(Did you hear? I’m accepting new memberships to the Cladright Association soon. Just a few, though, so be sure to sign up to get notified here.)
Welcome to the second annual Effortless Gent Holiday Gift Guide! I wasn’t planning on doing one of these. I mean, seriously, how many gift guides are out there by now? But, I ended up compiling a pretty cool list, so I figured I’d share.
At the very least, these will give you ideas on what to get for someone, or what to ask for from your significant other. Or your mom. Whatever.
Curious what was on last year’s list? Here it is.
Just like last year, these aren’t necessarily the latest and greatest, newest, shiniest toys out there. If you’re into simple, useful, well-designed, clever things that make your life just a tad more fun and awesome, then I’m sure you’ll find something you like on this list.
Without further ado, here it is!
I’m a bit of a stats nerd, at least as it applies to my own life. I like tracking nutritional content of the food I eat, how far I walk when I go for morning strolls, and the weight I squat and deadlift when I train. I do this because I like knowing I’m making progress, and if you can’t look back at where you were one week (or one month, or one year) ago, how can you tell how much you’ve improved?
That’s probably why I’m drawn to the Up24. Here’s a good video review from CNET. This is basically a fitness tracker that syncs to your smartphone via Bluetooth and automatically counts your steps, your sleep info, and your calorie intake, and then outputs pretty graphs and visuals that help you see how you’re doing over time.
Another tracker to consider is the Fitbit Force, which I’ve heard good things about. I don’t have either one, but I just happened to research the Up24 more. If tracking your fitness is interesting to you, take a look at both and figure out which one best suits your life.
Red Wing Iron Ranger Boots
Last year, I wrote about the Alden Indy Boot, which I still love. If that’s $100-$200 out of your price range, take a look at the Iron Ranger from Red Wing. Plenty of color ways to choose from, sturdy construction, durable leather… these will last you a long, long time if you manage to take care of them well.
Bianchi Pista single speed
Think back on your very first bike. The one you rode with training wheels, before you became skilled enough for your dad to take those training wheels off. Did they have 24 speeds or top-of-the-line components? Probably not.
For casual daily riding (something you should consider doing, because remember how fun it was when we were kids?), you probably don’t need anything that complicated or expensive; serious road bikes can cost thousands.
The next bike I buy, I plan on making it this Bianchi… a simple single speed (adult) bike. You can flip the hub if you’re into riding fixed, but I think I’ll settle for a handbrake and a free wheel.
J.Crew Factory knit tie
This style of tie is so flexible, every guy should have one in his wardrobe. Wear it casually with denim and a plaid sport shirt, or with a suit and dress shirt. Plus, the dark solid color—either navy or black, though I prefer navy—allows for pairing with the loudest of shirts in your closet.
By the way, you don’t have to go with this particular model. I just happened to pick one up the other day, and it’s at a great price point. Keep in mind this particular one is (according to the website) 2” at its widest. So if that’s too narrow for you, you might need to search around. Here’s one from The Tie Bar at 2 3/4”.
Nike AW77 cuffed fleece sweatpants
While I wouldn’t wear these out in public unless I’m heading to the gym, a great pair of sweats is nice to have, even for lounging around at home. I’m not a fan of the huge, baggy variety, so these are certainly worth the investment. Also, the wide cuff is a nice detail.
I found a similar style of sweatpants at Uniqlo, which could be worth taking a look at.
Flowers from thebouqs.com
Wait, what? Flowers?
These might not be for you, necessarily. But sometimes, a man just needs to buy his significant other (or his mom, or maybe his boss?) some flowers, and he isn’t really sure the best way to go about it.
Other flower delivery sites kinda suck. TheBouqs is pretty awesome. Plus, original bouquets start at $40 (other price points for bigger bouquets). That includes shipping, with no annoying add-on fees at the very end.
Olloclip for iPhone
This little lens is a lot of fun. Clip it onto your iPhone and get some really cool shots. The Olloclip has a built-in fisheye, wide angle, 10x macro, and 15x macro lens, all in one little device.
Sure, it might be a pain in the ass to strap this on (you have to attach it to a naked iPhone, no cases allowed), but worth it for the iPhoneographer or Instagram enthusiast.
West Elm James Harrison Rocker
Get your Old Man on in this minimal rocker from West Elm. Don’t knock it before you try it!
