If you’re looking for the most powerful hair dryer or the handiest chef’s knife, those things can be easy enough to find. Other objects of desire are a little more taste-based. What’s the next status water bottle or hand wash, for instance? Chris Black (he’s a partner at brand consultancy Public Announcement) is here to help in the form of a regular column. If you have a burning question about the next fanny pack or Noah rugby shirt, drop us an email with the subject line “Ask Chris” at email@example.com.
Favorite gloves for the winter?
This is truly a tough question. Lots of gloves that look cool aren’t warm enough — a problem, as I must keep my digits toasty so that I can bang out those hilarious tweets! Also: I know I am probably going to lose whichever pair I buy, so spending a lot doesn’t make sense.
If you are spending a lot of time outside this winter, you need some Mechanix. This isn’t fashion shit, but they do look very cool. The gloves are partially coated in sandy foam latex to prevent the elements from creeping in. They are also £15!
DEEP TEAL SUEDE. Wow! This excellent (and expensive) pair is a collaboration between British tailor Anderson & Sheppard and Japanese brand Camoshita, which Mr Porter describes as “a brand which appreciates the dapper dress sense of Ivy League students of bygone generations.” The gloves’ unlined suede is probably not that warm, but all the compliments you will get while rocking these will keep you feeling nice and cozy.
In last week’s column, you dipped your toe into flannel shirts, a wintertime staple for lots of guys. Would love for you to go deeper and suggest more affordable Chris-approved flannels (and maybe one or two worth splurging on)?
The flannel, a classic piece of American cold-weather fashion. Embraced by people from all walks of life, it is really a democratic garment!
My mom loved to put me in classic Black Watch tartan as a child, and I am still fond of the pattern to this day. This shirt from Portuguese Flannel is made of organic cotton flannel (in Black Watch print) and a not-unreasonable £89. Two things that would make my mom proud.
Big dog Ralph Lauren has been making flannel shirts forever. This one from Polo is shearling lined for extra warmth. Its snap fastenings and yoke add a Western-inspired touch, so you will fit in on your holiday in Jackson Hole.
My little brother is cool. As in, 16-year-old in NYC who thrifted APC jeans years ago kind of cool. I’d describe his current look as Oscar Wilde meets ’70s bootcut jeans and our grandfather’s old leather jackets (he would probably have a much better description). Last year, I bought him a T-shirt from Only NY’s collaboration with New York, which went over pretty well, but I want to get him something he’d really like this year. Any suggestions for less than £200?
A 16-year-old in NYC is a scary thing. He has probably seen way more than he should, but at least he has a strong look going. Since you can’t just buy him drugs, I will make some more reasonable suggestions.
Maybe clothes are not the answer. I am sure he thinks he knows it all, but perhaps this holiday season is a chance for you to impart a little wisdom and taste on the little guy! It sounds like music has inspired his look, so I say get him some records. Let It Be by The Replacements, Power, Corruption, and Lies by New Order, and Grievous Angel by Gram Parsons are all a good start. If nothing else, he will Google all those artists and find some outfit inspiration.
Or, what if you give the gift of getting lost in a good book? It rivals getting lost in a meme account, and he might even learn something, TikTok be damned! Working, from Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Studs Turkel, would surely be an eye-opener. A survey of working people from before the days that influencer was a job title! McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City blew my mind in high school. Although times have changed, I think it would do the same for your little brother. Highbrow publishing is still sexy! (Sentence paid for by New York Magazine.) If he is flirting with the arts, gallerist Bill Powers’s book of interviews with artists like Peter Beard, John Currin, Ed Ruscha, and Kara Walker seems perfect. He will definitely learn something. I should note that, at these prices, you could get him everything I mention for £150 — £50 less than your total budget. Incredible!
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