The Good Life

Bespoke tailoring used to be a luxury just for the guys. Now chic women are discovering that wearing a custom suit designed to conceal their flaws and flaunt their assets can make them look more soignée than a month of sweating in the gym. "You've only got to look at Marlene Dietrich to know how glamorous a woman looks in a well-cut suit," says Henry

Rose, who runs Stella McCartney's luxurious bespoke salon in Mayfair and counts Madonna among his clients. He works closely with McCartney to create slim, sexy pieces--often in vintage fabrics--featuring the designer's signature pink buttonhole (from £2,250; ).

Intricate details are common. At veteran British fashion designer Paul Smith's bespoke atelier in west London, women can choose to have their suits lined with sumptuous Indian sari fabric or edged with colorful hand stitching (from £1,800; ). Across town in fashionable Spitalfields, hip tailor Timothy Everest makes elegant bespoke suits discreetly embroidered with his trademark flower design (from £2,100; ).

Even in London's menswear mecca, Savile Row, tailors are inching open their doors to female customers. "There's definitely been more demand," says Ray Stowers, head of bespoke at Gieves & Hawkes, which makes suits for the royal family. The company employs an expert female cutter, who can put women at ease during the intimate fitting process (from £3,000; ). And at Huntsman, established in the 19th century to make breeches for sportsmen, women can choose from 7,000 types of fabric. After attending four or five fittings, clients are rewarded with a flawless suit (from £3,657; ).

It's nowhere near enough time in the seductive French capital, but hey, it's better than nothing. Spend it the way the natives do:

STROLL: Along the quiet Promenade Plantée, a 4.5-kilometer-long suspended oasis of lush greenery built atop an abandoned railway viaduct, stretching east from the Opéra Bastille (from Avenue Daumesnil to the Bois de Vincennes, 12th Arrondissement).

WATCH: A film at La Pagode, an 1895 pagoda-style mansion built by the owner of the Bon Marché department store for his wife (57 bis, Rue de Babylone, Seventh Arrondissement).

MARVEL: At Claude Monet's vast "Les Nymphéas" at the newly reopened Musée de l'Orangerie (Tuileries Gardens, First Arrondissement).

INDULGE: in a cone at Berthillon, Paris's legendary ice-cream shop that has been serving up sumptuous all-natural glaces since 1954. Newest flavor? Salted-butter caramel. (31 Rue St-Louis-en-l'Ile, Fourth Arrondissement).

Tracy McNicoll

Beloved of the ecofriendly elite, this lodge on the southern Red Sea coast offers desert solitude, quiet hospitality and some of the best scuba diving in the world.

^Ambience: Perched on an azure bay harboring its own reef system, this minimum-impact lodge offers open-air dining, extensive dive facilities (including a nearby decompression chamber, just in case) and a strong emphasis on underwater conservation.

^Rooms: The domed chalets exude simple luxury and boast both mountain- and ocean-view terraces. Real back-to-nature types can try a private Bedouin tent-- with comfy beds and Egyptian rugs--right on the beach.

^Food: Healthy Egyptian fare made with the finest ingredients and a Bedouin touch. Don't miss the spicy koftas, the delicately honeyed konefa pastries and the beautiful sand-oven-baked breads, a local specialty.

^Aquatic highlights: Scuba fiends can come face to face with white-tipped sharks, manta rays, giant sea turtles and the elusive dugong (a manateelike mammal). The less intrepid can snorkel at a nearby dolphin sanctuary.

^>Onshore thrills: Wadi Gamal National Park offers gazelles, ibexes and a plethora of bird species. And there's plenty of history nearby, too, with myriad Roman ruins and Cleopatra's emerald mines.

Kris Anderson

Makeup for men? "We call it 'undetectable cosmetics'," says Michele Probst, founder of Menaji Skincare, who coaxes guys to try her Bronze Star facial bronzing gel by promising they'll look "like they've played nine holes of golf." Paul McCartney and Antonio Banderas are fans (17; ). Jean Paul Gaultier makes Sneaky Kiss tinted lip balms for men (14; ). And with Guerlain's Terra Cotta Bronzing Powder Pour Homme, macho men needn't worry about looking girly while they primp; it comes in a manly-looking pot resembling a shaving bowl (50; ).

Alex McRae

Following the makers of olive oil and chocolate, beekeepers are increasingly using local flora to create epicurean varieties of honey that any food snob could love:

Volcano Island Honey Co. harvests the flowers of kiawe trees on the Big Island to make its tropical and creamy Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey ($11; ).

Tartuflanghe, in the Italian Alps, blends truffles with the delicate nectar. Try Acacia Honey With White Truffle on hard cheese ($7; ).

Bees feast on New Zealand's native manuka, kamahi and rewarewa blooms for Airborne Honey's mild to malty flavors ($7; ).

Artisanal beekeepers from Arizona to Maine craft varietal honeys from regional blossoms for Bee Raw, including orange blossom, raspberry, blueberry and cranberry ($45; ).

Karla Bruning

The first mountain bikes were hefty clunkers with bone-jarring rides. Today's state-of-the-art models feature motorcycle-inspired suspension systems that let riders roll safely over rocks and roots. They are also lighter and stronger, thanks to improved metal alloys. Look for a dual-suspension bike that weighs less than 14 kilos. Check out the Stumpjumper FSR Expert or take a look at the Trance 3 from Giant Bikes. For the ladies, the Juliana Rxc from Santa Cruz Bikes has narrower handlebars and a lower center of gravity. Remember: everyone falls, so wear a helmet.

Paul Tolme

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