Esquire Magazine’s Stylish Designer Gifts for Men
The first half of Esquire’s wish list of stylish designer gifts for men included a $4,000 briefcase, a $460 pair of camouflage driving mocs, and a sport coat so expensive that the price was only available upon request. Sure that stuff is fun to look at (except for the dreadful driving mocs) but hardly any of it is attainable for the average guy.
Below you’ll find affordable alternatives to the second half of their list. Everything from cufflinks to a watch to a case for your iPad (if you’ve got one.) You know the drill, click below to see Esquire’s list, then head back this way for the wrap up.
And since these are all designer gifts, even our more affordable options might be expensive… so be warned.
1. The Cufflinks – Esquire: Zegna -$5,200 | Dappered: Tiffany & Co. – $225, J&M – $45
$5,200 for Rose Gold and diamond Zenga centennial celebration cufflinks huh? A lot of us aren’t driving cars worth $5,200. If you want to spend a little and get something that will never, ever go out of style… the Tiffany & Co. 1837 cufflinks are small, subtle, and the engraving adds texture while quietly broadcasting where you got them. Usually logos or trademarks are a bad idea but, c’mon… it’s Tiffany. If $225 for a few small connected bars of silver seems ridiculous to you, Johnston and Murphy sells an easy to use pair of knots for just $45. Don’t want any flash but still want something big time? Really big time? Try these.
2. The Ski gear – Esquire: L. Piana – $10K | Dappered: Bulova – $479, Casio G-Shock – $80
If skiers are like runners (I don’t ski), they’re probably pretty particular about what they put on their feet. So giving a gift of boots or a helmet might be a risk. But who doesn’t like to know what time it is? Get them a hill ready watch that can look right at home once they hit the lodge. The Bulova Kevlar is expensive, and probably the toughest thing about it is the Kevlar band. The Casio G-Shock is downright cheap, and can take a massive beating. Plus, the Casio is solar powered so you never have to worry about a battery.
3. Weekend Bag – Esquire: Hermes – $6,450 | Dappered: L.L. Bean Signature Duffel – $135
Somewhere between this bag from Brooks Brothers, and the old Nike bag you used to lug your soccer/hockey/baseball equipment in, lies this thing. No nonsense waxed canvas exterior with suede and leather trim. Looks like it’ll get better with age.
4. iPad Case – Esquire: D&G – $275 | Dappered: Kenneth Cole Charcoal Wool – $68.00
This is the iPad case your Grandfather would have used. Or… something. The D&G version is snakeskin. ‘kay. The wool is a little more down to earth, and the sheep gets to stay alive. A win win for everyone.
5. The Boots – Esquire: Louis Vuitton – $990 | Dappered: Florsheim Gaffney – $120
Make no mistake. Those LV boots are something else. But the Florsheim pair (which showed up on this website a week or so ago) are a tenth of the price. They deliver in the looks department too. Maybe not to the level of the Louis Vuitton boots… but still. Not bad.
6. The Cologne – Esquire: D&G – $55 | Dappered: Jack Black Cool Moisture Lotion – $22.00
A guy’s chosen scent is more personal than his running shoes (or ski boots). So unless he’s hinted around at swapping out colognes, or… if he’s the type that doesn’t wear any, a safer play is this standard from Jack Black skin care. Moisturizer that smells clean, masculine, and works pretty well too.
7. The Watch – Esquire: Cartier – $5650 | Dappered: Tissot stainless – $179, leather – $169
It’s tough to get more dressed up than a white dial with black roman numerals. Some guys will gravitate towards the stainless steel band, others the leather. Regardless, the Cartier is a work of art, while the Tissot’s are a great substitute for the rest of us. Careful though, these are on sale through Amazon, but not sold BY Amazon. So buy at your own risk…
8. The Robe – Esquire: Brunello Cucinelli – $730 | Dappered: J. Crew – $69.50
You’re either a robe guy or you’re not, and there’s not a lot of men on the fence. Esquire suggests a hooded robe. Unless you’re a boxer, feel free to keep your robe hood free. That way if you truly are kicking back in your favorite fireside easy chair (are you smoking a pipe and reading the paper?) the hood won’t make your neck uncomfortable. J. Crew makes one in flannel for under $70.
9. The Tie – Esquire: Brioni Cashmere – $250 | Dappered: Lands’ End Wool – $39.50
The Cashmere will bring a deeper texture than silk, and the same goes for a standard wool. Plus, if you skip the cashmere and go with one of these from Lands’ End Canvas, you’ll save about $210. The navy and gray solids are must haves, while the plaid is a nice bold change of pace.
10. The Umbrella – Esquire: B. Veneta – $940 | Dappered: Totes Gent’s Umbrella – $16.00
It’s an umbrella. Not a top of the line suit. If you’re spending a grand on an umbrella are you really smart enough to even come in from the rain? Stick with the Totes Gentleman’s stick umbrella. Classic and inexpensive.
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