A Suite Night In
My brother married an American, and the two have settled into a nice life in Seattle. Which means that I've settled into a slightly inconvenient life of travelling semi-regularly to Seattle. It's not that I don't love the city (I mean, how can you not once you've experienced the treasure trove that is the Freemont Vintage Mall or bit into a hot piroshky on a windy day?) or that I don't enjoy spending time with the little bro (I mean, how can you not once you're two beers deep and he's trying to convince you that Brazil was actually named after the Brazil nut?), but the border lineup and bumpy, boring highway are a lot to overcome to get there.
But on my last trip, I was lucky enough to snag a suite at the Kimpton Alexis Hotel—and it's going to inspire more future trips down than family ever could. (Sorry, Blair, but maybe you should think about providing me with a king size bed with Frette linens if you want me to visit more.) (Also a cocktail trolley.) (Please.)
So what's on my Christmas list? Ultimately, more quality time with my brother—and if that's experienced while hanging out in a certain hotel room's West Coast modern lounge with a view of the Puget Sound, or downstairs at the Bookstore Bar where I can quickly and easily get back to my beautiful hotel room at the end of a few whisky sours, I'm certainly not going to complain. December and January rates start at $199 a night, but can you really put a price on sibling bonding?—Stacey McLachlan, executive editor and Blair's sister
A Wallet That Doesn’t Scratch My Cards
OK, what I actually want is something that no one in my life will get me—an expensive waterproof rain jacket I can bike to work in and still feel like a human rather a soggy Mini Wheat. But I perhaps only have myself to blame for that, in that a few months ago (before it got very rainy) I lost my Arc’Teryx jacket at a bar because I wanted to save a few bucks on coat check. I know. Hopefully you keep this tragic story in mind when you’re considering throwing your coat behind a couch and hoping no one will notice.
Anyways, I got a Herschel wallet awhile back (a slim, black one) and it’s scratched the hell out of my debit and credit cards to the point where they don’t tap anymore. Thanks, Herschel. How am I going to pay for a new rain jacket? —Nathan Caddell, associate editor
Suitsupply Traveller Suit
My fellow editors call me a fancy pants, but they mostly do it to my face, so I'm okay with it. So I'm loathe to burst their bubble with my sartorial secret—I love the reasonably priced suits from Holland's Suitsupply. I have three already—a blue-double breasted corduroy, a linen houndstooth and a wool houndstooth. I appreciate that's a bit eclectic, but I already had nice suits in all the basic colours and frankly those suits costs a whole swack more than the Suitsupply ones do so it felt wrong, indulgent, replacing them. But honestly the sub-$1000 Suitsupply suits fit me better and much better crafted than their Etro, Boss or Valentino in my closet that cost double or triple.
I bought my Suitsupply in Amsterdam (and one online) but in the past few years the company has been expanding—Seattle, Toronto but no Vancouver. I have been writing the company once a year asking when they'll be open and without fail, a person with a very Dutch sounding name emails back and says, "it's under consideration." But a month or so ago she wrote me to say they'd opened a pop-up in Nordstrom (that's my pic above), so last week I trucked down there to check it out. The space is actually quite big and the salesperson, Charlie Hagelberg—I got his card—was great. He showed me a suit I've been wanting for a while. It's an unlined, anti-wrinkle number called the Traveller, made to withstand a flight and keep you looking sharp. And the pants sort of awesomely have a drawstring to show the kids I still got it (quit snickering). And it's $639. I frankly should have just bought it, but I don't need it and they might have a Boxing Day sale (although I doubt it as they almost never have sales, which I like). And please know that Suitsupply has never given me sample or provided an incentive at all—other than just making superior suits for a smoking deal. And being Dutch.—Neal McLennan, food editor
A Button Maker (Please Do Not Make Fun of Me)
I hate telling people what I want for Christmas, mostly because if I don’t have something that I want it is normally a) too expensive to ask for or b) so cheap and integral that it is embarrassing I don’t have one (can someone buy me a toothbrush?). I joke, but my actual wishlist is so embarrassing it was difficult to pick something to share. So, come what may, what I want for Christmas is a button maker. It’s pretty predictable given last year I asked for a screen printing kit. What can I say, I like crafts. I have never made buttons before and have done limited research on the subject (that’s your job, stranger who is definitely going to buy me a present!) but this Morphon Button Maker has some pretty good reviews online. If you buy me one I will most definitely make you a button that reads “Thanks for the button maker.”—Alyssa Hirose, assistant editor
Slow Coffee Style Stacking Mugs from Kinto
The other day I was trying to precariously balance one giant mug on another giant mug in my cupboard, and then at a friend's for brunch just an hour later, I was introduced to a solution to my bound-for-disaster situation: adorable stacking mugs from Japanese brand Kinto. They're the perfect size for drinking my morning cup of tea while it's still hot (they're tiny, but not too tiny), and their slick minimalist design will tidy up my mug cabinet in no time. Am I also swayed by the also-adorable slogan "Slow Coffee Style" printed on the bottom of these mugs? Yes I am. Save me from impending, mug-pyramid-collapsing doom.—Anicka Quin, editorial director