Sure it’s just stuff. But stuff can make life easier, more enjoyable, etc… 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 “affordable,” and sometimes they won’t. We’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 fiancé, lounging with his dog Charlie (she’s half-Chihuahua/half-Dachshund, which has the added bonus of being known as a “Chiweenie”), 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 “Thanks to Brandon D. for the tip!” comment from several Thursday Men’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 I’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 “weddings and funerals only,” at 30 cents per tap, this is a great way to protect your shoes. And no, you will not sound like you’re tap-dancing. But if that’s your preference, well, I won’t stop you. (photo credit: Mary W., Brandon’s fiancé.)
Did you know it’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, it’s not if you’ll sweat. It’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 I’m always nervous when I’m on trial (any attorney who says otherwise is lying or is utterly unprepared), because of Airism, you’d never know it.
Lardini Italian Shawl Collar Smoking Jacket – $139.30 once upon a time
Attorneys have a bit of a (deserved) reputation for dressing conservatively. So when I’m at a social gathering that calls for more formal attire, I want my outfit to say “I’m here to celebrate!” and not “I came directly from work!” I think this jacket says the former quite well. I’ve worn it to a few weddings, work parties, and even some fancy dinners after 6:00PM. To me, if my fiancé 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 “do you listen to podcasts?” was “what’s a podcast?” 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 Wilmore’s hilarious and insightful Black on the Air. Do those not interest you? That’s fine, because there’s quite literally a podcast for everything.
Kirkland Signature Rioja Reserva Wine – $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 I’m admittedly not a wine connoisseur, I’ve found that this wine pairs well with most meals (my fiancé and I cook at least 3 times per week) and is a great choice for house parties where you’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. (photo credit: Mary W., Brandon’s fiancé.)