Happy holidays, guys!
Neal here today, and I’m excited to share with you GG’s ultimate “guys gift guide” curated by yours truly. I never actually knew how much work went into posts like this until I found myself working on it until 1am for the second night in a row–blogging is no joke!
In all seriousness, I thoroughly enjoyed creating this guide for you guys, and I think it’s the most comprehensive that I’ve seen out there. (Bias aside, really.)
You may be wondering why we didn’t do a “for your brother” or “for your dad” guide separately–and that’s intentional–a classic gift is a classic gift, no matter how old the man in your life is. If it classifies as a “dad gift”–you probably shouldn’t be buying it, anyway.
You won’t find any cheesy golf balls, polo shirts, or any of the like in here. Anything on this list is something any man would be excited to open. (And not just clothes, either.)
You can shop this post two ways:
1. You can click on any image in the collage to shop it. Yes, it’s actually clickable because Jess is smart and fancy and knows how to do stuff like that. Did I also mention she’s incredibly beautiful? (Editors note: Fine. I wrote that last line 😂)
2. You can scroll below the guide to shop even MORE options (the collage is just a sampling!) You’ll see my detailed descriptions under each item, and why it was hand selected. Many (or most, honestly) of these items, I own personally.
Now that all formalities are out of the way, let’s go!
The Ultimate Mens Gift Guide:
I don’t know one guy that takes good care of his face. If he doesn’t like the gift tell him it will help him look less old.
The best Bluetooth speaker on the market. Jess and I take ours everywhere, it was awesome on our honeymoon. Waterproof, tough as hell, and excellent sound quality. Perfect for a night in by the fire but strong enough to carry sound for your 20 person pre-game.
We could all use less podcasts and more damn books. He will also appreciate one manly book out of the 500 girly ones on your coffee table. I recommend “MEAT: Everything You Need to Know” by famed butcher, Pat LeFrieda.
Herschel Duffel bag
This bag is my go to for road trips whether they be business or pleasure. Well made, excellent style, and the zipper is strong for when he overpacks.
Herschel Toiletry bag
Another on the road companion of mine. Get him the Kiehl’s stuff. Put it in this bag. You done!
Herschel Retreat Backpack
If your guy is into backpacks, he’ll love this one. It is to be used strictly for backpacking Europe, bachelor parties, beach trips, etc. Don’t let him wear this or any other backpack to work. He’s a grown man.
A nice briefcase
Gloves & Scarves
Men seem to avoid purchasing items critical to survival in cold weather. These days,even a burley guy can rock a scarf. Keep him warm and stylish. January and February are miserable enough. This Barbour scarf (pictured above) would make an awesome gift. That is, in my experience–until you steal it from him and wear it as your own. (Look closely at the next photo at who is wearing the scarf 🙄)
A sleek wallet
The George Costanza wallet needs to die. He needs a card case – room for an ID, 2 credit cards, and some cash. Carrying your entire life in your wallet is not necessary. Tell him to put it in his front pocket. I personally have this Shinola version which I highly approve of, but this one is also nice because it has the money clip in addition to the card case.
Ties & Pocket Squares
Nobody likes getting one tie as a gift, but generally one tie costs $50-$100+. Tie Bar solves this problem. You are not sacrificing quality or style with lower prices. Trust me, I wore Tie Bar on my wedding day and I am a self-proclaimed clothing snob.
Ray Bans are the only sunglasses brand that suits every guy in your life–your boyfriend/husband, brother, dad, even a stylish grandpa. I just got this pair of aviators called “The General” frames, (you probably recognize them from the selfie above, that my wife forced me to take when I was trying to watch the Bears game. By the way, she wanted to me to tell you you can buy her Ray Bans here.) and I like that they’re a mix-up from the typical aviators. Classic wayfarers are a different option that look good on everybody. Want to know what go great with sunglasses?
A Vintage Inspired Watch
Vintage-inspired watches are back and not going anywhere. I don’t care who he is or what he does – he needs a simple, functional, and stylish watch. Don’t let him wear an Apple Watch or fit bit to a wedding, job interview, or event of that sort. There are plenty of awesome watches out there that won’t break the bank, either. Here are some of my favorites that won’t break the bank.
One of the few things we registered for that I actually think is sweet. This nice Williams Sonoma set would be perfect for any guy who loves to grill.
Vintage Watch Box
Some guys are watch snobs, so if you can’t afford to buy your guy the nice watch he wants, you can at least buy him a super nice, watch box to store them in, like this super cool vintage one from Etsy. (You can personalize it, too.)
Wood Valet Catch-all
Class up his desk or nightstand–this personalized “valet” tray is a nice, dapper looking way to unload your pockets, stylishly, without your wife yelling at you for cluttering up the dresser.
Crosley Record Player
We love our Crosley record player. If your guy loves music, there is no cooler gift than this vintage-inspired record player and a few vinyl albums from his favorite artists. It’s a guaranteed home run.
Ulio and Jack Solid cologne
This solid cologne is my go-to because I can bring it with me everywhere. Its really small so it fits easily in a toiletry case and it smells awesome but not overpowering. “Explorer” is my favorite scent but I really like them all.
