A Holiday Gift Guide for the Menswear-Inclined
The holiday season is once again upon us, and now that we’re done spending too much on ourselves during Thanksgiving sales it’s time to think about the other people in our lives that deserve our gratitude. This list is for the #menswear among us - maybe it’s a brother, a father, a friend, a husband, or something else entirely; no matter what relation, here’s your unequivocal menswear gift guide for this holiday season.
For this list I tried to select items that add a lot to a complete wardrobe but often get overlooked. I also tried to steer clear of items that rely heavily on sizing, since that can make gift-giving difficult. He may not think of getting these for himself, but he’ll sure be glad that you did.
1. A nice umbrella. Nothing destroys the powerful look of a nice suit like the plastic sheen of a cheap umbrella stick. Any guy walking down the street with a solid stick umbrella automatically goes from “Person in the rain” to “Person too important for the rain.” A chestnut-stick umbrella with a subtle canopy (think dark, subdued colors like black, navy, and burgundy) will always help elevate professional attire. These options from Howard Yount and Kent Wang are essentially identical - take your pick. If you’re looking for something a bit more luxe, buy your guy this Talarico from No Man Walks Alone and he’ll never lose his umbrella again.
2. Socks. Yeah, socks used to be a lame gift, but not anymore. A couple of pairs of over-the-calf merino or cashmere socks will do wonders. Pantherella on Sierra Trading Post is always a good bet - wait for 35% off.
3. Nice hangers. We often talk about the beauty of an article of clothing, but rarely do we reflect on the even greater visual impact of a well-organized closet. A though-out wardrobe on display is greater than the sum of the parts. Keep your guy’s too-expensive sportcoats in tip-top shape by giving him a few high-quality hangers. It’s something he’ll never get for himself but will use every day. The Hanger Project makes the best stuff, but there are more affordable options at Sierra Trading Post and Wooden Hangers USA (the latter two come in one size only, though).
4. Gordy’s camera strap. You don’t want your guy out there bloggin’ with his nylon Canon strap on, do you? Set everything right with the best place to get a hand-made, high-quality, and affordable strap. It’ll go much better with his Alden tassel loafers - trust me.
5. A really nice tie. Ties can feel a bit played out, so if you go down this route make sure that it is very high quality and not too loud; something that he can wear every week for the next decade. There are lots of good places making great handmade ties right now; Vanda, Panta, Yellow Hook Neckties, Viola Milano, and Conrad Wu come to mind, but there are plenty more.
6. A new belt. Yeah, I know he’s spent $2k on shoes this year, but have you seen his ripped-to-shreds split leather belt? It’s terrible. I highly recommend Equus Leather for classic bridle belts; Narragansett Leathers is also a good bet, and if you don’t have time for a custom option then Allen Edmonds and Brooks Brothers are solid choices as well.
7. Shoe care accessories. Speaking of shoes, make sure that he has all the necessary tools to keep his prized possessions in great shape. The Hanger Project has the whole range of Saphir products, and you can get shoe trees at Sierra Trading Post for cheap. This shoe valet from Brooks Brothers is also a great kit for the real shoe fanatic.
8. A dope dopp. Are you shopping for a guy that geeks out over selvage denim and American construction? Get him this dopp kit from Black House Project (made in San Francisco) and let him get his toothbrush fades on. Ernest Alexander has great dopp kits as well - made in the USA from waxed canvas, and 25% off today.
9. A cashmere scarf. If the weather warrants it, a nice cashmere scarf can be a way to wear a luxe material without spending too much. My cost-effective favorites are these at Sierra Trading Post, from Moon Mills. I mean, check out that houndstooth one! What a winner. With the inevitable 35% off code these clock in at under $40.
10. A night out. Your menswear loved one probably spends too much time on the internet, anyway. Give him a reason to dress up. Get him out of the house, for a change.
(photo by Gerald Waller for LIFE magazine)