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Yes these are early this year. But by now you’ve probably heard the phrases “supply chain uncertainty” and “back ordered” more times than you had in all of your previous living years combined. So being early is the name of the game in 2021. Instead of doing a highly generalized, throw-everything-against-the-digital-wall gift guide, we’ll be breaking it up by category. Gifts for the guy who likes watches. Or the rugged type. Or the guy who’s really into shoes. Etc. We’ll cover all those, and hopefully a few more over the next week or so.
A (slightly unexpected) Pocket Square – $14 and up
- Kent Wang Made in France Notre Dame Rose Window Pocket Square – $45 shown above
- TheTieBar Wool Bandana Pocket Squares – $14
- Spier & Mackay Red & Navy Geometric Wool Pocket Square – $28
- Suitsupply Made in Italy Wool Grey Dot Pocket Square – $49
A crisp white pocket square is always gonna look good. But why not go for something different, since he’s probably set on those basics? Try something saturated, or in a wool fabric, or maybe a micro print.
Breathable Garment Bags – $24.99 for set of 5
Storing suits sans garment bags is asking for moth-trouble. Storing them in suffocating, cheap plastic bags is asking for rank saturation. These are the answer. Breathable but still dust and water resistant, with a plastic window that allows you to see just which suit you’re grabbing off the rack. Perfect.
Taylor Stitch Made in Italy Merino Socks – $22.50 | Allen Edmonds USA Made Merino Cool Socks – $12.97 – $22.50
May the style guides bless the Nordstrom over the calf wool blend dress socks that have been recommended on this very website for years… but these are the new champs. Why? Because they’re slightly thicker. Which means they offer more cushioning. Which means they’re more comfortable. They aren’t thick athletic socks, but they hit that sweet spot. The Taylor Stitch socks are mid calf, so they’re perfect for casual wear too. Some might not find them tall enough to wear with suit trousers. The Allen Edmonds Merino Cools run higher up the leg. Multiple colors/patterns to pick from on both. Make the switch (or, for the purposes of this post, gift him the switch.) You won’t be sorry.
Kent Wang 6″ Shoehorn – $25
Made out of ethically sourced water buffalo horn. Perfect size for your travel kit, or, for at home use when you don’t want to take up a lot of space. And sheesh, for such a utilitarian piece, it sure looks great.
Wide Shouldered Suit/Sportcoat/Blazer Hangers – $26.99 per 6 pack
Is it the sexiest gift? No. But wide shouldered hangers are gold, GOLD Jerry!… to a guy who loves to wear suits, sportcoats, and blazers.
Kent Wang Masks (which double as pocket squares!) – $25
Because despite the availability of vaccines, and millions upon millions of people stepping up and getting their shots (and, y’know, not turning into zombies after getting immunized)… a certain… segment of the population is still refusing. So the pandemic persists. These Kent Wang non-medical-grade masks are genius. Pleats, a flexible wire nose bridge, and adjustable side straps. Made in Canada too. Are masks a fool-proof way to stay healthy? Hardly. But masks knock down the radius of respiratory droplets, which is how COVID spreads. That and they’re a big ON YOUR FREAKING FACE reminder to socially distance. So yeah. Masks. Don’t want to have the mask “debate” anymore? Totally cool. Me neither (please please let it stop.) Get vaccinated and we can all stop harpooning each other in the soul over this particular “culture” war. Six different patterns to pick from.
Banana Republic Herringbone Wool Scarf – $41.70 ($69.50)
Suits = topcoats. And topcoats almost always = scarf action. Look for a complimentary color to his favorite coat(s). Not something that matches perfectly. A nice gift, but not so expensive that it’ll break the bank. 40% off through today, 11/8/21.
A Clothes Brush – $42 – $220
Sure, those sticky rollers are great for quick jobs or more casual clothes… but if he really likes his suits and sportcoats, he might think twice before taking an adhesive roller to it. That’s where a clothes brushes come in. They’re specifically designed to lift dirt and hair out and up from a suit’s fabric, without damaging the weave. Kent makes terrific clothes brushes. Shown above is an older model of the two sided (soft/stiff) bristle brush. Spendy? Yes. But he’ll have it for the rest of his life.
