Taking a Break for Vacation

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all my followers and anyone who is sharing my content. I’ve been putting out a lot lately. For around 3 weeks I was publishing an article every day. Blogging is a lot more difficult than it seems, and that has been a hard lesson for me to learn.

Producing so much had led me to being a little burnt out. I’m very much the kind of person who believes in taking time off periodically in order to preserves ones mental stability, stave off disease, etc. More than anything, having time away allows one to recharge their batteries and come back with a fresh perspective. Thankfully, my burn out just happens to coincide with a previously planned vacation to Copenhagen, so I can enjoy some downtime while I’m admiring Danish architecture.

Don’t worry, I’m not leaving permanently. I’m not going to abandon this blog like I did my last one (RIP Fashionhippie). I have plenty of ideas percolating in my head and I want to get them out into the world. I’m getting a clearer picture of the niche I want my blog to fill.

As for how you can follow along with what I’m doing until I post again, feel free to follow me on Instagram @formatmagdotnet because I will be posting plenty of style pics on my feed.

See you when I get back!

How to Save Money on Men’s Designer Clothing

Sometimes I have to keep myself in check whenever I’m browsing through clothes online. I’ve seen so many outrageous price tags over the years that they don’t even faze me now. This indifference comes from doing a ton of analysis on design, fabric, and branding, as well as business mentalities. At times, I can get carried away, end up looking at a $2000 designer suit, and think offhandedly to myself, I can totally afford that. (I cannot.) Nevertheless, while I may not get overwhelmed by sticker shock, I am always aware of how much a reasonable amount is to spend on something and how much I myself can afford, so I usually end up talking myself out of paying the advertised price if I don’t abandon the thought of ownership altogether. Because I’m keenly aware of what things are actually worth, I have figured out ways to avoid spending full retail on most designer clothing.

There’s a mistaken impression a lot of people have that people who dress well have a ton of money to burn and/or spend a lot on expensive clothes. I’m here to tell you that, along with mainly buying mid-range labels, there are many ways to not spend a fortune while still dressing nice. Sometimes paying full price is unavoidable. For wardrobe essentials, you will likely have to bite the bullet and pay up if you want the best quality. There might also be a case in which a particular cardigan you’ve been coveting for 2 years is only available in your size on one site for full price. Barring these kinds of exclusions, if you are a savvy shopper, keep an open mind, and are willing to put in the extra work, you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on designer clothing.

Below are the steps I often take to save money on higher-quality luxury clothing.

1. Shop online

There’s no denying anymore that malls are dying. They and the brands that were built inside their once-hallowed walls have been in steady decline for a number of years, and there’s not much that can bring them back now that the internet is a thing. The fact is, there is so much more variety online that it’s not economically viable to schlep over to a mall on the off chance that a store might have something you’re looking for in your size. Moreover, those brands that populate most malls–Gap, Old Navy, H&M, Forever 21, Zara–are lower quality and usually not worth the prices they charge, even if they’re on clearance. Some deals can be found in person if you’re lucky and happen to be in the right place at the right time, but by and large, the best deals will be found online and you will be assured of getting your size if it’s available.

2. Join email lists

Not sure if you’ve heard, but email is back in vogue. Platforms like Gmail have made it so easy to curate your inbox so that you only receive emails you’re interested in (imagine that). Advertisers in particular have learned how to market their wares better for their clientele. Signing up for a label’s or retailer’s newsletters is now the best way to keep on top of any sales, coupon codes, or marketing campaigns they might be running. Some retailers, like Mr. Porter, give early access to sales through said newsletters, so if you have your eye on something, it’s easier to nab before it sells out while the price is reduced. And speaking of sales…

3. Keep an eye out for end-of-season sales

The fashion industry functions on a rotating basis. As such, many retailers try to sell off their out-of-season clothing semiannually with huge sales. This is the best time to stock up on the things you will need 6 months from then, when the weather turns. Mr. Porter and SSense, among others, notoriously only have sales during this period and the only way to know when it happens is to use tip number 3 and subscribe to their mailing lists. If I had been keeping an eye on my email a couple months ago, I could have saved $150 on the aforementioned cardigan from Wacko Maria. Alas, I missed the notification it was on sale and ended up paying full price because it sold out quickly. You win some, you lose some, but if you stay on top of your email list, you will come out ahead.

