Featuring items hand-picked by Highsnobiety Editor-in-Chief Thom Bettridge, The Materialist is an editor’s letter in the form of a shopping spree. Its mission: to look closer at the products that fascinate us as a way to better understand ourselves and our world — or just to buy better stuff.
The age old feminist maxim that “the personal is political” has taken on a strange new meaning in this time of mass self-quarantine. Just a few weeks ago, the joys of staying at home resided firmly in the domain of post-brunch guilty pleasures. Today, watching Netflix all day is considered a contribution toward the survival of civil society.
For myself, this New Normal is a prison — I detest television, love crowds, and was hoping that the end of the world would be a lot less hygge than this. However, as a Materialist, I am fascinated by how our collective lives in the great indoors have upended our relationship to commercial objects and our broader consumption habits in general.
So, without further ado, meet some of my new best friends.
Let’s Start With a Mace
Aside from being a homonym with my twelfth favorite rapper, this mace is my new go-to piece of home exercise equipment. The medieval steel instrument is as versatile as it is terrifying: you can loosen tight shoulders by rotating it around your head, use it as a weight for arm and bodyweight exercises, or swing it around for a plethora of core routines. Plus, it’s a lot better for looting grocery stores than a kettlebell…
Urban seclusion is the perfect time for getting experimental with fragrance choices. Not only is it possible to let a new cologne misstep naturally waft away without having others smell you, but the nasal senses have a strange way of letting the mind travel that even the best VR hasn’t gotten right yet.
Created by the niche perfume house Anima Vinci, Sesame Chān is a gourmand fragrance that smells like (you guessed it) sesame seeds. While other gourmand fragrances usually take their edible cues from vanilla or chocolate, this one’s center of sesame opens up into a bouquet that is somehow smoky, floral, and sweet all at the same time. It’s a strange nasal puzzle that’s perfect for sniffing yourself during a boring conference call.
A Treatise Against Coziness
I would like to take this pajama recommendation as an opportunity to warn readers about the aesthetic and moral dangers of coziness. If you feel snuggly while you read this, there is a 99 percent chance that you look like crap. Coziness as an aesthetic and visual value system is a ploy to weaken the human will and justify bad outfits. Dressing like a giant toddler in your home is not something to be glorified, especially when our homes are now our places of work.
What we find here with this Derek Rose pajama is a masterclass in anti-cozy loungewear. Crisp cotton, not a flannel nightmare. Bright colors, not dingy, heathered tones. Something that will make you look as though you are overflowing with joie de vivre, not as though you are a big mushy toddler.
Meet the Corporate Sandal
In almost any advice column about working from home, you’ll read that actually dressing up for your new telecommute is key to establishing a mental transition between person-playing-online-scrabble to person-who-has-a-job. And while nothing says “I’m working right now” more than a leather shoe, wearing a brogue at your kitchen table is preposterous.
Enter the Corporate Sandal, a hopefully enduring staple exemplified most beautifully by Church’s Nevada leather Fisherman model.
Premium Unlocked Content
In spirit of everyone from JSTOR to Vogue Italia unlocking their archives, I’d like to unlock a never-before-shared resource on this platform. Many have asked me (though only few receive answers) about the alluring high-neck-banded longsleeve tees that I often wear during the spring and summer months. They are indeed mock-neck T-shirts by Port and Company. And they are available on Amazon for $10.77.
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