The Perfect Sneakers, an Apartment-Friendly Chair, and Audio Systems for Grown-Ups
Plus, amazing skincare, go-to vintage, and a heavenly new fragrance.
From lightweight shorts to casually luxe sneakers, these signature staples will elevate your summer closet.
I AM TURNING old this spring, but, despite this reality, as a recent transplant to the most beautiful city in the world, I’m feeling pretty good — which is new for me.
This is perhaps a product of a dysfunctional personal emotional management system, and certainly a byproduct of ’70s-style parenting and ’80s suburban excess. The combination has left me in a state of chronic, low-grade discontent. But, as a full-time dad of three (and because I find that living in perpetual, cliched, Gen X angst is a bit dull), I’ve challenged the kids and myself to try and find the loveliness that exists in so many things. This is also, not coincidentally, what the science on happiness (and Aristotle) suggests: Happiness is not a feeling; it’s an action, a pursuit. So, with the cherry blossoms of spring in full bloom, the regular travel I am now getting to take part in around Europe, and the little Jacadi dresses I put my 6-year-old daughter in, that loveliness, and my happiness, is undeniable.
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That does not, however, preclude the need to shop for warmer weather and to dress a body that is potentially paler, hairier (how is that possible?), and fuller-figured than one might have hoped. Despite a punishing workout routine, the bread in Paris is no joke.
The answer? Keep layering. There’s no reason to forsake the magic of layering, particularly in the early, more unpredictable months of spring. Unlined jackets (like the chore coat below), along with long-sleeve henleys (like this Industry of All Nations) paired with a light cotton scarf (like this Hermes), should provide you with the sartorial cover you need before shedding the unsightly effects of winter.
The average height of men in the U.S. is 5-foot-9 (Denmark, alternatively, is 5-foot-11.5). While leg-lengthening surgery seems to be gaining in popularity, there’s not really much to be done to address our collective vertical shortcomings (mine included), other than wearing a shorter inseam, creating the illusion of a longer leg. Todd Snyder’s 5-inch Corduroy Weekend Short is a perfect means to achieve this end. To get the full benefit of wearing these, I would encourage you not to skip leg day, but if you do, keep in mind that good tailoring can offset bad habits.
I recently stumbled across Officine Générale while walking through Le Bon Marché in Paris. The clothes deftly traverse an aesthetically fine line between trendy and timeless, and feel more expensive than they are. You could wear this shirt all spring and summer long, equally well-suited to a walk through Luxembourg Gardens or drinks at Deux Chats in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg.
My obsession with Vollebak is evident and well-documented. It also might seem a bit of an anomaly, given my appetite for more traditional lines and silhouettes. Except it’s not. Vollebak has taken the basics (sweaters, jackets, jeans) and infused them with a sort of understated-NASA fashion, utility-cool that has just never been done before. I’m wearing a pair of these jeans right now as I write this, and while they’re painstakingly crafted utilizing raw Japanese selvedge denim on low-speed looms, then woven with aramid fibers (which are stronger than steel), and finally reinforced with Cordura panels in the knees and seat, they are, ultimately, workers’ pants. They’ll take at least two years to break in and will protect you in a 45 mph fall. Literally the only jeans you will ever need. Pro-tip: Pair it with the below unlined chore coat on cooler nights.
Let the chore coat do all the heavy lifting. The robust design of the French worker’s jacket is another perfect example of a hyper-traditional piece that will take you effortlessly through all Parisian pursuits, from protesting by day to a before-dinner apéro in a cafe at night. Pro-tip: The unstructured silhouette of these can be a little tricky. Buy big and have it tailored.
After digitally stumbling upon the Norwegian Rain site, I visited the shop here in Paris, where they fitted me for a coat that is, by far, the most sartorially sophisticated piece of clothing I own. The fit is exquisite and the aesthetic might be characterized as a cross between contemporary French and 1930s Japanese Imperial Officer. The super lightweight material ensures that this piece can potentially be worn year-round (especially if you live somewhere, like Paris, where it always rains).
These handcrafted sunglasses are designed to be worn while sipping Limoncello overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, or while driving an Alfa Romeo T33/2 along the Strada Statale 163 Amalfitana. A beautiful pair of sunglasses named after the most beautiful place in the world.
The closer. I’ve been a bit reluctant to include a watch in any of these features because watches are a thing, and they’re a thing I know very little about. That said, I own this watch, and I know this: It is both beautifully designed and bulletproof. My 6-year-old does that thing where she holds onto my hands, walks up my legs, and then, with the full weight of her 37-pound body, throws her legs back over her head, impossibly, horrifically, rotating her shoulders in order to stick the landing. There have been several occasions where she has hooked at least two fingers under my watch while performing this gruesomely elastic feat. The band held fast. As the official watch supplier to the French space program, the performance expectations are of the highest order. The watches are designed in Paris, then developed and ultimately assembled in Switzerland. It’s an understated and less-obvious watch to own, which, perhaps, means there are more elegant and exclusive options; however, I really appreciate the quiet restraint that ownership communicates.
Jeremy Malman is a part-time journalist and full-time dad based in Brooklyn. His writing explores topics including motorsports, design, fitness, farming, and fatherhood — in other words, some conceptually comical notion of modern masculinity. He also really enjoys traveling.
Ahonen & Lamberg is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Paris. Founded in 2006 by Finnish designers Anna Ahonen and Katariina Lamberg, the studio concentrates on art direction, creative consultancy, and graphic design.
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