4. Do research

Say you have your eye on a specific sneaker. Instead of just looking in the obvious places like Footlocker or Zappos, where the prices may be inflated because many people think those are the only places shoes are sold, do a Google search for the specific brand, model, and color. Make a note of the retailers in the “Shopping” section of the search results. Not all retailers sell their merchandise for the same price, so be sure to compare them.

Next, scroll down to see all the other results listed on the page. Keep going for 3 or 4 more pages and you will begin seeing retailers you’ve never heard of. Some may have websites that look a little sketchy, so be cognizant of that. Don’t just buy something on a whim from a random site at 25% of retail–it is probably fake or they’re just going to steal your money. However, you can often luck out on websites for retailers that are going out of business and need to sell off their merchandise at clearance prices. This is how I saved around $50 on a pair of chinos from Saturdays NYC.

5. Keep an eye on the items you love

If you frequently scrutinize clothing selections, as I do, you will inevitably come across an item that you love and know would fit perfectly in your wardrobe. It’s not super expensive, but it’s just barely out of reach. I’ve given myself many tests in these situations. I will make sure it will go with the rest of my clothes. I will let it go for a week or so and if it’s still on my mind, or I don’t find anything better, I will resolve to purchase it. The way I see it is that it’s meant to be mine.

Whatever you do, give it time, sleep on it, but watch how it performs as far as how well it’s selling. If you keep an eye on it for a month or more and none of the sizes are selling out, chances are good that it will eventually go on sale. Many sites these days will tell you when there’s 1 or 2 more of a certain item, so make sure it doesn’t sell out in the size you want. This is where the email newsletters come in handy because once you find out the item is on sale, you can swoop in and claim it as yours for a reduced price. This is how I saved around $100 onmy cricket sweater from Kent & Curwen.

Even if you had to go ahead and buy something full price because it was the last one and you didn’t want to miss out, if a sale begins within the return period of that item, you can usually reach out to customer service to let them know and they will refund you the amount of money you would have saved had you bought it on sale. This is how I saved $108 on a shirt from AMI.

6. Know which sites to go to for sale clothing

This tip is for men who don’t have a specific brand in mind but just don’t want it to be low-end. If you don’t already know which labels are better quality, it can be easy for unknown brands to swindle you into buying their low-quality clothing. Tread carefully.

If you know what you’re doing, there are many sites that can serve you well. Farfetch’s sale section is wonderful for this. Simply click “Sale”, then refine the results by your size, preferred garment, preferred color, or any other pertinent information, and you should have a few pages to look through. That’s an easy $100 saved as long as you know which brands are good. Plus, there’s little danger of buying the wrong size because they even do returns on sale merchandise.

Another site that works well is Yoox. Unlike Farfetch, which is more like a middle-man between retailers/brands and the customer, Yoox is sort of like an uncurated Mr. Porter (an apt description because they are both branches of the same company, YOOX Net-a-Porter Group). They also have a permanent sale section which has plenty of great deals if you’re not extremely picky. Just refine the selection of goods down to what you’re generally looking for and you’re good to shop.

Lyst is a little different from the other two I’ve mentioned here because it is basically just a powerful search engine made to search for clothes. This site might be a good tool for keeping an eye on specific items like I mentioned in number 5, but I’ve never used for that so I can’t say for sure. What you can do instead is peruse the sale section the same as the others. Unfortunately, you can’t refine the results as much, so you really have to be flexible or be looking for a generic item, like a blue dress shirt. However, the great thing about Lyst is that you can see many different retailers and their prices on similar items, including those on sale, so it’s easy to compare.

If you are unsure about a certain brand, a quick Google search should tell you what you want to know. Researching different brands can also expand your knowledge base and clue you in on newer, emerging designers or budget labels that use higher-quality materials.

7. Don’t buy things just because they’re on sale

This is my mantra for buying anything, not just clothes: if the only reason you’re buying something is because the price is reduced, you are not actually saving money, you’re being swindled into buying something you don’t want. Being convinced that you need something simply because the price is low can lead to wasteful overspending or buying things that will end up gathering dust in a closet. Then, you have to figure out how to donate or sell it because it’s just taking up space.

Before you even start shopping, establish a list of things you want/need either in your head or on a spreadsheet. Keep them in mind as you go through sale sections and collections from labels. This will help keep you from getting carried away in the sale sections.

