By James Daddario
Hello everyone, this is my first feature on RWD and I’m super excited to get involved! It is that time of year again, all the leaves have dropped, we’re waking up to frost in the morning, and the ubiquitous Christmas decorations have already snuck their way into, virtually, every store. It is hard to believe, but before you know it the snow will be flying and you will be unwrapping gifts with your friends and family. The holidays are certainly one of my favorite times of the year, but I do tend to get overly consumed by finding the perfect gifts for my loved ones. When the Christmas rush is in full swing, the last place anyone wants to be is in the mall with the crowds, waiting in line, and potentially missing out on that perfect gift for someone special.Jen enlisted me to come up with a post that details a sampling of gift ideas for the men in your life. I did not design this to be the complete guide to buying gifts for men in 2016. Instead, I wrote this with the intention of giving you a nudge towards completing your Christmas shopping goals. I grouped my suggestions into two different categories of gifts based on price: items that are $100 plus and items that cost less than $100. As always, feel free to message Jen with any questions, concerns, or additional ideas. Happy shopping!
Yeti coolers have gained in popularity over the past few years, and with good reason. These coolers are built tough, keep ice from melting in extreme heat for days-on-end, and (most importantly) are aesthetically pleasing. The Yeti Tundra 65 is built with 3 inches of polyurethane foam insulation, holds about 40 cans, and is compatible with dry ice. While performance varies based on external conditions, I have read reports of this cooler holding ice for over a week; my parents plastic Coleman couldn’t hold ice for 6 hours!
This cooler is the perfect gift for any man who is an outdoorsman, loves tailgating, or is someone who simply needs a rock-solid place to keep things cold for his backyard BBQ or family get together. (Tip: If the $400 price tag has dropped your jaw, you should know that there are other brands of roto-molded coolers that are almost identical to Yeti. Check out the RTIC 65, it performs the same (if not better) and is half the price! https://www.rticcoolers.com/shop/coolers/roto-molded/RTIC-65-White)
Most people know that Bose is an industry leader in quality noise cancelling technology. On top of this, they are a company that produces audio gear that is known for superb sound quality, durability, and cutting edge tech. The newest addition to the Bose Noise Cancelling headphone line is the QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphone. These puppies pack all the bells and whistles of their wired ‘25’ series brethren, except none of the bulk and hassle of having a wire attached to your media device. Using Bluetooth instead of a cord, you can be sure that the days of untangling or adjusting wire length will be long gone. The 35’s will be an essential for long, or short, haul travel, commuting to work, or will simply be how your loved one can tune out the outside world and enter into a world of uninterrupted audio bliss.
Classic, heritage style, boots made a comeback a handful of years ago in the men’s fashion world. This shift towards practical and stylish footwear was long overdue and has left its mark on Men’s fall, winter, and early spring fashion. To my wife’s initial chagrin, I purchased a pair of Iron Rangers several years ago in the “amber harness” color. It only took a couple of weeks for Jen to fall in love with the way these rugged, yet sophisticated, boots looked. The Rangers are great because they can work with virtually any outfit: jeans, chinos, cords, or even a suit (yes, I’ve done it.) Not only do these boots look great, but they are insanely comfortable as well. Be warned, there is an initial break-in period of a few weeks; once they are broken in – bliss. Fashion will undoubtedly change, but my Iron Rangers will not leave my lineup of fall and winter footwear… ever.
Proper Cloth – Gift Card ($100 + recommended)
I toiled over whether to add this gift to my list. It’s not because I didn’t think that this was a great gift idea; on the contrary, it may be my favorite item out of the bunch. I suppose my hesitation stems from the fact that I feel like giving a gift certificate is just an easy way out. I do not think I am the only person who feels this way, so I’m going to help you shatter that notion and convince you why this may be the best gift your significant other will receive all year.
Proper Cloth is a custom clothier. They specialize in making custom shirts for men. I have tested a handful of custom shirt companies but have found myself disappointed with all of them… except Proper Cloth. There are many areas to consider when selecting the perfect custom shirt outfit: quality, selection, and style of fabrics, durability of construction, accuracy of the cut of the shirt, and customer service.
The quality of a Proper Cloth shirt rivals the most time-tested of brands. I have over a dozen of their shirts, have had them for many years, and they all look as they did on the day I received them. The stitching has held up, the colors are not faded, and I have not noted any fabric shrinkage. Proper Cloth has, by far, the widest array of fabrics to select from out of any custom shirt maker. Additionally, they are constantly adding new fabrics to their lineup. Proper Cloth even offers special, limited edition, fabrics that are simply divine in their look and feel. Proper Cloth also gives you the ability to make your shirt unique and original. They offer an unlimited number of customizations you can make to your shirt. For instance, you can choose from 23 collar, 11 cuff, 7 different button styles, and SO much more.
