Sure itâ€™s just stuff. But stuff can make life easier, more enjoyable, etcâ€¦ Every so often we ask one of our favorite, style-appreciating people to rattle off their five favorite things. Sometimes those things will fit into the realm of â€œaffordable,â€ and sometimes they wonâ€™t. Weâ€™re going for the favorites here.
Brandon D. is a recently engaged trial attorney living in Houston, TX (but will forever be a New Yorker). Brandon has been wearing a suit to work for the better part of a decade, so he appreciates the insights into quality-yet-affordable style options for which Dappered is known. When not at work, he enjoys traveling with his fiancÃ©, lounging with his dog Charlie (sheâ€™s half-Chihuahua/half-Dachshund, which has the added bonus of being known as a â€œChiweenieâ€), and the weekly trip to Costco.
In the Dappered community, you may remember him for having the courage to (semi-seriously) ask if moving deserves a gift registry (it totally does!), but you probably know him best from a â€œThanks to Brandon D. for the tip!â€ comment from several Thursday Menâ€™s Sales Handful articles. (Bio and Lardini jacket photos were provided by Al Gawlik Photography.)
I love quality dress shoes. My collection ranges from affordable (IE, Stafford Logan wingtips) to expensive (IE, Gucci Horsebit loafers). Most fall somewhere in-between. But they all share one thing in common: Plastic shoe taps. I wear dress shoes 5 days a week for work and I walk constantly throughout the day. And my shoes take a beating. It was even worse when I lived in NYC. But Iâ€™ve managed to keep my shoes in great condition, some for over 10 years, by sticking taps on the soles (and replacing them every 3-6 months). So if you have many pairs or just one for â€œweddings and funerals only,â€ at 30 cents per tap, this is a great way to protect your shoes. And no, you will not sound like youâ€™re tap-dancing. But if thatâ€™s your preference, well, I wonâ€™t stop you. (photo credit: Mary W., Brandon’s fiancÃ©.)
Did you know itâ€™s almost always unbearably hot and humid in Houston? When you add to that the stresses of work and an endless supply of hot coffee, itâ€™s not if youâ€™ll sweat. Itâ€™s how much. The same was true when I had to take an overcrowded subway to work in NYC in the middle of August while wearing a wool suit. Airism made that commute bearable. And even though Iâ€™m always nervous when Iâ€™m on trial (any attorney who says otherwise is lying or is utterly unprepared), because of Airism, youâ€™d never know it.
Lardini Italian Shawl Collar Smoking Jacket â€“ $139.30 once upon a time
Attorneys have a bit of a (deserved) reputation for dressing conservatively. So when Iâ€™m at a social gathering that calls for more formal attire, I want my outfit to say â€œIâ€™m here to celebrate!â€ and not â€œI came directly from work!â€ I think this jacket says the former quite well. Iâ€™ve worn it to a few weddings, work parties, and even some fancy dinners after 6:00PM. To me, if my fiancÃ© is wearing a dress, then I can wear this jacket.
I began listening eleven years ago when it was known as Eye of the Sports Guy and the most common response to â€œdo you listen to podcasts?â€ was â€œwhatâ€™s a podcast?â€ I was in law school at the time and his weekly interviews on topics like the NBA, pop culture, gambling, and great-yet-terrible action movies (IE, The Expendables) were a great reprieve from everything law school-related. Today, I enjoy several Simmons-backed podcasts during my daily commute to work. His newest venture, The Ringer, is the home of twenty-six podcasts, including but not limited to House of Carbs (for foodies), Bachelor Party (for fans of The Bachelor), and Larry Wilmoreâ€™s hilarious and insightful Black on the Air. Do those not interest you? Thatâ€™s fine, because thereâ€™s quite literally a podcast for everything.
Kirkland Signature Rioja Reserva Wine â€“ $6.99 per bottle at Costco
I once won a contest where the prize was a $100 bottle of wine. This stuff is better. While Iâ€™m admittedly not a wine connoisseur, Iâ€™ve found that this wine pairs well with most meals (my fiancÃ© and I cook at least 3 times per week) and is a great choice for house parties where youâ€™ll be serving a lot of guests (IE, Thanksgiving). For an intimate special occasion like a wedding anniversary, however, you should opt for something more, well, special. But for your weekly wine needs, Rioja is my go-to bottle.Â (photo credit: Mary W., Brandon’s fiancÃ©.)