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Editors’ Picks

Adventurous Watches, Linen Sheets, and the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Plus, a designer chair and transformative homeware: These are the items and treatments our editors loved this month.



Pop the Cork

Luxury accessories for the serious wine lover in your life.


A Year in Menswear

The styles you couldn’t get enough of in 2023.


Travel Essentials to Elevate Your Next Journey

From a classic suitcase to the perfect toiletry case, these bags, pouches, and...

THIS MAY BE a strange thing to admit in an article compiling our editors’ shopping recommendations, but I don’t particularly like shopping. There’s just too much to choose from, and having to make yet another decision makes what should be fun exhausting. Psychologists have studied the phenomenon of “choice paralysis” and found that having a plethora of options — a thing that seems appealing at first glance — actually makes us unhappy. This is why I so appreciate my fellow editors’ recommendations. They think carefully about sourcing, quality, and style, freeing up some mental space that I’ll probably squander in some other meaningless way. Some of the items here are more ephemeral — tea, fragrances — while others are made to last a lifetime. None are ordinary. In a baffling sea of options, it’s nice to have a savvy guide. — Laura Smith


Editors’ Picks

What We’re Wearing to Travel in Style This Fall

Suits, jackets, hikers, and insulation for the great outdoors. Plus, a home chef’s...


In Praise of the Venetian Slipper

As the “furlane” experiences a renaissance, our editor reflects on her nostalgic...

Editors’ Picks

The Perfect Sneakers, an Apartment-Friendly Chair, and Audio Systems for Grown-Ups

Plus, amazing skincare, go-to vintage, and a heavenly new fragrance.

Visions of Color

Kirk & Kirk Glasses

I used to choose unassuming eyewear until I discovered Kirk & Kirk, and I’m enjoying the pop of color. I’ve wanted to rethink this aspect of my style since watching The Fabelmans, where Michelle Williams, who plays Mitzi, sports red, cat-eye glasses, and looks, as she always does, fabulous. Kirk & Kirk has created their own version of acrylic, which I find not only comfortable but durable, allowing me to channel my inner Mitzi. While some of the colorways feel modern and loud, the frames are classic in shape, so I’m not straying too far from my comfort zone. — Hailey Andresen

Remarkable Seating Revisited

The Fritz Hansen Ant Chair

I am currently engaged in a game called “How many chairs, lamps, and plants can you fit into your not-very-big Brooklyn apartment,” and by the look of my living room, I am winning. So, even though the last thing on earth I technically need is another chair, when the opportunity arrived to pre-order a newly reissued Ant chair from Fritz Hansen, I couldn’t resist. The venerable company has been making sublimely designed furniture for over 150 years, and the Ant chair is one of their most beloved and versatile pieces. Designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1952, it’s constructed from nine layers of pressure-molded veneer, and, despite its demure profile, it’s remarkably strong. The newly revamped version adds a thin layer of upholstery to the classic wood design, allowing for a wide array of customizable options. I opted for a yellow chair with contrasting upholstery, which adds a touch of whimsy to my home office while still looking appropriately stately. — T. Cole Rachel

An Unexpected Release

Facial rejuvenation

Recently I ran into a friend who is 10 years my senior. It was my birthday, and when he asked how old I was, he seemed surprised at my answer, saying, “I thought you were my age!” I try not to fixate too much on aging and to facilitate positive conversations around body image, but this encounter had me flip-flopping between indignance and horror. (Of course, the friend is now dead to me.) It was in this mood that I arrived at Carine Camara’s acupuncture clinic for a facial rejuvenation treatment. It’s a two-hour acupuncture session paired with LED light therapy, facial cupping (a treatment where small suction cups are applied to your skin to stimulate the muscles), and gua sha (a traditional Chinese medicine practice where your face is massaged with oils and a jade stone), all of which are intended to increase collagen production and reduce fine lines and puffiness. Camara is enviably serene and has a gentle touch. After all the needles were in place, she put the LED mask on my face and said, “OK, I’ll be back in half an hour.” I panicked. What would I do for half an hour? Where was my phone? But then something magical happened: nothing. I did nothing, and after about 20 minutes, something physical and emotional that was clenched inside of me seemed to let go. I left Camara’s office nearly levitating. I had forgotten to tell my partner where I was going, and when I got home, he remarked, unprovoked, that I was glowing. My skin was clear and dewy, I looked like the best-slept version of myself, but more importantly, I felt great. — Laura

Adventure Time

Victorinox Maverick diver watches

Especially in the summer months, when my sense of adventure is elevated, I like a wristwatch that can hold up during outdoor activity, whether that involves light swimming in a hotel pool or rough BMX biking on a Montana mountain. The Victorinox Maverick Chrono Black Edition is a diving-inspired watch that I’ve been happily beating up in oceans, on trails, and while traveling all over the world, a sturdy companion for wild days that’s survived everything I’ve thrown at it. Made by the company famous for creating Swiss Army Knives, the watch has a kind of buff Boy Scout feel to it, and, rendered in sleek all-black, it’s something I feel comfortable wearing both in campgrounds and on city streets. — Alex Frank

