With the mercury rising and summer adventures right around the corner, you’re going to want an everyday watch that looks good, is easy to wear, and can take whatever you throw at it. Something you wouldn’t feel too bad about taking a few dings in the pool or on a night out. Enter the Corvid Kvarts, the first watch released by Aevig, a relatively new micro-band out of the Netherlands that we had the pleasure of introducing you to back in February. Coming in at less than $150, this little quartz-powered (hence, the name) beater–boasting a 6-year battery life and a water resistance of 100m–makes for a robust little package at a hard-to-beat price. (Others also seem to think so, with two of the three dial variants gone and only the green available for purchase.)
Visually, the Corvid is styled as something of a field/pilot watch hybrid, with a Bauhaus sensibility tying the whole thing together. It’s clear the watch was created with a designer’s eye; nothing feels extraneous, and the new elements (offset “destro” crown, dotted zeroes, and exaggerated pilot hands) introduced to the generally formulaic “military field-watch” aesthetic feel fresh. And most importantly, the watch is legible at a glance.
So what does one pair with the Corvid for some fun in the sun this summer? Let’s check it out.
2. Warby Parker Sunglasses
If you wear glasses and have never heard of Warby Parker, then today is your lucky day. Founded in 2010, Warby Parker set out to disrupt an industry that was all to eager to sell exorbitantly priced glasses to uninformed consumers. Warby Parker’s counter offer? To produce and sell well-made, stylish (designed in-house), and affordable frames and lenses for $95 shipped to your door. Though they have a few showrooms across the country, the majority of their business goes through their e-store. Customer service is a big deal to the brand, and to simplify the process of buying glasses online, Warby Parker offers a free at-home try-on program so that you can find your perfect pair. They also have a no-questions-asked return policy, and they donate a pair of glasses to those in need for every pair purchased. It’s not always about the bottom-line.
They’ve since expanded into sunglasses, which go for $145 shipped with the option of getting prescription lenses. For my money, I prefer the look of their more classic frames like the Griffin or Winston. Whatever your preference, I suggest trying some lighter-colored frames this summer. I especially like their blonde and woodgrain tortoise options, and when paired with blue lenses (available with some of their frames) they offer a cool throwback to the legendary shades worn by the king of cool himself, Steve McQueen, in the Thomas Crown Affair.
3. Indigo Chambray Shirt – J.Crew
Despite its French origins, chambray–and the chambray shirt in particular–is as American as apple pie. A long-time workwear staple (we get the phrase “blue-collar worker” from the chambray shirts favored and worn by American factory workers), chambray today has been seamlessly incorporated into modern wardrobes, re-envisioned for both work and play.
Though chambray looks like denim, it is very different from denim. Chambray is a lightweight woven cotton fabric with colored (usually indigo) vertical warp threads woven against white horizontal weft threads, with the warp and weft alternating in a one-to-one strand ratio. The resulting fabric is then rolled and heated, achieving the softness and durability one associates with the cloth. Denim, however, is twill woven with the warp thread going over two weft threads before going under one, resulting in a much denser cloth. You can differentiate between the two fabrics by checking the underside of each; typically, denim will have a lighter-colored twill pattern, whereas chambray will appear similar on both sides.
There are a number of retailers offering chambray shirts, but my favorites are those by J.Crew. This short-sleeved version is especially nice, made from Japanese chambray dyed with natural indigo (a more involved process), and cut along a more casual bias with a trimmer fit (take note of the slimmer sleeves and how they don’t billow). At $88 it is a fantastic value, and its classic styling will ensure it remains a mainstay in your closet for years to come.
4. Outlier New Way Shorts
Outlier is a Brooklyn-based company with one mission in mind: to “build the future of clothing.” Founded in 2008 by two friends looking to make practical clothes for urban cyclists, Outlier has since become a one-stop shop for fully functional performance gear.
Take their New Way Shorts, for example. Made from air-texturized Cordura-grade nylon yarns with a two-way stretch, Outlier’s New Way Shorts are incredibly lightweight and breathable. The use of technical fabric also ensures durability, making them perfect for any sort of summer activity. The fabric is also finished with a water-repellant treatment that doesn’t affect breathability, making them ideal for that impromptu dip in the pool. There are a slew of other cool details built into the shorts: quick-drying flow-through pockets, mil-spec American-made paracord for the waistband, and YYK coil zippers. Sure, they may look like plain shorts at first glance, but it’s obvious Outlier set out to create the only pair of shorts you’ll ever need.
5. Rancourt Beefroll Penny Loafers
A few weeks ago we raved about Rancourt’s Ranger Moccasins in our summer footwear guide. This time around we’re going to introduce you to another one of Rancourt’s popular styles, the beefroll penny loafer (if you’re wondering, “beefroll” refers to the visible stitching that resembles beef tied up with cooking string). Rancourt’s take on this American classic features a number of impressive upgrades, including a variety of high-quality leathers from Chicago’s Horween tannery, as well as some great customizable options (camp or leather soles, lined or unlined interior). You can wear them with socks in the fall, or go sockless (more on that in a minute) this summer. Over time, they’re sure to become the most comfortable pair of shoes you own.
Extra 1. Gekk Liners
The idea of going sockless for the summer is certainly appealing, but doing so without kicking up a stink is a whole other story. Face it, your feet will sweat and in no time your favorite pair of summer shoes will become a biological hazard. You have the option of wearing thin no-show socks, but in my experience they tend to slip off your feet and can cause quite a bit of discomfort.
Enter Gekks, thin breathable liners that grip to the inside of your shoes and whisk away sweat and odor. They come with a thin strip of adhesive gel on the outside of the liner that grips to the inside of your shoes, and can be used for weeks without having to be washed (laundering will not remove the adhesive material). They’re currently available at a discounted pre-order price ($25 per pair) and are slated for delivery this July.
Extra 2. Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
Sunscreen is a summer essential. I don’t go anywhere without slathering some on. But I do hate applying the stuff to my face, with most readily available options feeling too thick and oily for regular day-to-day use. And if you have sensitive skin like I do, then finding the right sunscreen for your face can be a nightmare. Kiehl’s offers a solution in the form of their Super Fluid UV Defense sunscreen. It goes on light, dries almost immediately, and it doesn’t leave a greasy layer atop the skin the way cheaper creams are prone to do. Though it’s pricey at $38 for a 125ml bottle, a little will go a long way.
by Ilya Ryvin