Editors’ Picks

Fresh Flowers and the Greenest Menswear Money Can Buy

From communing with the Dutch masters to slipping into some chic island-inspired swimwear, here's a deep dive into all the things our editors loved this month.


Editors’ Picks

Eternal Flame

Beautifully designed and gorgeously scented, these candles will transform any space.


The Functional, Flexible Home Gym

A selection of next-level workout equipment that will make you not only feel...


Fresh Menswear for an Effortlessly Cool Spring and Summer

From lightweight shorts to casually luxe sneakers, these signature staples will...

I’VE NEVER BEEN particularly good at spring cleaning. If anything, the newly invigorating vibe of May means I’m twice as likely to hit the streets and acquire more great stuff instead of shedding it. Bored on a Saturday in New York City? It’s so blessedly beautiful out, why not go to the SoHo neighborhood to buy a brand-new bauble? That’s how New Yorkers enjoy good weather. Thankfully, at Departures, we’ve got the inside track on so many exciting things — from body soaps to bathing suits, from flowers to wristwatches — that even if I’m constantly accumulating, at least I know it’s the best of the best. Here, our editors share their favorite recent gets and a few more artistic, less outright consumerist activities if your wallet needs a break.
Alex Frank

Sustainably Minded


Ever since a friend talked me into doing a “sustainability audit” on my closet — a process by which you closely examine what you own, what you actually wear, and what those things are really made of — I’ve made a concerted effort to be more thoughtful about the clothes I buy and where, 100 years from now, said clothes might end up. This is why it was such a delight to discover HyperNatural. The sustainably minded clothing company uses 95% natural and biodegradable fibers in all of its garments and plastic-free packaging (including no polyester product tags or care labels in the clothes). They also employ fair and ethical production standards, dye all of their fabrics without harsh chemicals or heavy metals, and run their factories with closed-loop recycled water systems. The company partners with 1% for the Planet — a global organization whose members contribute 1% of their revenue to environmental causes. My spring go-to from HyperNatural is the El Capitán polo, a shirt made from a butter-soft cotton blend that includes jade stone and crab shells. It’s not only incredibly comfortable, the fabric is also cooling, odor-absorbing, and good for your skin. Clothes that make you look good and allow you to feel good about how you’re spending your money? A win-win, all around. — T. Cole Rachel


Editors’ Picks

Our Favorite Travel Essentials of the Year

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Fresh Menswear for an Effortlessly Cool Spring and Summer

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Watches See the Green Light

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Time for Play

Polo Ralph Lauren Watches

Watchmaking is a serious business, which is why it’s always special when a brand comes at it from a playful point of view. Polo Ralph Lauren’s collection of watches that feature the iconic Polo Bear adds a bit of sweetness and style to your wrist. The bear is featured in a number of different settings — skiing on a black dial or playing baseball on a white, for example — but two in particular really stand out: there’s the Ralph & Ricky, a romantic ode to the brand’s famous founder and his wife Ricky, and a cheeky denimed-out version complete with a denim strap, which I think would be perfect to wear with hoodies and blue jeans. This is preppy done in a precocious way, a little something to make you smile every time you look down to check the hour. — Alex Frank

The Master of Light and his Contemporaries


On a visit to the Guggenheim a few months back with my mother, she told me about a museum show she had missed some years before. “It was,” she said, “one of the great tragedies of my life.”

“One of the great tragedies of your life?” I asked, raising an eyebrow (my mother has not lived an entirely charmed life, despite what one might imagine when hearing such a statement). “Well,” she qualified, “one of the art tragedies. Those are a thing too.”

The exchange echoed in my head a few weeks later, when I unexpectedly found myself visiting Amsterdam on the opening weekend of the Vermeer exhibition. The Rijksmuseum show is widely being hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime event, bringing together 28 of the remaining 37 works by the Delft master of light. The logistics and costs of such an endeavor boggle the mind, and my own machinations required to get a ticket were real (I can only thank, once again, the remarkable concierge who helped me find a way in) — but the resulting show is as sublime as one might imagine.

At the nearby Hermitage, a complementary show is on view: “Rembrandt and His Contemporaries.” Thirty-five artworks from the New York-based Leiden Collection are on loan through August, filling two floors of the museum; two of the pieces are by the master himself. My favorite was a miniature painted in tones of gray, “Portrait of an Old Man.” It is displayed in the velvet carrying case it was ensconced in by a previous owner, banker Andrew Mellon, who liked to carry the artwork with him when he traveled. Standing in front of an array of masterpieces, I was, more than once, moved to tears by their beauty: Vermeer’s tiny scenes of everyday life, Rembrandt’s glowing skin tones, rendered with such an extraordinary, magical light. An art tragedy, blessedly averted. — Skye Parrott


Heavenly Scents


Every room in my house has its own signature scent; I have a rotating collection of soaps, incense, and candles that I spread throughout. I’m currently burning a candle from Verden — a line of tasteful and natural home and body products that smell as heavenly as they look. Aromatic notes of mimosa and early-days-of-spring flowers envelop my space. This scent is also available in a body wash, so my shower is transformed into an English garden every time I open the bottle. Other Verden products include bath oils and salts, oil diffusers, and body creams. — Elissa Polls

Ephemeral Whimsy

Winston Flowers

Since my mother is a professional florist, it has never made much sense for me to send her flowers on Mother’s Day. Still, I love sending flowers to other people — and more importantly, to myself — whenever the mood strikes. For as long as I’ve lived in New York City, my go-to florist has been Winston Flowers, a third-generation family-run business that has been making the world more beautiful for the last 75 years. Even though they are known for creating flowers for celebrities and adding the wow factor to formal functions and hotel lobbies across New York and Boston, they can just as easily deliver a small bundle of heaven to your home. Their vivid, artful arrangements are long-lasting, with a touch of grace and whimsy. In the case of my own Brooklyn apartment, fresh flowers always provide a much-needed emotional balm. As I type this, Winston’s Citrus Shimmer is brightening my kitchen. These flowers remind me of my mom, but also that the world is abundant — and its beauty is all too sweetly fleeting. — T. Cole Rachel

An Island-Inspired Line

Rosewood x Degreas collab

At the magnificent Rosewood Le Guanahani on the Caribbean island of St. Barts, everything is colorful, not just the perfect azul ocean views and pastel luxury beach cottages. A new swimwear collaboration between the property and chic Brazilian designer Adriana Degreas features items that are exactly what you’d hope for in such a vibrant place: beach jumpers with green foliage prints, turquoise-blue clutches for bringing your room key and AirPods to the pool, and a pink skirt that pops like a Florida flamingo. If you’re like me, a person prone to packing all the wrong things, here, then, is a foolproof plan — leave some room in your suitcase and shop the Rosewood x Degreas collab. You’ll blend right in. A pro tip: If you’re headed to St. Barts this season, travel through San Juan, and then book a Tradewind charter to the island. It’s VIP service, with a staff member walking you through the airport in Puerto Rico to a comfortable private lounge where you can await your stylishly tiny and well-appointed plane. You’ll show up in Gustavia feeling — and, with the Rosewood x Degreas attire, looking — as fresh as a daisy.
Alex Frank

Our Contributors

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.

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.

Skye Parrott

Skye Parrott is the editor-in-chief of Departures. A magazine editor, photographer, writer, and creative consultant, she was previously a founder of the arts and culture journal Dossier, and editor-in-chief for the relaunch of Playgirl as a modern, feminist publication.

Elissa Polls Writer

Elissa Polls is the senior director of content 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.

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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