L.L.Bean

Packing for the Beach House

A collage of things to bring to the beach house

While it may be tempting to overpack for your stay at the beach house, I caution against it. Your much-deserved time in and by the ocean shouldn’t be eclipsed by an excessive amount of belongings. I take my most casual items of clothing to the beach. No iron, no steamer…just five of the same tank dress. In addition to practical clothing, family-friendly games, classic movies, and wine all make for a celebratory time.

Works Sighted

Estelle Colored Glass Champagne coupes // Chateau du Petit Thouars Cremant de Loire Non Vintage // The Hygge Game // sunscreen // chapstick

Warby Parker sunglasses // Summersalt sidestroke // Charlie Holiday sarong // Sunbody Hats straw hat // Hermès Oran sandal // L.L.Bean Boat and Tote

J.Crew short-sleeve pajama short set (hydrangea) // S’well water bottle // Holiday // My Paris Dream

Packing for New York

Essentials to pack in your bag on a long day

An in-person Airbnb experience and my university reunion are bringing me back to New York for the first time since March 2020. I’ve signed up for Shop Bargain Manhattan Thrift Stores to keep me busy until I meet up with other Birkbeck alumni in the evening. Here’s an idealized version of what I’m packing in my tote for the busy day. If I find myself with unoccupied time, I plan to consult the New York Guide.

Works Sighted

L.L.Bean Boat and Tote // Muji pouch // Flint lint brush // Burt’s Bees lip balm // Burt’s Bees lip balm // Stojo bottle // lightening cable // Leatherology cord wrap // phone

Public Goods tissues // Native deoderant // Native toothpaste // Vaseline // Cetaphil lotion // Madewell pouch // Leatherology keychain // power adapter

7 Reasons to Visit the Mall

Shopping in L.L.Bean store

My trip to King of Prussia this past Saturday was a success. I managed to get there alive on public transportation. (You have to leave early in the morning before the unsavory people wake up.) My fellow travelers were wearing real clothes, a little too casual, but real.

After exiting the bus, I spent a little time in the morning air reminiscing about when I used to make the excursion during my high school years. The younger me could often be found at J.Crew KOP on weekends. The mall has been upgraded a bit since then, and I wanted to see the improvements for myself.

At several points during my indoor stroll, I reflected on my other motives for visiting the mall. Even a shopping destination as massive as KOP can seem mundane after a few consecutive visits, but it’s a better destination than the sofa. Here are 7 reasons to visit the mall:

Exercise // You won’t be paying attention to your step counter because you’ll be too busy looking at the rows of storefronts . I walked over 8 miles/20,000 steps on Saturday without even realizing it.

Window Shopping // Surveying the offerings from various brands is the first step in developing your personal style. If I had to pick one noteworthy item that I saw on my voyage around KOP, it would be the L.L.Bean medium Boat and Tote with long handles (pictured). All of my Boat and Totes have short handles, but I think I might switch up the length on my next one.

Discoveries // You never know what new stores you’ll discover on your visit to the mall. On Saturday, I visited Aritzia in person for the first time.

Returns // Sometimes ordering is a necessary step in getting exactly what you want. Although I didn’t return anything this past Saturday, I might venture to the mall in the future for this purpose. Any excuse to leave the house is a good one!

Observations // Observing your fellow mall-goers may cause you to experience a range of emotions. A baby who was learning to walk brought a smile to my face. A young girl wearing a tight, spandex onesie with fluffy Ugg slippers did not.

Social Scene // You never know who else thought that going to the mall was better than sitting on the sofa. On Saturday, I ran into my manager from my very first job.

Lunch // You’ve put in all those steps, and you deserve lunch. On Saturday, I treated myself to Sweetgreen’s hot honey chicken plate, and I’m glad that I did.

Works Sighted

Loft button-up (old) // J.Crew Camille shrunken sweater-blazer // J.Crew Martie pant // Adidas Stan Smith sneakers // L.L.Bean medium Boat and Tote with long handles

Travel Essentials

Travel essentials: AWAY carryon, L.L.Bean boat and tote, notebook, BAGGU, Cetaphil, peppermint essential oil, London Undercover umbrella, S'well bottle, Apple iPhone and EarPods, Cadence capsules, Stoney Clover Lane luggage tag and passport cover, J.Crew scarf.

Ah, the joys of trip preparation. Buying miniature tubes of toothpaste at the pharmacy. Affixing my luggage tag to the handle of my suitcase. Deciding which vitamins to pack. Curating a week’s worth of outfits. Designing my own survival kit. Setting an itinerary. I’m not going any farther than my city’s art museum for the time being, but traveling, my favorite pastime, is always on my mind.

Works Sighted

Baggu bag // S’well bottle // Cetaphil cleanser // Cetaphil lotion // Stoney Clover Lane travel pouch // doTERRA peppermint oil // Cadence capsules // J.Crew scarf

Designworks Ink notebook // Stoney Clover Ln luggage tag // Stoney Clover Ln passport cover // Colgate toothpaste // Burt’s Bees lip balm // tissues // toothbrush // J.Crew socks // Trtl travel pillow

Away carry-on // Uni-Ball pen // portable charger // Madewell pouch // RFID blocking card // Babyganics sanitizing wipes // toothbrush case // L.L.Bean Boat and Tote // London Undercover umbrella // book // Apple EarPods // universal travel adapter // phone

The L.L.Bean Boot

L.L. Bean 6″ duck boots

As I mentioned in my post on the parka, dressing for the weather is the first step to enjoying it. This mantra should be applied to every type of weather, but I find that the colder months present more style-related challenges. Today we’ll discuss the L.L.Bean boot. I’ve owned the same pair of 6″ duck boots since 2017, and so far, I haven’t found another type of winter-appropriate footwear that is equally practical outside as it is inside. Prior to working remotely, I’d often leave them on after my daily commute. The rubber sole, leather upper, and gold and tan laces pair nicely with the classic tights/woolen skirt/button-up combination.

I tend to wear my Bean boots when there is either snow on the ground or an imminent threat of it. Winter in the Mid-Atlantic is mild compared to the season in New England, and I’d probably own several pairs of Bean boots if I lived in Boston (one of my favorite U.S. cities). There are a number of linings available for addition insulation, such as shearling and Thinsulate, but I find the style sans lining suitable for the weather in PHL. I’ll wear them with a pair of J.Crew camp socks on colder days or a tall sock of standard weight in warmer winter temperatures. Every winter I turn to the same pair of boots to get me through the elements. Eventually, I’ll have to get them resoled, but for right now, they still look good as new.

The L.L.Bean Boat and Tote

Medium L.L.Bean Boat and Tote with short handles.

The L.L.Bean Boat and Tote was originally designed for hauling ice but is an ideal carrier for endless combinations of items: notebook/pen, towel/sunscreen, salad/apple/Perrier, package/shipping label/tape. It is a stylish sidekick for busy days. The sizes range from small to extra-large, which enables the buyer to select a style with dimensions that suit the task(s) to which it will be designated. The handle’s color and length are customizable, as is the color of the monogram. Oh yes, you must get it monogrammed. The only time I ordered a Boat and Tote without one was when I gave it to a friend and didn’t know if she would prefer her initials on the side. I’ve given this canvas bag as a gift on three occasions. The medium, open-top tote with short, navy handles is my go-to style in these instances. But it also comes in a zip-top version, which I’ve found useful. L.L.Bean will occasionally produce variants of the classic tote, but I don’t recommend that you explore them until after you’ve become acquainted with the original.

Works Sighted

L.L.Bean Boat and Tote (medium, short handles in navy, red monogram)