boxer briefs
Hands up who usually only gets nice new underwear and socks as a gift every Christmas, and always goes for cheap multipacks when they need it?
It is surprising that the first thing you put on in the morning and last thing you take off at night isn’t the most expensive pieces of clothing we all own (by the way, if you don’t put underwear on first, what went wrong?)
I’ve now gotten in the habit of buying new boxer shorts and socks once a month from different stores online in much the same way people get those monthly subscriptions to snacks and beauty products. Some of the best stores I’ve found so far have included LuLuLemon (which I was surprised did mens clothing), the aptly named Bawbags from Scotland, Mack Weldon (from hearing their name on a million different podcasts) and MeUndies (look up Bill Burr singing it on YouTube).
Trust me on this one. There’s something about having a rotation of nice new boxers that just help make you feel funky first thing in the morning.
4 – Resistance Bands
Ok. I’ll admit it. I am one of those people who clicked on the resistance band ads that kept showing up on Instagram. With gyms closed, I have found myself turning to running, which I suck horribly at, and HIIT classes from YouTube in the living room, as my new exercise routine.
Now I am not really using the bands for exercising per se, but rather using them to help loosen up and stretch out a bit. I don’t know if you’ve been feeling the same, but switching from an ergonomic office chair to a makeshift desk has done a number on my back and posture. Having bands I can throw over the door to do gentle face pulls and rotations in the evening time has helped me get the muscles moving once again.
5 – Candles
Don’t worry. This last tip isn’t a suggestion to go to the nearest Yankee Candle and speak to a manager like a Karen, but you might not notice that your house has a smell.
Every home has one. We just don’t realise what our smell is. Having candles is one way of injecting some life into rooms again. I was shocked to learn that there is such a thing as “masculine candles”, but honestly you’re fine just getting candles you think will smell good.
If you want to avoid some of those comical sound Yankee Candle smells (who would ever want a pumpkin spiced candle?), some of the scents I recommend for guys include white musk, camomile, salt and cedarwood.
Fancy treating yourself at home?
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve found at least one item worth doing some research on and treating yourself to. If you’d like advice on what you should be wearing this season, make sure you check out the latest men’s fashion articles on the site right here.