8. Shop consignment

This is for the fashion die-hards. You may get mixed results, but there are absolutely plenty of deals to be had. eBay is still a great place to go, but can be hit-and-miss. Grailed and StockX are also amazing repositories to explore if you have an open mind. TheRealReal is also at your disposal, though I don’t have much experience with it as their offerings for men aren’t stellar.

This is the one area I would encourage shopping in person if you can, especially if you’re in a fashionable city like New York or LA. In big cities, there is a lot more disposable income, so affluent people are more willing to part with their expensive clothes. Here in DC, there’s a consignment shop called Buffalo Exchange where I picked up a polo from Givenchy for around $30. I’m not sure what the original retail price was, but it was easily 20 times what I paid. Again, a little flexibility, patience, and research can pay off big.

9. Buy less, buy quality

Generally, the rule is that the higher price you pay for clothing, the better quality it is and the longer it will last. The sweaters are warmer and don’t pill as much. The T-shirts are softer and more durable. The shoes don’t fall apart after a year. My experience is designer brands almost always fit better as well. Of course, the trade-off is that the upfront cost is higher, but ideally you will end up with garments that will be more satisfying and cost less over the long-term because you won’t need to replace them anytime soon. Instead of paying $50 for 5 T-shirts that last a year, spend the same amount on 1 T-shirt that lasts 10 years.

Do you have any methods you follow to save on designer clothing? Share below in the comments!

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Stuff I’m Digging This Week

Camiel Fortgens Popover

Mr. Fortgens is relatively new to the fashion scene, having only begun designing in 2014. Taking inspiration from his dyslexia, he builds his collections upon rethinking how garments work, constructing them in a way that makes sense to him. His clothes are quite inspired, but this shirt is especially so.

The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America

Let’s face it, birdwatching is for the birds. When has a bird ever done anything for you? The author of this book understands that birds can be jerks, thinking that they’re better than you. But seriously, if you like avians and/or have a sense of humor about you, you should pre-order this book.

Sage de Crêt Seersucker Trousers

Summer will be here soon and it’ll be time for lighter clothing. Enter seersucker. But this isn’t your usual boring striped seersucker from yesteryear. Sage de Crêt has created these trousers with a much more versatile plaid pattern which will see you through the warm months in style.

Ami Long Windbreaker

And here I thought coat season was over. Ami is here to prove otherwise. Not only will a long windbreaker like this elongate your frame, making you look taller, it’ll also help protect you from sudden showers. Or, you know, wind.

JAXA x Toyota Lunar Rover

Toyota is officially getting into the reinvigorated space race with their new agreement with JAXA. While this may not sound like a big deal, the truth is that it is much more difficult to make a case for space exploration if there’s no potential profit for companies. Now that automobile companies are involved, humanity might get more serious about it.

Scotch & Soda Button-up Polo

Hawaiian themes are everywhere right now, but that alone isn’t what I love about this polo. What strikes me is that this polo looks like something Amiri would design. You know, the brand that perfected the skinny jean. So basically what you get with this shirt is not only something that looks stylish but also looks five times the price.

Balenciaga Leather Tote

Omg. A yellow leather bag with kittens on it? Fuck everything else, I want this!

Google Stadia

So Google recently had a press release that consisted of the announcement of the company’s push into the game industry. They didn’t have much to say about Stadia except that it wouldn’t require a box like a PS4, just a suitably robust internet connection. With that, one can stream 4K games to any screen just as they would Netflix. There’s no doubt that this is the direction the industry is headed anyway, but what remains to be seen is whether the tech giant can deliver on its promises where other game companies have so far made no headway. Hopefully it is more successful than Google Glass.

LEGO Steamboat Willie Set

I normally don’t dig toys, but having grown up playing with LEGOs, I have a soft spot for them. In honor of the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse’s screen debut, the company made this detailed set. It’s feasible that a care-free adult could even display this on a bookshelf in his home right next to his birdwatching books.

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Shopping the DWR Sale

Design Within Reach is not necessarily known for being inexpensive, but in the housewares industry, just like most every other industry, you get what you pay for. That sometimes-hefty pricetag pays for top-tier quality paired with customer service that is second to none. Today, DWR is basically the equivalent of the fashion industry’s Mr. Porter, a meticulously curated collection of modern furnishings. And just like Mr. Porter, they put most of their pieces in context so you can get an idea of how to style them in your own home.

