3 Things You Cool Millennials (and Others) Should Own Once in Your Lifetime

Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” If you stop for a moment to think about frosted tips, JNCOs, and puka shell necklaces, you’ll be glad that’s true.

Trends come and go. Pop culture paradigm shifts are about as certain as grey hair. Some will draw you in, and some will pass you by. Some you’ll regret, and some you’ll wish would come back. That said, there are certain ones that transcend your decade, your proclivities, and your ephemeral lifestyles. In that spirit, here are three things every cool Millennial and Wish-You-Were-Millennial should own (at least) once in their life.

1. A personal brand

It’s no mistake that this is number one on the list. You might be thinking, what the ??? is Stephen on about? I’m no social media influencer. Well, I’m not talking about endorsements and clothing lines. I’m talking your personal style. This isn’t limited to the threads in your armoire. This is your scent, your swag, the way you carry yourself, and all the little details that fill out your style.

Think a little outside of the box on this one. Some of us managed an inkling of cool in our formative years. Most of us are just slowly cultivating our personal style stamp well into our dad/mom bod years (maybe even our silver fox years). But just to be clear, it ain’t something you’re born with. It’s something you earn, and 100% relative to the individual. Your scent may just as likely be that V-day bottle of cologne your honeybear got you as the smell of sweat from an honest day’s work, or maybe it’s the salty sea breeze deeply soaked into your skin and hair. Your personal brand could be your sharp-as-flint wit as much as a propensity for putting together a killer outfit.

2. A turntable

Music: the single greatest human experience shared across the vast cosmos of existence. Hands down, the best way of experiencing it (outside of a live show) is an invention dropped by Tommy A. over a century ago. Now, I know what some of you are saying: I’ve seen the hipster dufus hanging at coffee shop, stroking his thick beard or wearing her non-prescription granny glasses, talking about how everything sounds better on vinyl. Listen, I’ll admit some records are only so-so, and it’s a little bit of a drag to have to get up and turn the dang thing. Not to mention the TLC involved in not scratching or scuffing your collection. However, I promise there’s nothing quite like spinning your favorite record while sitting in your favorite chair, sipping on your choice cocktail. Believe it or not, they do sound better.

I’m also of the opinion that a nice record setup is a nice addition to any room. There’s a reason there’s been a huge resurgence in popularity. Plus, it actually makes you sit down and listen for once!

There’s nothing like a vintage piece, but one of those new-fangled contraptions will do just as well.

3. A watch

Okay, I’m not going to stoke the fire of theoretical physicists and debate whether time exists or if it’s this or that dimension. I’m of the opinion that everyone should own and wear at least one watch in their life. Admit it: how many times have you seen your favorite rock star or movie character sporting one, and thought, “Need it.” Don Draper did it for me.

It could be fancier piece to mark a milestone, or something a little more utilitarian for your rugged living. Maybe you’re the type who can pull off a pocket watch (no judgement here). A good, dependable timepiece is as useful to a teacher desperate for a class period to end (never me) as it is to a soldier on a battlefield. A watch can complete an ensemble or be passed down the family tree as an heirloom. (You don’t even wear it anymore, Dad.)

Reality Changing Observations:

1. What is your personal style? No, seriously, stop and think about it: what’s your signature?

2. How does it affect others’ perception or understanding of you?

3. What’s something others think of as obsolete, but that you think is a classic worth keeping around?

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