please advise

Ask Chris Black: What’s a Good Throw Blanket to Flex My Taste and Keep Me Warm?

Photo: Jake Davis

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? Chris Black (he’s a partner at brand consultancy Public Announcement) is here to help, in the form of a regular column. If you have a burning question about the next fanny pack or Noah rugby shirt, drop us an email with the subject line “Ask Chris” at

With the temperature cooling, I’m looking to invest in a new throw blanket for my couch. Have any recommendations for a (roughly) $300 budget?

I assume you keep your Hermès cashmere blankets on the PJ? You want something a little more casual for your home — I get it!

Parachute does one in a fluffy windowpane alpaca that is quite appealing. Warm, cozy, and very well-priced.

The rest of my picks are a bit above your price range, but when has this column ever been about sticking to a budget?. This black-and-white lattice-inspired wool throw from Missoni will look great tossed casually on your vintage Ligne Roset microfiber Togo (or any sofa). It’s art that keeps you warm. *Chef’s kiss*

The double-faced cashmere throw from Barney’s in-house brand also really speaks to me. The bright yellow will keep things cheerful in the gloomy winter months. It’s the color of the sun!

And I have to include something from Loro Piana. [Future voice]: How could I not?! Nothing is more luxurious than gray cashmere. This will make watching Bill Maher on Friday nights much more comfortable.

You gave some great sock picks to last week’s color-curious reader. Wondering if you could suggest a few more stylish fall/winter pairs in more neutral/understated palettes?  

As a known loafer enthusiast, I don’t wear socks during the warmer months; I just find that it ~kills~ my look. But with temperatures dropping, it’s time to wrap your lower extremities in luxurious fabrics.

A ribbed cotton pair from Charvet in a seasonally appropriate shade of Army green would work well with almost any outfit.

If you want understated, this trio from Japan’s sock gods Anonymous Ism should do the trick. Three different shades of gray to complement all of your introspective fall moods.

I know you asked for understated, but I would be remiss if I didn’t share this incredible leopard pair from Kapital (leopard, for some, is a neutral after all). The heel features the brand’s signature smiley face, which I find incredibly charming. I actually have a few pairs, and honestly, the secret smiley puts some pep in my step!

Nothing says pure luxury like a handmade pair of cashmere socks from Wales. This cable-knit version from Corgi — which supplies members of the royal family with their socks — comes in a plethora of colors in addition to this neutral oatmeal, and is meant to be worn around the (country) house. Snuggle up by the fire with a cup of tea and the newest episode of Below Deck. Pure bliss.

I just had to start wearing glasses recently. I want to look stylish, but feel overwhelmed by the options, so I would love to see a rundown of the most important eyeglasses for right now and 2020, as well as where to get them.

Welcome the Four Eyes Club™. My name is Chris, I will be your guide. I have worn glasses since I was in middle school, I have years and years of relevant experience. You are in good hands.

I am loyal to Cutler and Gross. The customer service at the New York location on Mercer Street is second to none, and the product is outstanding. To start, maybe you want to try something round and clear — a statement, but not a crazy one. The 1313-02 Crystal would work. It’s a modern look that says, “Yes, I am actually an architect.”

Moscot is another brand I have a soft spot for. Family-owned, steeped in history, and they make a great spectacle! The Telena is a new shape that looks very cool in classic tortoiseshell. It’s a little bold, but will give you the “professor who wears old Celine” look that you desperately crave.

The fully round wire-frame look is SO CHIC. My head is too big to pull it off, but it looks great on most people. This pair from Japanese brand Matsuda is perfectly delicate and will inspire you to read a tattered copy of Slaughterhouse Five fireside in the Bowery Hotel lobby. Perfection. If you like the look but want to spend less, Moscot also makes a round wire-frame pair that’s only $320.

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.

Ask Chris: What’s a Good Throw Blanket to Flex My Taste?