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 (slightly unexpected) Pocket Square – $14 and up
- TheTieBar Domino Paisley Navy Pocket Square – $14
- Le Chateau Italian-Made Wool Pocket Square – $20.99 ($45)
- Kent Wang Made in France Cat pocket square – $45 shown above
A crisp white pocket square is always gonna look good. But why not go for something different, since he’s probably set on those basics? Try something saturated, or in a wool fabric, or maybe a micro print.
Breathable Garment Bags – $25.99 for set of 3
Storing suits sans garment bags is asking for moth-trouble. Storing them in suffocating, cheap plastic bags is asking for rank saturation. These are the answer. Breathable but still dust and water resistant, with a plastic window that allows you to see just which suit you’re grabbing off the rack. Perfect.
J. Crew Travel Shoehorn – $24
For the travelling (when that’s possible again) suit wearer. Even if his “trip” is a daily stop at the gym pre-work. Shockingly useful. You wouldn’t think having an additional, small shoehorn stashed in your luggage would make a difference, but if you’ve always got a dopp kit packed (whether it be for early morning gym visits / constant travel), it makes a big deal.
Wide Shouldered Suit/Sportcoat/Blazer Hangers – $22.99 per 6 pack
Is it the sexiest gift? No. But wide shouldered hangers are gold, GOLD Jerry!… to a guy who loves to wear suits, sportcoats, and blazers.
Kent Wang Masks (which double as pocket squares!) – $25
Genius. Pure genius. Pleats, a flexible wire nose bridge, and adjustable side straps. Made in Canada too. Something that can pull double duty now, and then in the future once we get past this? It’ll be a reminder to appreciate the norm.
Banana Republic Wool Dress Scarves in Solid or Stripe – $29 ($59.50)
Suits = topcoats. And topcoats almost always = scarf action. Look for a complimentary color to his favorite coat(s). Not something that matches perfectly. Big fan of that striped option. A nice gift, but not so expensive that it’ll break the bank.
A Clothes Brush – $36 – $180
Sure, those sticky rollers are great for quick jobs or more casual clothes… but if he really likes his suits and sportcoats, he might think twice before taking an adhesive roller to it. That’s where a clothes brushes come in. They’re specifically designed to lift dirt and hair out and up from a suit’s fabric, without damaging the weave. Kent makes terrific clothes brushes. Shown above is an older model of the two sided (soft/stiff) bristle brush. Spendy? Yes. But he’ll have it for the rest of his life.
Made in the USA Brass Money Clip – $38
Guys in suits often carry slimmed down wallets, or, a card case and money clip combo. Here’s a money clip suggestion. Made in Brooklyn. Great angles. Also available in a black oxide. Enormous fan of these money clips.
UNIQLO Extra Fine Merino Turtleneck – $39.90
Some of us can pull off a turtleneck with a suit. Others of us just simply cannot. If you or the guy you’re shopping for is the former, then try UNIQLO. The lightweight merino wool is perfect for layering (easily) under a suit jacket, and the neck isn’t submarine captain bulky. Far from it. That, and they’re washable. So if you perspire a bit thinking about how DEAD SEXY YOU LOOK in your turtleneck & suit combo, you can easily wash it when you get home.
Best Made Co. Solid Brass Pocket Tape Measure – $39.95
For those that measure their garments or need to get their own measurements for custom orders, eBaying, etc. Kinda ridiculous (it’s a $40 measuring tape!), but, well, it’s the holidays.
A “garment duffel” – $55 – $499
These are the duffel bags that are designed to unzip and unroll into a traditional garment bag. Perfect for transporting suits and sportcoats (and the accompanying shirts and shoes and what not) while reducing wrinkle risk. Available at many brands and at MANY price points, you can find a review of the (cheap!) Bespoke Post option over here.
