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.
News of the World – $12.79
Westerns are making a comeback. HBO’s Westworld has spurred interest in the genre from television to movies to books. News Of The World is a National Book Award finalist written by Paulette Lewis. Historical fiction starring an aging man who travels the south making his living reading the news to isolated towns. It’s an engaging story with characters you’ll absolutely care about, and it’s a good look into life in post Civil War America.
Opinel No8 Knife – $14
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.
Ex-officio Give N Go Briefs or Trunks – $19.49 – $27.49
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. I’ve also tried the competition. The competition is fine. I’m sticking with these. Ex-Officio underwear is 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.
Best Made Co. Limited Edition Franklin Enamel Cups – $24 – $42
You know how good whiskey tastes just THAT much better out of a really nice glass? Same goes for coffee, tea, or… uh… whiskey, when it comes to these things. Enamel wear is terrific, and it’s all but dead as a standard home good. Plus, these are also functional in an existential kind of way.
INNO STAGE Log Carrier – $32.95
Because sometimes the simplest solution is also the best. Waxed canvas. PU faux-leather handles. Ships fast and free thanks to Amazon.
Fisher Original Astronaut Space Pen – $37
Good enough for Astronauts, good enough for the guy on your list. Writes in the most extreme conditions, including zero gravity. Made in the USA. A hell of a lot cheaper than an Omega Speedmaster Moon Watch.
The Standard Memorandum Journal + Leather Cover – $39
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.
Bespoke Post Shetland Wool Sweater – $45
A cable knit, Shetland wool sweater for forty five bucks? Bravo Bespoke Post. This is part of their “Cable” box. So, it’s not technically a stand alone product. Three colors to pick from. Sure it’s made in China, but the wool is real Shetland stuff from Scotland. And I’m kinda digging that cable front, but plain sleeves and back.
Bespoke Post “Bullseye” Box – $45
THEY ARE SELLING THROWING KNIVES MY DUDES. And a target. And a carrying sheath. Extra insurance policy not included. Seriously, think about the person you’re gonna give this to. Is he… y’know… sorta a knuckle head? Even just every once in a while? Right. Might want to move on if you answered “yes.” Don’t be stupid. Y’know, “you’ll stab your eye out” and all that business.
Nordstrom 100% Cashmere Cap – $46.56 ($69.50)
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. On sale for a more than reasonable price, and Nordstrom doesn’t make crap. Ships and returns for free too.
S-Zone Waxed Canvas Duffle Bag – $46.99
Cheap? Yes. But surprisingly nice. At 21.6” x 11.8” x 9.8” this appears to be similar, albeit slightly smaller, in size and appearance to the Filson medium duffle bag. While the Filson is certainly the more handsome bag, this one isn’t bad looking, the colors don’t seem to run or bleed when rained on, and the leather accents are impressive for the price. Full review can be found here.
Timex T49905 Black Brass Case Chrono – $53.30
This thing does NOT feel like a run of the mill Timex. No flimsiness. None. Brass case has a very, very solid feel to it. Dark shades of brown and cream, a black ion case, and a suede strap. 42mm case diameter so it’s not enormous, but it does have some heft to its overall weight.
Bonobos Merino Wool Henleys – $62.40 FINAL – $94.40 w/ ECLIPSE20
Hardly anything more masculine than a well fitting henley. Bonobos knows fit, and these henleys, while not cheap, are made out of merino wool. Which is about as good as it gets for something you’ll wear right next to your skin (assuming you don’t have a wool allergy). Gray option is final sale. Navy and Black are not.
Mitchell Leather Co. Valet Trays – $79 – $99
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.
Icebreaker Merino T-Shirts – $45 – $85
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. Sometimes on sale, sometimes not.
FormFunctionForm Spoor Key Fob – $88
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.
FormFunctionForm Archslim Wallet – $94
One more from FFF. 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.
Made in the USA Brass Embassy Pen – $98
A beast. And I can’t imagine what sort of damage Martin Blank could have done with one of these instead of a lowly bic. Blue oil lamp not included. Sorry.
