What’s In My Summer Bag:

Erik Brandl


Who: Erik Brandl, Executive Assistant to the CEO


Summer Plans: I’ve been living and working at my cottage in Washington, CT since March. For me, this summer is all about being creative with home entertaining and staying local. I’m lucky that all of my best friends live within 15 minutes of each other in CT, which makes for the ultimate “quaranTEAM” experience.  So far, Summer 2020 has been a lot of outdoor, socially distant cocktail hours and dinner parties, pool days, tennis, and boating on Lake Waramaug.  Friends even set up a poolside outdoor movie theater for us to watch HAMILTON one evening.


The Bag: Glinda Sailcloth Duffle in Orange-- with my monogram in navy in the absolute largest size possible (per my wacky request).


Why I Love It: It’s the perfect all-around bag—I think of it as an XL Tote alternative. It teeters on “too big for daily use”, but I’ve pushed that envelope a time or two. I’ve used it for everything from long weekends at the Standard in Miami, to a gym bag before heading into the office, to spending from high noon to sunset boating on Lake Waramaug. The more you use it, the cooler it becomes—the leather wears in like a baseball glove, the sailcloth fabric becomes super supple. It’s not precious; it’s made for use. My overall esthetic is quite wabi sabi/perfectly imperfect, so the bag has some paint splatters, pen marks, and the like. It ages perfectly and I love it more with each use

What's Always in My Bag:

J.McLaughlin Sailcloth Dopp Kit in Navy/Orange with my monogram in Hot Pink

Hot Tip: Dopp Kits aren’t exclusively for toiletries. I use mine daily—sunglasses, eyeglasses, hand lotion, J.McLaughlin face mask, sunscreen, a spare Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, house keys, car keys. The interior pockets keep everything nicely organized; I never lose anything (touch wood).



 I drink one first thing every morning— it's dehydrated greens that you dissolve in a glass of water. A good portion of your day's worth of vegetables, vitamins, and nutrients in a single glass? Sign me up.


EltaMD UV SPF 46

The greatest facial sunscreen EVER.  I have very sensitive skin and I have had zero reactions.  It also has a nice, neutral fragrance and is not greasy.



Listen...nothing beats reading, holding, flipping through, dog-earing a physical book.  With that said, I transitioned to a Kindle a few years ago. Commuting and traveling with a Kindle is so much more convenient, not to mention every book is available at your fingertips. Paper books feel like such a luxury these days, so I sneak one in every now and then.


Interiors Magazines

I have the hardest time dressing a coffee table; I can never seem to get it right. It’s either a wonky set of objects, or the scale of the books are off, or SOMETHING. I can’t put my finger on it, but when you know, you KNOW.  I’ve read every ELLE DÉCOR and AD for decades—the problem obviously lays within. HELP!


Listening To

TSF Jazz App.  Every time I get into the car after landing in Paris, I ask the driver to turn on the TSF Jazz radio station.  It’s the local Jazz radio station-- THE BEST.  I discovered they have an app a few years ago, which is a total game-changer.  It’s French Jazz and instantly transports you to another world—think the soundtrack of a Nancy Myers movie set in Provence!  It’s absolutely perfect and transportive. 

Summer Style

Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name provides the best summer sartorial inspiration.  It’s been my summer uniform well before the movie was released, but it provides the perfect visuals.  Think 1 size too big polos or oxford shirts paired with chino pants (cut above the ankle) or chino shorts (cut a few inches above the knee) left with a frayed hem.  These looks, matched with Adidas Rod Laver sneakers (the move “loved” the better) and the Austin Cashmere Sweater in Navy/White stripes tied around my neck or waist, scream SUMMER to me.