+ Gift Guide

2016 Gift Guide for The Men in Your Life


I am excellent gift giver.  It is one of my finest qualities.  Be they expensive or affordable, I know exactly what to get my friends and family 99% of the time.  The only place I falter, the only stumbling block I find is my younger brother.  Some years, I know exactly what he needs, wants, and requires.  But this year is one of the rare years when, between law school and his wedding, we just didn’t talk enough to set me up for success.

Why do men have to be so tough to buy for sometimes?  Here are some gifts for the men in your life.


“Cool shoelaces, are the new socks.”  So sayeth the fashion-obsessed man in my life.  These laces from Stolen Riches ($17.50) are his favorite.  They come in “normal” colors like olive, navy, brown, etc., but if your guy is anything like mine, he’s going to want the flashy ones.  They have dozens of colors (if not hundreds), and you can save 15% by signing up for their newsletter.


My boyfriend owns one of these portable speakers, and it really is surprising how often we both use it.  I play music on it while I’m working out, he plays music on it while he’s cooking.  It’s a great little device.  This Bose Soundlink Color Bluetooth speaker ($129) has great sound quality and a reasonable price.  For something under-$100, these pill-shaped JBL Flip speakers ($79) are the way to go.


Down puffers are a big hit with city dwellers, suburbanites, and any man who just needs a warm, casual coat.  This ultra-light down parka from Uniqlo ($129) is quite well made, and well priced.  They also make a longer version, a fur-trimmed version, and, of course, a puffer vest.


Does your recipient love to cook?  Behold, the most incredible cast iron pot in history (that you can actually afford without mortgaging your home).  The Staub French Over is usually priced over-$300, but Williams Sonoma has select colors for $112 plus free shipping.  I bought one for myself.  They’re amazing for making stews, braising meats, and making one of my favorite breakfasts ‘eggs in hell’.


In past years, I’ve recommended this Everlane Weekender Duffle ($98) as a great gift for guys.  But this year, everyone seems to be into casual backpacks.  This Herschel Supply Backpack ($100) is a popular item.  Personally, this sleek travel backpack from Incase Designs ($179) is more my speed.


This falls into the category of ‘splurge gift.’  The Bushnell Tour V3 Slope Rangefinder ($299) is one of the few golf-related gifts that is actually useful.  It calculates distance to the pin using the Pythagorean Theorem.  If you’re looking for something under-$50, I am assured that “every man likes to pop open a fresh sleeve of Titleist Pro V1X golf balls ($48 for 12) in front of their friends.”  You can also find these on eBay for a bit less if you’re willing to hunt.


These Barbour Leather Gloves ($89) are Thinsulate lined for extra warmth.  Their style also perfectly skirts the line between manly woodsman and chic city-boy.


I say this every year: If you have a brown liquor drinker in your family, do not buy those awful whiskey stones.  They don’t keep your drink cold enough.  Instead, buy them spherical ice molds ($11).  But since I’ve put the spherical molds on the blog every gift guide since the dawn of gift guides, I thought I’d do something a bit different and put up these very cool skull-shaped molds ($15 for 2) instead.  I also like these Darth Vader shaped molds, and these bulldog shaped molds (hey, Hoyas and Zags!).



  1. Bonnie says:

    My husband always wants a new pair of shoes and cologne. One year, he really hinted that he wanted a watch, so he got that, too. Another year it was a nice wallet. He’s said before that men appreciate practical yet luxurious gifts, and I think your list covers that well! (We also both collect vinyl records and books, so there are always several of those items under the tree, too.) I’ve also bought him magazine subscriptions before (and that’s a good gift for anyone, really).

    December 5, 2016/Reply
    • Belle says:

      If he likes shoes, look up Taft boots. My BF is obsessed with them.

      December 5, 2016/Reply
      • Bonnie says:

        Thanks, Belle–I’ll look into that as he especially loves boots!

        December 6, 2016/Reply
      • A says:

        The Taft boots look beautiful–any suggestions for something similar but in a lower price range?

        December 7, 2016/Reply
  2. Chelsea says:

    In the dutch oven category, Sur La Table has the 3.5 quart Le Cruset for $180 (regularly $386). I bought it for my dad.
    I prefer the satin non-stick enamel of Le Cruset over Staub – but some folks really prefer the dark interior of the Staub pots.

    December 5, 2016/Reply
  3. Lindsay says:

    Over thanksgiving my dad and husband were talking about how nice it was to get a good barber shave. I’m wondering if anyone has any recommendations for great places in/around DC? And any recommendations for good shaving cream & aftershave to make a bundled gift would be great!

    December 5, 2016/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Have you looked at Grooming Lounge?

      December 5, 2016/Reply
  4. Jess says:

    You pick the best gifts. I’ve been wanting a Staub for a long time and picked up the universal pan today. Can’t wait for it to arrive!

    December 5, 2016/Reply
  5. Anna says:

    I’m getting my newly college graduated brother a quality knife and maybe a sharpener too. I’m tempted to buy a Staub or Le Creuset but I’m not sure if his cooking skills are quite there yet, and he’s living with roommates so I figure the knife takes less space and will go more easily with him wherever he ends up next.

    December 5, 2016/Reply
    • LS says:

      Great gifts! A knife will last him a lifetime.

      Personally, I think Le Creuset is a waste of money. Lodge makes cast iron pots and pans that are just as good for a fraction of the price.

      December 6, 2016/Reply
      • Belle says:

        My issue with Lodge is that you have to season it. With thee Le Creuset you can just start using it.

        December 6, 2016/Reply
  6. M says:

    Belle I just wanted to let you know I managed to get gifts for my brother, bf, and dad all off of this gift guide. Seriously fantastic round up. Thank you for making this so much easier!!

    December 11, 2016/Reply