Tea With a Conscience

Alaya Tea

I always stock up on tea from my favorite travel destinations to transport me back. The mint variety I bought in Morocco reminds me of my incredible riad (a traditional Moroccan house with a courtyard) where I enjoyed afternoon tea service. The organic matcha I discovered in Japan reminds me to slow down and appreciate the art of tea preparation, and I now look forward to my daily matcha session. When my local-tea canisters are nearly empty, I seek out teas that don’t require jumping on a plane. I look for similar flavor profiles and high-quality ingredients. Alaya Tea, a sustainable and ethical company founded by Esha Chhabra and Smita Satiani, puts ingredients and people at the forefront of their business. Sourcing from organic and biodynamic farms throughout India, Alaya only works with estates that value their tea pickers and the earth. Their loose-leaf assortment comes in plastic-free packaging in flavors including lemongrass and ginger, Darjeeling green tea, and sweet fennel and mint and is served at some of the best coffee shops around the Bay Area. — Elissa Polls


It was love at first brew. From start to finish, the process is a delight, complete with charming sounds.

The Perfect Cup

Balmuda The Brew

About a month ago, I woke up alone in my home for the first time in nearly a decade. My husband, a musician, was away recording his next album, and my kids were at their grandma’s. This, in itself, would have felt surreal, but to top it off, I also had Balmuda’s latest release, The Brew, essentially an electric Chemex. It’s like a pour-over, but there’s no waiting for a kettle to boil, and none of the manual pouring and waiting, yet the same smooth coffee. The machine measures the necessary steep time and even knows just how much hot water to release and when. Suffice it to say that it was love at first brew. From start to finish, the process is a delight, complete with charming sounds. Some may say the carafe is a touch too small, but I disagree. Rather than sipping from a large pot of coffee all morning, my husband and I have a fresh carafe first thing in the morning, and another just before beginning our workdays. — Hailey

Transportive Tableware

Città placemats

Lately, I’ve been drawn to all things related to New Zealand. I recently learned that the country is on its way to becoming a dark-sky nation, an effort that involves reducing light pollution and protecting wild spaces to make a haven for stargazing. But alas, I have no plans to travel to New Zealand anytime soon. I do, however, have gorgeous handwoven placemats from a family-owned, woman-run New Zealand company, Città (pronounced “chee-tah”). Made from seagrass, my placemats conjure the rugged New Zealand terrain that is missing from my life. I use them both in- and outdoors, and with their classic, natural look, I like to think that I’ll have them forever. The company has an admirable sustainability pledge and various environmental certifications, and they’ve made the laudable decision not to offer seasonal products in favor of curating items that last a lifetime. — Laura

An Excellent Night’s Sleep

Bella Notte

As high summer creeps in, the search for cooling sleepwear begins. I’ve long been in the market for linen sheets but was always wary of a perceived scratchiness. But I tried a set from Bella Notte, and I’m hooked. I love the way these sheets feel, cool and crisp. They almost seem to hover slightly above my skin. They’ve also softened with time, never losing their rustly deliciousness but relaxing ever so slightly, wash after wash. I have the duvet cover too, and, paired, they leave my bedroom looking like a shot from some chic farmhouse magazine spread. — Sophie Mancini

Clean Scents

Leland Francis Pansy fragrance

Describing itself as “a gender-neutral, plant-based luxury skincare and fragrance concept with a mission to sustainability” featuring “products that are good for the body and the earth,” Leland Francis has become a go-to for friends of mine who love clean skincare. While I have dabbled with the brand’s excellent serums and face oils, their new fragrance, Pansy, is the first of their scents I’ve spent time with, and it has become my new obsession. It’s vegan and cruelty-free, with no phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, and synthetic additives. Not only do I wear it on the regular, I also burn the matching candle. Fruity and bright with undercurrents of patchouli and vetiver, it’s a perfectly unisex fragrance that never feels cloying or too heavy — just light, bright, and free. — Cole

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Our Contributors

Laura Smith Writer

Laura Smith is the deputy editor of Departures. Previously, she was the executive editor of California magazine and has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, the Atlantic, and many more. Her nonfiction book, The Art of Vanishing, was published by Viking in 2018.

T. Cole Rachel Editor-at-Large

T. Cole Rachel is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and teacher with over 20 years of experience working in print and digital media. He is currently an editor-at-large at Departures.

Hailey Andresen Writer

Hailey Andresen is the guides editor at Departures. A New York–based writer and editor, she founded the digital lifestyle publication Household Mag and has spent more than a decade in the hospitality industry.

Alex Frank Writer

Alex Frank is a contributing editor at Departures. Based in Manhattan, Frank previously worked at Vogue.com as deputy culture editor. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, GQ, Pitchfork, New York Magazine, Fantastic Man, and the Village Voice.

Elissa Polls Writer

Elissa Polls is the head of production for Departures. A producer who typically stays behind the scenes, she has worked with creatives from around the world, helping bring their ideas to life. Polls has over 15 years of production experience and lives in Berkeley, California.

Sophie Mancini Writer

Sophie Mancini is a New York based writer. Under the New York Times’ creative agency, she helped lead the relaunch of Departures Magazine, where she then went on to become the food editor. Her background spans editorial, brand, and books.

Jess Rotter Illustrator

Jess Rotter is a Los Angeles–based illustrator and artist. Rotter’s work has frequently featured in the Washington Post. Her clients range from Natalie Portman to Questlove.


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