Features + Gift Guide

Kyle’s Holiday Gift Guide, Part Deux

After last year’s incredible gift guide, I decided to hang up my gift guru hat, because you can’t improve on perfection.  But then I saw the sh***y gift guides other bloggers were peddling (thumb massagers?) and decided that the world needed my expertise.  What kind of boyfriend would I be if I let Abra publish a lackluster men’s gift guide?

Back by popular demand, a buying guide for the men in your life — father, brother, friend, or significant other.  These gifts are designed to help you win Christmas (Don’t @ me with “there are no winners and losers in Christmas.” We’ve all been on both sides of great vs. okay gift paradigm; it’s better to give the great gift than receive it.). Let’s get this show on the road.

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Clothes. Like last year, I chose things that he will actually use and will add value to his wardrobe.

This Ted Baker Cashmere Overcoat ($419) was on the top of my list for Santa last year, and it was well worth the price. I’ve never gotten more compliments over a shorter period of time on anything I’ve ever worn. Coats seem to be the exception to average guy-clothing rules, more is better.

The in-between length lets you wear this coat in both dress and casual settings. It comes in three colors; there is no bad choice.

These Hammermade Shirts ($129) are amazing. They have multiple fits, so finding the correct size and style won’t be a problem. The colors and patterns are stylish, but not over the top. You can even customize it down to the buttons. They won’t be flying under the national radar much longer.

For a less expensive gift, don’t miss their socks.  $11 per pair with plenty of cool patterns and colors to choose from.  The louder, the better.

Taft Boots are quickly becoming a personal favorite. Quality products made by a family company, and the shorter product runs mean your man won’t have the same boots as everyone else.

The Jack Boot ($250) is my favorite.  This oxblood and grey combo is the most fashion forward.  For something simpler, the Rome Boot ($275) is a versatile option for dress or casual attire.

A great belt is an essential part of any wardrobe.  If you have a good belt and good shoes, you can wear almost anything.  This Magnanni Catalux Belt ($150) is made of quality materials and comes in the perfect color for jeans or navy suits.

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Non-Clothing Gifts. Not every gift is unique to the person.  But gifts should be useful. Please, no whiskey stones (they don’t work) or hot sauce sampler packs.  I would rather have a gift card.  Think gift cards are impersonal?  What is a barbecue tool set?

This Native Union Eclipse USB Charger ($69) charges three devices at once, so you can keep your tech arsenal charged.  It works with iPhone, Android, micro-USB, etc. ports so you can buy it for anyone without knowing what tech they own.

Coffee is the universal start to everyone’s morning (except Abra’s, how our relationship has survived is a mystery), and for the people who need it, it engenders nothing but positive feelings.  A good quality pour over like this Osaka Pour-Over Coffee Dripper ($27) makes a great gift.  And it gives you the potential for follow up gifts — a carafe cleaner, coffee, grinder, mugs, etc..

Last year, I put up the Bevel Shaving Kit ($69).  It’s a great product line for men who like a close, razor shave.  But what about your other hair removal needs?  Beard trimmer, nose, ears, sideburns, etc. are kept presentable with this Wahl Stainless Steel Clipper ($49).

Abra bought me this Conair ExtremeSteam Steamer ($74) as a gift and it’s the best.  It saves on the dry cleaning bill and saves your clothes from too many turns through the wash.  It makes quick work of a suit jacket or a dress shirt.  It also fits easily in a closet.

If you know a golfer, skip the range finders (he probably has one) or the divot tools, and just get them a good box of balls.  These Taylor Made TP5X ($35) golf balls are as good as last year’s Titelist Pro-V1s, but they are $10 cheaper per box.

If you know someone who likes to cook, he needs a good knife.  The Global G-2-8″ Chef’s Knife ($99) is the kind of tool that you’ll love so much, you’ll be a little sad when it’s in the dishwasher.  Well-balanced, fully forged, ergonomic handle, everything a good knife should be.  And you can engrave it to give it that personal touch.

Last year, I posted Hibiki Suntory Japanese Whisky.  But what do you serve guests who don’t like whisky?

44 North is an Idaho grown and distilled vodka that pleases every palate.  This vodka is good because it’s smooth and it doesn’t need a mixer.  It’s also obscure enough to seem cool.

We keep the huckleberry flavor on hand.  It has just a hint of sweetness and fruit flavor.  Mix it with soda and lime for the perfect summer cocktail.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author} Translation: Buy things so Abra can buy me nicer gifts this year.  What can I say?  She loves to spoil me.

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    33 comments

  1. Kk says:

    great gifts but oh my god, dont put your knives in the dishwasher!

    December 3, 2018/Reply
    • Elizabeth says:

      I was just about to say the same thing! I’m over here clutching my pearls thinking about that knife in the dishwasher!

      December 3, 2018/Reply
    • Ashley says:

      I was thinking the same thing! People who love to cook and treasure their knives would die if they went anywhere near a dishwasher(I say as the offender in question).

      December 3, 2018/Reply
      • MK says:

        Ha, I had the exact same reaction. Complete horror. Putting a good knife like that in the dishwasher — eeks.

        December 3, 2018/Reply
    • Cat says:

      Yep, same reaction here! It takes 10 seconds to wash a knife by hand — don’t put a good blade through the wear and tear of dishwasher detergent!

