In Style + Design

The Cult Of EDC: What Is It And Why Are People So Obsessed?

EDC - everyday carry - is the art of refining what's in your pockets, with an emphasis minimalism and practicality. Followers of the movement constantly strive for the perfect combination of items.

Everyday carry (EDC) is a phenomenon that took off when Bernard Capulong started blogging about the contents of his pockets, with an emphasis minimalism and practicality. Since then, people from all walks have gotten in on it – refining their collections, sharing pictures over social media, and forever seeking that perfect EDC combination of items that truly reflects their style and priorities.

edc every day carry mens style

A more tactical example of FDC. Photo: Every Day Carry

And while many enthusiasts lean more to the tactical end of the spectrum –carrying folding knives, multitools and military-style backpacks – at the other end, there’s a screaming trade being done in luxurious, innovative pocket-candy.

At its core, EDC is a study in discernment; scrutinising what you take with you is a great way to fine-tune your personal style while streamlining your accessories. Whether you’re new to the concept or a veteran carrier, here’s a sampling of the best things you can fit in and around your pockets.

edc every day carry mens style

A more tactical example of FDC. Photo: Every Day Carry

Wallet

Probably the first thing you reach for when you leave the house, your wallet is one place you don’t want to skimp. For an incredible billfold-style wallet, you can’t go past Ettinger’s Sterling Collection The Royal Warrant holder has been making fine leather goods since 1934; they might not be cutting-edge, but they certainly know what they’re doing.

The problem with billfolds is that they tend to get a little chunky. If you don’t want to give up your billfold – but still want to avoid that pocket-stretching bulge – consider getting a slimmer wallet for occasions when you’re on display. This pebbled leather cardholder from Canali is a fine example.

Keys

edc every day carry mens style

A leather key carry is perfect for people who hate jangling key chains. Photo: Bellroy

A handsome leather fob can really add something to your keys. But Bellroy have taken things a step further with their beautifully crafted – and extremely functional – leather key cover.

Available in four colours, the cover lets you organise your keys and fold them out individually when you need them. Perfect if you don’t like the idea of your keys bouncing around next to your phone.

Phone case

edc every day carry mens style

Matching leather tech accessories. Photo: Noreve Saint-Tropez

Since phones these days are basically slabs of glass over layers of tightly packed technology, it’s no wonder an entire industry has sprung up around protecting them. And while there are a lot of solid options about, many of them are so solid that you’ll look like you’re calling in an airstrike rather than an Uber.

For a more minimalist approach that doesn’t skimp on protection, try RhinoShield. While their polymer cases do sport military drop-test certifications, the slim lines and discrete colours neatly avoid the chunky, tactical designs favoured by other impact-resistant cases.

If you want to give your EDC device a classy, analogue-era look, Noreve Saint-Tropez have a leather case for just about every device there is. Their range of custom touches is exhaustive; not only can you select the colour, you can also specify the material and the finish – anything from polyurethane to hand-patinaed, made-in-France leather.

Pen

Carrying a pen is rarely a bad idea. Though the smartphone has in essence become the new pen, research has shown that writing by hand is a proven method for stress-reduction, increased memory retention, and generally staying on top of things. But first you need the right tools.

And few writing tools are as celebrated as the F-701 from Zebra. With its stainless-steel construction and knurled grip, this retractable ballpoint is as reliable as it is attractive.

If you tend to lose your pens and don’t want to invest, try picking up the Uniball Jetstream. This respectable-looking pen glides like gel but dries like ballpoint, and comes in both retractable and capped versions.

Notepad

Now that you have a pen, you need a good home for your thoughts – and you’d be hard-pressed to find better than Midori’s grain leather notepad. The ruled, vertical-flip pages make notetaking easy, while the leather cover keeps the paper fresh and your style on-point.

Watch

edc every day carry mens style

Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Photo: Tissot

Some think of watches as a bit of an anachronism at this point, but if you habitually wear a suit, you know that no outfit is complete without one. Besides, a watch’s battery will last a damn sight longer than even the beefiest smartphone’s.

When dressed up, you might prefer a formal watch with a white face and leather strap, such as the Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80. For more casual days – when you can get away with a chunkier chronograph – something like the Longines HydroConquest would be perfect.

Earphones

Whether you’re catching the train or trying to focus in a noisy café, the necessity of shutting out the rest of the world has only increased as our workplaces have become more mobile.

But unless you’re a music professional, you probably don’t want to lug around a heavy over-the-ear headset, let alone wear one in public. For maximum isolation with minimum bulk, check out Bose’s QuietComfort 20 Noise-Cancelling Earphones.

EDC advanced: Bag or briefcase

edc every day carry mens style

Coach’s carry-and-go brief case. Photo: Coach

Now, where to put all that stuff? The backpack, like the hoodie, has become a bit of an urban staple in recent years, and there are some fantastic products out there. Fossil, for example, make excellent leather backpacks that fit 15” laptops. For women, Knomo have a range of deceptively slim backpacks with stylings similar to high-end handbags.

However, if you tend to wear suits or blazers, using shoulder straps can quickly wrinkle – or even distort – the shoulders of your jacket. This rules out both backpacks and messenger bags, so you might want to consider a briefcase with a detachable strap instead.

If this sounds like you, Coach have a beautiful range of thoughtfully designed briefcases. An interior laptop sleeve and lots of pockets make it easy to store and locate accessories, while the leather-and-canvas construction means your briefcase will age better than a flash-frozen Jane Fonda.

(Lead image: A more tactical example of FDC. Photo: Every Day Carry)

Published 29 September, 2017