Rowenta DR8080 Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer – $55
Quite an impressive handheld steamer. Some handheld steamers just flat out don’t do the job well. They spit water or hard water deposits, they’re awkward to hold, and/or the water reservoir runs out quickly. That’s not the case on any level with this super well made, easy to wield, plenty of water in the tank steamer. The dry cleaner can be terrible on suits, sportcoats, and blazers. The less trips there the better. So unless it’s soiled or it’s starting to stink, release the wrinkles with this and be on your way.
Coach Card Case With Horse And Carriage Print – $75
What was that about card cases and money clips? There are a LOT of weird looking card cases out there. Skip the plastic ID window versions and go with something simple. Not cheap (nothing at Coach is), but the branding here is subtle and pretty classy.
Kent Wang Made in Italy Grenadine Necktie – $75
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.
A (future) dressed up dinner out (when it’s possible/safe to do so)
Even the most homebodied among us are starting to think about the days of showing up somewhere with good lighting, good furniture, and talented people making the drinks and food for us. With more lockdowns coming/already underway, your local favorite restaurant/bar/cocktail lounge would probably appreciate the purchasing of a gift card. Make it a big one. And promise to take him out on the town once this mess eventually comes to an end.
Ledbury Fine Twill Semi Spread Collar Dress Shirt – $135
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. And be warned. You might hook the guy on Ledbury if you give him one of these.
Suit inspired athleisure!
- EXPRESS Gray Striped Luxe Comfort Soft Bomber Jacket – $139 & Matching Pant – $90
- Todd Snyder + Champion Wool Pinstripe Sweatshirt – $268 & Matching Jogger – $248
These are the #2020 WFH version of Barney Stinson’s suitjamas. Utterly insane. Yet somehow works. Maybe. Either that or we’re all starting to look like overgrown toddlers in our goofy pajamas. Express options are Polyester/Wool/Cotton/Rayon. Todd Snyder options are Italian wool suiting material… and expensive.
Rowenta IXEO all in one Iron + Steamer w/ 3-position board – $243
LOOK AT IT. Hide behind your maracas, because that machine is too sexy. And it might just be a game changer, being that it’s a steamer and an iron, all in one, with a pivoting 3-position board. 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.
Weatherproof Dress Shoes: Allen Edmonds Park Ave. – $267 or Strand – $329.97 ($445)
These are a game changer. Not being worried about doing damage to your nice dress shoes when you take the trash out, or make a quick trip to the grocery store, or whatever… is a big deal for those who live in bad-weather climates. Look, you’re not gonna summit Mt. Everest in these things, but still. Between the weatherproof uppers and dainite rubber soles, they deliver enormous piece of mind in the cold and wet weather months. Anything that gets us to wear our “good stuff” more, right?
Spier & Mackay Camel Wool/Cashmere or Navy Wool/Cashmere Overcoats – $498
Good grief what a coat. If he’s suited up a lot, he’s probably not reaching for a ski parka. Yes, it’s half a grand, but at other brands? You’d be paying a heck of a lot more. 85% merino / 15% cashmere. Peak lapels. Double breasted front. Patch pockets up front. Single vent in the rear and a “self-belted” back. Geeze Louise those are something.
Black Lapel Custom Suits Gift Card: $499 – $1099
- Charcoal Super 110s Wool Suit – $499
- Navy Super 110s Wool Suit – $499
- Blue Windowpane Shadow Check Super 130s Wool Suit – $699
- The Traveler Suit in Slate Blue Super 130s Wool – $799
For the hard to fit suited-up types. This is a personal opinion, but to me, of all the online-custom suit companies out there, Black Lapel is one of if not the best. They don’t chop their suit jackets (imagine that). They were one of the first to ask for (faceless) posture pics and shoulder slope shapes. If you’re tough to fit (like me) I’d highly suggest giving them a try. I’m a big fan of the ability to add single pleats (not the multi accordion style) to their suit trousers so you can get a little more room for badonkadonk. Also, I like a ticket pocket every once in a while. That’s also an option.