‘Tis the season. The TV ads are getting insufferable, there’s tinsel everywhere, and with the Christmas period bearing down, a familiar complaint rears its head: “You’re so difficult to buy for.” You’d swear that Christmas gifts for men were about as hard to find as the lost Ark of the Covenant.
We’re here to tell you that it’s just not true. Even in the age of click-and-collect and same-day delivery, when most men just buy what they want, there are countless Christmas gift ideas that will plant you firmly on the good list. With that in mind, we’ve collated the finest festive gifts for men at every price point.
A Stylish Notebook
Talking over the boss isn’t the only way to dazzle in the meeting room. Stationery that melds eye-catching design with premium details like weighty paper is far better than using Apprentice-style buzzwords and pretending to know what they mean.
Socks are a go-to stocking stuffer for men, but one many continue to get wrong. Sidestep tacky novelty versions this year and instead reach for a throwback striped pair that’ll perfectly complement your sneaker wardrobe.
A Winter Hat
The bad news is that cold weather, sadly, is one thing guaranteed to come back year after year. The good news, however, is that just means an excuse to pull on some high-quality headwear, like a beanie that will keep the frost – and any fleeting trends – at bay.
After the financial crush that is Christmas, booking a holiday may seem like a pipe-dream. That doesn’t mean you can’t help prepare for one, though. A pair of shades in a tried and tested shape is an astute choice, and, thankfully, the high street boasts price tags far more forgiving than two weeks in Tenerife.
Home Bar Equipment
It makes little sense to spend more on the receptacle than the stuff that goes in it. Which is the all-important booze. An affordable cocktail set is more than enough for the amateur barman, and better yet, the change left over from this example should allow you to buy a half-decent bottle of something strong.
A Robust Phone Case
Upgrading to the latest tech then scrimping on protection is like ordering a new Ferrari and saving £20 on airbags: straight-up dumb. Opt for a sleek case that acts like a second skin, which will safeguard the gear without sacrificing on style.
A Beard Care Set
Despite what the haters would have you believe, we haven’t yet reached ‘peak beard‘. In fact, we’re nowhere near it. A basic grooming kit should be standard issue for any hirsute gent, so keep your beloved and bearded stocked up for the Yuletide window.
An Upgraded Umbrella
Too many men take on the elements with a substandard umbrella, turned inside-out by a gust of wind as powerful as a five-year-old’s sneeze. Christmas is the perfect time for an upgrade. Not only is it a gift few men would think to purchase themselves, but it’ll also make for ideal battle armour in advance of the January gloom.
A Denim Protector
Denim-loving men know that raw and selvedge jeans are not meant to be regularly washed, while others simply forget to introduce their favourite pair to the machine’s drum. Whichever camp he sits in, a refresh spray promises to keep his kicks pristine, odour and bacteria-free, and will extend his jeans’ lifespan.
Nobody north of 18 should suffer a selection box. And nobody younger should be enjoying gin. So, assuming he is of age – and we certainly hope that’s the case – upgrade the worst Christmas consolation prize with a boozy box of treats that’ll keep him half-full and half-cut.
A Snazzy Scarf
Anyone with an ounce of fashion sense knows that true style is in the small details. So enable him to keep warm and update his look all at the same time with a handsome scarf. This great-looking example will afford him the opportunity to add a touch of flair to any outfit.
A Digital Stylist
Buying clothes for other people can be a risky game, especially if you don’t really get their style. So get a gift the defers that responsibility to AI and human stylists instead. Companies like Thread.com learn what their customers are into and suggests bespoke purchases based on their look and their needs. And helpfully, they do gift cards.
A Kitchen Masterpiece
Make a breakfast of champions one for the gods. Forget your bog standard bread-burner, this piece of kit cooks toast, eggs and beans at the same time. Simply add ketchup and a Boxing Day hangover.
Don Draper-esque behaviour will earn you nothing but an HR disciplinary these days, but you shouldn’t rule out his kit. A sleek hip flask harks back to rosier times of in-pocket boozing, and there are bonus points to be had if you get it engraved. Perhaps just keep it for the weekend only.
A Coffee Table Book
There are two things every functioning adult should have in his home: enough underwear to last a full week and a few books. The latter is more likely to be on display to visitors (we’d hope) so make sure it’s something others want to pick up, like this tome which documents the most important era of hip-hop.
