I feel like this “active lifestyle” stuff starts to sound like corporate bullshit after a while. But, it is truly how I have been feeling lately, so I guess they got something right. There are those big adventures that I hit during the summer on my bike, or long fun hikes on the weekend. And then there are that time of the year, usually right around the holidays when life gets crazy and at the same time wet and cold. So, the time dedicated to those big fun adventures shrinks to the point where I have to have to move to plan B to stay moving during the week.
The first penny I would spend during the winter will be for something warm, comfy, stylish and practical. All of a sudden I start to wear a lot of black merino pieces. The less details the better. If I want a pop of color I go with a touch of something bright. I try to make the most out of the daylight and do a lot of changing outfits between walking to lunch, going to yoga, riding my bike around town to get gifts, going to the pool for 45 minutes of laps, and then back to work. Plus, when it comes to travel, I want it all in a carry-on so... All the shades of black is the way to go.
Those situations involve a lot of hot/cold, a lot of process in the locker room, so lets make the experience seamless with the right tools and not ruin it with a bad gross head cold!
RAPHA MERINO GLOVES - $100:
How much do you need a pair of gloves? A lot. I know it's really personal because our human extremities get such different sensibility to temperature change. This being said, I find myself having a couple dozen gloves collected along the years but still end up reusing the same ones over and over. In the case of the merino gloves from Rapha, the top is merino and the palm of the hand is leather, it's more constructed than a lining and still more light and packable than a technical glove for the winter. I use it for commuting and also to go have a drink. I guess I like those gloves because they look fancy but I also can beat the shit out of them.
TIGRE TIME SWEATSHIRT - $45:
This is what I'm talking about when I say a pop of color. I actually stole this expression from my 7 year old friend Anders which have stole it from... America’s Next Top Model? Anyway, this winter we took our favorite feline friend and went a notch darker and a notch brighter. It has already saved the day few times when things were getting cold running errands or that time it started to breath some water from the sky but all I had was a short sleeve top outfit for trail running. I tend to trust the versatility of a sweater which can handle a sweaty run and stay comfy. It's fleece, not that super high tech 200$ fleece but it will seal the deal.
WITHINGS ACTIVITÉ POP - $150:
Be ready for the nerd alert minute. I'm 27 and freaking out over my health and keeping my size small forever. It's absolutely not justified but the fact is I want to know if I'm doing the right thing everyday: sleeping, eating and exercising can all be tracked from the app associated with this handsome watch. Seriously, it is the new-new. And if the Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team can get behind it, so can we.
ADIDAS PRIME BOOST - $180:
You need a boost, because we all do. Those adidas are quite awesome for walking my 10000 steps around the concrete floor of the office to the gym. The inside of the shoes are a one piece slipper and I like I low and scouchie the feet feel on it. Plus, I hate black sneakers so this colorway just work. Even it’s harder to wake up during the winter you can just look at it and it will keep you going. Bright idea brought to you by ADI, as they said.
ELECTRIC SHEEP WOOL SOCKS - $25:
WOOL. You can not go across the winter without a nice pair of socks. This one is charcoal with our PDX pattern in a electric sheep color. Yes, we decided that electric sheep can be a mix of color. Also, see what I did there? It will match the tiger sweater but it's still mainly black. I hope you will appreciate the effort to coordinate your socks to your favorite sweater.
GOOD FLOCK BAG & GROUP LESSON - $300:
Few things about the Good Flock, first of all it’s a Portland company who make all kind of maroquinerie (known in this country as "leathercraft") and those amazing Aurora lamp with the slickest design. Second, their mojo is sustainable: You can bury it in your garden it will come back to nature. The leather and process they use are environmentally friendly. The whole story is then told nicely by Marco the owner when he helps you to construct your own wallet or bag during one of their workshops. I did a 4 hours class and came back with this awesome gym bag that I built myself. I was beyond stoked by the experience and this bag can carry it all.
THE ATHLETIC GIFT CARD - $25-200:
Some people are into white everything but we did a nice little gift card to spread the love of the holidays in the same esthetic as our website and I hope you like it, it's black. It comes in different sizes and can be used online and in our Portland store but I’ll leave it to you to study our product description for more infos. From SMALL to SUPER (25 to 200 dollars). It comes in a Fancy envelope and can be personalized with a note.
CARAVAN PACIFIC BRASS HAIR TIE - $32
Because you need to spice up your hair during the holidays and also because we know that "long hair don’t care" still needs care. This has just become my fav post work out accessory, it’s about looking great without effort. I tend to look pretty bad if my hair have take the shape of whatever braid or top knot was needed for the activity. Some dry shampoo and this beautifull brass tie will do it with the simpliest pony tail. No worries, the tie part can be change with any hair tie when it gets loose.
MASH SF BOOK - $55:
MASH SF have been enlightening the cycling scene with fixies for thinkers and designers in San Francisco for the last 10 years. The MashSF art book will be the ideal gift for your passionate cycling friends, with 350 pages of inspirational photography and an hour movie to download with a code that comes with every book. We have been hosting Mash 10 years show in our art gallery space in Portland and just last week screened an exclusive version of the movie. It makes us proud to be a stockist of the book in our Portland front space. You can also shop it online on their webstore, but in that case you won’t be able to enjoy the mural Garrett Chow, who have been a big part of MASH SF design identity, is currently painting in our retail shop.
So, the point is, don’t make your life too complicated: black is the new black. As always the key is the texture and the touch of color you are going to put here and there in your life. This gimme-gimme guide is giving you an universal-reusable-all year long list of amazing gifts to spread the love of the athletic life as we like to call it around here.