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.
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream – $5.99
Because this stuff is the real deal, while most other hand creams are pretenders. It works. Period. And if he’s the type who has calluses and scraped up knuckles and split thumbs (the worst) in the winter, yet STILL knows how to look sharp, then this’ll help him from bleeding all over the place when buttoning up his favorite crisp white dress shirt.
Goodfellow & Co. Moroccan Mint & Cedar Beard Balm – $7.99
More gunk in a jar, only this time, for your beard. While the hair on your face is different than the hair on top of your head, gently conditioning it every once in a while is a good idea. A little beard balm will help you avoid looking like your face has been covered in fur farmed from around a yeti’s private parts. Softens without greasing down. Smells good without being over powering. Cheap.
Plainsong by Kent Haruf – $9.88
Brilliantly written, high-plains small-town stories, that are tautly strung together like barbed wire between fence posts (…too on the nose? Sorry, I’m no good at reviewing books. I’m not even any good at reviewing clothes! HEYY OOO BEAT YOU TO IT HATERS.) Good luck not getting emotionally invested in the characters. This book was so good that immediately after, I went on to read everything Kent Haruf has ever written.
The North Water by Ian McGuire – $9.59
While Plainsong will rip your heart out, The North Water will rip your guts out, throw them over the side, and make you harpoon whatever comes to the surface to feed on your innards.
Duluth Pack Canvas Coffee Sleeve – $10
Dappered HQ sits above a coffee shop/cafe. One of my favorite things is when I’m down there, grabbing a bite, and some grizzled manly man walks in looking like he just hauled an elk he bagged (bow season, natch) off a mountainside… and he orders a mocha with extra whip. And “maybe a little extra chocolate syrup drilled over the top? Could you guys add half a shot of mint too?” Gets me every time.
Opinel No8 Knife – $15
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 – $15 – $20
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. For deals on these things, check Costco. They often have these for crazy cheap… IF you’re a member.
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.
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. 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.
Leatherman FREE T2 – $40
I use this thing all the time. Opening packages, cutting apples, poppin’ bottles, and the mini screwdriver is what I actually use to resize my stainless steel watches that have screwed in pins. Everything you need for every day carry. Nothing you don’t. One handed operation. Looks pretty good too.
Fisher Original Astronaut Space Pen – $44.29
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.
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. Four colors to pick from, but sizes are just about gone in everything but the green (shown) and blue. 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.
Nordstrom 100% Cashmere Cap – $52.15 ($69.50)
I don’t care how rough and rugged a dude is. He could have been born with all of Tatooine’s 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. Ships and returns for free too.
Made in the USA Ebbets Field Wool Ballcaps – $49
Tons of teams to pick from. Many (most?) that you haven’t ever heard of. I’ll always be a Roy Hobbs fan. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t get chills from this scene. You can have your green screen transformers universe annihilation PEW PEW PEW! movies. I’ll take the slow trot to sparks flying/music crescendos myself. Somewhere along the line, the stories told in movies got so darn big that they now seem meaningless and small. At least to me. I’m not smart enough to know why that happened. Also, nobody cares. Things change. Sidenote: Their wool NFL jerseys are expensive, but incredible.
AmazonBasics Duffle Bag – $49.99
Cotton & poly canvas with leather trim. Made by friggin’ Amazon’s AmazonBasics label. (They also make, oh I don’t know, batteries! and staplers!) Uncle Jeff’s internet emporium is quickly becoming ACME from Looney Tunes. It’s only a matter of time until Amazon starts making anvils. Guaranteed enough people search “anvil” on Amazon, as a joke, and the algorithms will pump out some data that someone (or some robot) in production will see as a sure-fire sign that WE MUST SELL ANVILS! I feel bad for the UPS man’s spinal discs already. Lift with your legs fellas. Nice looking bag though.
Timex T49905 Black Brass Case Chrono – $53.30
A longtime favorite. 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.
Readywares Waxed Canvas Tool Bucket Organizer – $54.99
Forget your boxes. Boxes require me to open the lid. And I’m not nearly as organized as all those little rigid trays imply I should be. Just give me a damn bucket and one of these things. If anything goes wrong? Get the bucket.
Stanley 64 oz Growler Set – $55
“I see you brought beer!”
“It’s not beer.”
“Ah. Well, nice of you to share at least.”
Sunski Treelines Premium Sunglasses – $63.90 ($89)
BLEEPIN’ GLACIER SHIELDS MAN. Those side shields are magnetic, and come off easily. So, y’know, when he’s not hiking up K2 he can take those shields off if he’d like. Polarized too. Currently on sale at Huckberry, with an extra 10% off through today, 12/16.
FormFunctionForm WriteTime Wallet – $82
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.
Icebreaker Merino TABI Luxe Lite Long Sleeve Pocket Crew – $84 ($120)
Icebreaker merino stuff is terrific. Their TABI line is another step above. It’s their Japanese-designed “lifestyle” line that balances performance w/ looking good. So, perfect. Just picked this thing up for myself, because… treat yo’ self and all that. Hasn’t arrived just yet, but a previous TABI long sleeve pocket crew, in size large, fits my 5’10” / 195 lb frame perfectly.
FormFunctionForm Spoor Key Fob – $88
One more from FFF. 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.
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.
Proof Merino 72-Hour Henley – $88.20 ($98)
Tell him the price after he wears it. Because $98 is a crazy splurge… until you wear one, and compare them to cheap henleys. Merino wool is nice and breezy, yet it insulates when it’s cold out. It’s strong but it breathes. It dries quick. And it has natural anti-stink properties. They call these things “72-hour” because you can wear ’em for 3 days without washing, and not worry that you smell like a dumpster. Slim but not crazy tight fit. Snap henley placket. Four colors to pick from. Just enough nylon in the blend to make them machine washable (just lay flat to dry). Give me one or two of these, and you can have 20 cheap cotton henleys. They are that good. Also available in short sleeves for $74. Up for Huckberry’s 10% off sitewide sale, which expires today, 12/16.
