The present state of business prizes efficiency above all else: large outputs from small teams, multitasking, checking email while jogging, jogging while conference calling, working vacations. In this paradigm a leisurely lunch gums up the works. But the reality is that a face-to-face over charred ribeyes and bone-dry martinis can replace a week’s worth of email exchanges. One good single-pump handshake and a knowing smile is good for a billion retweets. The power lunch, like the double-breasted suit, is not back: it never went away. To do it right you’ll need a few accoutrements, which you’ll find right here. We’ll see you at Dorsia.
Turnbull & Asser Shirt
A shirt is just a shirt — perhaps if you’re eating a frisee salad while poking around the latest from BuzzFeed. Otherwise you’ll want a shirt from Turnbull & Asser, the British clothiers who speak the language of authoritative collars, properly contoured yokes and reinforced gauntlets. Get your bespoke shirts here and you’ll be in the company of well-dressed men like Prince Charles, Sir Winston Churchill and Pablo Picasso. Your lunch companions are up to you.
You’ve been wearing the Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, but it got a little scuffed up while you were returning some videotapes. Probably for the best: you don’t want to be checking your phone during an important lunch. Instead, consider the Qualcomm Toq, a smart watch that uses Mirasol reflective display technology so it’s visible even in the harsh sunlight of a rooftop restaurant and lasts for several days on one wireless charge. Your Android phone pushes information to the Toq so you can check calls, texts, email, weather, and calendar data and send music to the optional wireless in-ear Bluetooth buds — all without taking your attention off the boysenberry panna cotta.
iPad Mini Retina
Chances are whatever you’re discussing over lunch will be best served by a visual aid. Rather than unfurling a 17-inch laptop between primo and secondo, bring along the iPad mini with a 7.9-inch Retina display. With a razor-sharp display, 10 hours of battery life and lightning-fast wireless and cellular potential, you can beta test a new app, flip through a presentation and preview a new ad campaign, all on a device that takes up the same amount of space as a French-pleated napkin.
Polaar Icy Magic
If you’re power lunching, chances are you’re pulling power dinners and the occasional power drinks, too, all of which can add up to an appearance that doesn’t exactly radiate youthful vigor. Solutions are out there. Niven & Joshua’s Icy Magic is a portable stick of roll-on eye gel that uses tetrapeptides, Siberian ginseng and the massaging effect of a chilly roller-ball applicator to put the hurt on puffiness and dark circles. Remember to keep your hair slicked back to show off your refreshed visage.
Ferragamo Geometric Windmill Print Tie
Though we appreciate a slim tie — within reason, not bolo-slim — nothing says effective leadership like a classic tie wrapped up in a full windsor around a broad neck. Ferragamo’s 100 percent silk twill in geometric windmill print has “distinguished gentleman” written all over it. Get it in blue if you’re feeling agreeable, red if you plan to walk all over somebody.
Ingenuity Parker 5TH Pen
At the top of the food chain you’ve got the privilege of signing things, including the bill. Rather than doing it with an everyman Bic, reach into your jacket pocket and grab something with a little more panache. The Ingenuity Parker 5TH comes with 125 years of pen-making heritage, plus a gloss black lacquer finish that goes stupendously with your Ferragamo tie. Parker’s 5TH technology combines a flexible nib with a metal hood, creating the look of a fountain pen with excellent feel on paper and easy refills.
Valextra Leather Diplomatic Bag
Much as we advocate the use of a backpack in almost any situation, the power lunch is no time to be showing off your portage acumen; there will be plenty of opportunities to impress the interns later. The Valextra Leather Diplomatic Bag is pure form: tan with green stitching, magnets for fastening, four interior compartments, made in Italy. It pairs nicely with a double espresso.
EnviroMate Pronto P7 Steamer
We all have a reliable dry cleaner and tailor we can turn to in a pinch to fix a stain or mend a seam. (Note to self: No more chess boxing in Turnbull & Asser shirts.) They’re indispensable. Unfortunately, certain theories about space and time notwithstanding, little can be done about a coffee stain five minutes before an important lunch — unless you’ve got your own professional garment steamer. The Pronto P7 has a 14-piece accessory kit for steaming and cleaning, so you can theoretically remove a stain from your shirt, iron your slacks and degrease a ventilation hood before grabbing a car to lunch. That’s an efficient morning.
Mulberry Shoe Polish Kit
We’ve been told for years that the first thing women notice is our shoes. We no longer require the affirmation of unfamiliar women, but we sure do like keeping our Oxfords neat. The shoe polish kit from British leather specialist Mulberry has all the requisite tools for the job — brushes, polishes and cloth — wrapped up handsomely in a full-grain leather case.
Oliver Peoples O’Malley
Projecting confidence and competence in a meeting is just as important as the substance of the discussion. Contact lenses, they don’t help much in that department. A pair of eyeglasses, on the other hand, raises the level of sophistication by at least one post-graduate degree — not to mention the endless possibilities for emphatic gestures punctuated by taking them on and off your face. The O’Malley is a classic style from Oliver Peoples, inspired by former Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley. Get them in Brown Tortoise Cream, the handsomest color in the spectrum for optics.