There are few authorities on style with the insight and insouciance of Alexandra Shulman. The longest-serving editor of British Vogue, Shulman stepped down from the title in 2017, and while a column in the Mail on Sunday keeps her social-commentary skills sharpened, she maintains a full schedule of extra-curricular pursuits. In Clothes … and Other Things That Matter, her smart new memoir, Shulman looks back at her life through the lens of fashion. It’s no surprise that this incisive journalist applies the same amount of precision and thoughtfulness to selecting the key components to the good life. —Ashley Baker

Airline: One that gets me where I am going alive.
Bag: The traditional fold-up Bottega Veneta Intrecciato tote, but I fear they may not make them anymore.
: Playa de Migjorn, on Formentera, a huge sandy beach with turquoise sea and great beach bars.
: Around 11, unless I’m at a party, and then it would be dawn.
: Mine.
Breakfast, weekend: Croissant, cold butter, jam, and coffee.
Car: Vintage Mercedes convertible.
Cocktail: Tequila sunrise.
Creation: I’d die happy if I’d written “You’re So Vain.”
Dinner date
: I wouldn’t say no to Matthew McConaughey.
Dress: One that knocks off seven pounds.
: A straight road with some great music on the radio, through a desert landscape.
Escape: A magic carpet.
: The one I am lucky enough to have.
: One who knows not to come into the kitchen just when I’m trying to get food on the table.
Hideaway: My bed.
Hotel: La Colombe d’Or, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
Insult: “Waste of space.”
Jacket: I’m a sucker for a satin baseball jacket.
Last Meal: Roast chicken and sticky-toffee pudding.

“Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” by Bob Dylan.

LUNCH DATE: Someone who tells me something new and makes me feel excited about a project, either personal or professional.
Lunch, weekend
: In a garden, late-starting and long-lasting, with copious wine and no early-evening hangover.
: Nic Roeg’s Bad Timing. I can watch it endlessly for the dialogue, the clothes, the disturbing aura throughout.

Nonfiction book: I turn often to Joan Didion’s The White Album.
Novel: Rosamond Lehmann’s The Weather in the Streets. So evocative about yearning.
Pet: Currently, our cat Coco.
Piece of advice: “Just do it.”
Restaurant: London’s River Cafe or our neighborhood local Ida. Both Italian cooking, but different price points.
: Adidas x Wales Bonner trainers.
Singer: Patti Smith, but I’ve got a lot of time for Lana Del Rey.
Television series: The one that I am developing with my colleague Fiona Golfar and our production company, Sid Gentle.
Time of day: 6:30 a.m. on a late-spring morning, with everything to look forward to.
: My kitchen clock, which has a knitted face. I bought it at the Centre Pompidou, in Paris.
Vacation: Staying somewhere beautiful with a group of friends. I love to holiday in a pack.
: I’m a fan of urban views—neighborhood back gardens, rooms at dusk, or London’s Westway at sunset, driving over West London.
Work of art: I would love to have Rachel Whiteread’s Snow Show on my wall. It’s kind of the color of nothing, in resin and steel.

Alexandra’s Essentials

Clockwise from top left: The White Album: Essays, by Joan Didion; Lana Del Rey; a tequila sunrise; a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300Sc; Playa de Migjorn; Adidas x Wales Bonner trainers; a Bottega Veneta tote bag.