The Best Bet
Alber Elbaz recharged the fading French fashion house Lanvin in the past couple of years by gently twisting classics: pretty dresses with threadbare hems, pearl necklaces bound in fraying tulle, trench coats cut full enough to catch the wind. He pulls off that trick again with this new, surprisingly practical shoulder bag ($1,085 at Barneys New York; 212-826-8900). Made in a ribbed silk normally used for neckties, it’s lighter than the usual leather, sporty enough for summer, and—most important—bound to impress.
A Preppy Primer
Even the stuffy madras blazer becomes irresistible when it’s miniaturized for kids ($160 to $195 at the Ralph Lauren Boys’ Store; 212-606-3376).
A Mower With Just Enough Tech
Murray’s lawn mower offers the old-fashioned pleasures of manual pushing—but saves labor by gathering grass clippings with a mulching bag ($199 to $219 at Home Depot; 718-862-9800).
A Disposable Facial
Missha’s facial masks are portable, easy to apply, and cheap enough to use every day ($2.50; 212-596-4012).
The Ultimate Espadrille
The French sandal is the shoe of summer ’05. Castaners, available in limited supply at Searle, are the original—and still the chic-est—platform model ($138 to $178; 212-838-5990).
Outdoor Furniture That’s Actually Comfortable
These soft-skin foam stools by Quinze & Milan yield to the touch, yet spring back after you sit on them ($298 at the Future Perfect; 718-599-6278).