Chris Black has returned to Strategist, now with a monthly columnto answer all your burning questions – from super specific style difficulties and training and tennis programs to surefire gift ideas for hosts that will invite you back to the beach house.
The dress code for a summer wedding I attend a “casual resort”. Style recommendations for men?
“Resort casual” is a coined term that I will try to translate. For these purposes, I will assume (hope) that this is a luxury Italian villa and not a Sandals in Panama City. Sure, you want to look good, but a tuxedo or tie isn’t necessary.
I remember when I was at a beautiful wedding in Kalamáta in southern Greece, the heat was overwhelming. The vows were said as the guests faded on what looked like the equator. I had chosen classic Thom Browne shorts and I felt like a genius. I was still sweating, but the cool air my legs were getting was helping me get through it. But this look is not for everyone.
Linen will be your friend. This fitted tobacco Irish linen jacket (and matching trousers) from Drake’s, the kings of British casual elegance, will keep you relatively cool.
If this color is too funky or the crowd is leaning more traditional, maybe a navy number from Sid Mashburn. The Kincaid No. 3 costume is simple and perfect for any occasion. The fit is snug and the natural shoulder will help it fit like a glove.
Séfr is a Swedish brand that I have been following for a while. Everything it does is clean and contemporary, and the price is almost too good to be true. The blazer has a chic wide lapel and a single button closure. The matching Harvey Suit pants have a nice clean front and a slight fit.
Stoffa has a wide fit that I find appealing for summer temperatures. The double-breasted shirt jacket and wide trousers matched with a pleat are made in a beautiful slate wool-silk linen. You can’t miss.
Ditch the scalp care routine.
The shaved head is the most honest haircut a man can have. It’s simple, but it does require a bit of maintenance, especially in the summer. I get my hair cut every week, which some people think is “crazy”. However, I consider it to be 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 after training I give the dome once to exfoliate. It feels great, and the texture is very satisfying.
I also find that a little moisturizing with Crown Affair Oil never hurts, and the smell, a light blend of bergamot, yuzu and lemongrass with underlying notes of amber and woods, is a bonus.
If you’re lounging by the pool or taking a long run outside, you should apply sunscreen, especially if a hat doesn’t go with your look. Use a few drops of Aesop Avail face lotion with SPF 25. It has a matte finish and moisturizes and protects at the same time.
Tell us your tennis essentials.
But I assume you are talking about equipment? The racket is personal. You have to go to a shop and get a good feel, adjust the string tension, and choose an overgrip that feels good but isn’t an ugly color. For other things, I can make suggestions.
Socks are essential and often overlooked. These Thorlos crew socks are a lifesaver. The cushion makes your feet feel great and they have a nice, substantial feel that I can’t find in any other sock.
I only wear polo shirts on the pitch. It’s just feels right. The Nike pique polo shirt is super classic but has just a touch of Dri-Fit without looking cheap and shiny. I would take white, but it also exists in black.
After a few hours on the court, recovery is key. I love relaxing 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 feels tight.
If you play loud, your dogs will bark. You will need a Rawlogy cork massage ball. Throw it on the floor and let your sore arches roll over it. You’ll be ready to blast that upside-down forehand the next day.
What gift will keep me coming back to my girlfriend’s parents’ Amagansett cabin next year?
Your girlfriend’s parents’ getaway location in the Hamptons says it all. They taste good, but they are not too demanding. This bodes well for you, Chief.
I imagine meals are where the biggest gatherings happen. If your daughter’s parents are keen hosts, this Gohar tablecloth is made from a selection of striped Egyptian cotton shirts. It’s cheeky, cool and useful. You can also buy extensions if the cousins arrive for dinner after a little too much tequila soda in Montauk.
This large serving bowl from Heath Ceramics is a safe yet classy choice. It can be used as a standalone decoration or as the perfect container for a delicious summer salad. I like the blue or white “Moonstone”; both work for a seaside palette.
You can never go wrong with a candle. Loewe candles come in large hand-poured terracotta containers that will look great anywhere in the home. I would go with “Ivy”. It smells good and earthy.
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