Forget what’s thrown to the front of shops in December – save the trivia cards and playful plastic moustaches for another time. Here are some tasteful, refined presents that any discerning gentleman would love. For slick, sharp dressers, enlightened know-it-all’s and sensitive souls, here’s what I’ve bought for my men this Christmas. Hope you love it.
Isn’t it adorable when you can smell a man before you see him? Scent can truly change a mood in any situation. The iconic, oriental fragrance of Tom Ford Noir (Eau De Parfum) always reminds me of Daniel so naturally I replace his when it runs out (£85, 100ml). Guerlain L’Homme Ideal (£56, 50ml) is another sumptuous fragrance blending almond and vanilla tincture and leather. For me it’s the ultimate woody/oriental seductive fragrance, (warning will carry the need for kisses). If a brighter, breezier scent is more your mans signature style then Acqua Di Parma’s Cedro Di Taormina is the embodiment of luxury, (£90, 150ml). Evoking memories of lush Mediterranean landscapes, it’s also worth investing in layering by using the shower gel (£31, 200ml).
It’s no longer a secret routine hidden away from the ladies in their lives. Skincare is huge for men. Sure you have your mass market products but premium skincare does make a huge difference. At £26.50, the Guinot Facial Cleansing Gel is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and reassuringly good quality. For the gentleman who would like clean skin left feeling refreshed and invigorated. I like to give a gift like this inside a sophisticated wash bag. Gentle enough even for the most sensitive of skin.
I actually thought it was a joke when Daniel arrived home with a Lego box under his arm. Until I spotted him hours later intricately piecing together bits to make a huge machine. Aside from wondering where on earth he intended on displaying this enormous design, I realised that toys – especially Lego – are no longer the reserve of 8 year olds.
Great for those who suffer with stress, those who like an escape or those who are just children at heart, Lego is making a huge come back. And I’m not surprised. Packs like this DC Comics version are in high demand. They’ve come a long way since the iconic bricks of the 1940’s and true to name, (Lego comes from the Danish phrase ‘leg godt’ which means ‘play well’), people are playing with them all over the world.
Sets these days include everything from the Wild West to Aliens. Sky battle (featured) costs around £44 so it’s an investment but just wait until you see their faces on Christmas day.
The Haircare Bunch
TIGI Bed Head For Men has always been a little bit trendy. Thanks to their urban packaging, they look great in the bathroom and are easily recognisable to men, (ever asked a man how he feels inside the Selfridges beauty hall?). If your man wears a lot of styling product (this wax stick is ace) then this scalp shampoo (RRP £10.50) promises a good scalp clean – getting rid of all of that yucky mess at the end of the day. A little more costly than your everyday hair care but worth that extra investment for Christmas.
For The Sneaker Head
If the man in your life is anything like mine, he’ll be setting his alarm at 3am just to wake up, go online and try to get the latest version of whatever Nike’s he’s lusting over before they’re sold out within minutes. Sneaker heads are not to be messed with and heaven forbid someone tell them Crepe City (the sneaker fair in Shoreditch) has sold out of tickets. A decent pair of kicks has quickly become a men’s must have so thankfully, there are an abundance to choose from. I’m such a fan of grey, white and black – but be prepared to see millions of variations. Dan has hundreds of pairs and is VERY fussy so it may be worth dropping a few hints on this one and find out what style he really likes. Air Max, Cortez and Roche are the most popular for everyday wear.
With a sneakerhead often comes the incessant need for trainer socks (note to self, never take Dan’s again) and some quality perspex storage boxes. Lakeland have some durable shoe boxes that are useful for storing inside a divan bed or wardrobe.
The Classic Timepiece
As you know from my last mens gift guide, I’ve never met a respectable man who doesn’t love a good watch. The men in my life are obsessed with Tag. The classic and contemporary style of the Tag Heuer Carrera means that universally it’ll always go down a treat. These swiss made timepieces ooze sophistication and give a nod to car racing with it’s motor inspired sporty look.
1. Calibre Heuer 01 Chronographe automatique 100 M – ∅45 mm
2. Calibre Heuer 01 Chronographe automatique 100 M – ∅43 mm
3. Calibre Heuer 01 Chronographe automatique 100 M – ∅45 mm
(Blue Touch Edition) £4,000
The ‘Me-Time’ Stocking Fillers
Multiple award winning L’Oréal Men Expert always come up trumps when considering men’s everyday grooming essentials. From daily skin cream to under eye cream for combatting circles and bags, even a brand new tattoo cream (£14.99) – they’ve always got what a man needs. I like to pop into stockings some day to day pieces including a Hinoki Wood Muji candle (£3.50, a woody, masculine aroma) and the cleansing and soothing 03 Body Wash by Escentric Molecules (£19.99).
For The Cultured One
Books and music should be a staple gift for any refined gentleman. Intelligent men usually love to read which is why I like to choose the books carefully. Consider an autobiography for specific hobbies, cook books like Ottolenghi (£26) for the foodies or novels. There are some awesome fitness and adventure books around right now and not forgetting of course, magazines. GQ magazine is the ONLY subscription I personally consider worth buying for the men in my life (I’m obviously bias, ha) and right now it’s just £15 for six issues! That’s six mags at only £2.50 an issue. Truly the premium gift that keeps on giving…
When I worked in advertising for GQ, one thing I learned fast was that men’s facial hair is a science. As a girl, I think nothing of grabbing my nearest disposable razor and quickly shaving before I leave the house – but obviously it’s not that simple for men. Philips know this and time and time again are a brand that I trust and invest in when gift giving. As a lady looking in, it can seem a total minefield with everything in the range. But spend the time researching and it’ll be a gift gratefully received.
For starters, the Philips Series 7000 shaver (£250) is a new launch for the brand. It gives men a smooth glide and sensitive shave. With five directional shaving, it comes complete with ‘Aquatec’, enabling men to use it wet or dry. It promises its closest shave yet. Great for flexibility, close shaving and comfort. Alternatively, there’s the Philips Series 7000 beard trimmer (£75). It’s complete with a unique vacuum eliminating spillage and messy sinks (ladies, thank me later). It allows him to trim everywhere on his face with easy suction – all without having to chop and change bits and pieces.
But, that’s not all…
I know just how tricky it can be to buy for men so here’s a few other brands I rate highly this 2016:
The only brand I’m currently using for cashmere and merino wool jumpers and accessories.
This Mens Pure Cashmere Crew Neck Jumper Black is £85 and comes in 11 colours.
It wouldn’t be Christmas unless there was a practical coat involved.
This Winter Parka (£295) ticks all the winter essential boxes. Plus if you’re lucky, he may let you share it.
This Hillside zip neck knit is super soft. Perfect for layering, or ace worn on its own.
This piece is perfect for highlighting big muscles and is fitted at the waist to show off those nice broad shoulders. At £54.95 he’ll wear this in Spring too.
Reiss always performs when it comes to bags. I’ve bought a few mens bags over the years (for me and them) and this Billings black textured backpack (£175) is one of my favourites right now.
A combination of nylon and leather, I already know one or two men who are a little obsessed.
The Complete Guide
What will you be buying for the boys this year? Xx