FRANK + OAK CLASSIC LEATHER BACKPACK
Everyone needs a solid, reliable, classic, and well-loved backpack. And, as it so happens, backpacks are very much a “thing” right now. A few things to bear in mind: no, they never works with suits. Blue blazer and khakis? Sometimes and with the right backpack. Decide what you’re looking for in your backpack. Do you want technical and outdoorsy? Something that looks like you also used it to scale a small mountain? Or, are you looking for urban commuter cool? Sleek and minimalist; few or no external pockets and a structured, tech vibe?
A great in-between option is this classically-inspired leather backpack from Frank + Oak. The design is totally old-school and has a 1980s retro feel without appearing at all kitschy or ironic. The steel zippers are beefy, open and close smoothly, and add a functional contrast to the soft tan leather. And that leather, though supple and soft, is beefy, strong and meant to take a lot of abuse – and look better for it – over the years.
A single front zip pocket provides easy access to small items like keys and transit passes while a discreet side zipped sleeve pocket hides along the rear seam of the bag; perfect for your wallet and smart phone. The main compartment is cavernous with a lightly padded slot for your laptop or tablet.
HARRY’S TO GO (DAILY FACE LOTION & LIP BALM)
Harry’s made its name as the David of the morning ritual taking on several Goliaths at once when it brought the direct-to-consumer model popularized by eye wear brand Wary Parker, to the shaving world. The company has begun to expand into other menswear grooming lines – a killer facial scrub for example – and their newest offerings are perfect for the dad on the go.
The Daily Face Lotion is light and hydrating with a mild scent that reads masculine.The 1.75 ounce flip-top bottle is the perfect size to throw in your briefcase or carry-on and, truth be told, we really like the clean, minimal yet warm branding and font choices.
Boxing the Harry’s Lip Balm in an clever easy-open/close three-pack is a great idea and elevates a checkout impulse to a stylish skincare necessity. The 0.2 ounce tubes are a bit more robust than typical lip balms and their solid deep navy color give an “I should keep one of these with me” feel to them.
Another win in the personal care space for a brand that knows how to get men thinking differently about skins care and personal care branding.
CITIZEN TITANIUM ECO-DRIVE TIMPIECE
While toting around a $6,000 Rolex on your wrist is a nice idea, sometimes it’s better to take a fiscally conservative approach to time-telling. Luckily, there are many watches out there that are big on classic style while still being light on cost. This TI-IP titanium model from Citizen is a great option for those seeking a smart horological investment without breaking the bank.
Lightweight and solidly built, it is also part of the brand’s celebrated Eco-Drive collection, so the sun – or any light – is your battery. . Did we mention this 40mm watch is super lightweight too, because visually, it looks heftier.
Another nice aspect to this watch is its versatility. depending on what you’re wearing, it can easily adapt and look right at home. The clean and well organized face is easily readable and has subtle detailing that showcases some elegant style points. The date window is well-sized and easily readable. At the same time, the simple but rebust case design and sturdy bracelet can pair well with short or jeans.
THOMAS ROYALL “GEORGE” BATHING SHORTS
These sharp and stylish swim shorts can take from the pool to the party without missing a beat. Trim, tailored, and finished with details typically associated with dress clothing, they strike a note of nattiness that’s perfectly appropriate for non-water wear.
In addition to the substantial and finely finished mid-weight nylon fabric, the George shorts have angled side pockets; concealed back pocket with zip; double fused, non elasticated waistband with snap closure; and smart looking adjustable side tab fasteners.
While some of the brand’s offerings might strike some as a bit too busy, Tomas Royall’s simpler designs allow the impressive build and attention to detail and finishing shine through.
40NINE WORKOUT WATCHES
Everyday work watches are not always the best option for sporty pursuits; not the right construction or they simply look out of place. That’s where 40Nine watches come in and get the job done. With a price point on most of their watches of US$49.00 (get it?), these fun and sturdy timepieces are perfect for workout duty or being a handy back-up time keeper.
Rugged but not too precious, we checked out the 45mm Chrono sport and large 50mm stainless steel and silicone watch, both of which are lightweight, reliable, and durable. This company has created a clever niche in the tool-watch-as-accessory space.
They are quality watches that have the look and functionality of more expensive sports timekeepers and get the job done just fine, thank you very much. 40Nine watches are not competing with the likes of DOXA or trying to be a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. They are affordable watches packed with style and quality – and a little fun.
SUDIO VASA EARBUDS
Ear buds as art? In this case, yes. We have tested out a box-full of ear buds and earphones over the years and the VASA line from Swedish brand Sudio is without question the most beautifully designed and elegantly packaged. Crisp, clear sound and easy to handle controls are combined with a sleek design, rose gold details, and solid components. We love the shirt clip too, a small piece of art on it’s own.
If there were such a thing as dress earbuds – like, the ones you would wear with a suit – it would be these. And, in case you’re wondering, the Sudio VASA was named after King Gustaf Vasa, who led the Swedish War of Liberation against King Christian II of Denmark during the 16th century.
STAEDTLER INITIUM ROLLERBALL
Many pens can fill this role, however, the Initium Metallum rollerball from Staedtler is something special. It writes like a dream but we’ll just let the company explain why it’s so darn cool: “No other high-tech material unites modern zeitgeist, technical finesse and functional perfection quite as elegantly as refined anodized aluminium.
The hand-brushed surface gives the Metallum line a unique velvety feel and creates an intriguing contrast in combination with the matt, chrome-plated metal fittings. It is, in itself, an expression of superior quality, exacting standards and state-of-the art modern design.”
Well said. That’s why no matter where we are, it’s always in our bag.