Did we buy a fabulous pair of leather Gucci mules, at the same price as a round-trip airfare to Paris, mere moments before lockdown? No comment. Let’s be real—this summer, these wedge espadrilles are the closest we’re coming to formal footwear. Castañer first dreamed up this Carina style all the way back in the 70s, upon the request of Yves Saint Laurent. Blessedly, they’ve barely changed in the intervening decades. Made of cream canvas and set on a jute wedge, they’re so unobtrusive and neutral that we dare you to find something summery in your closet that wouldn’t benefit from their companionship. ($135, matchesfashion.com)
The Linen Shirt
Call us contrarian, but we prefer long sleeves to sunscreen when it comes to sun protection, at least until the temps demand something lighter. (Who wants to slather one’s forearms in lotion before each and every trip outdoors?) This seasonal update of the linen shirt, from the clever people at Frame, is just the thing to soldier us through summer. Its stiff collar and oversize front pockets lend it a bit of formality, so that it will look sharp in the city with crisp trousers and skirts. But it’s also at home in beachier locales, paired with Bermuda shorts and leather sandals. ($299, matchesfashion.com)
Does this beauty look familiar? If so, you have likely been a (lucky) guest at Mezzatorre, the new hotel on Ischia from hotelier and Air Mail Editor at Large Marie-Louise Sciò. Now, just as Sciò’s retreats start to open their doors for what is sure to be a most unusual summer season, she has launched Issimo, her new lifestyle brand that celebrates Italy’s joyful approach to living. Its e-commerce site is an embarrassment of riches from some of the country’s coolest fashion and home-goods brands such as Aquazzurra, Missoni, and For Restless Sleepers. But our first purchase will be this sunshade from Ombrellone Visconti, guaranteed to bring the spirit of an Italian vacation to your backyard. It’s not quite a trip to the Med, but for now it will have to do. ($466, issimoissimo.com)
The All-in-One Exfoliator
Dr. Dennis Gross
Prone to the periodic breakout, we thought we’d use lockdown time to rid ourselves of blemishes once and for all. On the recommendation of all-star facialist Sofie Pavitt, we purchased Dr. Dennis Gross’s Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel and haven’t seen a pimple nor pore since. Combining seven alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, these pads, which come in handy, individualized packets, offer a no-joke deep clean that not only exfoliates, leaving you with baby-soft skin, but also lightens dark spots, minimizes scarring, and gives a glow, thanks to a dose of vitamins and antioxidants. It’s surprisingly low maintenance for such a high-capability product, and while we love the effects of the extra-strength version, there are two gentler options for acid-peel newbies or those with sensitive skin. ($88, dermstore.com)
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