Suit EDC – Every-Day Carry 2016-17 Part 2

While my regular EDC works well for standard “civilian” clothes (though not quite standard, as I’m rarely in anything “less” than a button down shirt and slacks) I do wears suits as often as I possibly can (especially now in the winter), and it doesn’t work nearly as well for them. I can’t wear anything on the belt (for the most part) without having it look ridiculous, and my pants pockets would bulge since I carry mostly in the front. So I have to shift where I carry things and adjust a few usage scenarios (I probably won’t be using a full-sized multi-tool when in a suit). Fortunately, suits have a ton of pockets for me to spread my gear out in while looking nice and “fashionable”. Here’s the stuff I carry.

Man I wish I had a better photo of me… But you can see how little the pockets bulge in this one.

  • Inside Jacket Pocket 1
    • Pocket Notebook (Field Notes Expedition) (It always impresses people when you pull a notebook out of your jacket pocket)
    • Pocket Planner (Brownline)
    • Pen (Zebra F-301) (Sleek, dependable, and it fits a lot of styles)
    • Flashlight (Coast A5) (Goes better with most suits and that “classy” look than a “tactical” looking light)

  • Inside Jacket Pocket 2
    • Maxpedition Micro Pocket Organizer (This bulges a bit, but that’s because of the phone, which is the only thing I need, but otherwise fits surprisingly well in a common inside jacket pocket)
      • Work Phone
      • Lighter** (I run into people who want to light something more often in a suit, as strange as it is. This one is a Bic, but I sometimes have a Zippo elsewhere)
      • Multi-tool (Leatherman Style CS)** (or) (Gerber Dime Travel) (It depends on which I think I will use more that day: scissors or pliers. And if I’m going though a checkpoint)
      • Pocket Comb (always need one when I’m wearing a hat)
      • 2 Lens Wipes (Nikon)
      • Knuckle Bandage
      • Fingertip Bandage
      • 4 Alcohol Swabs
      • 1 Alcohol Towel-ette
      • Electrolyte Tablets
      • Mini Med Bag
        • 3 Diphenhydramine
        • 2 Acetaminophen
      • 2 Ricola Original Cough Drops (don’t want to have a problem when meeting people, especially in the cold)
      • GUM Soft Picks in Case (usually don’t have to use these, but they can be “life-saving”)

  • Outside Jacket Lower Pocket (Sometimes)* (When you need a USB stick you need a USB stick, and it doesn’t bulge much at all, so it’s there when I remember to put it there)
    • EDC Altoids Small Tin** (hopefully most of this is self-explanatory)
      • Flash Drive (Patriot Tab)
      • Knife (Opinel #2)**
      • Cord
      • Cotton Ball
      • Ziplock Bag
        • Matches**
        • Striker
        • Kleenex
      • Nail
      • 4 Straight Pins
      • Paperclip
      • Electrical Tape
      • 2 Migraine Medications
      • Butterfly Bandage
      • Cash (≈$10)

  • Belt
    • CRKT SPEW (Sometimes Around Neck)** (my one exception to the belt rule. It’s a bit harder to get in and out of its sheath, but it’s easy to access and super slim)

  • Pants Pockets (I went over most of these items in my previous post about my regular EDC, you can check that out if you want more info about my personal usage case)
    • Wallet (Austin Leather Tri-Fold Wallet) (I’m not sure the company even exists any more)

And that’s the suit carry. Not quite as much stuff, and a bit more limited in use than the standard EDC, but it all fits very slimly into the pockets and keeps me looking nice. Hopefully I won’t be doing too much down and dirty work in a suit anyway. I’ve also excluded a few of the regular trappings that may go along with a suit like: shoes, ties, tie bars, cufflinks, hats, etc. because those things change more frequently (by the day usually) than the gear I carry does. This has been a very good working system for me for about a year, but I’m always looking for a way to slim it down, and that gets harder ever time.

Next I’ll be returning to more of a “regular” “EDC’ set, my bag, which has probably seen the most change since my last update. Hopefully you’ll join me there.

(Amazon Links provided may not be the cheapest one’s around. If no Amazon link is available another one will be provided so long as I think the item is of enough importance)

* Items that are carried on a conditional basis or can be one of a few like items

** Items that will need to be specially treated when going into restricted areas (read: airports) (i.e. liquids and pointy things)

Hobby Pen Collecting and its Effects

I love pens. I collect quite a few of them, of all types. I like ballpoints just fine, but felt tips (technical pens), roller balls, fountain pens, and brush pens are all great. I love the different styles, the differently shaped barrels, the grips, and the different writing styles required to use each one best.

Now, I’m not really here to talk about how much I love collecting and using pens. Instead, I’m going to talk about what effect that has. First off, it makes you seem prepared: I always have a pen with me, and I never have to use the cheap office ballpoints that either have logos on them or are chained to the desk. When anyone needs a pen, I have one, and you’d be surprised how many people still need pens when they don’t have one. I personally think it makes me more prepared, but some people still think it’s weird and unnecessary.


Fountain pens are the ones that are hardest to explain to people. The writing experience is so smooth and nice, but for the price, people generally see no value in something as expensive (even though some fountain pens cost less than some ballpoints/rollerballs and if you bought one medium priced fountain pen and bottled ink for the rest of your life you’d have spent a lot less money on pens than otherwise.) People think they are archaic, which is funny because they were only really replaced a few decades ago. You hear horror stories all the time of pens leaking and ink explosions, but if your pen functions properly, which the majority of fountain pens do, and it is properly taken care of (this may be an issue), then there should be no problems with ink getting anywhere you don’t want it. But that won’t stop a few strange glances.


Writing instruments do take up quite a bit of room on my desk, which is currently covered in cans that are filled with pens and pencils. This is a bit excusable for me, because I am a cartoonist and artist, etc., so having a lot of pens is useful. Still, no one uses a Sanford Uni-ball, a Pilot G-2, or a Sharpie pen for a cartooning instrument. Some of my other pens, like my fountain pens, are away in cases, but that’s only because those pens are nicer and more susceptible to the scratches and such that accumulate being with many other pens in a can or rolling around a desk. Still more are in drawers. These I don’t get out as often as I’d like to but I do use them when I remember they exist.


All this really leads to is my life being surrounded by pens. I have tons, and it is great! When I need a specific pen for a specific job, I have it. If the pen doesn’t matter, there is always one close at hand. There is a certain level of over-specialization that can complicate things from time to time, but I think I’m good enough at streamlining to get away with it.


Now, is it expensive? Well, it can be, but I’d say I’ve sunk as much or less into pens than any of my other hobbies. Fountain pens can quickly start to really cost you, but I don’t go for the expensive models. And rollerballs are at most a few bucks. The most expensive pens I’d be buying, anyway, are for cartooning and these are Micron Technical pens, which are fantastic even if they wear out quickly.

I don’t know if pens and the amount of them I collect have had a positive or negative effect on my life overall. I believe at the moment that I have incurred nothing negative save a few hundred extra things to keep track of, which is something I enjoy and others might not. Many people do think it’s strange to care so much about what instrument you write with, but many of the people I usually interact with are more artistic and completely understand the need for such developed preferences.

Really, it is a hobby, collecting and writing with pens, and it fills the same space as a hobby even though it doesn’t seem like one in the traditional sense. And like most hobbies it has its detractors and benefactors. To me it isn’t much different than building train sets (something I don’t do) or painting models (something I do do). And, at least for me, I can justify it with always being prepared to write something down.