      December 3, 2018/Reply
      • Anna says:

        Super hot water also damages the blade. I just a scrub brush and some soap on my favorite knife and set it down flat on the edge of the dish rack. I use it so often, it never makes it into the drawer before I have to use it again.

        December 3, 2018/Reply
    • Ab says:

      Just another gasp about the dishwasher. I slowly gifted my husband a full set of Globals over the years (exact same set) and they are hand washed and kept on a mag strip. “Respect the Knives!”

      December 3, 2018/Reply
      • Jules says:

        aww come on! A thumb massager IS a crappy gift! LOL I’d be super disappointed.

        December 4, 2018/Reply
  2. NM says:

    I love you folks and your honesty (it’s one of the reasons I keep reading), but I’m a little surprised by the snark directed at the Cup of Jo gift guide. You guys are awesome, as are your recs, but the explicit call out of another blog seemed more mean spirited than I’m used to here.

    December 3, 2018/Reply
    • Kyle says:

      “It’s no insult to say a dead man is dead”.

      December 3, 2018/Reply
    • Anna says:

      It’s all in jest and thumb massagers and a $45 beanie? C’mon! And it was a jab at something that isn’t even this blogger’s main focus. It’d be a different story if it was a personal attack or a criticism of the blog as a whole, plus Belle has called out fashion blogs in the past.

      December 3, 2018/Reply
    • SM says:

      Agree with the comment on the tone of this entire post. Funny but mean.

      December 3, 2018/Reply
      • Kim says:

        I thought it was hilarious and very in keeping with the tone of these guises. I would buy everything on here for a brother or husband. COJ seemed… lazy, though I normally love her.

        December 3, 2018/Reply
    • Kay says:

      Honestly, I appreciate the sentiment! It gets boring reading gift guide after gift guide with all of the same perspective. Liked the voice on this one.

      December 3, 2018/Reply
      • GJ says:

        Oh we couldn’t make it through another post without someone having to lecture the writer in one way or another about “right and wrong”. Very tiring.

        December 4, 2018/Reply
    • SaraH says:

      NM, I had the same thought. Thank you for calling it out. There’s a difference between poking fun at the absurd and calling something s****y, and I was disappointed too.

      December 4, 2018/Reply
    • Lauren says:

      I used to enjoy Cup of Jo, but it has increasingly over the years become like many other blogs. All about ads/pushing products, etc. Generic. The snark is well earned.

      December 5, 2018/Reply
  3. Monica T says:

    Great list! Makes me wish I could dress him up like a doll in all these wonderful clothes. I do like the interesting brands for shoes and liquor, it’s always fun to have not the item but the story behind it be the special something.

    December 3, 2018/Reply
  4. Jessica says:

    I’m intrigued by the Vodka. What does Huckleberry even taste like? I’d love to have something like this on hand, but even more to know what to pair it with off the top of my head.

    December 3, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Huckleberry looks like a blueberry, but tastes more like a blackberry or a marionberry. It’s lightly tart and lightly sweet.

      December 3, 2018/Reply
  5. Jill says:

    Great suggestions, Kyle. Thank you so much. All, what does the dishwasher do to knives? Is the soap too harsh? Does moving around in there dull the blades?

    December 3, 2018/Reply
    • MK says:

      Dishwashing detergent is too harsh, and the dishwasher will damage/dull the blade. No good knife should ever go in the dishwasher.

      December 3, 2018/Reply
    • Anna says:

      Super hot water also dulls the blade (softens the metal).

      December 3, 2018/Reply
    • E says:

      I used to say the same thing about my favorite chef’s knife. Then someone else starting doing clean up and put it in the dishwasher. Eh…. When the detergent has ruined it, I’ll try Kyle’s recommended knife. It is just so nice not to have to do the dishes every night — or be bothered micro managing the clean up. I’ll deal with the consequences. My cookware (that’s also not supposed to go in dishwasher) now looks downright professional in its appearance. All the scuffs and shiny parts. Love it!

      We do our best and have our limits. Put whatever you need in the dishwasher to get through your day. And hand wash whatever you want. It is all good.

      December 3, 2018/Reply
      • Minnesota says:

        I completely agree with this. Several years ago my husband did research and purchased mid-range knives that supposedly tolerated the dishwasher well. They are still fine for our purposes!

        December 4, 2018/Reply
  6. Kelly says:

    Seriously wanting to buy some of these things for myself. Especially that knife. I spent maaybe $25 at Target thinking they’d work until I upgrade in a month or two or three. It’s been two weeks and all I want is better knives.

    December 3, 2018/Reply
  7. Emily says:

    Anyone have recommendations on stocking stuffers for your guy? We are just doing stockings this year, so I want it to be a bit more meaningful than chapstick and a toothbrush, but all the “stocking stuffer” gift guides I have seen are peddling items that are $25+ each, if not more. A handful of those, and the whole goal of keeping things inexpensive and simple with the stockings is out the door.

    December 4, 2018/Reply
  8. sara says:

    YES I’ve been waiting for this. Love the snark & real talk (no – I do not want to buy any men in my life whiskey stones, cufflinks, or an Echo Dot). Already got my guy a burr grinder but pour-over to step up his coffee game might be fun too…

    December 4, 2018/Reply
  9. Kate says:

    This is exactly the level of wit and insightfulness I expect from The Work Edit. Thanks for the suggestions!

    December 4, 2018/Reply