A Leather Washbag
Airport security sandwich bags are in no way worthy of a man’s toiletries. Instead, a leather dopp kit is a simple yet effective stowaway for all his grooming essentials, especially when built with multiple compartments to keep wet and dry items separate.
Modern Fit Boxers
No man undervalues his own crown jewels, so they deserve a home more akin to Buckingham Palace than Her Majesty’s prison service. A pair of premium boxer shorts is fit for a king, especially when crafted from soft, breathable cotton. A right royal treat.
Whisky isn’t all ruddy-cheeked old men swigging and spluttering. Okay, so it kind of is. But at least there’s room for the younger (and cooler) to join the ranks thanks to hyped-up Japanese blends that are more silky-smooth hipster swag than grandad tipple.
A Sneaker Care Kit
Nobody will understand the quirks of a sneakerhead: that familiar beaded brow whenever box-fresh leather is threatened by a nearby puddle. Prevent any bouts of rain-induced PTSD with a shoe care kit – an essential gift for anyone with a bad habit for good shoes.
A Luxury Tie
Whether he’s a greenhorn grad-schemer or a seasoned city boy, no nine-to-five look is complete without a tie. That doesn’t mean you have to settle for boardroom boring, though. Swapping traditional silk for a textured wool design will bring a touch of preppy to his office attire, no matter what his age.
An All-in-One Frying Pan
There is something worse than the calorie intake of a fried breakfast. And that’s the washing up. The Master Pan Divided Frying Pan minimises the potential cleaning operation, letting you cook an entire meal with one single implement. Bon appetite.
A Signature Scent
Yes, a man’s nostrils can be picky at the best of times, but the warm reception received by Chanel’s Allure Homme has been nigh on universal since the late ’90s. Comprised of fresh notes like coriander, black pepper and Venezuelan tonka bean, there’s good reason why it’s the go-to cologne for countless gents, generation after generation.
A Simple Bangle
Now that Mr T no longer the poster boy for men’s jewellery, the market is on the up. However, we’d still pity the fool who attempts to dive in head first. Get him started with a simple bangle that keeps his appendage on point without straying into fancy dress territory.
A Cotton Dressing Gown
There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to take sleepwear seriously (do you really think Ryan Gosling hits the hay in a pizza-stained T-shirt?) Help him out with a dressing gown that’ll make reading the morning paper all the more enjoyable.
A Curated Travel Kit
Those lucky enough to earn frequent flyer status shouldn’t neglect their skincare regime. A well-edited travel kit should be purpose-built for the rigours of city living, with all the products needed to combat smog and dehydration, whatever the continent.
An Everyday Bag
The man bag is a tricky phenomenon. Too big, and it’s a weekend bag. Too small, and it’s definitely a handbag. And while backpacks are the go-to, they’re hardly that inventive – all of which makes a tote the perfect in-between, especially when it’s cut from a hardy material and in a colour that’ll go with everything else in a man’s wardrobe.
Nobody dislikes Stan Smiths. Nobody. And if there is but an utterance of disappointment come Christmas Day, he’s frankly not deserving of top-shelf white leather minimalism that’ll sit with almost everything in his wardrobe.
A Traditional Shaving Set
Whether it’s the nine-to-five or just personal preference that commands a fresh face, it shouldn’t be done without the right kit. A proper shaving set includes a double edge razor and a real badger hair shaving brush – the only way to get some foam on those cheeks.
An Oxford Shirt
Many men fear colour, though it needn’t be this way. By imbuing a wearable piece like an Oxford shirt with an enduring shade, there’s a guaranteed style win that’ll outlive any fleeting, ill-advised trend. A solid logo doesn’t hurt, either.
Stainless Steel Knives
In a great line taken from Kill Bill: “You might not be able to fight like a samurai, but you can at least fry like a samurai”. Okay, so it was “die”. But presuming he’s more kitchen dojo than kung fu master, channel the Land Of The Rising Sun with a Japanese kitchen knife instead.
A Compact Cardholder
The advent of contactless payments means two things: brazen pint-buying come Friday, and little need for cold, hard cash. So, downsizing to a simple, cardholder helps keep a man’s accessories game stripped back and stylish.
A Premium Cotton T-shirt
The humble white T-shirt is the bread and butter of a man’s wardrobe, so it pays to invest. This year, help him ditch shrinking sleeves and twisted hems by opting for a premium version, cut from 100 per cent premium cotton.
