please advise

Ask Chris Black: What Should I Buy to Accessorize My New Car?

Photo: Alix Rutsey

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.

Having recently purchased a car, I was hoping you could recommend some accessories to zhuzh it up inside? Thinking something a little more dignified than a royal pine air freshener.

I have not owned a car in a VERY long time. But luckily for you, I ride in them a lot.

Air fresheners are the worst, every Uber smells like feet and Little Trees Black Ice. You can’t suffer the same fate. Luckily, Japanese brand retaW makes a chic “fragrance car tag” to keep your whip smelling good. Natural Mystic, a spicy mix of patchouli and vanilla, is my favorite and will impress any passenger.

You will also need a reusable cup to shuttle your piping-hot bean (of loose-leaf) brew to and from the office. Kinto’s travel tumbler is the perfect option. The cap expertly mimics drinking from a glass or mug, and it will keep whatever you are sipping at the ideal temperature. Its simple and beautiful design is just a bonus.

Even if you got the Tesla with the big-boy screen, it’s nice to have your phone mounted where you can see it. This mount adjusts a full 360 degrees and attaches with a clean adhesive. Suction doesn’t do it for me. But remember: Eyes on the road!

Last but not least, you are going to need a sexy key chain. This Eye/LOEWE/Nature Logo-Debossed leather fob will look great on the counter at home or sitting on the console while cruising. Happy trails!

Looking for some regular fit (I have an athletic build) black pants for a wedding that are also art-student cool. Ideas?

I love when my faithful readers get specific. You guys challenge me, and I want to thank you for that. It only makes me better. Below, I found a selection of black pants that could be worn to a wedding or to be an extra in The Dreamers.

Your most affordable option is going to be the 1040 athletic-fit pants from J.Crew. No frills, year-round weight, and relaxed through the thighs with a slightly tapered leg. It’s on you to style them right!

The Loom garment-dyed cotton-canvas trousers from Folk are the best of both worlds. Straight leg, made of Italian cotton and canvas, and dyed a nice “soft black,” these offer comfort via an elastic waistband and a touch of personality via front pleats.

This pair from my fave Noah would look great with a rumpled blazer. They are straight leg, made from brushed cotton-twill, and the fit is modern and comfortable without being sloppy.

For something that looks a bit more formal but is still suitable for weekend wear, try this pair of Pismo wool–and–mohair trousers from Acne. They are cut in a comfy, relaxed shape, with an elasticated waistband and an internal drawstring. Perfect.

I’m heavy into working out — none of that boutique fitness crap, strictly GAINZ — and in the market for new gym clothes. I’m a fan of the dust fit, though I would wear some technical stuff (but I wouldn’t be caught dead in Gymshark).

I love hearing someone trying to GET BIG in 2020. It would help if you had something that will allow for movement while absolutely crushing the squat rack. This ain’t SoulCycle!

My vision for you starts with a classic gray sweatsuit, a big lifter’s dream. Nothing fussy, nothing skinny, and definitely no synthetic fabrics. You need something that will keep you warm in between (HEAVY) sets, and cannot go wrong with a thicc, 14-ounce fleece, hooded sweatshirt and matching pants from Los Angeles Apparel. Show these losers Gold’s Gym Venice Beach meets Steve McQueen realness!

Underneath, you will need compression. I want the blood flowing to those quads. The Nike Pro shorts offer compression via a “four-way stretch fabric” that also has moisture-wicking abilities, according to the brand. A smart and affordable layer.

The professionals tell me you cannot lift in running shoes. You don’t need a bouncy cushion; you need a stable, flat sole. I see some dudes go full barefoot, which is unsanitary and also unsightly. Sadly, weight-lifting shoes are not the best-looking footwear category. If you must, the black Nike Romaleos 3 XD will keep you supported during those clean and jerks. Another option is a simple pair of white Converse. Either way, keep your lifting look classic with a padded pair of Nike’s Everyday Max Cushioned socks (again, in white). The pain you feel today is the strength you’ll feel tomorrow.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.