If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked fashion designer Sid Mashburn — the owner of a chain of eponymously named men’s-lifestyle boutiques — about the cleaning supply, snacks, and pen he can’t live without.
The first time I got a bonus — I was working at J.Crew — I left my boss’s office and went and bought myself a Waterman fountain pen. I just loved the idea of mixing black, green, and blue inks together. Then life got more complicated and I didn’t have time to mix ink colors any more, so I started using Pilot fountain pens. They are pretty nice but disposable — I felt bad after I finished them. I bought this Kaweco fountain pen about eight years ago, and I wish I’d found it earlier. It’s tidy because it screws into itself for storage — when I’m not using it, the pen is small enough to slip into my shirt or pants pocket. But when you unscrew it and put it together you’ve suddenly got a full-size pen. It’s affordable and cheerful and comes in a bunch of colors.
As I started getting older, I found my face was getting dry. No disparagement to anybody who is in the potions-and-lotions business, but I want to use a minimal amount of things, and I need them to work overtime. This moisturizer does. It has SPF, it moisturizes, and the smell is really pleasant. I have five daughters, and they all like the scent of this more than my cologne. They say, “I love that smell, Dad. It reminds me of you.” The only problem is the bottles are always too small. I get to the bottom and feel like my mother scraping mustard out of the jar.
I grew up drinking iced tea. In the South, they offer it to you when you go into any restaurant. For a while, I really liked Honest Tea, but I feel like at some point they changed the formula. So I decided to make my own. I put regular Lipton tea bags in boiling water, steep them until it’s really strong, then cut it with this peach juice and put the mixture in the refrigerator. It’s delicious. I buy three bottles of the juice a time. It’s a problem.
I buy these in bulk. Golden Flake is an institution in the South. I like its chips better than Lay’s. I like the size of the bag. I like the coloring. We occasionally serve these at our events. Sometimes, when I’m going to somebody’s house, I bring the pickle chips instead of a bottle of wine.
Talk about bang for your buck. You have scissors. A flathead screwdriver. A nail file. A knife. Tweezers. A toothpick. A keyring. And that’s all in about two-and-a-half inches. I got my first one in college and always have one in my pocket unless TSA agents take it away. (I’ve lost about a dozen to the TSA.) I use it nonstop. I’m always pulling it out to cut a loose string off somebody or a piece of paper.
I’ve grooved on incense since I was a kid. This Astier de Villatte incense is smoky and floral; I’ve been shopping at the brand’s store in Paris for a long time. Each box has 125 sticks, and I never burn a whole stick at once. I just burn a little then light it back up when I want a lift again. I probably get three burns out of each stick, so even though it’s not inexpensive, you really need to be burning it like crazy to go through a box. I also love the packaging — usually, when you buy incense it’s, like, from a head shop and in an ugly box.
It’s so solid and spartan in its look, but it really does the trick. When you pay a little more for these things, the first thing you notice is the pieces you touch have a touch more touch to them. The other thing about this turntable is that the cartridge and the needle are a little bit higher-quality, so you get more detail and definition.
I like to sweep. It’s cathartic and therapeutic. I prefer old-timey brooms to ones with synthetic bristles. They’re too soft. There’s a great deal of satisfaction when you finish a job like sweeping — you may have worked hard, but you can see the fruits of your labor right there. I actually prefer this to a vacuum. I like to get into corners, and it’s hard to get into corners with a vacuum.
Along with some change and his keys, my dad would put one of these on top of his chest of drawers every night. I’ve got mine on me as I speak. In the old days, it came in a tin tube that would sometimes cut your lip. The plastic tube is better. This has a smell that takes me back to a certain place, and it’s not medicated, so your lips don’t get hooked on it.
I wear a lot of leather shoes, and I don’t like to go anywhere with shoes that look dinged up. This stuff is magical. It’s like a moisturizer for shoes — it cleans deep in a way that isn’t just like putting some polish on. The product is a neutral color, so you can use it on all colors of leather. Another nice thing is that you can use it on your soles, too. Those are what get dinged up the most. I hate walking around with scuffed soles.
If a guy came into our store and said, “I need one piece of clothing,” I’d tell him to get a navy blazer. You can show up anywhere in a navy blazer, and it’ll give you entrée to almost anything. The Virgil is my favorite blazer that we make. There’s a place for a phone, keys, Airpods, a wallet. It’s a hardworking jacket that has heft but breathes nicely. People come into our stores wearing Virgil jackets they bought from us ten years ago. I don’t know anybody in the world who is making this fabric but us. We took it around Europe to find someone else who could make it as a backup and found one guy who said, “Oh, I’ve seen a loom that can weave that fabric.” We were like, “Fantastic, where?” He said, “In a museum.”
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