Man Gifts: The Highland Fashionista's Guide to Staying Classy

photo courtesy Eric Page

Buying "man gifts" (as I like to call them) is always a special kind of challenge. When buying for a man, I feel an extra pressure to find something that is a perfect balance of masculinity, class, and pragmatism.  With perhaps the most emphasis on the pragmatism.  Why this is so difficult I'm not sure. Perhaps it's because there is just more affordable non-pragmatic "little stuff" available to us women that we would all be happy to receive. Things like the ever-popular Korres Lip Butter in Pomegranate, a wand of Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Highlighter....all of those tried and true products that everyone might have read about in a magazine but hasn't gotten around to trying. Easy.

But guys? Even the little stuff that is marketed to us as traditional "man gift" fodder can cost a fistful of cash: gadgets, electronics, tools, weird stuff from Sharper Image that you never knew you's a Hypnotic Light Cube for $129. I rest my case.

So the other night I decided to have a search around and found some relatively affordable, pragmatic, and of course classy gifts that guys from a variety of backgrounds and tastes might enjoy. Here goes. Seven (random number) things for the guys...

1.     L.L. Bean Wicked Good Slippers  $79

Sheepskin and shearling, warm and soft as a cloud. What's not to like? No, they're not machine washable, but when was the last time you washed your slippers? Exactly. 

It's the complete collection of everything from Dr. No through Quantum of Solace. I want this too.  I probably wouldn't leave the house for days. This is very high on my list as one of those "for us" gifts. In fact, I'm getting this. There. I've talked myself into it.

3.      Tom Ford Noir   (price variable)

If you are looking for a high-end cosmetic and grooming product experience, Tom Ford is the place.  His Noir Eau de Toilette spray is a luxurious blend of black pepper, nutmeg, bergamot, patchouli, and vetvier oil. As Ron Burgundy would say, it tells the world that you have a large office containing many leather-bound books that smells of rich Corinthian leather.  Sophisticated, masculine,  luxurious, sex-in-a-bottle stuff. WARNING: this product should not be confused with Sex Panther. 

If your man is like mine, he flatly rejects the very concept of a man bag, leaving us scrambling through carry on bags and suit jacket pockets for boarding passes literally every time we fly.  But I have recently come to realize that if you can fit a computer and iPad inside of said man bag, it somehow transforms the bag enough to render the formerly rejected concept acceptable (man logic). Fossil makes a lovely variety of sturdy leather bags for this very purpose. A good investment, trust me. 

The largest, most comprehensive BBC documentary ever. Narrated of course,  by the legendary Sir David Attenborough. If you missed this one the first time around, now is the perfect opportunity to get it at a great price. This one's a keeper, and I even found it on one search for as little as nine pounds (just under twenty bucks!).  

This is for the guy who knows design, likes a bit of luxury, and can appreciate a classic. A bit pricier, yes, but you've gotta love the sleek bulbous design of the Elsa Peretti Sterling. I have always lusted after one of her flask pendants. But alas, this is not about me.  This particular pair is called the "comma" cufflink. There is also the "bean", which is quite lovely. If you live in Chicago, you might want to get the bean, as it looks like a teeny version of that giant reflecting bean in Milennium park (aka Cloud Gate).

7.     A Classic Pea Coat      (your pick)

There is nothing I like more for winter than the rugged, masculine appeal of a classic pea coat. This one is called the Bond pea coat, and is by 2012 CFDA Best Menswear Designer of the Year Billy Reid.  I believe it may have sold out (because who doesn't want to look like Bond...hell, even I want to look like Bond), but there are good Pea Coats to be had everywhere. Burberry, French Connection, Gucci....the list goes on and on. But a picture is worth a thousand words here.

I know, right?
photo courtesy imdb

Happy shopping everyone!


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