Holiday Head Start: Gifts for the Gentleman in Training
No matter who you are and who you know, getting gifts for the guy on your list is always infinitely more difficult than the girls. Whereas most women would be impressed and grateful for something as simple as a Chanel lipstick, new bottle of perfume or a blingy statement necklace, guys are creatures of habit (and necessity). Odds are, if they need something, they’ll go out and grab it themselves or even worse, they’ll already have something they love so much that they’re unwilling to waver from their favorites. So we suggest an upgrade from man to gentleman. Get any of these great guys’ gifts and your man’s wardrobe will get an instant upgrade.
They’ve got: cheap (probably free) plastic collar stays
Get them: Brooks Brothers Collar Stays ($85)
Collar stays usually come with shirts, but they’re usually flimsy, plastic and get lost in the wash. Even worst than that, they’re often so thin that they don’t do what they’re supposed to, which is make a man’s collar look straight and sturdy. Instead of settling for second-rate stays, get Brooks Brothers’ more substantial option. Available in silver or gold-plate, the set might seem extravagant, but consider the napa leather carrying case — which will keep them organized instead of at the bottom of your sock drawer — and their heft. These heavy metal stays won’t get lost in the laundry and their heavier weight means that they’ll keep your collar looking crisp and sharp.
Available at Brooks Brothers.
They’ve got: dress shoes
Get them: Nordstom Cedar Shoe Trees ($19.95)
They’ve got: Don Draper envy, a tie
Get them: Tiffany & Co. plain tie bar ($120)
Few menswear items have become as ubiquitous as the tie bar, but unfortunately, most guys are grabbing them on the cheap from big box stores and fast fashion chains. The upside is that they’re definitely channeling the midcentury Rat Pack look. The downside? Those cheap tie bars look cheap. Upgrade your style with the real thing. Tiffany’s plain tie bar is as classic as it gets. No frills, bells or whistles in sight, but its simple design gets the job done. Narrow enough to work with skinny ties and wide enough to withstand even the most powerful boardroom go-to, it’s a necessary luxury that ups a guy’s style ante with little effort.
Available at Tiffany & Co.
They’ve got: a cheap shoeshine sponge
Get them: Allen Edmonds Leather Shoe Care Kit ($95)
Available at Allen Edmonds.