Right now, DWR is running their semiannual sale to take advantage of the coming of spring and everyone’s desperation to shake off their seasonal affective disorder symptoms. This sale is excellent because if you’re considering the purchase of one of their expensive sofas anyway, it could save you $1000. At the same time, other pieces that are normally a decent price are even cheaper now, so if you were waiting to pick them up, now is the time to strike. These are just a few of the pieces I like that are on sale.

Story Bookcase

I’ve always loved the look of this bookcase because of how simple it is. Instead of being some wood-framed monstrosity that you have to somehow fit into a room, the look of this one is effectively a large stack of books that you can sit anywhere. You can even twist the shelves around to different angles and put knick-knacks on them.

KnifeForkSpoon Flatware

As a kid, my family had a bazillion different mismatched designs in the silverware drawer. While that’s kind of kitschy and rustic, there’s a certain comfort in giving all your dinner guests the same uniform flatware.

Chilewich Bouclé Placemats

While I used to think there was no real point to placemats besides making the table look pretty, I’ve come to learn that they can help make cleanup much easier. They catch all the crumbs and spatters, then you can simply throw them in the clothes washer.

Teak Bathroom Mat

I love the look of teak in a bathroom. It’s so warm and inviting. The wood is great because it requires virtually no maintenance and eventually develops a silvery patina, lending a more rustic feel to the room.

Finesse Glassware

For those who don’t know (and don’t feel bad because I didn’t either before I researched) crystal is preferred over glass in drinkware because it is stronger and thus can be made thinner without compromising durability. I can personally vouch for these glasses and say that they are the best I’ve ever owned, great for everyday use and dishwasher safe. Whereas many others have broken over time, these have yet to break once.

Dusen Dusen Towels

While I do plan to one day convert my entire collection of terry cloth towels to foutas, I might keep these on hand for guests because of how fun and colorful they are yet simultaneously modern.

Flight Recliner

It’s the chair that inspired my loyalty to DWR, but today they have so many more choices available than back then. What’s more, EVERY combination you can think of is on sale, not just a select few. So go hog wild and save a few hundred bucks.

Mondrian Mirror

Every adult person must have at least one full-body mirror somewhere in their house so that they know whether their outfit looks like a pile of crap or not. Even if you don’t really care about that, having one in a room can also make a small one look bigger. Two birds with one stone. Plus the black frame looks cool.

Model 2097 30 Chandelier

Now that is a bad ass chandelier.

Nelson Ball Clock

This clock is so cool! It can easily make a cold, neutral palette room more warm and inviting.

Sheepskin Throw

Shiny furniture (e.g., chrome and leather) tend to be a little standoffish in a living room. Simply throwing a textured piece like sheepskin will make the space more spontaneous, less chilly.

Line Media Console

This is another piece I can vouch for. Though it is short, it features a surprising amount of storage, all of which is well-concealed by the console’s design. It is sturdy and probably the best furniture we have in the living room, and that’s saying something

Raleigh Bed

I think the effect of mixing different materials and textiles tastefully into one piece is one of the neatest things in design. This bed does that beautifully without compromising its modernity or its headboard, both of which are essential.

Trove Rectangular Deep Box with Lid

At its core, modern design has always been about utility, and this box is nothing if not utilitarian. It gives you both a place to squirrel small objects away and a bonus valet tray. It might just be the most useful item on this list.

Stuff I’m Digging This Week

Palace on Farfetch

For the uninitiated, Palace is basically the British response to Supreme, the American skateboarding shop and clothing brand. As skateboarding and skaterwear became more popular across the pond, they needed their own brands that exhumed their culture better. Some argue their clothes are better made, but they are certainly less mainstream and more understated. Unbeknownst to me, the label is now available on Farfetch. I might be rocking the clothes soon.

Landlord T-Shirt

Neon clothing has reached massive popularity over the last couple years along with the resurgence of the 90s. Truth be told, the colors look quite good against an otherwise neutral outfit. If you don’t want to go all in on the trend, a simple tee is easy enough to pull off.

Premiata Shoes

I love learning the rich history of brands I’ve never heard of. Premiata didn’t begin making shoes as a brand until 1991, but the family traditions that birthed the company go back two generations to 1885. While the shoes have a more streetwear look, you can bet that they not only fit like a dream but are also built to last.

