March 23, 2014

Reader Question: Carrying Keys

If you made a list of accessories that contribute to your style, a key ring is probably nowhere on that list, but maybe it should be. I received an email from a reader a little while ago that touched on just that. Skip writes:
            This may seem like a stupid question, but I wanted your advice on dealing with my keys in a professional atmosphere. I just graduated college and moved into my own place and have a car, so I have a lot of keys and I’m not sure what to do with them. In school I had them on a lanyard, but that doesn’t seem very professional. My new job has a business casual atmosphere so it’s not like I’m wearing a suit or anything, but I still don’t want my pocket bulging with keys. Any advice?

This is actually a really great question, and something that I think a lot of guys struggle with, I know I did. We pay so much attention to our clothes, shoes, and accessories, but keys are oftentimes an afterthought at best.

Obviously where you live and work plays a part in both how many keys you carry and how you carry them, but at some point you are going to need to carry them on your person and that is when this afterthought becomes important. You don’t want to show up to an event in a nicely tailored suit with a lump in your pocket because of your janitor-inspired key ring.

Yorkie Key Chain by Orvis

There is no shortage of options to choose from: generic or souvenir key chains, branded fobs, even leather cases. Personally, I prefer a carabiner for the versatility that it offers. I can clip it onto my belt but its slim profile also makes it easy to tuck into a jacket or pant pocket if needed. I can also easily add or remove things from it, which lets me quickly grab just my apartment key when I go for a run or keep track of the key if I rent a car for a trip out of the city.

Stripe Key Fob by Brooks Brothers

For the most part, I like to keep my key ring light, with just my building keys and a ring of loyalty cards. I also keep a cloth fob on there because it makes them easier to grab when I toss them into a tote, but it doesn’t really affect the profile or weight. Luckily my work keys are all electronic so they don’t need any extra real estate, and I don’t have a car key to deal with on a daily basis. I used to carry an additional ring of miscellaneous keys (lock box, guitar cases, etc) but that got too bulky.

Alpha 6 Hook Key Case by Tumi

If you are stuck with regularly carrying a lot of keys, another option is to carry a bag or briefcase with you. A small internal pocket will keep them off your person, but still within easy reach so you don’t find yourself digging for them.

Whatever you choose to put your keys on, the most important thing is to edit what you carry to keep your keychain from turning into a weight.

Stay stylish,
- JJ

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