Esquire Magazine’s Stylish Designer Gifts for Men
Still half a month away from Thanksgiving and the malls already have Christmas decorations up. It’s a cliche to point out that the holidays seem to show up earlier every year in the retail world… but c’mon. This is ridiculous. Esquire is getting in the seasonal spirit as well, and they recently launched their slide show of designer gifts for guys on Esquire.com.
There’s 20 in all. And for those who aren’t swimming through cash like Scrooge McDuck, you’ll find ten affordable alternatives to the Esquire picks today, with the last half coming Wednesday. You know the drill, click below to see Esquire’s list, then head back this way for our less expensive options that should fit most budgets.
And since these are all designer gifts, even our more affordable options might be expensive… so be warned.
1. The Phone – Esquire: Vertu Smartphone – $7,900 | Dappered: Virgin Intercept – $250
So the initial cost is pretty steep… $250, but after you buy this Android equipped smartphone from Virgin Wireless, you’re not tied into a contract, you get tons of features, and you get unlimited text, data, email, and web plus 300 anytime minutes for $25 a month. Twenty five dollars. That’s it. Sure service is incredibly spotty if you’re not in a major town (and if you are? Probably still spotty). But if you’re not addicted to your mobile? It’s a tough deal to beat.
2. The Sportcoat – Esquire: Isaia Sportcoat – ? | Dappered: Boden Portobello – $148.00
The Esquire suggestion is so damn expensive the price is only available on inquiry. Meaning? If you have to ask, you can’t afford it. It’s intended to be worn as casual as you want and has a thicker look to it. For an alternative, look to Boden, who won’t have to be asked for the price on their Portobello Jacket. At $148 you get a unique jacket that could very well become your favorite. Need something dirt cheap? Try the new herringbone blazer from Old Navy.
3. The Bike – Esquire: Gucci Custom – $6,365 | Dappered: Gary Fisher Simple City 3 – $600
So maybe times are tough enough that you can’t have the coolest car in the world. Make up for it with a sweet bike. The Gary Fisher Simple City 3 has the unbeatable color combination of matte black, white to off white, and cognac leather. Invite her out for a cool fall afternoon bike ride, and she’ll be impressed with this two wheeler.
4. The Driver – Esquire: Prada Camo Moc – $460 | Dappered: Sebago Fontana – $110.00
Driving loafers are like boat shoes. Casual and a little ugly. But they’re not supposed to be as ugly as those Prada drivers in the camo pattern. Holy hell those are bad. The Sebago Fontana comes in “Luggage tan,” has the grip sole (so you can be steady when shifting through the turns) and has a lower profile than most.
5. Shaving – Esquire: Art of Shaving Power – $150 | Dappered: A.O.S. Starter – $25.00
A bladed razor that buzzes in your hand seems inherently dangerous. And investing $150 in a shaving kit (no matter how luxurious those botanicals are) seems like a steep price. Stick with your trusted razor if you have one, and try their starter kit first for just $25. Try unscented or sandalwood.
6. The Monk Strap – Esquire: Bontoni Triple – $1,095 | Dappered: A. Grey Monk – $89.95
Three? Is that the footwear equivalent of having chrome spinners on your lowrider? There’s hardly any alternatives and the one affordable option seems to be more casual than most would want. But at $90, it’s not like you’d have to cash out your 401k to get them.
7. The Wallet – Esquire: Valextra – $300 | Dappered: Brooks Brothers – $168.00
Admittedly WAY overpriced, but if you’re going for a designer look, and reaching above what you’d normally spend… then it’s hard to beat an Italian made wallet with the Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece logo stamped on it. Besides, how often do you get a new wallet anyway?
8. The Leather Bomber – Esquire: Dior Homme – $3,600 | Dappered: Black Rivet – $298.00
Don’t worry, that hood is removable. But it does have epaulets. It’s different than a plain leather bomber. Chest pockets, slimmer through the arms and torso… not bad (if you can stand the epaulets) Need something that’s more on the plain side? ASOS still has that eye brow raisingly cheap leather jacket for around $100, and Macy’s is selling a bomber by Tommy Hilfiger for $200.
9. The Sunglasses – Esquire: L-G-R – $270 | Dappered: Rayban New Wayfarer – $95.00
Thumbs up for tortoise shell, thumbs down for the frames Esquire is suggesting. A few months back I stumbled across a pair of New Wayfarers at an outlet for $45. The sales associate said there was a small scratch in the left lens so they were marked as damaged. You can barely see it (if you can find it). One of the best buys of the year for me personally, and not just because of the price. Slimmed down and not goofy chunky like the original 80s wayfarers. Still large enough for guys with bigger heads. Made in Italy with a strong build.
10. The Briefcase – Esquire: Ralph Lauren – $3,995 | Dappered: BOSS Black – $350.00
That’s a hell of a briefcase that Esquire recommends. Better be for four grand. Back in the real world, spending $350 on a business case might be a stretch, but what you get is a jet black no nonsense case from Hugo Boss. The texture and top handles give it character, while the rest of it is straightforward business. Watch for sales… way back during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale in July it was running just $199.00
Comments and questions go below. The last ten will show up Wednesday…