10 Things Every Single Man Must Own
Want to impress the ladies with your great taste in home décor and more? Skip the leather couch and silk boxers and buy these bachelor essentials.|
1. A top-notch coffee/espresso maker
Any girl who’s at your place for dinner (or lounging in your bed come morning) deserves a classier send-off than “see ya,” so trade in your college-days $20 coffee maker for a machine that’ll give Starbucks a run for its money. The professional-quality Delonghi “Caffe Figaro” Coffee/Espresso Machine ($230, macys.com) uses steam pressure to brew a superior espresso; the built-in milk frother allows her to request a latte or cappuccino. Toss in a $20 electric grinder — fresh grounds are a must for a quality caffeine fix — and you'll make her feel like a princess without breaking out the whole breakfast-in-bed shtick.
2. A lamp in your bedroom
Raise your hand if the only source of light in your bedroom is that garish overhead fixture that was there when you first moved in. Now, all of you, go out and buy a bedside lamp
with a fabric shade. This inexpensive trifle is not lost on women, who not only see it as a sign of your civility (imagine that, a light switch within arm’s reach vs. across the room!), she’ll also feel much more comfortable under its softer, more forgiving glow. (Ikea.com has a large selection in the $10 to $40 range that should satisfy any man’s tastes without siphoning his savings.)
|Accept it: Girls are into footwear.|
3. Swiffer sweeper + Swiffer cloths + Swiffer wet cloths
For her, walking across your floor barefoot should not be an exercise in muck tolerance. To that end, the Swiffer is the greatest thing to happen to the lazy man since the remote control. As simple as this cloth-on-a-stick looks, the electrostatically charged sheets suck up dust, hair and dirt in no time, and the Wet Cloths will make quick work of your bathroom floor—a necessity if you ever want her to visit again.
4. A comfortable couch
Repeat after me: You do not need a black leather couch. Skip the cliché and pick out a plush upholstered sofa, like the simple, elegant, under $1,200 Mercer at Roomandboard.com. And no matter what style you buy, play it safe and pick a neutral or muted color, then purchase a couple of pillows with stripes or a bold, masculine pattern to jazz it up and prove you aren’t your average lug when it comes to home décor.
5. Nice underwear
When it comes to your love life, the last thing you want is for your underwear to be a mood-killer, and trust me, the following selections will make her recoil: tighty whities; underwear featuring cartoon characters, or anything that resembles what a woman would wear. (Bikini briefs? Heaven help you.) Even silk boxers, no matter how nice, can send a sleazy vibe, so stick with something basic, like Calvin Klein cotton boxers or boxer briefs. Splurge on at least two week’s worth and throw out the others, lest you’re tempted to don a ratty pair and put off doing laundry—you never know when opportunity will strike.
6. A key-ring that can fix, cut, and open anything
Sure, your power-tool collection is outstanding—but it'll do you no good sitting in your closet when your date's sunglasses come apart at the restaurant. Show off how useful you can be by whipping out the tiny-but-powerful Leatherman Micra key-ring (leatherman.com). The two-and-a-half-inch, 1.75-ounce stainless-steel multi-tool combines scissors, tweezers, nail file, ruler, bottle opener, three screwdrivers, and a blade (of course). You’ll be amazed how indispensable this under $20 tool (and you, by extension) will become to her.
7. $150+ jeans
Why cough up that much dough when you can find a seemingly fine pair for much less? Because designer
denim does make a difference—and you can wear them everywhere from a dive bar to a five-star restaurant, if paired with the right shirt and suit jacket. Check out stores that carry Diesel, Evisu, Paper Denim & Cloth, or Seven. Since every pair of jeans fits differently, you will need to try a few on: Err on the side of too tight as opposed to too baggy, as jeans do stretch a bit as they are broken in. Choose a pair that isn't too trendy (warning signs include more than five pockets, garish stitching, and too much "distress" like rips or bleaching) unless you're willing to buy into next season's style as well.
|Repeat after me: You do not need a black leather couch.|
8. $200+ dress shoes
Accept it: Girls are into footwear, and your feet will be one of the first things she looks at. Invest in quality black leather tie-ups — which will never go out of fashion and will match with most any jeans, pants or suit—to make a great first impression every time. If she knows her shoes, she'll be hoping to find you could afford a pair of Bruno Magli, Kenneth Cole, Steve Madden, or John Varvatos. Sure, they’re not cheap, but hey, it could be worse: We could be the ones in heels.
9. 300-Thread-Count Cotton Sheets
Let’s face it: You (and hopefully your date) will be spending a lot of quality time here. So skip the scratchy polyester blends and splurge on some 100-percent Egyptian cotton sheets with a thread count of 300—the higher the thread count, the softer the sheet. It’ll run you around $120 for a queen-size set (for a good selection, check out bedbathandbeyond.com), but anything that might keep her bed longer is worth the expense, right?
10. The Joy of Cooking
Few things are sexier than a guy who can cook… but if toasting Pop-Tarts is the extent of your expertise? Then get Joy, the bible of all cookbooks since, unlike its trendier, more specialized alternatives like Nigella Lawson or Rocco DiSpirito, it contains recipes for just about anything you could think to make, all laid out with instructions that even an alien from another planet could figure out. So go ahead, invite her over for something simple (vegetarian chili, for instance) or exotic (Chicken Kiev, anyone?) and learn that the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach, too.
Matt Schneiderman is an editor for Sync, a men's tech and lifestyle magazine. He owns nine of the ten things on this list—and has added The Joy of Cooking to his Amazon wish list.