Seventy Five dollars. That’s a lot of money. It’ll get you a couple pairs of Levi’s, a nice dinner out, or a couple months at your local gym. Seventy Five dollars. It is a lot of money, especially if you spend it right. Ten picks follow, all for $75 or under, and some of them are much, much less.
1. GAP Lived-in Linen-Cotton Straight Pant – $41.96 ($59.50)
Precisely the kinda thing that puts all cotton, standard, thick chinos to shame this time of year. An almost 50/50 blend of cotton and linen (flax), a breezy but not too roomy straight fit, and available in three shades. This “marine blue” option should go with everything from t-shirts w/sneakers, to lightweight blazers & loafers. Always on sale.
2. The Black Keys “Turn Blue” – $9.99
For those of us who prefer their earlier, grittier stuff… this is not a return to that sound. But it is absolutely a departure from the more commercial friendly (and more power to em’) “Brothers” and “El Camino” albums. Trippy as sh*t. “Bullet in the Brain” conjures up Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” (hat tip to my 11th grade astronomy teacher for always putting on Dark Side of the Moon when he fired up the planetarium.) “In Time” sounds like something a strung out Big Bad Wolf would have running through his head as he tracked down Little Red Riding Hood. And the title track has this constant, waves licking the shore backdrop… as long as the ocean in question is on an alien planet, bubbling under a two moon sky.
3. Target Canvas Weekender – $34.99
A bag for the beach, gym, or a short weekend that’s inexpensive to the point that you won’t feel bad about beating the snot out of it. Only 1800 cubic inches, so less of a vacation bag and more of a day-trip bag.
4. Philips Norelco QT4070/41 Vacuum Beard Trimmer – $57.99
Now that beards are getting shaved, or at least trimmed down, it might be time to upgrade your beard/stubble trimmer. Not the cheapest on the market, but really holds its own when it comes to durability, performance, and whisker-mess-prevention. Some beard trimmers feel downright flimsy, but this one’s adjustable (by a thumb wheel) guard is thicker plastic than most, and the body of the trimmer can handle getting thrown into drawers just fine. It also comes with a vacuum system that’s supposed to suck up all the whiskers as you trim them. No, it doesn’t catch all of them, but man does it cut down on the mess. Once, maybe twice a week… #6 for the beard, #2 for the neck, and you’re set. Now if they could just make it look a little less like a Storm Trooper’s codpiece…
5. Everlane Made in the USA Pocket Tee – $18
No, $18 for a t-shirt isn’t cheap. But Everlane really seems to know what they’re doing, and their “radical transparency” ethos is refreshing. Made in the USA from lightweight, 100% cotton fibers. Also available in a standard crew as well as a v-neck. Why the penchant for pockets? Pocket tees look less like underwear, plus you can put stuff in em. Sunglasses, a pen, grocery list, nuclear launch codes, etc…
6. Jack Spade Paisley Card Holder in Oxblood – $37.50 w/ 25LESS
How do you tone down a pattern like paisley? You emboss it on a deep rich shade of burgundy, then keep it in your pocket 99% of the time. Great looking texture & lots of personality for a little card case. Extra 25% off sale code 25LESS expires today.
7. Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution – $9.99 – $13.95
A summer read, for most, usually falls into the category of, how do you say… “crap fiction.” Quick, entertaining, and little else. This is non-fiction, yet still has terrific pace, and instead of being pure brain candy, it’ll leave you with a better understanding of how chaotic and personal the start of the American Revolution was. We’ve all heard about Lexington and Concord… but what really happened? Who was scared? Who should have been scared? Who looked stupid? And in the aftermath, why were some of the colonists fierce defenders of the King, yet willing to kill the British Regulars? How could a rag-tag bunch of colonial crab apples keep Boston surrounded, all while their troops refused to obey command? It all made sense, because hardly any of it made sense. If Boston could be seen as the preferred Tavern of the colonies, then the Revolution began as a bar fight. And Nathaniel Philbrick tells the story, blow by blow, superbly.
8. UNIQLO Supima Cotton Polo – $22.90 (or 2 for $29.90)
So you hate pique, and you don’t like the button down collar on UNIQLO’s fantastic dry-fit polos. Fair enough. Might want to take their new Supima, smooth cotton polos for a spin. If they’re anything like last year’s “premium” polos (and they sure look to be close, if not the same) they’ll come in super smooth cotton, and a decently trim (but not tight) fit, and a fabric that can stand up to plenty of washing & drying. NOTE: Pick shown above is LAST year’s “premium” polo. Seems to be awfully close though, with a three button placket, pocket, and 100% cotton construction. Both last year’s and this year’s model were made in Vietnam.
9. Flor de Cana 18 yr rum – $49.99
Dessert doesn’t have to mean cake or pie. When a long warm day turns into a cool enough night that you have to thrown on another layer… skip the cake in favor of something old enough to vote. And that doesn’t mean a fruit cake that’s been sitting in the chest freezer since Christmas of ’95.
10. For her: GAP 4-in-1 Stretch Jersey Colorblock Dress – $29.97
Damn. Here’s to summer.
For other best bets under $75 from previous months, click here.