August Doorbell Camera

I’ve been very slow at buying into the whole smart home concept, but my eyes were opened to the concept’s utility when I bought an August Smart Lock. Now I just walk in the door instead of digging my key out and fiddling with the keyhole at night. This doorbell might be next on my list. You can get an alert on your phone when someone rings it, see them via the camera, then (if you have the Smart Lock) unlock the door for them. We are living in the future. Or Back to the Future.

Gucci Plaid Trousers

I told you I love plaid pants! Gucci seems to make all the best ones (even if they do cost a mortgage payment).

Armand Diradourian Eye Mask

One piece of wisdom my husband has imparted upon me is that an eye mask and some ear plugs can promote great sleep, especially in a city. I’ll be damned if I’m going to sleep with a polyester piece of junk on my face all night. Sign me up for cashmere and silk!

JW Anderson Sweater

JW Anderson is well-known for mixing traditional British wear with modern design. This is very evident in this unisex sweater which only comes in one size. It also plays on the popular art print I’ve mentioned before.

Needles T-Shirt

I love Needles and their Japanese-infused take on American streetwear. They are also one of the few labels that I feel can make re-constructed clothing look good. Their t-shirts go on my must-buy list every year (though I have yet to pull the trigger).

9 Alternatives to Amazon That Will Save You Money

When I first became an Amazon Prime member several years ago, I actually joined for Prime Video. However, as I started using the site to buy food and general merchandise, my eyes were opened to all the things I could buy that I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. Plus, free 2-day shipping! If there was a problem with my order, everything was usually returnable with no questions asked. Customer service was top notch, which is essential for any online business. I was an Amazon loyalist for a long time, spending sometimes hundreds a month on food and everyday items.

However, the company has grown so much since I became a member that many important aspects of their business have degraded, and I’ve about had it with them. Using the site to look for a product is now a tedious process unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Reviews and vendors are often fake. Prices are usually inflated to offset the price of the free shipping and any 3rd parties involved. There’s been no move from the company to make the Prime Video or Amazon website interfaces more streamlined or user-friendly. The last straw is that it’s often a gamble whether packages show up in 2 days or 5, sometimes even more. I don’t mind waiting longer for things, but when I pay for a service, I expect to receive it.

Lucky for us consumers, there are many more retailers available today that will help people save money on the high-quality products they are used to. While none are quite as expansive as Amazon on their own, the right combination could save you hundreds or thousands per year on everything from grass-fed ghee to gaming computers. As a last resort, if you just want the free shipping, you can simply buy what you need on Amazon as long as you hit the $25 threshold. But if you don’t like spending around 2x the normal cost on the things you buy on a regular basis, give some of these vendors a look.

Thrive Market has especially homed in on the food side, selling quality products categorized by diet, not just vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free but paleo, Whole30, and keto as well. Their focus on high quality extends to the rest of their offerings as well. Products tend to cost about half of what they do on Amazon, so there’s potential for big savings. The big catches that after the 30-day trial the membership fee is $59.95 and shipping is only free above $49. Still, if you stock up, this shouldn’t be an issue.

As opposed to Thrive, Vitacost tends to focus more on general merchandise and supplements with the same mentality about quality materials and ingredients. They don’t have as much food but they carry a lot of the necessities. Similar to Thrive, their prices are often around 50% of what you’ll find on Amazon, and shipping is free above $49. However, they stay competitive by offering their service with no membership fee, which definitely puts the company in the run for consideration.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Public Goods’ product line has grown, and I’ve been very impressed with their business model. All products and packaging are designed to have as little impact on the environment as possible without compromising quality. The company ships direct to consumer, allowing items to be sold for pocket change. After a 30-day free trial, annual membership is $59, but a lifetime membership is only $99–less than the price of an annual Amazon subscription. Shipping is also free over $25.

Jet is roughly the same concept of Amazon except many of the details important to a great shopping experience weren’t overlooked. Offerings look to be curated and categorized properly. As opposed to Amazon’s habit of overstuffing the home page, Jet’s looks clean and considered. 2-5 day shipping is free for orders over $35 and returns are free as well. What’s more, there are no membership fees. The only thing to be aware of is that Jet is now owned by Walmart. If that doesn’t bother you, have at it.

