26 November 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: The Gents

In honor of 'Cyber Monday' I thought it fitting this week to give a a few suggestions when it comes to some good online shopping. Today I wanted to start with the guys. Maybe because I'm doing a little Cyber Monday shopping myself and needed some guidance for what to get Jordan. I personally think my man has some good style and taste. I appreciate that he puts some thought into how he dresses and in turn is willing to offer an honest opinion when I'm buying for myself.

Jess asked me to write a guest holiday blog for her.  She asked that it be a guide to gifts for guys.  I consider myself someone who is pretty good at buying things, usually for myself, so this post is right up my alley.  Here are a few ideas for some holiday gifts for the guys. 

  1. Jeans. Don’t be afraid to buy jeans for your guy.  As long as you know the size, it’s usually a can’t-miss purchase.  Right now, Levi’s are pretty much the only brand of jeans I’m wearing and I can’t say enough about their 511 fit.  It’s called their “skinny” fit, but I find that these won’t make your legs look like two pool cues with shoes at the end.  There is some room in the leg and besides being comfortable they are affordable and durable.  These jeans come in countless washes and there are other fits available outside of the skinny fit so feel free to explore. 

  1. Basic TI wear a button down shirt and dress pants to work every day so I take advantage of any opportunity to dress down and comfort is the name of the game.  You can usually find me in simple cotton t-shirts (both v-neck and crew neck).  I have to say that in terms of comfort and fit, the t-shirts from Gap are number one in my book.  Any t-shirt from their “Essential” collection is a hit.  These shirts are great to layer or wear on their own.  They come in every color under the sun and are also available in some patterns, too.  I highly recommend the v-neck t-shirts, but also love the crew necks as well. 

  1. Key ChainMost people don’t think about it, but a key chain is a great, easy accessory that can have a personal or sentimental touch.  Guys will want it to have some functionality or some sort of uniqueness.  I would recommend the KeySquare by Machine Era Co.  It’s set up as a Kickstarter at the moment, but $36 will get you this key chain that is both unique and functional. 

  1. Beer ClubA few years ago Jess signed me up to receive monthly shipments of various microbrewed beers (this one).  As an employee of a brewery, this gift was right in my wheelhouse.  As a beer lover, it was perfect.  Every other month, 12 bottles (4 styles, 3 bottles of each style) show up on my doorstep.  Keep in mind that some states have different laws regarding the shipment of alcohol, but if your state is on board (like Delaware is) then by all means, drink up.  Cheers! 

  1. Wallet or Money ClipUnless you are George Costanza, carrying a large, bulky, tri-fold wallet should not be something you participate in.  A slim fold wallet or money clip is absolutely the way to go.  These wallets encourage you to only carry what you really need when heading out while keeping a low profile on your person.  This comes in handy when wearing a suit or tuxedo especially to help maintain a slim and classic silhouette.  For a slim fold wallet (with a money clip already incorporated into it) I recommend the Boconi Bifold Money Clip which is available at Nordstroms.  It’s slim, genuine leather and functional.  Everything you could ask for. 

If a money clip is what you’re seeking, any option will be a hit.  I do recommend one with a spring-loaded closure that will adjust to the waves of cash flow that we experience.  Ones without a spring-loaded closure will tend to “stretch” when they carry more cash or cards and when less cash is present, it does not hold it as tightly.  Here’s a classic look money clip available at Nordstroms. 

  1. Shoes/Boots. In the same vein as taking an opportunity to dress down, a pair of classic sneakers can’t be beat.  While Converse All Stars may be the ultimate classic sneaker look, if you want something that is just slightly out of left field while still maintaining a understated tone I recommend Vans Authentic Sneaker.  I love my pair for their comfort and look.  Get them from Zappos with free shipping. 

You can’t go wrong with a great pair of boots either.  I recommend the combat boots from Bed Stu.  They are made of high quality leather and give the classic combat boot look without the bulkiness of a Doc Martin style.  I practically live in this pair. 

  1. Weekender Bag. Whether you’re just heading out for a quick overnight trip or looking for something to use as a carry-on when flying, a durable yet fashionable bag is important.  The folks at Herschel Supply Co. have hit the mark with their Novel bag.  It’s a great way to pack your guy stuff.  It even has a separate compartment for shoes to keep your kicks off of your clean t-shirts.  It can also double as a dirty laundry compartment to keep you worn clothes separate from your clean ones. 

  1. Books. Recently, I’ve started buying books that match my interests.  I’m admittedly not a big reader, but I’m all for it when the topic truly interests me.  For example, I’m a big music fan so I am drawn to books about my favorite bands.  What is even more appealing is when these books a full of more interesting, rare and intimate photos of my favorite rock stars.  One that I flip through frequently is called “Midnight Miles” and it follows Maroon 5 around the world via photos and short entries from the band members. 

A great book for the dog-lover is called “Underwater Dogs  This book truly shows another side of man’s best friend.  It’s a great coffee table book and a great conversation piece. 

With the recent surge in tattoos and their influence in mainstream culture and media, I picked up this great book that features several artists and delves into their impact on what is becoming the new tattoo society.  It’s full of amazing artwork and photos too. Forever: The New Tattoo.

P.S. – Always buy the hardcover. 

Hopefully these ideas will make your holiday shopping easier or will at least get the creative juices flowing and put you on the path to finding what to get for the guy who is just impossible to shop for.  I’m sure that Jess’s shopping will be easier this year because I’m pretty sure that asking me to write this guest post was just a way of tricking me into giving her a list of what I want for Christmas.  We’ll see what happens on the 25th.  Happy Holidays!
I wanted to add a few gift ideas myself that I've used over the years for my hubby.
9. Bar accessories. Men like beer. And gadgets that go with beer are always a winner in our home. Jordan bought himself this Mermaid Bottle Opener from this really cool online shop (that neither of us can remember the name of). I found the same one at Pottery Barn for $6.50. I also purchased him this Bulldog bottle opener for $12.00 from PB for our anniversary last Spring. I'm not sure if he was more excited about the bottle opener or the fact that I left him put it on the wall in our kitchen.
10. Watch. You can't go wrong with a classic gift like a watch. Last Christmas I purchased Jordan a black metal Invicta watch that I found for a steal on Amazon. This season, I'm digging the look of the leather band, like this retro Skagen watch for $54.99 on Amazon. Jordan prefers this Diesel version for $94.15.

11. Personalized stationary. No one ever asks for stationary, but everyone needs it. One thing I've found is that the older you get, the more thank you notes you seem to write. Personalized stationary adds a nice touch when you need to write a quick note to someone and it's nice to have on hand at all times. For Father's Day last year I purchased stationary from Pinhole Press and had Jordan's name imprinted on it.

12. Robe. One last gift (sorry for no photo!). I bought Jordan a robe last Spring for our 2nd wedding anniversary (cotton tradition). A robe is something I don't think any man would buy for himself, but once they have one, they love it. Robes come in handy for those cold winter mornings or when your guy just gets out of the shower but isn't ready to put on the full suit. Pottery Barn has a great selection of unisex robes with the additional option for monogramming.

What are your top gift picks for the men?


  1. Great picks! My dad is always sooo hard to buy for but I do think he would like a lot of these!

  2. These are such wonderful ideas!!!! Thanks!

  3. Wow great Collections of Gents Gifts, having such gifts it could be easy to impress him....