Customer service is a big one with me and Proper Cloth delivers. When your significant other orders his first shirt from Proper Cloth he will need to take a variety of measurements (he will most likely need your help, so make this an opportunity to have fun with one another!) If you would rather have this done professional for him, you can go to one of their flagship stores OR simply go to his local tailor so that they can measure him and send him with all the information he needs to order a custom shirt off of the Proper Cloth website. If your first shirt is shipped and does not fit as your man as anticipated, Propercloth will allow you to adjust the shirt’s measurements, and recut and ship your shirt to you for free…. You can’t beat that!
Less than $100
The cat is out of the bag in the shaving cream world: not all lathers are created equal. Check your significant other’s medicine cabinet; if you see Barbasol shaving cream then these two items are a must gift! Taylor of Old Bond Street (TOBS) shaving cream is unctuous. When using a shaving cream brush and a little bit of water, the lather that it provides is unrivaled. For men with sensitive skin, a deep and rich lather is important to preventing razor burn and blemishes because it creates a cushion between razor and skin. To further prevent unwanted facial spotting, the ingredients used in this cream are light and non-irritating to people with sensitive skin. Perhaps one of the most fun, and practical depending on the formula selected, things about TOBS shaving cream is the huge variety of fragrances and formulas including a variety it comes in. My favorite type of TOBS cream is the Almond variety. I plan on trying the organic and peppermint creams next! (Note: make sure to buy both the cream AND the brush. The cream does not apply well without the brush.)
When it comes to men’s facial cleaners, I have tried them all but have been loyal to only one. The R&D Facial Cleanser is an absolute gamechanger for men’s skincare. This stuff is way more than just a facewash; it is a toner, exfoliator, and cleanser. R&D only uses natural and organic ingredients which, in my opinion, makes this product even more effective and worth its salt. For me, this cleanser has removed any sign of redness, acne, or blemishes from my face. The scent is not intrusive and leaves you feeling energized and invigorated. $25 is a lot to spend on a facial cleanser for a man, but believe me, your significant other will be blown away at how well this stuff works.
I’m no anthropologist, but I know enough about Japanese culture to understand that one of its major facets is to instill in individuals that a lifetime of total dedication, respect, and devotion is needed to become a master at any singular craft. This philosophy can be seen in Japanese gardening, Sake, martial arts, and even food (watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi to get an idea!)
In the relatively recent past, there has been an interest in producing whiskey in Japan. While there are many styles of Whiskey being produced in the Land of the Rising Sun, it seems that the Japanese have an affinity for producing Scotch styled whiskeys and, as expected, they deliver by producing extremely delicious single-malts and blends.
I was lucky enough to receive a bottle of the White Oak Akashi Single Malt Whiskey (not to be confused with this distillery’s blended whiskey) as a gift this year and was blown away at how smooth and delicious it was. Typically, whiskey bottles indicate how long their contents were aged for; a longer aged whiskey is associated with a higher price point and smoother taste. White Oak elected not to take this route and is a “non-age-statement” whiskey. Had I not had the pleasure of tasting this whiskey, I would denounce omitting the whiskey’s age as dubious. Fortunately, the flavor of this whiskey suggests that it was aged for a significant period even though it MAY have only been aged for a handful of years. At any rate, this whiskey is elegant, it’s fantastic, and, really, it just tastes damn good.
There was a time in every boy’s life where a semi squishy, rectangular package with rounded edges was the only remaining gift underneath the Christmas tree. The “From” line on this present inevitably read aunt so-and-so or grandma. All boys knew what was in that package, and it certainly wasn’t the newest GI Joe. It was (shudder) underwear… good ole’ fashioned Hanes Classic Briefs or “tighty whities” as they are now known.
Triggering even the slightest memory of the above scenario would be an awful start to any man’s Christmas. Luckily, the age of comfortable men’s underwear has arrived thanks to Stance. Giving a pair of Stance “Wholester” or “Boxer Briefs” may be the largest amount of joy you dish out all year long. Gifting Stance underwear is giving comfort, support, and downright decadence. These boxer briefs are THE most comfortable on the market: hands down. The other thing I like about Stance is their patterns extend far beyond the black or white; they are fun and sometimes quirky. Stance just released a holiday and seasonal pattern which will make giving underwear much more festive!
A must have for anyone who trains or works out is the Under Armor UA Tech V-Neck shirt. Contrary to the ubiquitous crew neck shirt, the V-neck allows for more comfort when it is needed most; when the sweat is pouring during intense jogs or strenuous sessions in the gym. The makeup of the fabric is perhaps the most attractive thing about the UA Tech shirt: a lightly woven polyester provides a level of comfort that is unrivaled. In fact, in the midst of a workout I often-times forget that I’m wearing a shirt at all. The fabric is a far cry from the original Under Armor heatgear material that flooded the market years ago. It is far more luxurious, drapes perfectly over the torso, and just simply feels great to wear.
I love this shirt. It is the only one I wear in the gym and my closet is chock full of them. UA offers a huge variety of colors and ‘textures’ to choose from; my favorite is the slightly heathered black and navy.The only word of caution is that this garment needs to be washed on a COLD cycle. If it is washed in hot or warm water they will shrink.
If you’re looking for smaller gifts, be sure to check out our Stocking Stuffers for HIM post!
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