Chris Black has returned to the Strategist, now with a monthly column, to answer all your burning questions — from super-specific style predicaments and workout-and-tennis recs to foolproof host-gift ideas that’ll get you invited back to the beach house.
The dress code for a summer wedding I’m attending is “resort casual.” Any style recs for men?
“Resort casual” is a made-up term I will attempt to translate. For these purposes, I will assume (hope) that it means a luxurious Italian villa and not a Sandals in Panama City. Of course, you want to look good, but a tuxedo or tie is unnecessary.
I recall when I was at a beautiful wedding in Kalamáta in southern Greece, the heat was oppressive. The vows were uttered while guests withered away on what felt like the equator. I had chosen a classic Thom Browne shorts suit and felt like a genius. I was still sweating, but the fresh air my legs received helped me power through. But that look isn’t for everyone.
Linen will be your friend. This tobacco Irish-linen tailored jacket (and matching pants) from Drake’s, the kings of British relaxed elegance, will keep you relatively cool.
If that color is too funky or the crowd leans more traditional, maybe a navy number from Sid Mashburn. The Kincaid No. 3 suit is simple and perfect for every occasion. The fit is slim, and the natural shoulder will help it fit like a glove.
Séfr is a Swedish brand I have been following for a while. Everything it makes is clean and contemporary, and the price point is almost too good to be true. The blazer has a chic wide lapel and a single button closure. The matching Harvey Suit trouser has a nice clean front and a slight crop.
Stoffa has a wide fit that I find appealing for summer temperatures. The double-breasted shirt jacket and matching wide-leg single-pleat pants are made in a beautiful slate wool-silk linen. You can’t miss.
Drop the scalp-care routine.
The shaved head is the most honest haircut a man can have. It’s simple, but it requires some upkeep, especially during summer. I get a haircut weekly, which some people find “insane.” However, I consider it just another piece of the mental-health puzzle.
The product I found last summer that has been the most essential is the R+Co scalp scrub. Every morning, post-workout, I give the dome a once-over to exfoliate. It feels great, and the texture is very satisfying.
I also find that moisturizing a little with Crown Affair’s the Oil never hurts, and the smell, a light mix of bergamot, yuzu, and lemongrass with underlying notes of amber and wood, is a bonus.
If lounging by the pool or going for a long run outside, you must apply sunscreen, especially if a hat isn’t working with your look. Use a few drops of Aesop Avail facial lotion with SPF 25. It has a matte finish and will hydrate and protect at the same damn time.
Tell us your tennis essentials.
But I assume you mean gear? The racket is personal. You have to go into a store and get a proper feel, adjust string tension, and pick an overgrip that feels good but isn’t an ugly color. For the other stuff, I can make suggestions.
Socks are essential and often overlooked. These Thorlos crew socks are a lifesaver. The cushion keeps your feet feeling good, and they have a nice substantial feel that I cannot find in another sock.
I only wear polo shirts on the court. It just feels right. The Nike pique polo is super-classic but has just a touch of Dri-Fit without looking cheap and shiny. I would get white, but it comes in black as well.
After a few hours on the court, recovery is essential. I like to unwind with a tall glass of sparkling water and 15 minutes on the couch with the HyperVolt Go 2. It’s an absolute lifesaver when the forearm is feeling tight.
If you play hard, your dogs will be barking. You will need a Rawlogy cork massage ball. Throw it on the ground and let your aching arches roll over it. You will be ready to blast that inside-out forehand the next day.
What gift will get me invited back to my girlfriend’s parents’ Amagansett cottage next year?
Your girlfriend’s parents’ Hamptons getaway location says a lot. They have good taste, but they aren’t overfussy. This bodes well for you, chief.
I imagine the meals are where the biggest gatherings happen. If your girl’s parents are passionate hosts, this tablecloth from Gohar World is made from a selection of Egyptian cotton striped shirting. It’s cheeky, cool, and useful. You can also purchase extensions if the cousins happen to crash dinner after a few too many tequila sodas in Montauk.
This large serving bowl from Heath Ceramics is a safe but chic choice. It can be used as a stand-alone decoration or as the perfect vessel for a delicious summer salad. I love the “Moonstone” blue or white; both work for a seaside palette.
You can never go wrong with a candle. Loewe candles come in great hand-poured terra-cotta vessels that will look good anywhere in the house. I would go with “Ivy.” It smells nice and earthy.
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