Red Wing Weekender Chelsea Boots – $129.97 (2nds) – $240
Absolutely love these things. Can be had for super cheap when Red Wing sends their 2nds quality stock to Nordstrom Rack (so, keep an eye out). Or, first quality is widely available elsewhere. Extremely comfortable but still made in the USA and tough as nails without the usual Red Wing “clunk.” True to size. A 10.5 D was just fine to start, and has molded to my feet perfectly over time.
An Upgraded Version of his Favorite Booze (price varies)
Does he like Canadian Whiskey? Get him Crown XO. Does he like Irish? Get Jameson Gold Reserve. He a Bourbon guy? Get him Pappy Van Winkle HA GOOD LUCK WITH FINDING SOME OF THAT. Anyway, you get the idea.
French Natural Wool Workman’s Jacket – $180 ($225)
A real throwback. Not cheap, but on sale at least. Sizing is pretty vague, but I think (think?) this chart from this site should help? Wool not your (or his) thing? Try the Made in the USA cotton Moleskin shirt jacket from Flint and Tinder.
Huckberry Exclusive Duck Boots – $180
These came out a month or so again and… immediately sold out. Gone. But they’re back. (For now?) Fully waterproof, breathable, full grain leather uppers and fully waterproof suede. They’re claiming sneaker like comfort too. A do anything duck boot that’s been updated for the 21st century.
Saddleback Toiletry Bag – $189
Expensive? Yes. Best. Dopp Kit. Ever? Probably. Like everything else that Saddleback makes, it comes with a 100 year warranty. Love how it’s a “big mouth” style with a hinged top so you’re not digging around in the depths of some dark, zippered dopp for whatever you need. Let’s all the light in. Full review here.
Citizen Night Hawk – $189.98
Runs on light. Durable. Super useful. Great feel to it. Water resistant to 200 meters, and can take a beating. Sold and shipped by Amazon.
Filson Original Briefcase – $210 – $325
Might as well have the best. Made in the USA from sturdy cotton canvas and bridle leather accents. Never gonna go out of style. Can’t explain the huge price difference, but it just might depend on stock/the seller. I’d check the thing over carefully upon arrival though if not ordering direct from Filson.
Flint & Tinder Flannel-Lined Wax Trucker Jacket – $220
Made in the USA. Waxed canvas exterior with a blanket lined interior for warmth. Full review here.
Huckberry Exclusive Chippewa 6″ Service Boot – $280
I know, lots of Huckberry stuff on this list. But who does the rugged but still good looking thing better than Huckberry? And these exclusive boots are something else. 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. Really glad they’re keeping these in stock for another year. Full review here.
Allen Edmonds Higgins Mill in Tumbled Leather – $296 ($395)
One of AE’s most popular boot models gets a fantastic new type of leather for the uppers. Grain/Tumbled leather gives this otherwise plain (in a good way) boot a bit more texture. Still made in the USA. Still Goodyear welted. Dainite studded sole for solid traction. RIP the “natural” shade of CXL shown at the top of the post.
Filson Cover Cloth Mile Marker Coat – $350
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.
Brooks Brothers Football Leather Briefcase – $358.80 ($598)
Yep. Football leather. Pebbled just like the pigskin you throw around in the backyard (assuming you’ve got a pigskin nice enough to actually be leather… NERF TURBO YO.) 40% off but just through today, 12/4/18. Part of the Brooks Brothers 5 Days of Deals promotion. But those promos change each day. So it’s back up to six bills tomorrow.
Hamilton Automatic Field Watch – $369
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.
Duluth Pack Bison Leather Duffel – $498.75 ($665)
A bit of a grail bag. 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.
Saddleback Flight Briefcase – $549
One of the best designs Saddleback has ever released. Absurdly useful. Perfect size for many of us. Gladstone style opening (just like the dopp kit) gives is a real vintage feel, but it’s also incredibly functional. 100 year warranty.
Nodus Avalon Phantom Dive Watch – $650
There’s a big difference between a 200m diver and a 300m diver. And most of the time you can just flat out feel that difference in your hands. Machined case, Super-LumiNova C3 X1 luminescence, and a Japanese Miyota 9039 automatic movement. Assembled in Los Angeles. 43.5mm case width with a 20mm lug width. Something he can wear just about anywhere, doing just about anything, and have faith that he’ll still be able to tell the time when it’s all said and done.