Gift-hunting for a for a family member, boyfriend, mate, secret Santa (or even drawing up your own Christmas wish list) can prove difficult, even for style connoisseurs like yourselves. You would be forgiven for thinking that Christmas gift buying was all about small boys hand-wrapping John Lewis gifts or the entire X-Factor cast following you around the high street – but it’s much less glamorous (and less cheesy) than that.
Advertisers would like to think that everyone’s giving each other iPods and Kindles, exchanging laptops with occasional acquaintances and games consoles with co-workers – but we don’t. The reality is that most of us will look towards the lower end of the budget spectrum for a large portion of our gift buying, and fashion provides the perfect arena for smaller (yet thoughtful) gifts.
To aid your present-perusing and limit the time spend in overcrowded shopping centres, I’ve complied a list of your fashion and grooming gifting options. Scaling the vast vacuum of the internet I’ve filtered the wheat from the chaff, offering a little trend advice along the way, and with not one gift totalling more than £30.
While Christmas jumpers featuring a giant reindeer (including a bobble nose) might be rather festive, they have a shelf life of approximately one day, where as outerwear basics like a jumper or cardigan will last well into the New Year and beyond. Just because you’re going for basics, it doesn’t mean you’ll lose an ounce of style – to the contrary.
There are loads of crew necks, v-necks, scoop necks and cardigans on the high street in a host of en-trend colours along with the safer greys, blacks and navy. So for a splash of festive cheer that fits with current trends, opt for knitwear in deep red, marl grey/blue, mustard and khaki green.
Note: At the time of writing, GAP had a 30% off promotion – bringing a couple of these pieces in under budget.
Topical for the time of year, knitwear is the Daddy of all small gifts and stocking fillers. Hats, beanies, scarves, snoods, gloves and mittens – there are a plethora of options available in almost every store and online shop. That doesn’t mean the choice is an easy one – with so many options available it can overcomplicate the gift buying process and turn a wide range of styles into a minefield.
For instance, two of the biggest trends to emerge in the last couple of years have been snoods and Fair Isle prints, both exceptionally stylish but not necessarily suitable for every recipient. Assuming that there are two camps – the more daring, confident individual and the guy who likes to play it a little safer – it then makes knitwear gift shopping a little easier.
Note: Texture has played a major part in menswear this season, and it is not just limited to your knitwear. A wool, knit or tweed essential like a tie can make the perfect gift – wearable in a variety of situations and subtly on trend.
The Safer Options
The Bright & Bold Option
Probably not a ‘Secret Santa’ present but underwear is still very much gift giving material, and this daily essential offers plenty of avenues for present buying success. Firstly, there’s the option of stock piling everyday basics, and taking advantage of the multi-pack offers available on this type of product.
Then your other option is to go down the more luxury route, probably limiting you to one item if you’re sticking to a budget, but offering you recipient some designer luxury that they might not normally buy themselves.
Everyday Basics & Packs
As I’m sure you will all testify, you can never have too many accessories. Belts, wallets, bags, hats and jewellery – they’re all part of building an individual look, adding something extra and/or underpinning your style credentials.
I think you can tell a lot about a guys personal style by these small touches, and Christmas gives you the perfect opportunity to enhance somebody else’s look. If you’re feeling tentative, safer items like belts and wallets are perfect gifts, or if you’re more confident in your present buying ability then bags make for real show stopping gifts.
If you’re a regular visitor to FashionBeans then you’ll know that my chosen subject is normally grooming, so I couldn’t write an article featuring Christmas gifts without sharing a few of my favourite gifts from the world of men’s grooming – all still under £30 of course.
Now when it comes to grooming at Christmas it can be tempting to opt for a one-cheap-moisturiser-fits-all gift set and a generic shaving collection. But just because you’re keeping the budget relatively low, it doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on quality. Some of the best professional brands like TIGI B For Men, American Crew, men-u & Décleor offer gift sets that provide the highest performance and still come in under budget.
Gifts sets like this also give you an opportunity to introduce a guy in your life to a better quality of grooming product, meaning that your gift could even change the way he looks after his skin, handles his shave, or styles his hair.
Just like underwear, grooming products are also a great opportunity to sample some luxury products that your recipient might not necessarily buy themselves. Luxury body washes, top quality face washes, top performing shave creams all add a little excellence to every day proceedings, and their grooming routine will thank you for it!
Happy Shopping, & Merry Christmas!