A Go-With-Anything Overshirt
If the man in your life is a style-conscious chap, buying clothes that will end up on him and not back on the shelf at the shop a week later is no easy feat. Eliminate the risk factor by picking up this sure-fire winner. It’s thick, it’s warm, it goes with everything and it looks the business. What more can he ask?
A Polaroid Camera
Enjoy photographs the way they were intended with Polaroid’s retro 600 Talking Instant Camera. No Insta-likes, no filters and no easy way to do a selfie (thank God) – just a romantic throwback to the days pre-hashtag.
An Understated Watch
Somewhere along the line, the world of watches got really tricky to navigate (they don’t call them ‘complications’ for nothing). Take things back to basics with a minimalist timepiece that delivers on one thing: straight up style.
A Nine-to-Five Satchel
Whether valedictorian or class clown, Ivy League threads are available to all. If the full sweater vest and tartan scarf look is just a little too Hoorah Henry though, opt for a satchel instead. ‘A’ for effort and, better yet, an ‘A’ for style.
Despite what Donald Trump would have you believe, reading is cool. Especially when it’s on a slick E-Reader. With an insane battery life (up to six weeks) and the capacity to store thousands of books on something lighter than a paperback, every man can now boast of a library in his own pokey apartment.
A Cool AF Cologne
Often labelled as one of the best men’s fragrances of all time, Dior’s Eau Sauvage is deserving of the praise. Long-lasting notes of citrus and wood are a classic combination designed to suit most tastes, while 200ml of the good stuff will keep him in stock for months, if not years, to come.
There’s a reason people don’t wear flip-flops in winter. Aside from the fact they’d look like total tools, the cold weather is not kind on our extremities. The same goes for our hands, which makes a solid pair of gloves an absolute no-brainer.
Although it started life as a shoe made for Norwegian farmers, the humble loafer has become a must-have footwear style – and with good reason. An added Snaffle detail lifts the iconic design with a single metal bar while also helping nail that difficult smart-casual territory.
A Standout Shaver
What’s worse than an unkempt beard? A badly-maintained one, resplendent with scorched patches, uneven hairs and stray stragglers. Granted, the model names usually sound like sports cars, but that’s because the electric shaver is the Aventador of the grooming world with a head that can flex in all different directions whether wet or dry, long or short.
A Party-Ready Speaker
In this day and age, nobody can excuse tinny, crappy music at a party (the house or dinner variety). Every man should aim to give guests a higher quality of sound, delivering crystal clear music that sets the mood or annoys the neighbours, however the user sees fit.
Wireless headphones are the new MiniDisc. Except, they serve a purpose and people actually want them. This year, audiophile heavyweights have stepped up their games with sleek designs complete with monster battery lives and intuitive controls that respond naturally to music-listening habits.
A Sleek Overcoat
No well-edited wardrobe is complete without an overcoat, but considering it’s an investment piece, it pays to get it right. Darker colours like black and navy skew smart, but neutrals such as camel and brown lend themselves to being dressed down with jeans and sweatshirts. Whichever you choose, opt for soft and insulating wool to beat low temperatures in high style.
Adult Gaming Gear
Buy a console, lose a boyfriend/brother/husband. Which, depending on how you look at it, is no bad thing. The Xbox One X 1TB is Microsoft’s latest upgrade to the family that 1) doesn’t look like a radiator from the Alien franchise, and 2) offers 40 per cent more power than any other console. It was nice knowing you.
A Powerhouse Toothbrush
Unless you want to risk a mouth full of teeth that look like corn kernels, a state-of-the-art toothbrush is essential. Look for one that packs multiple functions into a streamlined, easy-to-use design that wouldn’t look out of place in a man cave’s bathroom, such as the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean.
A Getaway Holdall
A good quality weekend bag is not to be sniffed at. Ideal for those in-between trips, where a backpack is too small and a suitcase too extreme, you’ll find yourself reaching for one more often than not. Take this Billingham example, which is made from a hard-wearing fabric, and also features leather detailing and brass hardware for added durability.
Turns out all that glitters really is gold, especially when it’s a Chromebook. This pocket rocket from Acer comes with full HD resolution, 12 hours of battery life and a 13.5 inch LCD touchscreen display that’s up there with the best. Try to take the shine off that.
A Natty Blazer
Blue: the safest shade on the wheel. A blazer: the most versatile smart-casual piece a man can own. Combine the two together, and you’re left with a menswear essential that sits just as pretty with a white T-shirt as it does a shirt and tie.