Nine to five can feel like a lifetime. With the ultimate emergency drawer packed with GQ’s Best Stuff, you’ve got a lifeline when things get hairy.
From meetings to conference calls to scrolling through Twitter to doing some, you know, actual work, Mondays through Fridays can feel like a never-ending uphill battle. And that’s not even taking into account the personal care variables—a garlic-heavy lunch, a taxing commute that leaves your shirt swampy before 9am—that can turn a typical workday into a lesson in grooming etiquette. So here’s our big tip: clear out a full drawer in your desk and stock it with essential items that will help you maintain your reputation as the most suave guy at the office. Having the occasional off day is normal—being prepared for it is what separates office mortals from superheroes. Here’s a look at everything you should have handy in this magic drawer.
New Balance 1400 sneaker
It’s always good to have a sporty pair of shoes on hand for comfort’s sake, and you can’t beat a sleek and stylish classic like the New Balance 1400. Whether you’re a standing desk guy or just don’t want to run around all day in dress shoes (or bulky winter-commute snow boots), slipping into some sneaks is an easy way to stay stylish and at ease.
The Sartorial Save
Burberry Dress Shirt
Spoiler alert: shit happens. And that means stains, and that even means stains on days when you have a big meeting or presentation or even an after-work date. Which is why you should always have an extra shirt on hand, for just these sorts of dilemmas. Burberry’s slim-fitting, stretch cotton poplin shirt is professional and sharp-looking, and effortlessly modern (aka not stuffy at all), making it the ultimate shirting solution for workday disasters.
Ralph Lauren Tie
In today’s casual workplace, a tie is rarely required. Which means wearing one will instantly make you look like an overachiever. Add a textural knit style to your arsenal, and toss it on before meeting with your boss, and you’ll immediately be taken more seriously.
The Signature Scent
Le Labo Noir 29
Sadly, you can’t stay smelling fresh-from-the-shower all day. So when you’re running from meeting to meeting or stressful situations get you damp, having a fragrance on hand can be a serious lifesaver. We like a dab of solid perfume—as opposed to a spritz that the whole office will hear and smell, blowing your cover. This outdoorsy, spicy concoction from cult perfumer Le Labo has the right amount of earthy and floral notes to mask whatever odors you’re emitting come late afternoon.
The Vision Innovator
While Warby Parker has the millennial e-market cornered on optical hardware, tech start-up Hubble is looking to extend that to the world of contacts. Their meticulously crafted, FDA-approved and eco-friendly lenses are perfect for popping in and then conveniently tossing at the end of the day
The After-Lunch Safety Net
Listerine Breath Strips
There are few things worse than having a sudden attack of breath paranoia while in conversation with a colleague. Keep those doubts (and aromatic reminders of your midday chicken tikka masala indulgence) at bay with these handy breath strips. Evil pro tip: offer one to your office frenemy before a big presentation to send him or her into a spiral of self-doubt.
The Mouth Magician
Mints are great (see above) but maybe the best post-lunch breath move you can make is to actually brush your teeth—dentists recommend it! Keep one of these toothbrushes handy in your drawer and do a quick dash to the bathroom once you’ve made the lunch rounds. The bristles are infused with on-trend activated charcoal from bamboo, making them a very goth black, and the handles are made from plant-based materials. Hello also offers up fluoride and whitening toothpaste to help your mouth stay minty all day long.
The Skin Savior
Skin Laundry Cleansing Cloth
You may not necessarily think about it, but throughout the day your face comes into contact with some nasty stuff—air pollutants, dust, dirt, smog, you name it. Add to that the natural oils that your skin produces and it goes without saying that you’d be wise to towel down your dermis from time to time. These wipe-and-toss sheets are packed with ingredients that both cleanse and replenish (witch hazel, salicylic acid, cucumber extract) to help give you that much-needed mid-day refresh.
The Afternoon Pick-Me-Up
Dermalogica Eye Lift
While chugging a cup of coffee at 4pm might make you feel more awake, you’re face might not necessarily reflect it. This cream-gel eye mask—which you slap on for just three to five minutes—helps to reduce the appearance of under eye circles, brightening your skin and increasing its “luminosity” (which is just fancy talk for saying you’ll look rested, alert and, fingers crossed, younger after wearing them). Consider it a shot of espresso for your face.
The Fresh Factor
Recipe for Men Antiperspirant and Deodorant
Because even the best of us have those days where our underarms get a little musty, this is a lifesaver you’ll be so glad you have hidden in your drawer. It attacks the problem from two angles, as both an antiperspirant and deodorant, giving you an immediate solution as well as a longterm BO fix. Applied with a roll-on applicator, it dries quickly and is made without alcohol and, let’s be real, is one of those things that will definitely come in handy sooner or later.
The Hair Hack
R+Co Dry Shampoo Paste
You probably already know that you shouldn’t wash your hair everyday and this is the perfect solution for those in-between times, or when your hair gets flat during a long day at the office (or when the weather’s not cooperating). Just rub some of this waxy paste in your mane from root to tip and feel your hair get an instant second life. It’s part styling cream, part cleanser, and 100% kickass.