Tis the season. And by now you’ve probably been walloped over the head by 82,000 gift guides. So what’s a few more? 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 guys who suit up a lot. Or the wristwatch fanatic. Or the guy who’s really into shoes. Etc. We’ll cover all those, and hopefully a few more in the coming days.
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.
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.
Has underwear historically been seen as a terrible gift? Yes! Are these a terrible gift? Hell no! They’re incredible, and they’re game changers. They breathe, wick, and have anti-stink properties. You’ll never want to go back to cotton underwear ever again. They’re also great for travelling. If you like to pack light? You should be able to pack just an extra pair (while wearing a pair out the door) and get by on the road. At the end of the day, wash the pair you wore that day in a sink/tub and hang them up to dry. Rotate with the other pair. They’ll be dry (and clean thanks to your scrubbing) by the time the next pair needs to be swapped out.
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. Washable. 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. Restocked a few weeks back, and now on mega discount. Make sure you pick the slim option if that is, in fact, what you’re going for.
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.
These types of guys seem to carry more than a few things on them every day. (Be prepared, right?) So, give em’ something that can help organize all that EDC once he dumps his pockets at the end of the day. Made in Milwaukee from high quality leathers, they make anything within their walls look good. Sadly, looks like these won’t get to their destination in time for the 25th, but… in case you’ve got a guy on your list who you’ll be seeing after the holiday, then keep these in mind.
Wool > Cotton. Almost always. Hell, probably always. And that even goes for t-shirts. The problem is that wool, especially the good stuff like merino, costs a hell of a lot more than cotton. So, they’re an investment, but they’re outstanding all the same (and thus, make for great gifts). Super lightweight. Washable. Try not to machine dry them though. I’ve accidentally dried mine once or twice and gotten away with it. You might not be so lucky. Lay flat to dry and they should be good by morning.
Made in Pennsylvania from Northern American leather. Bridle leather and brass hardware.
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.
They ain’t cheap, but they’re something he’ll wear and rely upon for years and years to come. Something of a legend. J. Press carries something similar… for $245. Total beasts. Flexible, warm, and breathable. Has some scratch to it but nothing crazy. The real stuff. Limited sizes and colors available at post time.
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.
Like the shaggy shetland, this is also very much the real deal. Made in France from a wool that’s not overly thick, but still dense enough to keep out even a Normandy breeze. Ships and returns for free.
Enormous fan of this thing. On the left is is last year’s quilted pattern. This year they went with a straight horizontal instead of diamond quilting. 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. Size shown above is a medium on 5’10/185. Ships and returns for free via Nordstrom.
The leather quality really is spectacular. No break in time necessary. At all. But it’s still thick stuff that should be able to take a beating, and only look better with age. Made in the USA. Goodyear welted. Full review here.
Sure, there have been plenty of worthwhile new Timex designs that came out this year… but why reinvent the wheel of this list? Nicely domed crystals. Straps are made from Red Wing’s thick boot leather. Obligatory mention for this gift guide.
L.E. Cashmere Cable Cardigan – $199.50 when 50% off
Yes, it’s expensive (even when half off), but it’ll be the layer he’ll reach for time and time again. Lands’ End cashmere is a noticeable step up from their competition, and a shawl collar cardigan like this will see an immense amount of use during the cold months. These things seems to come and go at Lands’ End in terms of stock, so, if they’re sold out now, it might be worth checking back in later (if you can swing the time frame for Xmas delivery.)
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. Can drop to as low as $250 during some sales. Lots of quality and not nearly the price that other brands sell their trench boots for.
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.
They’re like smoking jackets for the outdoorsy types. English wool. Zero lining in the back. three button front and a shawl collar up top. From their upgraded “Wallace & Barnes” line. Sizes are scattered at post time. Color above is the “dark pine” which is much more green than gray in person (damn Instagram filter gone amok).
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. One warning… it’ll attract lint and pet hair like crazy. So, if you’re neurotic about that kinda thing, be prepared.
A watch he could wear almost every day for the rest of his life. Dependable and very well made. Sturdy feeling without being brick like on the wrist. Brown leaning tan strap pops next to that black dial. Terrific feel to the construction and finish. Also available in a 38mm size.
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.