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20 Closet Essentials Under $20

From stain removers and suede brushes to cheap T-shirts and shoe trees.

mask, knit hat, garment bag
Gear Patrol

I'm a fan of building your wardrobe slowly and with consideration for prerequisites like quality and the timelessness of the design. Simply put, do whatever you can to avoid overfilling your closet with fast fashion impulse purchases.

There are, however, auxiliary parts that play a pivotal role: things like irons or garments bags that aren't clothes but live in your closet nonetheless. They're important. If you drip some sauce on your shirt or shoes, you're going to need the necessary tools to clean them up — beyond the napkin you use to blot the spot in the interim.

This is a list of these kinds of odd-ball essentials: the bits and pieces that complete your closet and make you ready for whatever comes at you; even if it's just more new shirts or sneakers. Best of all, everything here is under $20 dollars.

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Wooden Hangers (10-Pack)
Quality Hangers

Go on, get yourself a good set of hangers. These are made from mahogany and come in packs of 10.

Crew Socks (2-Pack)

Sure, this purchase won't spoil you with a set of two dozen socks, but this two-pack from Gap comes with better ones, meaning they won't wear out after just one wear.

Knit Cuffed Beanie

I love Carhartt's simple knit beanie. It beats out so many others, and it only costs $17.

50/50 Crewneck T-Shirt (2-Pack)
American Apparel
Now 15% off

Two fine T-shirts from American Apparel for $15? That's a steal, but especially since you can choose from a dozen different colors.

Disinfectant Spray (2-Pack)

Smelly shoes might not be as much of an issue in the winter, but long work days or wet liners all but guarantee a little odor — kill it, and the bacteria that caused it, with Microban's sanitizing spray.

Dryer Balls
Serena & Lily

Wool dryer balls reduce wrinkles and matting without artificial fragrances. Plus, they're reusable.

'Repel' Shoe Protectant Spray
Jason Markk

Keep your shoes clean for longer with a waterproofing spray. Jason Markk's Repel formula protects all types of materials.

Wonder Balsam
Dr. Martens

Dr. Martens' balsam works well on all types of boots — not just Docs. Massage it in to restore your leather, no matter its current state. 

Suede Cleaning Kit
Jason Markk

Cleaning other sneakers might be easy. Suede? Not so much. Turn to a specialized kit — this one comes from sneaker expert Jason Markk, too — as to not ruin them.

Cedar Shoe Tree

Shoes rely on trees in order to retain their shape. That's not true with all types, but it could never hurt to slip them into your favorite pair.

The Wrinkle Releaser

In a rush but your clothes are all embarrassingly wrinkled? Turn to a releaser. There are more voluminous options available from big box stores, but Frey's is formulated with a surprisingly pleasant and complex scent.

63" Shoelaces
Now 20% off

You should always keep an extra pair of laces on hand — well, not with you but certainly in your sock drawer.

Fitted Face Mask
Herschel Supply Co.

Masks aren't over. As such, it's always good to have an extra one. Hang it in your closet somewhere so you always know where it is. Oh, and wash it occasionally, please?

Microfiber Boxer Briefs (4-Pack)
Fruit of the Loom

Big pack basics are usually bad: that goes for socks, T-shirts, and especially boxers. They stretch after a few wears, pill, and rip. These microfiber boxer briefs by Fruit of the Loom are super nice for being a four-pack — and only $14.99.

Instant Stain Remover (3-Pack)

Stock up on Tide To Go sticks while you can. This three-pack is only ~$2 a stick, which means you can stab out stains for years to come (or only a few weeks if you're really messy).

Garment Bag
Liberty Bags

This garment bag certainly isn't flashy, but it's not flimsy either. It's made from nylon, meaning it won't rip like your linen ones.

'Essential' Shoe Cleaning Kit
Jason Markk

Remember what I said about cleaning sneakers? Answer: It's easy — especially if you have a kit full of the necessary equipment.

Sewing Kit

This sewing kit might seem extreme for most men. But, it has every single you could need to repair rips or burn holes in tops or bottoms. Plus, it has threads in every color, if you're considering an artistic repair job.

Lens Wipes (200-Pack)

Wear glasses? Sunglasses? Surely you've encountered a messy lens. Cut through grease, grime and other smudges with pre-moistened, individually packaged wipes from Zeiss. You get 200 of 'em for $12.

20mm Replacement Buttons (12-Pack)

No sartorial accident proves more dangerous than a disappeared button. Bye, pants! But not if you have a set of replacements ready. These hammer together, making them capable of replacing a missing set or establishing a new hole altogether.

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