Tis the season. It’s early, but by now you’ve probably been walloped over the head by 82,000 gift guides. So what’s a few more? This year, we’re departing from our past reluctance to do full blown gift guides. You guys ask for em’, so, we’re giving the people what they want. But instead of doing a highly generalized, throw-everything-against-the-digital-wall gift guide, we’ll be breaking it up by category. Gifts for the guy who likes watches. Or the rugged type. Or the guy who’s really into shoes. Or the guy who’s just getting into style. We’ll cover all those, and hopefully a few more in the coming weeks. As a note, know that the gifts listed will be in ascending order, starting with gifts for those who have been kinda sorta naughty, and finishing up with gifts for those who have been extra nice.
You bet your boots we’re starting a gift guide for rugged dudes with a friggin’ candle. Knowing how to gut a fish isn’t an excuse for your place to smell like an afternoon of doing just that. The main scents you get out of this thing is tobacco, leather, and wood, all carried by way of an almost… merlot(?) like base? It smells great. Not sweet. Not skunky or burned out. Great.
All kinds of right & simple. So much so that it once was displayed along with a Rolex and a Porsche 911 in a museum exhibit titled: “The 100 Most Beautiful Products in the World“. Also incredibly useful. Stainless steel blade measures 3.25″. The locking collar (just spin it to keep the blade in place) is an extremely well designed, classic safety feature. It’s a well made tool that looks great too.
H&M 100% Cashmere Cap – $17.99 ($34.99)
I don’t care how rough and rugged a dude is. He could have been born with a gobi desert worth of sand in his craw, and still appreciate a cashmere cap. Soft and silky with none of the itch that comes with regular ol’ lambswool. Dirt cheap via H&M, so if he happens to lose it while fighting a moose… or something… it won’t be that big of a hit to the wallet.
More permanent and durable than a disposable fountain pen, yet nowhere near the cost of some fancy-pants fountain pens. Plastic body. Metal clip. Nice nib that writes well, and a window that lets you know how much ink is left. Lightweight too. A fantastic every-day-carry pen. Available in medium, fine, and extra fine nib options.
Slimmer than your average fisherman style sweater. Cut close enough to the body that if you don’t have a gut? You don’t get the classic fit sweater roll around the middle (or, at least not much of one). Whether you ever cast a net (or a line) here is irrelevant. Size shown above is a medium on 5’10” / 185. All but sold out, so, finger’s crossed for a re-stock.
For the type of guy who’s a “do-er”… yet would never consider spending the end of a night with “dear diary.” The Standard Memorandum is a daily, year-long journal that makes the author get down to the brass tacks of the day. There’s limited space for each day, yet there’s a space for… each and every day. Just a sentence or two. Write down what happened. Or your thoughts about what didn’t happen. Or how you’re working towards what you wish would happen. Leather cover comes with free monogramming. Any good habit can lead to better habits. So start with this… and progress. Plus, stashing a completed, yearly journal in a safe place come early January produces a solid feeling of accomplishment too. Great for those without kids, or those with families who want to leave something behind that gives their kids a better idea as to who they were.
Lots of options in one fob. “Squirt” PS4 Leatherman multi tool. Maratac “split pea” lighter. Horween leather wraps it all up into one, easy, portable little package.
Spendy. But… made in Pennsylvania from Northern American leather. Bridle leather and brass hardware.
Pen and paper > whatever note app you’ve got on your smart phone. And with this slim, lightweight, but still beefy and unbelievably good looking design, it’s always in your back (or front) pocket. Full review here.
J. Crew Lambswool Cardigan – $103.60 w/ HOLIDAY ($148)
Thick, durable, lambswool. Perfect forest green color. Shawl collar and leather buttons that ain’t ever gonna go out of style. J. Crew does more than a few things well, and one of those things would be their thicker sweaters. This is one he’ll hold onto and use regularly, for years to come. On sale often.
Enormous fan of this thing. It’s a terrific jacket for when you’re burning through some energy (say, on a hike or chopping wood) and it’s also a great layer for underneath a heavier coat for when it gets bitter cold. Quilted front panel for extra wind resistance/insulation, with the rest of it being a knit, breathable lambswool. A fine alternative to what Bond was wearing in SPECTRE. Available in black on black, black with a grey front, or navy. Size shown above is a medium on 5’10/185, and while Nordstrom suggests sizing up, I’d say stick with your normal size.
When’s the last time a better looking, feeling, and wearing watch came on the market at this price point? I honestly can’t recall. Nicely domed crystals. Straps are made from Red Wing’s thick boot leather. Obligatory mention for this gift guide.
The perfect blend of function and aesthetics. The toe box isn’t nearly as tall or bulky compared to other traditional work style boots, yet it’s not some razor sharp & slim toe either. Beautiful Horween leather is the star of the show. No extra stitching or funky design details. Suede tongue is a nice, subtle touch. Flat laces cinch and tie up nice and easy. Danite studded sole for traction. Fit is true to size. Three colors to choose from. brown (pictured above,) black, or natural which is pictured at the top of the post.
An American Original. Made in the USA from tough canvas and thick leather accents. Multiple colors available. Ships and returns free via Nordstrom. Will go on sale from time to time via various retailers, but, can be tough to find on discount since it’s often excluded from codes and promos.
Well proportioned, tough as nails, and made in the USA. Oil finish cover cloth exterior with a super comfortable moleskin collar. Collar stands up and holds up against the wind too. Draw-cord waist adds some shape while also keeping heat in. Takes Filson zip-in liners. Stunningly beefy zippers and snaps. Also available in olive.
Remember when these were under $200? Yeah. Times have changed. What hasn’t changed is the no-nonsense great looks, 100m water resistance, beastly onion style screw down crown, and the dependable Miyota movement that lurks inside. Available in two sizes. Mid is just over 39mm wide. Large is… large. Like, huge. 46mm diameter on that one. NOTE: Shown above is an older model with a “12” at noon instead of the triangle that these watches now come with. They also killed off the military time inner ring numerals, and the outer ring minute numerals.
Perfect for the guy you want to get out of your hair. Because as soon as he sees this thing, he’s gonna start planning a trip. He, the dog, and this bag are gonna pile into his 4-wheel drive vehicle of choice and head for the hills. Made in the USA.
Dependable, Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement. Big, tough case on a crazy comfy rubber strap. 100m water resistance. (Still wouldn’t swim with it though. You accidentally depress a chrono pusher in the water and… you’re sunk.) Comes with a set of dials and widgets that allow you to manually calculate cross winds if you’re flying an airplane and the instrumentation goes out. Right… not gonna be using that anytime soon. Anyway, it’s a beast.