Best Made Co. Solid Brass Pocket Tape Measure – $39.95
For those that measure their garments or need to get their own measurements for custom orders, eBaying, etc. Kinda ridiculous (it’s a $40 measuring tape!), but, well, it’s the holidays.
A garment duffel – $45 – $640
- Bespoke Post “Destination” Box – $45 (requires sign up, you can just buy the bag here, but it’ll run you $95)
- Samsonite Encompass Convertible Duffel – $164.99 ($219.99)
- Briggs & Riley Baseline Suiter Duffle Bag – $359
- Hook & Albert Black Leather Garment Weekender Pro – $640 (shown above)
These are the duffel bags that are designed to unzip and unroll into a traditional garment bag. Perfect for transporting suits and sportcoats (and the accompanying shirts and shoes and what not) while reducing wrinkle risk. Available at many brands and at MANY price points, you can find a review of the (cheap!) Bespoke Post option over here.
Charles Tywrhitt Smart Long Sleeve Jersey Polo – $89 (or $49.75 if you buy 4 polos and or shirts)
Wearing a polo under a suit or sportcoat is kinda like wearing a turtleneck with a suit or sportcoat. Only you are totally not wearing a turtleneck with your suit or sportcoat. The turtleneck thing is an advanced style move that requires a lot of confidence… of which not all of us possess. Polos are so much easier, and Tenet showed they look terrific worn this way. The CT long sleeve “smart” jersey polo is dressed up with it’s smooth cotton fabric, and the hidden button down collars are perfect for keeping that collar in line and away from drifting, 70s dance floor style, over the lapels. A size medium fits my 5’10″/185 lb frame almost perfectly. And yes, that’s a shot from an upcoming style scenario. We’ll get there. Eventually (this month is busy).
Kent Wang Made in Italy Grenadine Necktie – $75
Skip giving him cheap ties. If the guy on your list wears suits a lot… he knows where to get cheap ties. Instead, if he’s been extra nice this year, opt for a splurge tie. Like this classic, silk grenadine tie from Kent Wang. Solid in color but with that unmistakable texture. Made in Italy. And unlike cheap ties, the construction and quality/weight of fabric makes it tie easier, and drape better.
Banana Republic Italian Wool Flannel Jogger – $90 – $102 ($150 – $170)
These are getting dangerously close to Barney Stinson’s suit-jamas. Although those were silk. These are Italian wool flannel. If a guy who loves to suit up is gonna pull on a pair of joggers, it’ll probably be these.
Ledbury Astor Poplin Dress Shirts – $98
It appears Ledbury might be phasing out their fine twill dress shirts (shown at the very top of this post), but these should be a plenty capable alterative. Ledbury’s mid-spread collar dress shirts are, by far, the best dress shirt to wear when going tieless in a suit. Perfectly placed, slightly lowered second button. Terrific fabrics and construction. Yes, they’re an investment. And be warned. You might hook the guy on Ledbury if you give him one of these.
A simple dress watch
- Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto – $895
- Dan Henry 1937 Dress Chronograph – $270
- Orient Bambino Small Seconds Automatic – $190
- Q Timex 1978 Reissue Day Date – $169
If he’s already got a favorite daily dress watch, then skip this suggestion. Because whatever you get him is likely to just stay in the box. Yet a watch given as a gift can hold high significance. How can you not think of the person when you wear it and glance down to look at the time? More suggestions for simple, suit worthy dress watches can be found here, as well as some more are mentioned over here.
Rowenta DR8080 Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer – $105
Quite an impressive handheld steamer. Some handheld steamers just flat out don’t do the job well. They spit water or hard water deposits, they’re awkward to hold, and/or the water reservoir runs out quickly. That’s not the case on any level with this super well made, easy to wield, plenty of water in the tank steamer. The dry cleaner can be terrible on suits, sportcoats, and blazers. The less trips there the better. So unless it’s soiled or it’s starting to stink, release the wrinkles with this and be on your way.
