Gift Guide: For the Gentleman
Dec 14, 2010
It’s been several years since I’ve been in a relationship, so my gift buying skills are as a rusty as, well… my other skills. But since guys can be notoriously difficult to shop for, I knew that I needed to provide some counsel on the matter. So I decided to ask some of my closest guy friends what they’d like for Christmas.
It may come as a surprise to some men, but you have skin too. And while women love (LOVE) the feel of a freshly shaved face, we know that shaving can be tough on the skin. This kit includes the basics: cleanser, moisturizer scrub, and most importantly, a post-shave mask to prevent burns and ingrown hairs.
“Shaving every morning for work sucks. The mask makes it suck less.” –Paul
According to my friend Chris, buying a man an expensive bottle of scotch is like buying a woman a $200 face cream. He really wants it, but he’d never buy it for himself. And according to Chris, Johnnie Walker Blue Label is the go to aspirational label. If this is out of your price range, he recommends Clyneish 14-year-old ($50).
While most men think that a good tie needs to cost a lot of money, Andrews Ties, handmade in Italy, are surprisingly heavy and luxurious for a sub-$50 tie. My school friend Amir has so many that he actually has to rotate them in and out seasonally to make room in his closet. He likes the dots, but my favorite is the Vellutino pattern. Throw in a matching pocket square and you just lifted your man’s wardrobe from B- to solid A.
4. Tickets, to anything.
Of the 11 men who I asked for suggestions, 10 mentioned tickets. Tickets to what? Sporting events, concerts, a comedian, etc. But the most helpful suggestion came from my friend Mike:
“Don’t come with me. Buy me two tickets, and in the card, give me permission to take a friend. Especially if you hate the band or sporting event you bought me tickets to see. If you want to do something as a couple, drop a few hints and I’ll set up a date night. But sometimes, a man needs to be around other men.”
I hate backpacks on men. This isn’t college. You’re not Josh Lyman. It isn’t cute anymore, buy a real bag.
Unfortunately, briefcases are kind of stuffy. So I was thrilled when my friend Billy mentioned that he’d kill for a Jack Spade bag. This seems to strike the right balance between leather briefcase and backpack.
If your man is particularly fashionable, try a vintage messenger bag. They look chic and have character. You can find them in any price point, and with a little sprucing up, they look as good as new.