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 guy who likes watches. Or the rugged type. Or the guy who’s really into shoes. Etc. We’ll cover all those, and hopefully a few more in the coming days.
A Tipped Pocket Square: The Tie Bar – $11.99
Tipped pocket squares are great, because while the base is a dependable white linen or cotton, it’s the edges that bring a bit of color and personality. Think about what squares you’ve seen him wear. Does he have a preferred color? Have you seen him wear a tipped one before, with that color as its border? No? Then there’s the one to get.
Is it the sexiest gift? No. But wide shouldered hangers are gold to a guy who loves to wear suits, sportcoats, and blazers.
Pebbled for your pleasure… or something. Guys in suits often carry slimmed down wallets, or, a card case and money clip combo. This one is inexpensive, yet still really sharp looking. That pebbled texture goes a long way, and it’s in that shade of blue that got quite popular this year (not navy, and not a bright sky blue either). Plus, it ships/returns free in case he doesn’t dig it.
What was that about guys in suits often carrying slimmed down card cases and money clips? That’s not always the case, but it often is. Here’s a money clip suggestion. Made in Brooklyn. Great angles. Also available in a black oxide in case he’s less of a bling dude.
“I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.” An insult, right? Well, depends on the pen Lloyd. Made in a beautiful shade of copper that quickly picks up a nice, individual patina. The sliding mechanism feels great too (a little too great, you might find yourself fidgeting with it). Not lightweight, but not so heavy that it’s a pain to transport. Fits all Parker style pen refills.
Skip giving him cheap ties. If the guy on your list wears suits a lot… he knows where to get cheap ties. Instead, if he’s been extra nice this year, opt for a splurge tie. Like this classic, silk grenadine tie from Kent Wang. Solid in color but with that unmistakable texture. Made in Italy. And unlike cheap ties, the construction and quality/weight of fabric makes it tie easier, and drape better.
For the analog guy living in the digital world, who likes to keep it compact while on the go. Brilliant design, excellent materials, and made here in the USA. A wallet with enough slots for cards and cash that also integrates a notebook and Fisher space pen. I was surprised how flexible and relatively lighter in weight this thing was when I got my hands on one. Should do well inside of a suit jacket pocket.
A really nice steamer: Rowenta IS6300 Master Valet – $137.22
The dry cleaner can be terrible on suits, sportcoats, and blazers. And tiny handheld steamers sometimes spit out huge blasts of steam out of nowhere, and/or have to be refilled all the time. Going with a professional style steamer like this one is the way to go if you can spend the dough. Steam will release those wrinkles and freshen up your duds, so you can go longer between dry-cleanings.
A classic that looks as good with a suit and tie as it does with a t-shirt and jeans. Benefit of these though, while suited, is that they fold up nice and compact, and don’t take up much room in an interior jacket pocket. Less bulk/jacket bulge the better. 54mm should fit most average head sizes. 52mm is for the smaller guys or ladies. Unmistakable, key-hole bridge shape.
Bar none, the best dress shirt (& collar if you go with the mid-spread) to wear when going tieless in a suit. Perfectly placed, slightly lowered second button. Terrific fabrics and construction. Yes, they’re an investment. No, they don’t go on sale that often. And be warned. You might hook the guy on Ledbury if you give him one of these.
One beautiful piece of high functioning leather. Will put those crummy Office Depot sourced folio’s to shame. Laser cut from a single piece of thick 5-6oz Horween leather. Designed to hold technology (dimensions are specfic to a 12″ iPad Pro (with attached keyboard) or a 13″ MacBook Pro), a legal pad, pen slot, optional Apple Pencil slot, and a nifty little place to store business cards. Hand beveled, stitched, and burnished. Available in 4 shades of leather, including the show-stopper CXL #8 burgundy.
There are more than a few similar options out there, and they all seem to be derivatives of the Hook & Albert weekender (which, while not available at present on Massdrop, has gone for as low $250 there…). Anywho, this one is a full grain leather, so, extra fancy, and offers the same roll-up garment bag w/shoe pockets option. Ships and returns for free since it’s Suitsupply.
For the extra, extra, extra nice. 100% cashmere, or, 100% ultra fine camel calf fleece. Another Suitsupply pick, but, they know a thing or two about how a coat should fit over a suit. Ships & returns for free.