1. Options for custom suits and shirts abound, whether it’s a power suit for the next annual meeting or a houndstooth jacket to radiate luxury at a private dinner. With custom clothing available at Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus at the Somerset Collection in Troy, or Cicchini Custom Clothier in downtown Birmingham, among other fine retailers, business executives have plenty to choose from. Depending on fabrics and style selections, and whether you prefer Savile Row or Giorgio Armani, a custom suit can cost $3,000 or more, while a custom shirt like the ones shown here from Saks range from $125 to $775.
2. A fine writing instrument must be as unique as the signature it produces, whether it’s pencil, ballpoint, rollerball, or the classically elegant fountain pen. Ric’s Handcrafted Pens are made to order with rare hardwoods; gemstones, including red jasper shown here in Blood and Lace; nibs of 22k gold and platinum; and hundreds of other selections. $50 to $300. Presentation cases available. For more information, write to Ric Bohy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but Amazon’s Kindle offers access to 350,000 books, newspapers, and magazines. From the latest autobiographies and business guides to riveting bestsellers, Amazon charges $9.99 for new books (or less for older tomes). Available in two styles — the $299, 6-inch reader stores 1,500 books; while the $489 DX houses 3,500 books on a 9.7-inch screen (black and white on both models; color is expected next year).
4. For those business trips where a few minutes of downtime can make the difference between stress and sanity, an updated Apple iPod Nano paired with a new Bose mobile in-ear headset could save the day. Plus, you can use the Nano’s new video camera to keep the office abreast of all those multimillion-dollar purchase orders. Best of all, Apple held the line on prices. Available in two models — 8GB, at $149; and 16GB, at $179. The Bose headset lists for $130.
5. It’s tough to beat a private jet for speed and efficiency, and prices have never been better. Corporate Eagle at Oakland International Airport, for example, offers a one-eighth share of a Hawker 800 XP for approximately $900,000, as compared to an overall price of around $9 million. Or go vintage and ride in a B-25 Yankee Warrior operated by the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run Airport. Cost: $400 per passenger (May through October).
6. Take personal health care to another level with a genome report, which can identify genes that cause or contribute to disease, or trace centuries of family lineage. Already, medical gene testing has helped physicians improve treatment or identify what may be preventable diseases. Be sure to share any medical results with your physician (or your lawyer). Price: $200 to $3,000. http://genomics.energy.gov.