please advise

Ask Chris Black: I’m Stocking Up on Shorts. What Pairs Do You Like?

Photo: Daniel Arnold

If you’re looking for the most powerful hair dryer or the handiest chef’s knife, you can find those things easily enough. 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 need to start stocking up on shorts. Beyond your go-to Stussys, what pairs do you recommend? Looking for lounging shorts but also ones I can (hopefully) wear outside the house soon.

Luckily for you, shorts are a passion of mine! My father wears them year-round, so I believe it is actually in my DNA. Fair warning: I like them on the shorter side :).

The Effo short in navy blue from New York–based brand Adsum covers all the bases. They are made of a comfortable crinkle-finish nylon and mesh-lined and have a cheeky tonal herringbone band around the leg openings.

The Champion Reverse Weave Mesh Shorts are the OG loungewear choice. Some wear them for playing basketball, but I prefer them for lying on the couch. They have pockets, which are necessary for toting your phone from bedroom to kitchen in this lockdown.

These ghurka shorts from Engineered Garments are a little long, but the wild black-watch pattern makes them a must. A little British, a little Japanese — perfect.

Another great option are these garment-dyed metallic shorts in a color called rose quartz from my fave, Stone. These will work for stunting, lounging, and … swimming: the trifecta!

These classic, durable Dickies shorts in an excellent olive green would work as well indoors as they would in the yard, garage, or skate park (LOL). Get them hemmed to let your friends see the new quarantine quads you built!

You seem to care a lot about (and know a lot of people who care about) producing Quality Content. Wondering if you know of any lights or other gear I can use to look better/more professional on video calls from my phone or computer?

QUALITY CONTENT is my passion; you are correct. The kind I produce is mostly through text, but the human face is necessary right now. As an amateur shutterbug, I would tell you to use natural light, but it sounds like you need some equipment to look hot on IG Live at anytime of the day.

Your best bet is a ring light. They are easy to use and can run the gamut price-wise, but given that this model is the one that TikTok star Loren Gray uses to film videos for her 41 million-plus followers, it seems like a solid choice. Impress your work crush on Zoom or get that makeup-tutorial YouTube channel started! I know you have time.

A less elaborate option is the Kardashian-approved LuMee case. I tried one a few years ago (shut up), and this shit works. It has front- and back-facing lights, and you can adjust the levels — pro-gear, pro-attitude. You will look flawless talking about the continually shifting 2020 budget projections on a departmentwide Google Hangout. This one will fit an iPhone 11 or XS Max, but there are lots of other sizes available.

What are good lightweight men’s jackets for warmer weather?

I LOVE a light jacket. Perfect for layering and maybe even giving your outfit some attitude. Since many of you are still venturing out for a (properly distanced) stroll or dog walk, you have a reason to stunt. Let them admire your new seasonal outerwear from six feet away!

A simple coaches jacket never goes out of style. This one in navy from the Gap is made from recycled nylon and comes in at under $100.

I have my eye on this made-in-Japan, fast-drying shell in leopard from Gramicci. Make a statement! It’s not too expensive, either.

This washed jersey work jacket from Uniqlo is done in a classic style with a slightly oversize fit. It comes in a handful of colors. Pick your poison!

GREEN is big right now. Eden Power Corp is a new brand from Montreal that is doing great stuff. The brand’s long-sleeved organic cotton-blend jacket in khaki with a cool purple contrast stitch has interesting details without being super-loud. It’s an investment, but one that’ll separate you from everyone else in Patagonia shells.

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Ask Chris: I’m Looking for New Shorts. What Should I Get?