If you’re specifically trying to avoid Amazon, Newegg is your best bet when it comes to buying brand-name electronics. They sell new, refurbished, and open-box merchandise all at competitive prices. Though the average Joe likely won’t need it, the company does have a Premier membership program that includes free expedited shipping on all orders. The few times I’ve shopped on the site, shipping has been free, so there’s likely a threshold to meet, but they don’t state what it is. So…shrug emoji?

I was just as surprised as you to find out that eBay doesn’t only sell used goods via auctions, they also sell brand new items as well, sometimes with a substantial discount. Many of the listings offer free shipping and returns as well. Case in point, I recently purchased a top-of-the-line TV on the site for almost $1000 off the price offered anywhere else. While the first shipment arrived damaged, it was replaced days later at no cost to me.

I know what you’re thinking. They don’t call the store “Whole Paycheck” for nothing. Plus, the organic market was recently acquired by Amazon, so they’re just as bad, right? Not necessarily. Though I know walking to the store isn’t as convenient as shopping online, I’ve found many of the things I buy, such as Siete tortilla chips and Jilz crackers, are a fraction of their cost on Amazon. We all could use the extra steps anyway.

I don’t need to sing the praises of Trader Joe’s any more than everyone else has, but Aldi is just as good with a very similar business model, even though they’re only sibling companies. Due to their minimal overhead and advertising, both can manage to offer high-quality products at a low-cost if you’re lucky enough to have a store in your area. Products often include minimally processed foods with sustainable packaging.

Though I personally have never shopped at Costco, I have become more aware of their offerings through some of my Facebook groups. The wholesaler does offer some healthier and organic foods, but it might not be the best option for people with limited storage. Just be sure to tread lightly with this one and do some research before purchasing a year’s membership.

My recommendation, if you’re looking to compare prices, is to put together a spreadsheet starting with all costs incurred from Amazon over the last year or two. Compare all purchases and fees paid to the company to what you would pay for similar offerings from other services and retailers, then calculate the difference between the totals. It’s a lot of work and might take several days to complete, but with the right mixing and matching of the different offerings, plus buying directly from the manufacturer if necessary, the savings could be substantial and all that work will pay for itself. In this era when companies are willing to take advantage of your faith in them and turn that faith into profits, it pays to micromanage and be smart about where you spend your money.

Stuff I’m Digging This Week

OpkixOne Camera

A couple years ago I went to an amazing Tame Impala concert. I was so torn between wanting to experience it first hand and wanting to record it for the world (and myself) to see later. I did get a couple clips, but it’s just not the same. Opkix has developed a camera so small that it attaches to your glasses so you don’t have to choose anymore

Rowing Blazers End-of-the-Day Rugby

As I’ve said before, remixed prep is in and Rowing Blazers has got you covered. Taking inspiration from the rugby tradition of sewing opponents’ shirts onto one’s own, the brand makes these from scraps left over from the more normal rugbies they sell. Each is one of a kind, so you will be sure to stand out for all the right reasons.

CMMN SWDN Sweatshirt

Yup, another basic item. But there are several details that set it apart from your usual sweatshirt. The dimensions on the sleeves and body have been reworked and the shoulders have been dropped to give the piece a modern but comfy look and feel.

MENU LED Pendant Light

Aside from simply hanging a lightbulb from a cord, which you can absolutely do, lighting doesn’t get more minimalist than this pendant. It will add a modern vibe to a space without weighing it down.

Story Mfg. Velvet Sweatshirt

Sometimes a brand comes into your purview that you are surprised you’ve never heard of before. Story Mfg. is one of those cases. Between their on-trend design, commitment to ethical production, and relatively reasonable pricing strategy, the British label is now on my list of labels to keep an eye on. This shirt in particular is a must-have.

Public Goods

I’ve had Public Goods on my radar for quite a while. They sell sustainable, inexpensive, basic items with no additives that you would normally purchase at the grocery store. There is a yearly fee that comes out to nearly $5 a month, but the first month is free as well as shipping for orders over $25. I might make this the year I finally try them out.

Our Legacy Track Pants

Track pants are everywhere and if you want to get a pair but are unsure of what color or style would work best with your wardrobe, look no further than this simple pair from the Swedish brand that does simple the best. (White Cuban boots optional but recommended.)

