- The search for the elusive summer swimsuit took me to Newport Beach on Tuesday to Almond Surfboards & Design. I didn’t get any trunks but I did leave with a T-shirt, a couple stickers for my kid and plenty of inspiration. Surf lifestyle stores are a dime a dozen here in SoCal but Almond’s tiny, PCH-side boutique stands out. Its products are impeccable and the vibe in the store was not at all stuffy or surfer elitist, traits common to other shops in the area. The boards are museum-quality but the staff didn’t mind a clear novice—or my 4-year-old—touching them. Almond made its bones on boards, but the “Surfer+Craftsman” focus shows the brand has its eyes set beyond the beach. If you want a subtle, surf-y addition to your wardrobe, give Almond a look || Almond Surfboards & Design (Here’s a cool Almond writeup I previously featured on The Ensemble)
- On the cool scale, this rates 99.9 (docked 0.1 because it’s unlicensed, but whatever). These caricature tees were a staple of my youth, as was my affinity for Mr. Wilkins. Growing up in the South, where folks were a little ignorant as to how to pronounce “Dominic,” Dominique was basically my namesake || Homage: Dominique Wilkins
- Pairing songs with cars is a genius idea, especially when it involves American rock with an off-road beast || Cool Hunting: Song of the Car—AEV JK350 Wrangler
- Motivational quotes. Relationship advice. Business lessons. Rap music has it all. Someone needs to update the “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” series to “All I Really Need to Know I Learned Listening to Hip-Hop” || Inc.: 10 Indispensable Business Lessons from the Notorious B.I.G.
The Ensemble is a frequent list of links to what’s catching Dom’s eye in the world of men’s lifestyle. Have an item for consideration? Share it.