Editor’s Note: As a collective, the Gear Patrol staff is a wealth of knowledge about products — everyone is an expert in his or her own right. Of course, every story we publish is a testament to that. In our personal lives, we pursue our product passion too. This series is our way of showcasing and sharing our insights on products we individually endorse and love and own. Our hope is that you enjoy it all – and perhaps discover something new as you meet our staff over the next few weeks.

A lot has changed since last year’s Staff Picks. For one, I don’t have those sunglasses I said I’d wear forever. What I called a slim wallet is laughably large compared to what I use now. That “grail” weekender? Got an affordable canvas one instead. Oh, and I have a new roommate, with whom I share a last name and a closet. Adjusting to tiny-apartment and shared-closet life means slimmed-down EDC and an emphasis on items that I hope are here to stay: well-made leather goods, a luxurious pen, the perfect notebook. If they don’t last, at least I have another side of the closet to borrow from now.

Blackwing Summit Notebook

In the years before this notebook, I drew my calendars and planners by hand. This was done out of desperation, not passion. This dot-gridded notebook has been a game changer for daily to-do lists, brainstorms and flowcharts. The sleek leather cover is a bonus feature.

Reigning Champ Terry Crewneck

Every wardrobe should include a navy crewneck. I borrowed this particular sweatshirt from my editor; it is the softest, most luxurious sweatshirt I’ve ever worn. I did not want to give it back.

Common Projects Achilles Sneakers

Nothing brings a casual outfit up a notch better than the right pair of sneakers. I own these in blush, but often pine after the gray colorway. The leather is sturdy, gorgeous and worth the investment (if you’ll take care of it).

BergHOFF Studio Glass Tea Pot

I can’t stand being unable to see what I’m cooking (or eating — I cannot eat in the dark). Beyond being stylish, a glass teapot solves that issue, allowing me to see if tea needs more time to steep or if the water’s about to boil over.

Bittermilk Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour Cocktail Mix

This made-in-Charleston cocktail mixer complements, and doesn’t hide, my favorite kind of liquor. I suggest Tincup.

Pioneer Carry Molecule Card Wallet

This slim ripstop wallet is what it took for me to slim down my wallet. I now carry only my ID, MetroCard, stamps and the occasional $20 bill.

Zara Leather Jacket

Leather jackets are well worth their considerable cost; they’re sleek, they’re edgy and they make a slipshod outfit appear put-together (win-win-win). This one is an affordable option as is, but I’m wary of supporting fast fashion, so I actually purchased it on a luxury resale site called Vestiaire Collective.

Copplus Hexagonal Pen

Don’t underestimate what the right desk accessory can do for your workday. This pen adorns my valet tray and follows me to important meetings, and a surprising amount of people notice it. That it’s re-fillable is a practical and sustainable bonus.

The Laundress Crease Release

I hate ironing. And no matter what people say, there is a shortcut to wrinkle-free clothing. This product works, and it smells great. You can even water it down as your supply diminishes.

The Grail

Philippe Baumann Carriage House in Brooklyn, NY

Like many New Yorkers, I’ve developed a flaw: fantasizing about an escape out east or Upstate. But I’d prefer an escape where I already am. The wide-open spaces, high ceilings, plaster walls, and gorgeous wood of this modified carriage house render it soothing and sanctuary-like, but at the end of the day, it’s still in Brooklyn.

All Our Staff Picks In One Place

All the gear we can’t live without. Read the Story

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