Calvin Klein 205W39NYC Jaws T-shirt

This t-shirt is the signature piece from Raf Simons’ final collection at Calvin Klein. Now is your chance to own one before it sells out and shows up on Grailed for twice the price. Wear it with jeans, a suit, or go all in with a pair of neoprene pants.

Stuff I’m Digging This Week

Amiri Tie Dye T-Shirt

Mike Amiri is well-known at this point for modernizing rocker chic, producing perfectly designed skinny jeans and motorcycle jackets along the way. This season, he is branching out into more colorful and adventurous attire, such as this tee, which still encapsulate his label’s chill LA mentality.

Tainaron Blue Tower Retreat

You know why people don’t live in castles anymore? They’re fucking drafty. Amenities suck. They may not have privies. But what if you could stay in something like a castle without all those problems? And what if it has an amazing view? The Blue Tower has certainly won me over as a possible getaway.

Just Don Track Pants

This brand is a new one for me. A quick search reveals that they mainly sell sports apparel and shoe collabs on their own site, but on other sites, like Moda Operandi and FORWARD, they are currently selling on-point upscale streetwear to the masses. Maybe this is a sign designer Don C is moving to a more mainstream fashion business model.

Ami Sweater Vest

I know! It’s Ami yet again! But this vest is too amazing not to share! I have a fascination with argyle vests (and any vests, really) because even though they give off grandpa vibes, they can easily be mixed into modern outfits to make them more fun and adventurous. This one is even cooler because it’s not actually argyle. They just turned the diamond to make it into a plaid. FUN!! (ok, I’ll stop…)

Rick Owens Pouch

Men new to fashion have a difficult time accepting that bags are a part of everyday life. And I’m not talking about just backpacks, though upscale versions are adequate. I’m talking crossbody bags, messenger bags, briefcases, hold-alls, etc. But now, you can have a bag that’s not a bag, it’s a stuffed animal! How great is that!?

SOE Drawstring Shorts

SOE is another label that’s new to me this week, this one coming out of Japan. Designer Soichiro Ito has taken inspiration this season from artwork, which has recently become a sizeable trend in menswear. This piece also plays on the coral color I’ve been digging lately.

NOAH Drops

It’s no secret I love NOAH (I have their sticker on my laptop), but this season, I’ve been astounded with how many great things they’ve released. I couldn’t just pick out one piece to highlight, so I figured I’d mention my favorite pieces as of late: a striped popover drawstring shirt, a terrycloth sailboat sweatpant, a floral rugby shirt, and a zip-up short-sleeve drawstring shirt.

Oh My God Shoes

Another collection here because I couldn’t pick just one shoe that I loved more than the others. I’m normally not so enthusiastic about shoes, but each of these is pretty amazing in its own right and might be worth a small investment. From the left we have: Palm Angels Recovery sneakers, Rick Owens x Birkenstock Arizona sandals, Converse x Carhartt WIP Chuck Taylor All-Star 70s hi-tops, and Nike ISPA React Low WR sneakers.

All-Clad Cookware

All-Clad pans are generally considered to be the best you can buy. Unfortunately, they typically come with a considerable price tag. Right now, on Williams-Sonoma of all places, the brand is part of a larger sale that boasts up to 65% off their cookware. Now is the best time to pick up the best cookware money can buy for less than half the normal price. Get to it!

Natural Remedies Will Help Reduce Downtime When Sick

Just a disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and I suggest that if you feel you are seriously ill, you seek medical assistance. However, since I seem to get minor illnesses frequently and recover from them quickly, I felt perhaps I would share my knowledge on the subject and how I treat small things like colds and sinus infections.

It’s a fact that constantly bombarding our systems with different medications and antibiotics only end up making stronger bacteria and can wreak havoc on the delicate systems in our bodies from a chemical and hormonal standpoint. As healthcare advances, the things that make us sick seem to do the same.

It’s important to remember that getting sick is our body’s natural method of fighting off foreign pathogens. Our immune systems, as long as they are functioning properly, are well-oiled machines with each symptom, while simultaneously being annoying and sometimes painful, serving a purpose. Therefore, I try to stave off illness as naturally as possible, not completely eliminating symptoms such as fever or coughing thereby not disrupting my body’s natural processes.

