Well, the big sales weekend has passed (for the most part), which means that it’s time to focus on buying gifts for people other than ourselves. This list is for the men that deserve our gratitude this year – maybe it’s a brother, a father, a friend, a husband, or someone else entirely. No matter what relation, here’s your unequivocal menswear gift guide for this holiday season. For this year’s list I decided to link each gift to a particular type of menswear enthusiast. Whether you’re shopping for a rugged outdoorsman or an internet-savvy iGent, you’ll find something for them on this list.
For the aspiring menswear blogger: a Gordy’s Camera Strap will make sure that his camera rig is up to the same level as the rest of his kit. Alternatively, consider getting him a tripod so that his selfies look a bit less awkward. Better yet, buy him his own domain name so that he can get rid of that awkward “.tumblr.com” in his blog’s address.
For the jetsetter: this passport cover by Chester Mox will add a bit of luxury to those long, stressful lines in the airport. I have a wallet from Chester Mox and can’t recommend them highly enough; it really is the best you can get at that price. You can see my review here.
For the obsessive-compulsive guy: The Hanger Project’s assortment of closet organization tools is nothing short of incredible. I use some of their contoured hangers and they really are great, albeit pricey. There are many other options as well, so be sure to browse the selection.
For the foodie: consider a nice apron, like this beautiful and affordable one from Vanda Fine Clothing (or this more rugged option from Black House Project). That way, he can protect his nice threads from grease stains and still look good when serving that Christmas roast.
For the history buff: There are many great books about men’s clothing and the history behind it. For starters, consider Dressing the Man by Alan Flusser, Take Ivy by Shosuke Ishizu, Elegance: A Guide to Quality in Menswear by G. Bruce Boyer, and Savile Row Story: An Illustrated History by Richard Walker.
For the urban lumberjack: As a native of the great Pacific Northwest I can honestly say that few things are cooler than a Native American-inspired Pendleton blanket. The designs are handsome and rugged and the blankets themselves are incredibly warm. If those are a bit too expensive, consider their wonderful camp blankets as well.
For the custom clothing aficionado: a gift certificate to a great shirtmaker (my personal choice is Proper Cloth) will allow him to design his own garment to his precise specifications. Another option is to purchase the fabric for his next bespoke project; it’s a great way to give the gift of good clothing without having to know what size to buy. About 2.5 yards should suffice for a jacket, and 4 should be plenty for a suit.
For the college kid: Cold hard cash will probably be the most appreciated gift, but if that feels like a cop-out then consider getting him a nice set of sheets from Brooklinen. Those old ones have probably been on his bunk for years now and it’s time for them to retire. I have a feeling that the fine feel of Brooklinen’s well-priced luxury sheets will be greatly appreciated by him (and any other late night guests that stop by the dorm).
For the shoe snob: Buying his favorite $1,200 shoes is probably out of the question, but you can provide him with the best shoe care products on the market without too much capital expenditure. The Hanger Project’s stock of shoe care accessories is exceptional; they have some rather advanced “starter kits” available, but anything from Saphir will be great. I personally use Saphir’s Renovateur and cream polishes most frequently, and appreciate the Hanger Project’s good assortment of brushes as well.
For the outdoorsman: We all have to be indoors some of the time, so give your favorite outdoorsman a breath of the wilderness with scents from Juniper Ridge. All of Juniper Ridge’s products are distilled from real plants that are harvested on the trails of the West Coast, and the results are stunning. You can read about my experiences with Juniper Ridge here.
That’s it for this year! What are your best gift ideas this season?
(photo by Gerald Waller for LIFE magazine)