When it comes to giving a thoughtful gift to a discriminating gentleman, many of us can use a little guidance. We’re here to help with 10 suggestions for the man in your life who pretty much has everything. The aim is for items that are either easily ordered online (or available locally) and don’t require any embarrassing questions, like having to ask for his waist size.
CUFFLINKS by Alice Made This
Alice Made This an easy one. It’s an interesting brand name and, presuming your man has shirts that will take cufflinks, here’s a place where you can’t go wrong. Their cufflinks have a marvelous heft and appearance, in an engineering/high-tech sort of way. I have these in steel. A pair in brass would complete a classic set and cost you about $150.
LEATHER PORTFOLIO by Frank Clegg
Made in Fall River, Massachusetts, using vegetable-tanned leather, Frank Clegg’s pieces, like a good relationship, become more interesting with the hard knocks of life and improve with age. At $700 for The Port Brief, it is not a cheap gift. But if you are seeking that less-is-more-important look, this is a suave piece of baggage. It will comfortably accommodate a slim laptop computer or just a few very important documents, plus the latest issue of Dog Fancy or whatever your man likes to read.
CARD WALLET by Il Bussetto
The literature describes it as fitting three cards, but over the years mine has expanded to accommodate half a dozen credit cards, several pieces of identification plus a wad of cash. Available for $48 at Stag Provisions on Westheimer at Kirby Drive.
DOG COLLAR by Equus Leather
Actually, this padded half-check collar is for your man’s dog and costs about $140. Equus, based in County Durham, England, is owned by a craftsman with a background in saddlery. A small, family operation, they create wonderful canine items as well as custom-made belts, for which you will need that waist measurement handy.
HUNTING TIE from The Hanger Project
Personally, I do not use firearms for fun, but perhaps there’s a man in your life who hunts. This irresistible tie, made in England, available from Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project in Dallas, may fit the bill at $135. And if he wears it while out on the range, his shooting chums will be able to spot him from a mile away.
SHOEHORN from Sid Mashburn
These polished buffalo horns come in a variety of sizes. The large one, pictured here, costs $45 and is available locally at Sid Mashburn on Westheimer at River Oaks Boulevard. Similar ones are also available at The Hanger Project in Dallas. The very small ones are good for travel, since they won’t cause trouble as you go through security checks and are perfect for slipping your loafers back on at the end of a long flight.
ASCOT by Hermès
When I was a younger man, I mocked my stepfather for wearing an ascot, or what we used to call a cravat, because it was such an old-geezer look. Having become a geezer myself, I now sport an ascot with aplomb. It is especially useful to tidy-up one’s appearance when wearing shirts whose collars have mysteriously shrunk.
You don’t have to spend $850, and it doesn’t have to be from Hermès. For a raffish look, try a throwaway cotton handkerchief knotted around the neck, as masterfully displayed by Cary Grant in It Takes a Thief.
POCKET SQUARE by Simonnot Godard
Made by the historic French company based in Lyons and available in a limited selection from The Hanger Project in Dallas. SG colored pocket squares are strictly woven ‒ not printed. Keep in mind that the $65 price tag is per hank, not for the entire variety pack. They are certainly worth it, and they tend to sell out quite quickly.
MANICURE SET by Niegeloh of Solingen
This is as close as we are going to get to a gadget in this gift guide. Commonly, men underestimate the importance that women place on good grooming and the condition of a guy’s hands and fingernails. And, just as James Bond preferred a German-manufactured Walther to the company-issued Beretta, we too turn to Solingen in North Rhine-Westphalia for first-rate Topinox stainless steel manicure instruments.
Also available in more elaborate versions from the manufacturer or on Amazon. com, this four-piece set is more than enough to keep your 007’s lethal weapons in fine condition. Show me those hangnails, James!
STATIONERY by G. Lalo
This French manufacturer of social stationery has a dreadful website but some of the loveliest paper you would want to write on. The sizes, proportions, colors and textures are so unusual and pleasant. And with those crinkly edges, it’s the kind of stationery I imagine my parents would have written on. This stationery is the perfect place for him to express thoughtful wishes throughout the year, and messages of thanks for all those great holiday gifts. You can find it on Amazon. com.