+ Gift Guide

Gift Guide: Gifts for Him Under-$50


1. Beer Making Kit ($40) // 2. Scotch & Soda Card Wallet ($40) // 3. J.CREW Half-Zip Sweater ($60) // 4. How to Be a Man Book ($28) // 5. Zapi Toothbrush Sanitizer ($30) // 6. Vornado Personal Desktop Fan ($29) // 7. Shut the Box Game ($25)

One.  Any man who loves beer has dreamed of making his own beer.  He’s probably chosen the name of his brewery, designed his logo and label and started naming his brews.  This beer making kit from Williams Sonoma is a great way to get him started.  If he already brews his own beer, or knows how, you can buy a kit that contains everything you need to brew The White House’s Honey Ale and Honey Porter.

Two.  There are few things that make a man less attractive than an “ass tumor” cause by an overflowing wallet.  Some men have turned to money clips to solve their woes, and others prefer card holders like this one.  Sleek card holders fit neatly into a jacket or pants pocket without causing an unsightly bulge.

Three.  Half-zip sweaters like this one are almost always a big hit.  Men like to wear them on casual days or under blazers because they’re dressy and sporty at this time.  This sweater from J.CREW is a bit pricier than the budget, but just like on Monday, the increase in quality is more than the $10 overage.  If you must stay within the budget, this Docker’s sweater is a good buy, and Gap is always a good choice for stylish, relaxed menswear.

Four.  Buying fashion books for men is always a challenge, but if the gentleman you’re buying a gift for is a stylish sort, they can make a great gift.  Other books to consider include The Queer Eye for the Straight Guy Guidebook ($11), The ABC Guide of Men’s Fashion ($14), The Esquire Guide to Men’s Style ($11) and Nordstrom’s Guide to Everyday Dressing ($34).

Five.  Ever wondered what kind of bacteria are on your toothbrush?  Try the germs from your mouth, plus fecal matter and other nastiness transmitted through the air.  (It’s okay if you want to take a moment to go throw up.)  The VioLight Zapi sanitizes your toothbrush, killing 99% of bacteria, in just seven minutes.  

Want to sanitize more than one brush at a time?  This Pursonic system will clean multiple brushes and razors at once.

Six.  It’s no secret that men get hot.  The second the temperature in the office crests about 70-degrees they start loosening ties and taking of jackets.  Should it hit 72-degrees, they start whining like little schoolgirls.  I take that back, schoolgirls are tougher than men when they’re bodies crest above optimal temperature.  This desktop fan is the perfect size for keeping office dwellers cool.  You could also use it in a bathroom or set it on your nightstand.

Need a smaller fan that can fit in a backpack or pocket?  This tiny fan from Coleman works well (I carry one in the summer.).  And if you’re looking for a good stocking stuffer, the Misty Mate sprays a cooling mist that some of my friends who like to go hiking couldn’t live without.

Seven.  Shut the Box is a very old dice game that was allegedly developed by pirates.  If you have basic math skills and a few singles in your wallet, playing shut the box with friends can be a lot of fun.  It also makes a great drinking game, but it could be a good gift for a person of any age.  

Leave a Reply to Elizabeth · cancel comment


  1. Ella says:

    Shut the Box is surprisingly entertaining. I'm not sure about it as a gift for a guy, but it's a great gift for a kid- it's actually a really good addition & subtraction practice tool. It doesn't seem “cool” at first, but once you start playing, it's hard to put down. (Yep, I got this game for Christmas about 15 years ago.)

    November 29, 2012/Reply
  2. Stephanie says:

    I have that Brooklyn Brew Shop beer making kit, and I love it; and I have gifted it to others, who have loved it as well. Many Whole Foods now carry it (which is a little more accessible than Williams-Sonoma for me).

    November 29, 2012/Reply
  3. Ella says:

    Follow-up on Shut the Box: I suggest a version with a lid that shuts. Winning the game is always more fun when you can slam the lid closed. Trust me.

    This one isn't beautiful, but I can confirm that the lid can be satisfactorily slammed shut many, many times without breaking: https://www.amazon.com/Front-Porch-Classics-Shut-Bookshelf/dp/B0007UDXSE/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1354166160&sr=8-9&keywords=shut+the+box

    November 29, 2012/Reply
  4. Belle says:

    Ella: Trust me on this, you turn it into a drinking game with low-dollar gambling, and all my male friends go crazy for it. Suddenly, math is fun.

    November 29, 2012/Reply
  5. Phoebe says:

    I own that little red fan (mine is on my nightstand), and it is really awesome when you're sitting next to it. It has 2 speeds. It's a must have for me while I sleep during the summer. This next summer will be the 3rd year I've had it, and it's still going strong.

    November 30, 2012/Reply
  6. Elizabeth says:

    After seeing the beautiful card holder on your gift guide last week, I promptly ordered it off Amazon for my SO and it's already arrived. Gorgeous leather and nice packaging too. I think he'll like it. Thanks Belle!

    December 3, 2012/Reply