Here’s my process:

  • On Day 1, as soon as you start feeling ill, begin taking 6 Wellness Formula and 2 oil of oregano capsules every 4 hours. While the former is a natural supplement that supercharges the immune system, the latter is a natural antibiotic. Yeah, I know it’s a lot to take, but trust me. Continue taking your other regular supplements such as probiotics, multivitamin, and omega-3 to keep energy up.
  • Drink as much water as possible to help flush your system and hydrate.
  • Consume primarily veggies, broth, and lean meat with healthy fats mixed in when hungry. Homemade chicken soup is ideal and can be made beforehand so you have it on-hand. Try to avoid grains as they can promote inflammation, making you achier. Try to avoid dairy as it can promote mucus production. In general, you don’t really need as many calories when you’re sick as long as you stay in bed because your body will be focused more on fighting infection than digesting food.
  • Stay in bed. Your body needs rest and sleep in order to heal. I admit I’m lucky I have a job where I can call out whenever needed, but it is essential that you take care of yourself when sick, at least for a day. Plus, no one wants you to go into the workplace and infect them with what you caught. If you have the option, take it. Your coworkers will survive without you.
  • Don’t take drugs if you can help it, including over-the-counter. OTC medications disrupt your body’s natural processes and don’t actually make you better. They simply make you feel better which can then lead to making your illness worse because you aren’t aware of it. The human body functions better, including fighting infection, at a higher temperature (i.e., fever), so taking something to lower it is actually counterproductive.
  • Be sure to stay stocked up on the strongest ginger tea you can find. This is going to be your main tool toward making you feel better. You can make your own in a pinch with a 1:3 combination of ground ginger and honey, but it’s just not as good. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, so just drink some whenever you start to feel crappy or nauseous and the symptoms should mostly abate.
  • If you are having sinus issues–runny or stuffy nose, post nasal drip, sore throat, sneezing–use a neti pot to relieve symptoms and heal the inflammation.

When I concentrate on my health and nurse myself, I can sometimes be completely recovered within 48 hours. I usually avert most symptoms while I heal, except the general malaise, as long as I stay in bed and don’t waiver from my methods. Keep all this in mind the next time you feel a bug coming on.

Stuff I’m Digging This Week

Tesla Dog Mode

My husband has become something of an ambassador for Tesla since he bought his Model 3. Now he can gloat about one more amazing feature that seeks to save puppers from overheating and owners from having their windows smashed in by well-meaning citizens. Next step: acquire dog.

Steve’s PaleoGoods Kimchi

Probiotics are super good for you and the microbiome in your gut. One of the best ways to get them inside you is by eating fermented foods like kimchi. You can throw it on anything to give it a little Korean kick and rest easy knowing you’re taking care of your body.

Ami Charcoal Blazer

You might get the feeling by now that the only clothes I dig are hyperstylized designer pieces, but in truth, I like the more wearable designs, too. I especially love when designers take classic articles like this and tweak some of the details to make them more modern. Thus, you can wear them in the office and out on the street.

Acne Studios Crossbody Bag

One of the things I love about Acne Studios is that a lot of their offerings are unisex (a lot of labels are like that today, as a matter of fact). Adding to that versatility, the shoulder strap of this bag is also removable, so you can simply carry it around by the handle if you wish.

Knoll Side Chair

DWR has been instrumental in bringing professionally-designed housewares to everyday consumers. Right now, they are running a sale on Knoll furnishings and this is one of my favorites. It’s simple so it coordinates with the rest of your decor regardless of style but also complex so it will surely be a conversation piece.

Visvim Baseball Shirt

There’s a cold, hard truth I have to share: you will probably never be able to afford a wardrobe full of visvim. Unless of course you are John Mayer. Still, it’s good to have goals and inspiration. Plus, if you find a piece that’s just so perfectly designed that it’s timeless, like this shirt, it might be worth a splurge.

Calvin Klein Jeans Est.1987 T-Shirt

One of the labels inspired by Raf Simons’ tenure at Calvin Klein has created a tee that feels 5 steps above the staid, plain-white variety. It will instantly elevate whatever you wear it with.

The Gigi Drawstring Pants

Summer will be here before you know it, so it would behoove you to stock up on clothes that will help you stay cool in the heat. This pair is 100% linen and easygoing enough to wear on the couch, the beach, and anywhere in between.