Welcome to InsideHook’s Staff Picks, a compendium of all the stuff our editors have been digging on recently.
Every Occasion Cards
I have a reputation among my friends and family for giving inane and situationally inappropriate gift cards. A Buzz Lightyear birthday card at a wedding. A "Get Well Soon" for a 30th birthday. Etc. The gimmick has served me well, but it's time for a new one. So I ordered a 30-pack of these mad-lib-esque "every occasion" cards this morning. Someone I know will be receiving a "Congrats on your stupid ass baby" posthaste. — Walker Loetscher, Editor in Chief
Askov Finlayson North Hat
I'm sourcing out my cold-weather headgear nice and early this year, and the beanie barons at Askov Finlayson are more than up to the task. The Minnesota-based brand runs on a 110% giving business model, meaning they literally give more to climate-change solutions that it costs to run their company. That commitment to “keeping the North cold” plays out on their 100% recycled yarn hats, which proudly proclaim “NORTH” while proffering a playful pom top/colorblock design. Brrrrr. — Tanner Garrity, Associate Editor
Paravel Bright and Early Kit
My current underrated travel hack? Carrying eccentric luggage. Watching a fellow flyer recently receive compliment after compliment (from fellow jetsetters, even TSA agents) for simply toting a colorful bag made me consider swapping out my tried-and-true brown leather, especially on vacation, when I'm looking to catch eyes and hobnob. Paravel's new Ultralight Main Line, a featherweight canvas duffel trimmed in Italian leather, is just the ticket. Bonus: This combo pack gets you a matching fold-up bag. — Alex Lauer, Senior Editor
Flint and Tinder Flannel-lined Waxed Trucker Jacket
Call me old fashioned, but I don't typically like being compared to truckers. However, when I've got this bad boy on, hair flowing in the wind, women snapping their necks to catch a glimpse as I walk by, I feel like I could own the whole damn Hess empire. Great for wet conditions, thanks to the waxed canvas exterior ... while simultaneously being appropriate for those days when the mercury dips low thanks to the flannel lining. — Eli London, Director of Partnerships and User Acquisition
Goodlife Indigo Jersey L/S + Fleece Sweatpant Chino
So we recently extolled the virtues of the “elevated sweatsuit,” and while I wholeheartedly agree with the concept as an excellent fall weekend look, I didn't have the opportunity to throw this handsome indigo kit from Goodlife into the mix — replacing your standard matching hoodie or crewneck with a cozy jersey button-up adds a nice “this look is very much intentional” vibe, further driven home by the relaxed-but-tailored cut of the pants. That being said, a matching hoodie is also available, as are a butter-soft henley, shawl-collared sweatshirt and a tailored tee. Just saying, a whole set may be in order. — Danny Agnew, Creative Director
*Curious what to pair with down low? Check out our piece on the 15 new sneaker brands every guy should know.
CFDA & Todd Snyder Crafted Collection
There’s nothing cooler than a whiskey barrel. Putting that used wood to good new use: this collab between NY designer Todd Snyder, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky (see photo up top). Here, the whisky-kissed oak is refashioned into a rustic bar cart, dress shoes, snare drums and a charcuterie board. Pair ‘em all with this whisky auction: a classic Morgan Roadster, five extremely rare bottles of the Balvenie single malt and a trip to the distillery. (Note: That’s gonna add about $100K to your tab.) — Kirk Miller, Nation Editor/Managing Editor
THE BEST THING WE DRANK THIS WEEK
I know House of Suntory from their Japanese whisky. In their homeland, however, the company has mastered a range of spirits (and non-spirits). While I enjoyed the Haku Vodka, the just-launched (at least here) Roku Gin was a standout. It's crafted from six traditional Japanese botanicals (Sakura leaf, Yuzu peel, Sencha tea, etc.) and eight traditional gin botanicals. There’s a bit of pepper in the finish, but overall this is a smooth sipper that worked wonders in cocktails (particularly the Roku ‘n Rolla, pictured above, a mix of gin, grapefruit, fresh wasabi, tonic and sea salt).
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Photos: (top to bottom) The Balvenie; Cool Material; Huckberry; Paravel; Huckberry; Goodlife; The Balvenie; Kirk Miller