Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Today's gift guide was hand-picked by one of my great New York City guy friends and building-next-door neighbors, Bret. he has excellent taste and is one of the most well-dressed humans I know. I asked Bret to round up some gift ideas based on what he would like to see under the tree this year, and his selections are cool, classic, and pretty much guaranteed to please any guy you might be shopping for this season.

So here you have it, 7 great gifts from a guy's perspective:


Why: Whiskey is pretty widely understood to be a great man-gift.  Many people opt for a nice bottle of scotch, but I’ve come to prefer bourbon because it’s smoother than scotch, and it’s made in America.  There are two great things about it’s domestic production, the fact that it isn’t imported means taxes are lower and it’s easier to obtain, keeping prices much lower, and by drinking it you support American business.  It’s a win win from my perspective (and yours).  Two great bourbons are Fighting cock, which is very deep in color, and goes as well on ice as it does in a hot cider.  It can and should be used in both.  Elijah Craig 18 year is a very well crafted sipping bourbon, and is as good as any scotch out there.

Fair Isle Sweater

Why: Shawl collared sweaters have been getting a lot of love lately, so it might be time for opt for something different.  A great way to step up a sweater game is with a fair isle, which can be worn all winter, and is still great when you need a sweater in the spring.

Pocket Knife

Why: Another quintessentially manly thing.  I firmly believe that everyone should carry a utility knife, because once you have one you’ll find a hundred uses for it.  I like the one below because of the wooden handle, and the 3 blades.  It isn’t too fancy or high tech, just a simple, effective tool


Why: The tie is an ever present staple for dad, but it can work well for any man in the workforce.  I like this black knit tie because it’s never out of place, adds variety to the traditional silk ties, and is useful for any formal holiday functions in lieu of a bowtie.

Pocket Square

Why: Pocket squares always seemed a little on the dandy side, but a nice cotton one like this can also double as a hankerchief.  It’s way better than that wad of napkins guys usually have in their backpocket, and will save a lot of washing machine induced frustration.  When it isn’t being used for utility, the selvedge edge looks perfect peeking out of a breast pocket of a blazer.


Like the 1980s, the days of huge wallets with tons of credit cards are over.  People are tightening their finances, so it’s time to get austere with how much stuff we carry.  A simple wallet or card holder gives you enough space for your  driver’s license, a credit card or two and some cash.  Plus, you can store it in your front pocket, so you aren’t stitting on it all day.  I have the one from Property Of… one and I love the elastic closure.


Why:  The all weather boot.  It can be casual and formal, and is very comfortable.  These look great after battling winter’s abuse, or keep them clean and use them as an alternative to dress shoes at work.  Even if you don’t keep them clean you can wear them at work.  They have the power to become the go to footwear over boat shoes, which I think we all support.


  1. Gerard would go nuts for ANY of these goodies... great picks, Bret!

  2. What a great guide. Stefan (boyfriend) dresses better than I do, has everything, and is so hard to shop for. I think he'd really like all of your choices!!

  3. these are really great ideas - shopping for men can be BEYOND frustrating!

  4. I love those two sweaters that he chose- I would totally wear both of them! Guys are so hard to shop for but this is definitely giving me ideas :)

    star-crossed smile