3 Must Haves #6 by Steven Kowlaski

Moxon Huddersfield Wool Socks: $400

On your feet, no price can be put.  And, by association, it is difficult to place an accurate price on their health.  More to the point, sir, how much would you spend to avoid gangrene and the rot?  For it is one thing to walk oneself to the top of an as yet unconquered mountain, another thing entirely to walk oneself down.  There have been cases, sir, and not cases in isolation I am afraid, where men more broad of experience and studier of bone than yourself arrived in Oriental ports to debark for their home with a mountaintop in their name and a foot left behind in a doctor’s glass jar.  We often see these former men hobbling through smoking rooms boasting of their achievements, perhaps waving dismissively at a large photograph of themselves on the wall while their gaze drifts wistfully to the skies.  And sir, if your temperament is similar to my own as I expect it is, the look to heavens alone is enough to turn the stomach.   For it is all the men can do to not look down and see again the browned machete dropping to their ankle.  One wishes not that these once proud conquerors had thought better of their acquisitions.  Only that they had thought better in their preparation.  Had they, or others before them, given less time to the measuring of their achievements and more time to careful plotting and the sharing of information, the civilized world may today hold influence in those barbarian regions where our best efforts have still yet to yield a foothold.  Sir, do not mistake my call for sensibility as a tonic meant to sap bombast from those who would venture afar in the name of reclamation.  Hubris is necessary to the tincture of celebrity.  But we must also be sure to balance that urge with sensibility, valuation, backbone, and many, many pairs of reliable socks.

d’Avenza Cashmere-and-Silk Blazer: $3,250

Ask not what you can do for this jacket.  Ask what this jacket can do for you.  In this case, it can do just about anything.  It can’t make you fly.  But its top quality materials and tailoring will give you the sensation that you are flying.  It won’t get you the girl.  But it will get her attention with its exquisite fit and soft shouldered design.  It won’t get you the job.  But the confidence you feel with this blazer wrapped around you will help you win the interview.  It will not make you a better dancer.  But it will get you beyond the velvet rope and, once inside, however you decide to dance will dictate what dancing is. This is the coat that goes best with beef priced to market.  They teach valets to recognize this jacket as it announces the owner of a fine automobile.  Look at the buttons, look at the stitching and shape.  The hanger this jacket hangs from was designed by a NASA engineer. And so precise is the relationship between jacket and hanger that no other jacket will hang from the hanger and from no other hanger with this jacket hang.  If a cocktail party were held on the moon, Neal Armstrong would wear this jacket. And while this jacket will not transform you into a Cosmonaut, it will allow you access to places few people have seen.  For instance, while many jackets will garner an invite to Buckingham Palace, only a blazer of this quality will allow you to view the garage, which is filled with many expensive cars, half empty cans of paint, rat poison, boxes of old report cards, and a collection of glass jars that each contain a the curled index finger of a dead Royal.

Excalibur Cutlery Straight Razor Kit: $500

Sir, if I may, I would like to take a moment to focus on your face.  Stand here, sir, in front of the mirror, and look upon yourself.  Worn is the word I would use to describe it.  Yes, I am sure you favor another word, something less chiding.  But I am not compensated entirely for my manners.  At certain times, and this is one of them, a bit of frankness is apt and should be appreciated.  And it is in that spirit that I say, sir, you look like a common vagabond, like an urchin, a snakesman, a lurker.  Your beard hangs about your face like cobwebs.  You look dead in it.  What would they say if they saw you?  Those you went to school with, how might they find you now?  Your family, distant though they are, might wish to simply declare you missing once and for all.  And should you see them, you all scruff and coarseness, the family will simply tell the attending officer they have never seen you before in their lives thereby fulfilling the false reports of your vanishing.  What might there be, I wonder, out there, over the rising wave and burning dune that would encourage you to allow your face its foliage.  Perhaps on that far travel you have forgotten your priorities, your orders.  I will admit I have forgotten them as well.  But I can say with true certainty and absolute conviction that, upon the completion of your training and your release you were not told to bury yourself in a thick bog and emerge as part swamp part man.  Sir it will not do. It arouses suspicions and intrigues.  Trust, as you know, is paramount.  And one finds it difficult to trust another who chooses to wear half of their face covered in briars.  I do suppose we could take it down to just a mustache, though that particular look comes with its own set of difficulties.  The Goatee is also off limits and is in many respects far worse than your beard.


About Steven Kowalski