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Ask Chris Black: What Vases Will Make Fresh Flowers Look Even Prettier?

Photo: Paul Labonte

If you’re looking for the most powerful hair dryer or the handiest chef’s knife, those things can be easy enough to find. Other objects of desire are a little more taste-based. What’s the next status water bottle or hand wash, for instance? If you have a burning question about the next fanny pack or Noah rugby shirt, Chris Black is here to answer it in a regular column.

I’ve started keeping flowers around my apartment for a little something bright and alive. I’ve been using a big glass jar as a vase, but would like something more design-y, maybe ceramic, to put them in. Any recommendations?

I swear by fresh flowers, and they are more necessary than ever right now. I will put them in an empty San Pellegrino bottle (#sustainable), but a lovely vase always looks better.

Photo: retailer

It’s not ceramic, but this medium-sized pink glass vase designed by Scholten & Baijings for Hay will hold your stems and brighten a room, even when empty.

Photo: retailer

The large Strøm jug from Raawii is an excellent shape. I like it in gray (which almost looks like white). It can serve a few purposes: Put your fresh tulips in it, or use it to keep your spa water out on the table.

Photo: retailer

This white hand-cast vase from popular British furniture designer Max Lamb is a very chic, almost sculptural option, thanks to its raw, textured finish.

Photo: retailer

Workaday Handmade is one of my favorite ceramic brands, and this spool vase is another excellently — and unusually — shaped vessel. If you don’t like the red on red, there’s also a yellow-orange combo that looks like a real mood lifter!

I purchased a pair of denim overalls to try something new during this strange time. I want to dress them up a bit and avoid looking like I’m in OshKosh B’gosh. Any ideas for shirts and footwear?

It’s genuinely getting crazy out here, and I appreciate your appetite for experimentation. The denim overall is a classic piece of American workwear that, if done right, can look pretty cool. The fit should be relaxed but not baggy, and the key is to keep the rest of the look modern and straightforward — never go full ranch hand, ’90s Tupac, or Dax Shepard on Robertson Boulevard.

From $18 for 6

Since it’s heating up outside, I would go with a plain, short-sleeve white T-shirt. When it comes to tees, I’ve said before on this website that I like Gildan’s because they’re simple and priced low enough that I don’t need to be precious with them. But if you want something fancier, I suggest the Athens tee from L.A.–based Lady White Co., which is made from breathable cotton jersey, prewashed, and has a minor drop shoulder. Any T-shirt is better than a Henley or button-down.

Photo: retailer

If you are chilly, you can throw on a hooded sweatshirt like this gray one from House of Blanks, the same Canadians responsible for Roopa, the company that makes the blank clothes that brands like Supreme slap their logos on.

On the feet, we can go a few ways. If you want something classic, Converse’s Chuck ’70 high-tops in white are the sneaker move. And some Wallabee Boots in black suede from Clarks would be the way to go if you’d prefer a non-sneaker.

But if you are looking to freak it a bit, you can! I am not mad at this roper-style boot from Lucchese: It’s simple, beautiful, and hard-wearing. Perfect for a top-down drive down the PCH or an afternoon tending to your garden. An even wilder choice would be the Brown Andreas boot from Roa, which has a metallic-silver-tone padded collar and Vibram sole.

I have very bad eczema, which means that I can’t wear any kind of wool. Can you recommend some nice-looking, transitional cotton sweaters for women that won’t fall apart after a season?

This is one of those questions that I need an expert’s help with. My friend Danielle Goldberg is a great stylist who has worked with a myriad of celebs like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Laura Harrier, Olivia Cooke, and Julia Garner. Her thoughts are in below!

Photo: retailer

I have been living in Entireworld’s sweat suits all through quarantine, but this new cotton mock-neck knit makes me feel a bit more dressed up. I can already tell it’ll be a piece I carry through into my everyday wardrobe.

Photo: retailer

I love a cardigan, so I was excited to see Live the Process add this one to its line. It’s a bit pricier, but versatile, and a great investment piece. Knits I bought from the brand years ago continue to be everyday staples for me. While not cotton, it’s made from a supersoft blend of silk, tencel, and polyester — no wool here. It’s on sale at Shopbop, but stock is limited; MyTheresa has other sizes at full price, as does the brand itself.

Photo: Tanner Goods

I love styling these tops from Paa (which are technically for men) with more feminine pieces in my closet. The French-terry fabric gives the shirt a casual feel, and it’s great for layering. Plus, it gets better with wear. They come in a few more neutral colors beyond navy, and if you don’t like the collar, Paa’s crewnecks are great, too.

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Ask Chris: What Vases Will Make Flowers Look Even Nicer?