August Chic choices


Thank Chris Evert. She was playing in the US Open back in 1987 when the clasp on her diamond bracelet broke and the bracelet slipped off. She requested a time-out to find it and ever since the former eternity bracelet with its pattern of symmetrical and individually set diamonds has been known as the “tennis bracelet.” Tiffany & Co., as you would imagine, has any number of variations. We just love its yellow diamonds in 18-karat gold take on the classic for a cool $1.4 million. It’s guaranteed to dazzle the crowd and opponents alike. Perhaps even more stunning is its bracelet of Lucida diamonds set in platinum (price upon request), with its unusual lacy pattern and bluish undertone. Which to choose? Why not serve for the match with both or browse all in the collection? Love, after all, is a goose egg only in tennis. Elsewhere, it’ll cost ya.

If golf’s more your thing, consider the Tiffany golf club charm in 18-karat yellow and white gold with a ball made of round brilliant diamonds (price upon request). It’s definitely a hole in one.

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Sometimes a few words can make all the difference. It might be a phrase like “mindfulness matters” that centers you on the task at hand or perhaps hearing “change conquers” pushes you through a training plateau. Wordologies promotes what it calls the “wisdom in words,” and its products – including mugs ($24), notepads ($8) and journals ($18 for a trio) – just might give you a needed boost.

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We admit it. When we first heard about The Protein Bakery and its line of gluten-free, zero trans-fat and protein-rich baked goods, we kind of groaned as we imagined the (lack of) flavor. Well, WAG staffers were proven – deliciously – wrong as we nibbled away on chocolate chip brownies, oatmeal cranberry cookies and peanut butter blondies. Muscle-building protein is a key ingredient in the line from founder Stephen Lincoln, a New York-based fitness expert. It’s already being snapped up by everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Rachael Ray to those at Equinox gyms. Prices vary; $52.50 for a gift set featuring a dozen assorted brownies and blondies.

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Looking for a great read this summer? Well, then gallop over to your local bookstore – or Kindle – for “Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing’s Greatest Rivalry” (Gallery Books, $26, 360 pages). It’s a juicy horse tale, at once poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, about two gorgeous, coppery 3-year-old colts – Affirmed, out of upstart Harbor View Farm in Florida, and Alydar, out of Calumet Farm in Kentucky, which was to Thoroughbred racing what the New York Yankees have been to baseball. In the spring of 1978, the laidback Affirmed and the high-strung Alydar – the great-grandson and grandson respectively of the legendary Native Dancer – offered racing fans and the general public alike two fascinatingly contrasting approaches to running and winning. Which is just how it is in the best rivalries. Authors Linda Carroll and David Rosner dub them the equine Ali and Frazier.

Along the way, you’ll meet their human handlers and learn how champs are bred, birthed and trained – sexy, sensuous stuff here – made and sadly, horrifyingly unmade. But what stands out are the horses, like Calumet Farm’s Whirlaway, the 1941 Triple Crown champ who was all talent and no brains (sort of like Nuke LaLoosh in “Bull Durham”) and the bull-headed Raise a Native (daddy of Alydar and grandpa of Affirmed), who would turn bucking bronco and even lie down and play dead – anything so he wouldn’t have to race around a track. Still, he was a real stud, literally. In these vignettes, the horses emerge as almost human.

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Super Bowl champion and veteran football star Bernard Pollard has already started planning his post-NFL career. The Tennessee Titans safety has created the Style Pro 31 company – a nod to his jersey number – and is currently promoting his first invention, the Smart Tray. The portable, lightweight tray folds out to fit over most pedestal and traditional sinks to provide additional surface space and create a safer way to use electrical appliances. At $39.99, it’s available in black or white.

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Feeling stiff from spending too much time planted at your desk? Or perhaps you’re sending someone off to college and want to be sure his or her back won’t strain from hours bent over the books. The Wobble Stool ($199.99) offers a twist on traditional seating, naturally tilting with you and encouraging an end to “stagnant seating.” Take a spin on the triangular saddle-style seat that can also be used at the breakfast bar.

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Fairfield County’s own Stuart Weitzman – previously profiled in WAG – creates footwear that has a worldwide following. And he certainly knows what a leopard print can do for a woman. Slip into anything with that favorite motif, and you’re suddenly invigorated. You feel chic, embodying the sleek-and-stealthy traits of the animal itself. For fall, Stuart Weitzman makes a fierce statement with spotted leopard styles in cognac leopard hair. We can’t decide between the Queen pump ($455) or the Modesto bootie ($590). Maybe we’ll just have to get both…

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The California Wine Club bills itself as a different kind of wine club, one with a mission to support local vineyards and wineries and the families behind them. Putting the spotlight on the artisanal elements of the wine world, not simply shipping out generic bottles produced in a nondescript manner, is the focus. (The club is fond of proclaiming “Say No to Bulk Wine”). Deliveries feature award-winning bottles and include the stories behind the selections along with tasting notes, tips and recipes. Five series are available with two-bottle shipments ranging from an average of $40 to around $210. WAG readers who use the code “West10” will receive 10 percent off anything in the club (good for subscriptions and single bottles).

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Join the sporting life, turning your lawn, driveway or spot on the beach into an Instant Badminton Court. No tools are needed to set up the ingenious kit offered by Hammacher Schlemmer ($99.95). The PVC net support extends from the carrying case/base and the net, in nylon, slips on to create a regulation-height court. With four rackets and two high-visibility shuttlecocks included, you’re all set for a bit of recreational play. And when the competition dies down, store it all in its zippered carrying case.

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The team at Pure Home online décor marketplace has curated a selection of more than 25,000 products designed to match consumers with items that fit their individual styles. We took a look at what they’re doing – and loved quite a few of the options. Can’t you just hear the chatter these one-of-a-kind bowls will make at your next picnic or barbecue? Eastern and Western floral patterns sit side by side in the Hybrid Cecilia bone-china soup bowls from Seletti, $147.50 for a set of two.

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