My 5 Favorite Things – Part 2

Joe over at Dappered asked me to compile a list of my five favorite material “things”.

I was excited about this post as it broke away a bit from my normal writing style.

Literally within hours of him asking me for it I had completed the task.

But then after I wrote out my list – I popped over and checked out my friends who had done this before like Brett McKay, Andrew Snavely, and Grant Harris.

Turns out I should have covered more clothing items as that’s what Joe’s site focuses on!

So I rewrote the list – but I still wanted to salvage some of the non-clothing items that didn’t make his cut.  Because these really are my favorite pieces of gears – and in a way they help define my personal style of function first, looks a close second.

Here are my 5 favorite things that I use the heck out of and have gotten more than my money’s worth from…..and that didn’t make Joe’s list:)!


Nikon 18-200mm Telephoto Zoom Lens 

A really smart photographer told me to not worry so much about the camera body – instead focus on buying good glass.  At the time I was shooting with Canon – but getting fed up with having to change lenses multiple times a day and carry a backpack of equipment I decided to find the best all in one lens I could afford.  That led me to the Nikon 18-200mm.

That month I sold my Canon equipment on eBay (about 10K in lenses and 2 dSLR bodies) and for a fraction of that bought the Nikon 18-200 and a basic Nikon camera body.  Sure – I gave up some “shooting power” – but now I always have my camera, never change the lens, and always get the shot.  And most the pictures you see on my websites – to include A Tailored Suit – were shot with this lens.

REI Running Shorts

I was a track & cross country runner in both high school and college.  To this day I try to get out and run at least a few times a week in addition to lifting weights at the gym.

These shorts are the pair I look for at 4AM when I crawl out of bed.  Perhaps its their silky feel even after 200 washes or the pocket with zipper which perfectly houses my MP3 player.  In any case – I wear them 90% of the time despite owning 3 perfectly good other pairs of gym shorts.


Saddleback Leather Bag

This was a Christmas gift from my friends Brett & Kate McKay.  Easily one of the most useful gifts I’ve received in the last decade.

Seriously – this heavy duty leather briefcase accompanies almost every time I step out of my office to travel with my laptop.  It looks great when I wear a sports jacket and shirt, raw denim, and Lucchese western boots – it’s rugged built always draws at least one compliment from a stranger.


My Thermos

The great Navin R Johnson  said “I had wealth, power, and the love of a beautiful woman. Now I only have two things: my friends, and my thermos.”  Well – I don’t have the power or wealth yet, but I do have good friends, the love of a beautiful woman, and a great thermos.

As a coffee and tea drinker – a good thermos just makes sense.  I use it daily so I don’t have to travel to the kitchen to reheat my tea – and when on the road I save a few bucks and avoid the risk of bad road brew.


Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Back in early 2010 I was having about 8 business meetings a week via Skype and had ambitions to start podcasting about men’s style.  I realized very quickly the microphone built into my computer wasn’t going to cut it.

I bought the Blue Yeti when it first came out and was won over immediately by its ease of use and quality output via USB.  To date I have used it to record over 1000 crystal clear audio recordings in support of my videos and podcasting efforts at Real Men Real Style.

And funny enough – look at the Blue Yeti review on Amazon and you’ll see one of my very first online videos EVER!

Alright – now back to posting about men’s style:)


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About Antonio

Antonio Centeno is President of and the founder of He has created over 700 articles & videos on men's style, blogs over at the Art of Manliness, and is the creator of the internet's best selling personal presentation course - A Man's Guide To Timeless Style. Antonio has studied clothing design in London, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. He is a former US Marine with an MBA from UT Austin and a BA from Cornell College. He loves to hear from old friends and make new ones.