I was asked about my favorite things of the summer. And my first response was JUUL. They said, “you can’t say that.” So I thought about it some more, and said, “JUUL.”
I’m not being paid to say that or write this; I assume that would be in violation of some FDA guideline. But here’s why I love my JUUL and a few other things I fell in (and out of) love with this summer, and a few things I don’t like:
Better Late Than Never
Athletic Apparel That Isn’t Lululemon
Every time I see a guy in Lululemon I want to punch him in the face, but then I look down and remember that I’m also wearing Lululemon. So I traded all of mine in for Birddogs. The founders torched a smug Mark Cuban on national TV and then went out and proved him wrong by building an $80 million brand in two years, not to mention the fact that it’s a vastly superior product (they poached LULUs men’s design head and got him a muse) at a better price point.
The Book Of The Summer
I’ve got two kids under six; my pool and beach time is largely spent doing other things, so I probably only got through a handful of books this summer, which is still better than most. My favorite book was Safi Bahcall’s, Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries. The Financial Times called it an “ambitious and entertaining effort to lay out some fundamental laws of success and uncover the truth about successful group behavior.”
Gamifying Insect Removal
Sunglasses That Aren’t Ray-Bans
I hate seeing a thousand Chads with dadbods at the beach wearing the same sunglasses as me. I found these Cloos glasses in the South of France two summers ago, and the brand has exploded ever since. They’re understated, classic, unisex (my wife stole mine), and have a quality that rivals most expensive brands. After all, sunglasses are important; they serve a valuable purpose in terms of function and fashion, and convey to people (women) that you appreciate and take care of nice things.
Lay Down The Claw
Low Maintenance Dress Shirts
There’s too much content out there — too many podcasts, and too many tweets. And with the changing algorithms, my Facebook and Twitter feeds are frustratingly unreliable. So I get my morning fix from The Water Coolest and Bloomberg’s Matt Levine and entertainment and cultural relevance from FinMeme Instagram influencers like Arbitrage Andy or Litquidity.
A Prada Card Case
Having an iPhone case that holds cards might be convenient, but they’re ugly. Phone cases should really only be for the irresponsible and poor. Grow up and get a more refined version of a wallet. Prada makes by far the best one in my opinion because they have a patent on saffiano leather, so it’s totally unique, and uniquely durable. But there are plenty of good options out there. Fashion statements should be made with fun accessories, not with idiotic things like statement socks.
Summer Shouldn’t End With Labor Day
Not Neglecting My Top Drawer
I believe in a few simple truths when it comes to the top drawer. Statement socks are dumb. Pairing and sorting is a waste of time. And fresh socks feel great. That’s why I started Brummell — a subscription service for premium-quality socks. And since the average man replaces underwear every seven years, we added the most comfortable boxer briefs on the planet. And more importantly, every order is matched with a donation to The Bail Project or The PTSD Foundation.
The Game of Pharaohs
Bikes that have nothing to do with Peloton
Cycling is my new sober hobby. Each journey is its own accomplishment. It’s totally different from cardio at the gym, where my boredom is alleviated only by my Spotify playlist (Maxo Kream). And it carries the unique requirement of having to be focused and aware (for safety) and also the therapeutic qualities of being in the zone, which is incredibly relaxing. Not only do I dislike the cult-like Peloton culture, I find indoor cycling to be tedious and boring. So I bought a Pinarello and have been loving it every day since.
Earphones That Aren’t AirPods
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John LeFevre is the creator of @GSElevator, the founder of a fashion line, a podcast host, and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Straight To Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, And Billion-Dollar Deals, currently in development as a major motion picture.