Best Things Money Can Buy


Okay, this is a bit of a departure from my normal technology and gadgets - here are the best non-electronic accessories you can buy.  These are all products that I like and represent the absolute best that you can find.  You can't buy class, but you can at least fake it a little bit with these products below.  Also, I need to class up this blog a little bit.  Let's get started.  List after the break.

Best Billfold

Ettinger Purple Billfold (£146 - $230)

These guys are a Royal Warrant holder.  They regularly supply the Prince of Whales and they produce some of the finest leather goods that I've come across.  You can buy their work domestically - they have stores in NYC and LA.  Link

Best Umbrella

James Smith & Sons Solid Stick (£225 /  $350)

A man's umbrella instantly tells you about his social status and his financial well being.  This is a solid stick umbrella; the entire umbrella is a single piece of wood for durability.  Each umbrella is handmade and cut to the owner's height.  The are finished with a rubber or metal (you better order the metal) ferrule (the tip of the umbrella).  Link:

Best iPhone Case

Hard Graft Leather iPhone Case / Heritage ($72)

Hard Graft is a haberdashery based in Austria that makes predominately leather goods.  This design hand crafted from the best hides they can find.  It is vegetable tanned Italian leather that has been hand finished in florence using traditional artisan techniques.  It features a natural skin structure and patina which give this a subtle depth that is missing from all other leather iPhone cases that I've found.  Be sure to check out their other goods too.  Link

Best iPad Case

Vaja iVolution Top SP ($180)

I like Vaja.  Some of their designs may be a bit over the top but sometimes a streak of color isn't bad.  I really like the work that Hard Graft does but the color options on the iPad case here win out.  Like with most Vaja products, you can select the colors and they will hand make one to your specifications.  It takes about 25 days to build your new case and once you get it, you will have something that is uniquely you.  This model has a cover that is completely detachable and can be used as a kick stand.  This also has the dubious distinction on having one of the worst product names I've ever heard.  Link

Best Wool Tie

J.CREW faded herringbone tie ($60)

So this is the least expensive item on the list and it is nowhere near the most expensive tie that I've seen but I love this one.  I have a few wool ties from J.CREW and every one is well made, travels nicely, and looks great.  The Vaja case won the award for worst product name.  This tie wins the award for worst website copy: "A ruggedly handsome interpretation of a classic. Expertly hand-finished in English wool hailing from the Abraham Moon mill—world famous for their fine fabrics."  Please fire that copywriter.  Link

Best Suit under $1500

Hickey Freeman Grey Solid Suit ($1,395)

This is a two button, single breasted suit.  N'uff said.  Link

Best White Shirt

Banana Republic BR Monogram white poplin dress shirt ($130)

Don't overlook the white shirt.  A $40 white shirt is great at times but it is hard to beat a well crafted dress shirt.  I have a few of these and they are hard to beat.  They fit great and look clean.  Even if you're not wearing a suit, or, especially if you're not wearing a suit and you need to look sharp, this shirt plus the J.CREW tie above is a hard to beat.  Link:

Best Art For Your Workspace

Luke Chueh ($100 - $10,000+)

Yes, this is the most subjective one on the list.  Luke Chueh is a California based artist whose recurring themes include the macabre, surrealism, and alienation.  He is generally classified as a member of the lowbrow / pop surrealism art movement.  I own two giclée prints of his: Possessed (shown above) and I Asked For Scrambled. If you are interested in buying his work you will need to go through a dealer.  Black Market, Gallery 1988, Copro/Nason, and Munkey King generally sell signed prints and original works.  Link