A purse would solve a lot of problems for some guys. They have their slacks pockets stuffed with a fat billfold, mobile phone, assorted papers, receipts and a fist-sized ring of keys. But while toting around a handbag may be practical, it's also a way to get some odd looks.
Ideally, your pockets should not to be used at all. By parking your hand, or a big wallet, in a pocket, you're stretching the fabric, ruining pleats and spoiling the look of a good trouser. So how do you carry all you need and keep looking neat?
"Reduce what you carry," says Chrissy Simmons of Brooks Bros. in Newport Beach. "Many men are carrying smaller, thinner billfolds. These have their license and one or two credit cards; then they carry a money clip in their front pockets."
Additional credit and business cards can be stored in a locked briefcase.
"Try not to put anything in your back pocket," says clothing buyer Bill Rigioni of Huntington Beach, "you can wear down the fabric around a fat wallet."
A big key ring can cause some unsightly bulges, unless you can carry a key fold or case. These keep your keys in a flat position. If you have a car alarm transmitter, try hooking it up to one of the case rings, but don't try to enclose it in the case.
Of course, many of your storage problems can be solved by always taking your sport or suit coat.
"The inside pockets of your jacket are designed to handle a wallet or checkbook," Simmons says. Remember that side pockets are meant to be non-functional.
Another pocket that's meant to be decorative is on your shirt.
"If it's come from the cleaners, it's often starched closed," Rigioni says. "It should stay that way all day."
Store a pen in your front slack pocket or on the inside of your jacket. Sunglasses can be worn with a chain or cord that lets you hang them down when you step inside.
Of course, those symbols of modern society--the cellular phone and beeper--can also present storage problems.
"The latest phones on the market are very slim," Simmons says. "They're another item for your jacket pocket, but a thin model can also be put in your slacks if you're not wearing a jacket."
While their clips make beepers easy to latch onto a waistband, use the thinner, buzzing-style that fits in your slacks.
"Few things ruin the look of a nice outfit than a big, black beeper on your waist," Simmons says.