Finally, clothing. I am starting with more substantial items because let’s be honest, a shirt is probably not going to be the unsung hero of any Christmas gift (unless it’s a Stock shirt–more on that below)–but a jacket or some boots? Any guy will be excited to open those.
On the flip side, sometimes guys need things like shirts, so if you’re going to get him clothes, I’ve outlined the best possible shirts, sweaters, and jeans that he’ll look forward to wearing for a change.
Lastly, one more note to add: I do not recommend buying a guy clothes if you are newly dating. It sends a weird message because it’s more of a serious girlfriend or wifey thing to do. Choose one of the above accessories instead.
Barbour Quilted Jacket: I own the Tinford black and it is my go-to jacket for 40 degree and up weather. Warm but not a parka, it’s suitable for work, dinner, dive bars, and everything in between. Right now, they only have it in navy, but if you’re looking for black, the Akenside looks pretty much the exact same.
Lamarque Wool Blend Topcoat: If he’s currently wearing a North Face jacket over his suit and tie every day, this one is a no brainer. Like a classic watch, every man that endures weather needs a real topcoat. This one is 40% off and looks outstanding in both colors.
Vince Camuto Pea coat: I like to claim that I started the Peacoat trend of 2008-2011 at the Fiji house while attending Illinois Wesleyan University (Jess loves this story. Editor’s note: Jess does NOT love this story 🙄).
A Peacoat will always be relevant and look good–this one is only a hundred bucks. Get it for your man, your kid brother that still lives at home, or even your dad. There are bunch more to choose from here.
Barbour Beaufort Jacket: If it’s good enough for hunters trudging through wetlands shooting defenseless birds, it’s good enough for him to survive Chicago’s post-winter miserableness. He will likely still be wearing this thing in May. I have a similar waxed Barbour coat (it has since been discontinued) that I wear often, but I’d also reall like to have the Beaufort in my rotation (Cough.) as it’s a bit more classic.
Meritt Wingtip Boot: These boots are versatile enough for the casual and business casual office environment; or they can even be paired with a suit if it’s snowing. I own a very similar pair and wear the heck out of them.
Chelsea Boots: I bought my first pair of Chelsea boots this year and they are awesome. I have this pair from Vince, which is a little on the pricey side, but seeing as I buy a pair of boots every few years, I’m willing to invest in the long-haul. (They also just got marked down and are now 25%. Sucks for me, great for you.) These are also similar and more affordable. Honestly, I would normally be very skeptical of boots priced this affordably, but the have great reviews.
Redwing Classic Moc Boot: These boots are as American as apple pie and crappy public school education. Perfect for log splitting, bar fighting, and regular stuff too. Every guy should own a pair of Redwings. Quality is unmatched, and they will look even better as they age. I own a pair of Redwings and they will live longer than I will.
Let’s be real, shirts can be a dime a dozen item. Jess walked me into Stock MFG in Chicago one day and my dime-a-dozen opinion changed.
Now, if you ever see me on the blog or Instagram stories (generally rolling my eyes at my wife) there is a 90% chance I am wearing a Stock shirt. (Here I am above wearing a Stock shirt, holding Zain. Stock shirts are excellent for baby holding.)
My praise for the company has nothing to do with any sort of blog partnership–it was just a pretty simple choice for me. Their pricing is competitive with any big-box store, their quality is better, and the in-store experience is one that any guy will actually like. They always have a keg tapped, make everything they sell in their Chicago facility, and are genuine guys that you will feel good buying clothes from.
I can’t recommend stopping in enough, but they are easy to buy from online too. Like any small company, inventory is limited and can sell out, so check back often. I own several of their button downs, both flannel and non flannel.
I am declaring the Henley the official shirt of winter for the American Male.
Perfect for everything that winter brings – casual dinners, long drinking sessions with the boys, skiing, swearing while you put up the M-Fing Christmas tree, or cozy nights in with the ol’ ball and chain. Extra points for Austin Powers-ish chest hair creeping out.
The Bonobos henley shirts are my favorite (and run true to size) but there’s a few good options out there right now that I’ll link below. (Let’s be honest, that Jess will link below because I am tech illiterate.)
He only needs a few sweaters. Make sure they don’t suck, and that they’re dressy enough to wear with a button down and soft enough to wear on their own or over a T-shirt.
First, real men wear turtleneck sweaters. Just saying. (But actually if your guy is very anti mens’ fashion, maybe go with a crewneck instead.) I just bought this one a month or so back and two thumbs up. “Runs TTS” as my wife says. (“omg SWIPE UP!”) Yes, it’s the one pictured above.
This cashmere v-neck is a great staple (Jess, I’ll take one in grey please?) This crewneck is also a great option. (Mom, sis, maybe one for me in navy?)
Cardigans like this one are versatile and super cool despite what my wife thinks.
The only jeans I wear–your guy can easily get away with only two pairs of jeans– the 512’s, which are a slimmer fit and skinnier through the leg (I have them in a dark wash and tend to wear these out at night or to nicer functions) and the 511’s, which are a little more relaxed in the leg. I own these in the lighter color that you see in the photo above.
I hope you guys benefitted from this guide and had a few laughs along the way! I promise the following: every item on this list is either something I own or something I want.
Finally, watching all of you read Jess and interact with her regularly truly warms my heart. We both appreciate your interest in GG (and us!) so very much.