Here is the first installment of our joint holiday gift guide. This one is dedicated to the lovely men in your life and was written by my witty husband with superb taste. Please enjoy!
(1) A really, really nice pair of loafers
I have (had) a blog entitled loafersansocks.tumblr.com. I like loafers. I don’t wear shoes that have laces to work. Or usually ever. I always remember my dad wearing loafers as a kid. They are versatile. In my mind, there are two pairs at the top of the list. First, are cordovan loafers made by Brooks Brothers. Reckner got these for me as a wedding gift. And they are perfect. They look better every day – and will last for years to come.
The other option is the iconic Gucci bit loafer. The junior varsity version of this shoe is the Cole Haan bit loafer, which every frat guy in the southeast has. But these are an upgrade. They will last longer, look better with age. And folks will know you stepped up your swagger.
(1) Hermes necktie
A former boss of mine was married to someone who loved buying him really nice neckties. At the time, I was recent college graduate – grew up in Fayetteville – I didn’t know that there were $195 neckties. Until my boss’ wife bought me a few while I was working for him. Since then, I’ve noticed these ties on more and more folks. They are typically really well dressed, put together guys. And I like that. Ferragammo has a similar line, but I like Hermes’ designs better. It’s a good investment. And they are a whole lot cooler than Vineyard Vines. Don’t get them confused.
(2) Navy V-neck cashmere sweater
Ask anyone who knows me, from mid-November to March, I practically always wear a navy sweater. Despite what you might think, I’m a pretty vanilla dude. I like wearing the same types of stuff. It’s just easier that way. This is a staple. I like J. Crew’s, but you don’t have to go here. As a matter of fact, go to Belks or J.C.Penny. Department stores have absurd sales around the holidays and I’m telling you – folks won’t know the difference.
(3) A Filson bag
There are several Filson bags worth owning. Over the last few years, I’ve received two as gifts.
This is a great starter briefcase. It’s light and versatile – holds a laptop, books, and magazines well. I rarely leave home without it.
This is the second bag worth owning out of the gate. It’s large enough to pack for a week, but small enough to always carry on.
(1) Musgo Real cologne
I’m not a big cologne guy. I think I was in middle school. Drakkar Noir, to be exact. But since then, I’ve backed off. I like this stuff. It’s really subtle, which is good. I specifically like No. 3 – called Spiced Citrus.
(2) A pack of Field Notes
This is more of a stocking stuffer, but a damn fine gift. I’m a firm believer in having a pen and something to write on with you at all times. I practically always have a Field Notes memo book in my back left pocket. I write down funny stuff. For instance, while in Las Vegas recently a friend was explaining a traumatic experience he had late one night at a casino. He concluded, “I will forget 9/11 before I forget that night.” That’s a great quote. And I wrote it down. I also write down great quotes from articles or even words I’m not sure I know the meaning. It’s a good thing to have. Always.
(3) A subscription to the New Yorker
One of the top things folks will put on their 2014 resolution list is to read more. This is the best way to get started. It comes every week. It covers incredible and fascinating topics. It’s rich and storied history is unparalleled. You can read this and nothing else each week. Well, this and maybe scan your local newspaper. But that’s it.
(4) “City of Thieves” by David Benoiff
Quite simply, it’s the best book I read this year. It’s not a new release, but was new to me when I heard about it.