The term wardrobe essential is often used to describe those generic items in our closet that almost everyone owns (or should own) — a perfect navy sport coat, a pair of raw denim jeans, some oxford-cloth button-downs. But the things we depend on are often random and very personal. They come out of an organic, tried-and-true process of just wearing clothes every day and seeing what we reach for most. So, as we near the end of summer, I asked my Put This On colleagues to share with me what they loved wearing most this season. From sneakers to sport coats, here are our favorite things this summer.
Jesse Thorn: Adidas Iniki Runners
I bought these Adidas sneakers just before summer started. They were the fruit of a search for black sneakers I might wear with tough-to-match San Francisco Giants gear when I’m going to ballgames (this is my cosplay, let me have it). I pretty much failed in that department, because black sneakers almost always end up making you look like a basketball referee, but the side effect was noticing these white Inikis, which are a just-right-for-me mix of high tech and simple retro. Both the uppers and soles are made of weird miracle materials. The bottoms are UltraBoost, which is absurdly comfortable for going on errands or putzing around the house, but fatigues my feet if I actually try to do real walking or exercising in them. The uppers are some kind of weird stretchy stuff, which I actually really like. They’re perfect for straddling the line between classic and contemporary minimalist. Adidas also released a Pride colorway of this model, which features a sort of pasteled-out rainbow palette. A friend bought a pair, and they’re beautiful, though I don’t have the palewave wardrobe that would go with them.
Derek Guy: Chimala Chore Coat
I wear chore coats now more often than I actually do chores, and this recent acquisition from Chimala is my favorite thus far. It’s made from a washed, shirting weight denim, which means it’s easy enough to pair with dark jeans and doesn’t feel oppressive in the heat. It’s also baggy and oversized with a rounded silhouette and dropped shoulder seams. I like how it looks with slim jeans, boxy t-shirts, and side zip boots. And in the fall, I imagine it’ll be nice to throw in a mid-layer underneath like the model above. Like a lot of boutique workwear nowadays, it’s stupidly expensive (I bought mine on deep discount at Mr. Porter, although Frances May also has some left). For true and authentic chore coats, Wooden Sleepers has French deadstock ones for about $150. I’m holding out for a heavily worn, vintage coat like the one you see at the top of this post. Brian tells me he sometimes sells those for about $300.
Pete Anderson: Smathers & Branson Needlepoint Hat
I’ve gotten a ton of wear out of this needlepoint “Steal Your Face” hat, which I got as a Father’s Day gift. It’s in some ways the apotheosis of played out — dad hats, needlepoint-y prep, Grateful Dead imagery. But, I also love those things, and I’m still a sucker for surprising-things-in-needlepoint genre (“Oh, how droll!”). In a similar vein, I’ve also deeply considered, but not yet purchased, Mordechai Rubinstein’s Wallabee and tassel loafer hats.
Ryan Cecil: Drake’s Madras Sport Coat
Okay my answer is easy: I love my patch madras jacket I got from a Drake’s trunk show this summer. It gets a hundred compliments a day. I guess it’s cool that it’s so wild but also a traditional thing. The main thing about it is: it’s REALLY light, like a gauzy cotton. I enjoy wearing a coat-and-tie, and this is my lightest, best thing for Los Angeles temperatures that reach into the 100s.
Dick Carroll: Patagonia Baggies
I was cruising vintage spots in NYC late last winter and noticed a rack of colorful shorts. My eyes immediately went to a pair of bright yellow Patagonia “baggies.” I’d been meaning to buy a pair, but the ones that I had seen in stores were all longer than I was after and these were perfect! Colorful and short and not too tight. I’ve started wearing them as soon as the snow thawed with rugbys, full OCBDs, dirty sneakers, and tube socks. They remind me of how I dressed in my early teens in the ’90s. I think they are great. I hope they bring back the shorter models.
Dan Cerruti: Swim-Ology Swim Trunks
I’m not the kind of person to carve out my muscle ruffles at the gym every day, so I carry some extra around the waistline. Wearing baggy swimsuits makes me look like a manatee, so I’d been on the hunt for some trunks that were closer fitting without making my me look like a portly, gold-chain-and-Speedo beach bum. Swim-Ology is a good, happy medium for the short, Riviera style of trunks (I got mine in the aquatic green ones shown here) that is mercifully friendly to my budget. They look enough like shorts to actually pair well with shirts, which makes transitioning from beach to mainland much easier.