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Locked down and loaded out

Gear up for the days ahead

With COVID-19 still looming out there, and a large-scale cure yet to be found, we’re facing an entirely new world where everyone’s staying indoors more than they’re going out. 

So what does this mean, exactly?

For the foreseeable future, it seems remote work will continue to be part of the new order, so we’ll have to keep adapting while we wait for a solution. Still, people have been slowly coming to terms with it: buying only functional items and building more comfortable wardrobes. But comfortable and functional don’t have to mean they’re meant just for home. With the current situation, you’ll want things that will be just as useful out there as they are indoors. 

While we hunker down for the days ahead, here are a few things that might help:

Casual jackets

Being holed up indoors means you won’t be using a good part of your wardrobe. Meetings being what they are these days, a lot of us have had to run through our casuals more than usual. Casual Friday has essentially become Casual Everyday now, and while our more business-like clothes are taking a break, out come the laid-back jackets. 

The Manila Shacket from Studio Sampaguita
Photo: Studio Sampaguita

Still, laid-back doesn’t have to mean cutting down on looking sharp, and the Manila Shacket from Studio Sampaguita does the job nicely. You can dress it down with a polo or style it up with a spread collar shirt and a tie. And switching between meetings, you might find yourself doing both. 

The idea behind the Manila Shacket was to make something with the functionality of a safari jacket while having the comfort of a shirt. There’s no lining, and a half-belt lets you cinch the waist a little for a slimmer silhouette. It’s also made of a fairly lightweight Irish linen woven in Huddersfield, so it will keep a good shape while letting air through for the warmer days.

A reliable watch

It’s common enough to lose track of the time or the date while on quarantine. A watch gives you some semblance of normality, and is usually a comforting weight on the wrist. That doesn’t have to change while we’re mostly staying indoors. If anything, it will help you keep track of the time you’re spending at work without having to look at your phone (which could lead to even more work).

The Constellation Gents’ Collection
Photo: Omega

The Omega Constellation may be a dress watch, but it can be dressed down a bit to match your casuals. The Constellation Gents’ Collection also released a few new variants recently, with case diameters of up to up to 41mm. The new collection features steel, gold, and two-tone models with ceramic bezel variants, making it an interesting choice as a daily watch. 

Plus, it’s got an interesting story to tell into the bargain. It’s one of Omega’s most historical models (alongside the Speedmaster, the Seamaster, and now, possibly the De Ville Tourbillon Master Chronometer), being an homage to the house’s record-setting accuracy at the Geneva Observatory trials. 

Comfortable shoes

Shoes won’t show up on Zoom, but that’s not the reason why you’ll want them. Much of working from home is about comfort, but it doesn’t hurt to look great while you’re at it, even when no one else notices.

The Tod’s Gommino Capri capsule collection
Photo: Tod’s

The Gommino is the most popular shoe line from Tod’s, and there’s a good reason for that.  Originally designed as driving shoes, they have a generous amount of comfort on the insole, and is easily recognizable for the rubber pebbles at the sole. 

While they’re designed as driving shoes, these loafers have since become part of dressed-up casual style. This particular pair comes from a new capsule collection that takes its inspiration from Capri, and are made in the natural colors of the Italian summer. On the plus side, you won’t have to change shoes if you need to drive out for a grocery run. 

A good pen

Since the quarantine began, people have been reading quite a bit more than usual. And with their newfound time, they’re also writing a little more: jotting notes, keeping journals, that sort of thing. And if you find yourself writing by hand more often these days, you might want to think about getting a pen to go with it. 

The Meisterstück Le Petit Prince and Planet
Photo: Montblanc

Montblanc’s Le Petit Prince and Planet collection is made up of pens that tell stories themselves. Based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s widely read novel, The Little Prince, the pens from the collection inject a little escapism into your daily routine. Looking at the gold nib, you can see the Little Prince weeding his tiny planet. Meanwhile, The resin barrel is done in burgundy, a color that brings to mind the Prince’s beloved rose. 

The pen adds a little encouragement for the uncertain days ahead as well, with each cap bearing a quote from the Prince’s friend, the fox. And these are some of the most memorable words from the book: “On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur.” One sees clearly only with the heart.

A grooming routine

Finally, you’ll need to take care of yourself. We don’t have to go out as much anymore, so we can finally spend a little more time on ourselves. Having a grooming routine helps, and can get you in the mood to face the day (or the screen). 

The Nivea Men Deep range
Photo: Nivea

Nivea recently came out with a full grooming lineup called the Nivea Men Deep line: shampoo, facial wash, shower gel, and deodorant. The range uses black carbon as an agent, which cleans more deeply than usual, and is also anti-bacterial into the bargain. In short, it’s based on charcoal, and helps quite a bit on humid days (because we still have those now) especially if you’re spending them sitting down most of the time. 

The shower gel uses microfine clay, which helps absorb impurities and keeps things clean. It also smells like dark wood, which is in line with the black carbon theme. The Nivea Men Deep deodorant range, meanwhile, comes in three scents—Original, Espresso, and Amazonia. Also, earthy, and goes well with the rest of the range. 

With the turn of the season ahead and summer slowly fading as the days pass by, we’re facing a new world altogether. And if it’s one that’s encouraging us to stay at home, then it won’t hurt to get loaded out while we stay locked in.