Mitchell Leather Co. Valet Trays – $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. Stock is running real short, and last day to order is 12/19.
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 something between his usual juice and Pappy (because the price of Pappy is laughably absurd). Anyway, you get the idea.
Citizen Canvas Band Eco Drive Chronograph – $123.98
Vintage military looks. Even the strap has metal grommets instead of cheap, punched out holes. Simple and intuitive. 42mm case. The build quality and the fact that it’s powered by light means it can be a maintenance free go-to for years and years and years to come.
Leatherhead Old Fashioned Leather Sporting Goods – $130 – $350
Sporrrrrts. These are the guys who make “The Handsome Dan” football. What’s his favorite sport? Cool. Get that ball. Extra points if you actually go out and use it with him every once in a while, instead of just letting it sit on a shelf. Although they are basically works of art. Shelf is good too. But yeah. Use it. The medicine balls are particularly rad. And pricey.
Filson Mackinaw Wool Vest – $150
Vests are hugely underrated. For everything from chopping wood to walking a dog that’s part mule (she was a stray that was food insecure for the first few years of her life, so if she sees anything resembling food on the ground, she goes for it), you want freedom of movement. And vests give you that. That, and if you start working up a bit of a sweat, your pits can breathe, while your core stays warm. Made in the USA.
Danner Vertigo 917 – $180 – $220
Legitimately some of the most comfortable boots I’ve ever owned. They’re still boots. They’ve got some structure and a bit of toughness. But they’re not gonna weigh you down either. Oh my. Full grain leather uppers, waterproof & breathable, and the perfect blend of country durability and city-dwelling comfort. Do it all boots, now in that darker “java” colorway with the smart-as-hell green laces. Currently on sale at Amazon, but I’ve never bought through that seller before? They aren’t even fulfilled by Amazon. So, know that. Also available at Huckberry.
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. Lets all the light in. Full review here.
Citizen Night Hawk – $188
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.
Made in the USA Red Wing 6″ Moc Toe Boots – $210 ($280)
I don’t know how these are still on sale, but I’m glad they are. Legends. Faithful foot-companions. Made in the USA of course. Goodyear welted. Concrete shade of aged leather has depth for days.
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 – $216 ($240)
Made in the USA. Waxed canvas exterior with a blanket lined interior for warmth. Full review here. Another Huckberry pick (imagine that, it is the “rugged guy” gift guide after all) and thus, getting 10% off today.
Seiko 007 or 009 – $235 – $265
Get ’em while you still can, because Seiko seems to be retiring the tried and true, tough, great looking, 007 and 009 SKX watches.
Red Wing Weekender Chelsea Boots – $216 ($240)
Absolutely love these things. 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.
French Natural Wool Workman’s Jacket – $134 ($268)
A real throwback. Not cheap, but will go on sale from time to time (even though, well, we’re running out of time before the holiday). Now half off. Huge thanks to Carlon H. for the tip!!
James Brand “Duval” Front-Flipper Frame-Lock Knife – $275
HAHAHAH a $300 pocket knife? Are you serious? HAHAHAHAHA my god it’s gorgeous.
WP Standard Military Duffel – $338.30 ($398)
Is your (or his) new year’s resolution to get into better shape? Here’s a heck of a motivator. Because it makes for one hell of a gym bag, and if it’s your gym bag, you gotta go to the gym if you want to use it. Has that slightly unusual, but classic, top loading design. Great for getting your athletic gear to and from your chosen location to sweat buckets.
Allen Edmonds Higgins Mill Weatherproof Boot with Dainite Rubber Sole – $345 ($445)
Super versatile, made in the USA boots, that they somehow made BETTER this season by adding these grain leather weatherproof options. Studded Dainite rubber sole for traction.
Hamilton Automatic Field Watch – $382
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.
Allen Edmonds Weatherproof Dalton – $395
Surprisingly terrific leather. You’d think there’d be some weirdness or stiffness of an odd coating or something since these are weatherproof. Nope. Quite the opposite. Super soft and pliable, right out of the box. Studded Dainite sole is standard. Full review here.
Alden Indy Boot – $565
Made famous by Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies, they’re made in the USA from tough (but forgiving-on-the-foot) components. They’re the essential all-around, not overly country, not city slicker either, adventure boot. Sizing can be a bit tricky though. Most suggest dropping down a half size for the last that the Indy is made around.
Saddleback Flight Briefcase – $589
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 it a real vintage feel, but it’s also incredibly functional. 100 year warranty.
Nodus Duality Automatic – $700
Assembled in the USA and running off Japanese automatic movements. Bubble domed sapphire glass. 40mm in diameter (so good for those that prefer more classically sized watches) with 20mm wide lugs and bracelet which tapers to 18mm at the clasp. Water resistance is 300 meters. Interior bezel (controlled by one of the crowns) comes in either a 60 minute diver option, or a 12 hour “traveler” option. They are something else. Bravo to the Nodus guys for another terrific watch.
Hamilton “Murph” Automatic – $995
For the adventurers. Those who appreciate science (and or science fiction). For fans of the movie Interstellar. It’s “a faithful recreation of the watch that appeared in the movie on the wrist of main character Murph. With the word “Eureka” printed in Morse code in lacquer on the seconds hand.” Strength and Stardust. That’s what we’re after, and that’s what we’re made of. More info on this watch can be found here.