I'm thrilled to present the newest Wilder Guests, Yang-Yi Goh and Jeremy Wolf, the geniuses (genii? 6 years of Latin and I can't pluralize?) behind Handlebar Magazine. They wrote up a men's gift guide to help out girlfriends scrambling to put something under the tree or menorah (also helpful for sisters, mothers, and friends of guys). The items they picked are classic, practical, and beautiful, all traits of which I am a huge fan. And be sure to check out the women's gift guide I wrote for them (boyfriends, pay attention) here.
There are few things as stressful and nerve-wracking as trying to find the perfect gift for your better half. And trust us, ladies—we know how difficult and picky we guys can be when it comes to our possessions, whether it’s the clothes we wear or the video games we play. But don’t hyperventilate just yet; we’re here to help. Below, you’ll find a foolproof gift guide for dudes, chockfull of things we own and love that your man will be ecstatic to unwrap come Christmas morning (gifts after the jump).
Ties and Pocket Squares
We know, we know—the idea of giving someone a tie for Christmas isn’t terribly original. But as long as you pick one with a little panache—something that speaks to your man’s personality and character—you’ll avoid the boring, impersonal stigma that typically comes with the territory. Toss in a boldly patterned pocket square or two, and you’ve got the ideal gift for the sartorialist in your life. For quirkier, bolder numbers, we recommend checking out labels like The Windmill Club and The Hill-Side; for classic elegance, take a look at the beautiful cravats and handkerchiefs from Singapore’s Vanda Fine Clothing.
If your guy still lugs around the same tattered JanSport backpack he’s had since high school, now might be a good time for an upgrade. It’s hard to go wrong with a timeless, hardwearing canvas briefcase, which will look stylish and sophisticated whether he’s 17 or 70. There are some great budget-conscious options out there, but if you really want to ante up for something special, we’re huge fans of the WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie case you see above.
Shoe Care Kit
They say you can judge a man by his shoes, so it’d be both thoughtful and practical of you to help keep your dude’s footwear in tip-top shape. Cedar shoetrees are absolutely essential—they absorb moisture, reduce odors, and maintain the shoe’s shape and condition. Horsehair brushes and a simple buffing cloth, meanwhile, will help to bring out a vibrant shine. Woodlore is a great source for shoetrees, while Saphir’s shoe care products are widely regarded as the best in the world.
Unlike George Constanza, we absolutely hate having anything bulky or cumbersome crammed into our pockets. That’s why we love this wallet from Corter Leather. Constructed from hardy Latigo leather, it’s sleek and slim, but still big enough to fit a bunch of cards and a wad of cash. Best of all, it’s remarkably affordable.
A decanter is perfect for any young guy starting out on his own. He’ll likely begin developing a taste for and a collection of various spirits (wines, cognacs, scotches and other whiskeys), and he’ll need something to store some of those in. Decanters not only aerate the liquid, but also add a touch of class to any man’s bar. This one is dishwasher-safe and great for beginners.
Music collections have come a long way in the last few decades. Digital formats dominate the market, while physical items like CDs and cassettes have all but fallen by the wayside. A vinyl collection, however, will always outstrip any of its technological counterparts, both in terms of sound quality and aesthetic appeal. Even if your guy doesn’t have a turntable, the records you buy him will still serve as some pretty great decorations around his place.