If you can’t already tell, this isn’t the same as your overstuffed variety from a boring chain furniture store. This rocker actually looks good, and what I love most is that it will probably continue to look good in twenty years. Finding and owning timeless things is an over-arching goal of mine, not just for my closet, but for everything in life.
If you prefer sitting completely still, this wing chair model is a great alternative.
Every man should have a leather jacket in his closet. It may not be an essential, but you’ll still find yourself using it plenty if you have one on hand.
I’m partial to the military or biker style jackets with mock collars, but whatever you pick, make sure it’s slim, close to your body, and hits at the hip. Avoid this kind of style, which immediately dates you and simply doesn’t look as good.
Kent Pocket Comb
Your grandpa probably carried one in his pocket. Your dad probably did, too.
If you have a classic hairstyle (refer to the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness, if necessary), it might need a touch-up here and there. So maybe you should be carrying one, as well.
BlueBuds X wireless earbuds
I love these things. I picked them up a few months ago, and they’ve changed my whole workout experience. Ideally, they’d pair with my seven-year-old iPod Shuffle since I don’t like carrying around my phone in the gym.
Other than that, it’s nice having that wireless experience. I don’t have to worry about tangled or tugging cords during lifts. Plus they have a warranty against water (or sweat) damage… a nice bonus.
Tovolo King Cube ice trays
Do you make cocktails at home, but succumb to crappy ice cubes from a standard-sized ice cube tray? Are your strong drinks watered down within minutes of mixing?
You need these ice trays from Tovolo, my friend. They produce HUGE 2″ cubes that melt slowly, which ensures a better drink (or at least a less watered-down one). Pick up at least two trays; you probably won’t need more than that, unless you throw multiple cocktail parties at your house during the week.
E. Holmes Laptop Case
I have all kinds of bags that hold my laptop plus whatever else I may need to lug around. But sometimes, I don’t want to carry a large bag if I only have my laptop in there.
This case from E. Holmes is awesome. It’s a slim briefcase-style bag that has room for your laptop (13” and 15” styles available) plus there’s a built-in pocket for your charger on the inside of the flap. There’s also a pocket in the back of the bag if you need to stuff small items in there.
Sometimes, a small bag like this is all you need.
I don’t have a backyard, a balcony, or a little patio at my place. I have a small fire escape, but apparently, the fire department thinks it’s not safe to keep a grill out there. So, fine.
But check out this LotusGrill! It’s pretty much the most badass-looking portable charcoal grill I’ve seen. It’s smokeless, battery-operated, and super convenient.
Now maybe this wouldn’t really work for a huge block party or a cookout with family and friends, but I can see this being perfect for a dinner for two, without having to fire up your large, nonexistent grill on your nonexistent patio.
J.Crew Blackwatch Shearling-Lined Moccasins
Are you a house slippers kinda guy? There’s no shame being stylish, even in loungewear. These moccasins will look great as you shuffle around the living room, and they’ll keep you warm and toasty, too.
Bergamo Cologne from The Motley
The guys at The Motley sent me a few samples of their new fragrance line, and I really love them. At first, my favorite was Atlas, but after checking out Bergamo, I knew that was a winner.
These fragrances are the type you dab on your pulse points, such as your neck and wrist. Therefore, you only need a little and the bottle itself will last a long time.
I’m not the best at describing scents, but in The Motley’s words: “Its notes are citrusy and green with hints of ocean air. Bergamot from southern Italy mixes with lime. Earthy notes of tomato stem, cut grass, juniper and oakmoss give the scent a more complex, green base. Saltwater adds a cool, crisp edge.”
If you wanted to try them all before committing, you can always pick up a sample trio.
Leather Catch-All Tray
These catch-alls, or valets, are great for keeping on a table or shelf by the front entrance. This makes it easy to grab everything you need, all in one place, before walking out the door. Plus, they’re damn handsome.
Alternatively, an old cigar box would also look great and function perfectly.
Rolex Black Limited Edition
Oh, what’s that, you say? The items in this gift guide are simply not luxurious or expensive enough?
I totally understand. Howzabout a limited edition black Rolex in a model of your choice? The standard gold tones are not your style anyway. You want something menacing and less “blingy” on your wrist, so these are perfect!
Make sure to pick up a Sea-Dweller for me, since, after all, I’m the one who tipped you off to these.
There you have it, 18 things to desire this holiday season. Gift guides are so over-rated, aren’t they?
What’s one thing you’re hoping to acquire from Santa? Let us know in the comments below.