Rhone Tech-Fabric Commuter Shirt – $118
Full disclosure: I was skeptical, real skeptical, despite being a huge fan of their tech fabric delta-pique button down collar polos. Made from Italian “FLEX-KNIT” tech fabric that is mind-bendingly comfortable. Great stretch. Breathes incredibly well. True wrinkle resistance. Hidden button down collar keeps those points in line all day. Will a more traditional, cotton based dress shirt look better, crisper, nicer? Yes they will. But these look more than fine (recently shown here), and they’re just too darn comfortable. Great for travel days, mega-busy days, or those days where you (or he) just might not want to put on a dress shirt, but has to. One note: they could be longer. They’re made to be worn both untucked and tucked in. If you’re tall, you might want to steer clear. Yet I’m 5’10” with a longer than average torso, and a medium somehow stays tucked in my suit trousers all day long. Spendy. Too spendy for many. I winced when I bought my first one. Yet after wearing it a few times… I bought a second. Yes there was a second wince, but I came back for another.
A dressed up dinner out (if you don’t live in a hot-zone)
After what’s coming up on two years of this mess, getting out and about is high at the top of the list for many. A nice dinner out isn’t just about the food. It’s the good lighting, the good furniture, and the talent on display by those making the drinks and food for us. The restaurant industry has been hit, hard by the pandemic. Get a gift card. Make it a big one.
Allen Edmonds Weatherproof Dress Shoes or Boots – $279.97 – $445
- Weatherproof Park Avenue in Brown or Black – $299.97 ($445 ) shown above in brown, which has red hues in some light
- Weatherproof Strand Cap-Toe Oxford – $279.97 ($445)
- Weatherproof Dalton Wingtip Dress Boots – $349.97 ($495)
- Weatherproof Hamilton Oxford Dress Boot – $445
Not being worried about doing damage to your nice dress shoes when you take the trash out, or make a quick trip to the grocery store, or whatever… is a big deal for those who live in bad-weather climates. You’re not gonna summit Mt. Everest in these things, but still. Between the weatherproof uppers and dainite rubber soles, they deliver enormous piece of mind in the cold and wet weather months. Anything that gets us to wear our “good stuff” more, right?
Suitsupply Italian Wool/Poly Grey Raincoat – $399
For those that live in warmer climates, but still need some protection during the fall, winter, and spring. Italian wool-blend from Vitale Barberis Canonico, cut in a slim, timeless, mac style. Medium gray shade should go with just about everything. No hood or other unnecessary nonsense. Just a great, classy as all heck coat. Ships and returns for free.
Spier & Mackay Wool/Cashmere Overcoats – $498
If he’s suited up a lot, he’s probably not reaching for a ski parka. 85% merino / 15% cashmere. Peak lapels. Double breasted front. Patch pockets up front. Single vent in the rear and a “self-belted” back. Fit recommendation from Spier is to size up if you’re/he’s planning on wearing it over suits and sportcoats.
Black Lapel Custom Suits Gift Card: $599 (for a suit) and up (way up)
- Navy Blue Wool Suit – $599
- Charcoal Wool Suit – $599
- Navy Blue Saxony Wool (raised nap/wintry) Suit – $699
- Ash Gray Vitale Barberis Canonico Flannel Suit – $999
For the hard to fit suited-up types. This is a personal opinion, but to me, of all the online-custom suit companies out there, Black Lapel is one of if not the best. They don’t chop their suit jackets. They were one of the first to ask for (faceless) posture pics and shoulder slope shapes. If you’re tough to fit or the giftee on your list is tough to fit, I’d highly suggest giving them a try. I’m a big fan of the ability to add single pleats (not the multi accordion style) to their suit trousers so you can get a little more room for badonkadonk. Also, I like a ticket pocket every once in a while. That’s also an option. There are many options. Head here for a full review of the Black Lapel experience.
Want more gift guides? Head here for the soon to be growing archive of our 2021 gift guides.