Put This On’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Every year we hear from the brothers, parents, wives, girlfriends and best pals of fashionable gentlemen. They ask us: what should I get my guy for Christmas? Well, we’ve got a holiday guide for you. Our goals: convenience, timelessness, and near-universal applicability.

Below are our picks. We’d also love it if you checked out the offerings of our beloved advertisers, not to mention our own goods. We offer hand-made pocket squares, by the piece or in subscriptions, and we’ve still got a few of our American-made baseball caps left. And if all of that isn’t enough, check out our 2011 and 2012 guides for more ideas. Again: timeless.

But for now… to the gifts!


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An Antique Stickpin

Lately, I’ve taken to occasionally adorning my lapel buttonhole with a small stickpin. Men don’t get much chance to wear jewelry, and as long as the pin is muted in design and small in size, this is a nice way to do it. Jewelry, of course, is a wonderful gift, and you can find a fine stickpin for as little as a hundred dollars or so, or a costumier one for twenty. Even superb Edwardian and Victorian examples like the one above rarely go for more than a few hundred. An eBay search will reveal the possibilities. - Jesse


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Artist / Rebel / Dandy: Men of Fashion

I’ve been sitting with this big beautiful book, the companion to RISD Museum’s exhibition of the same name, and really enjoying it. There are some scholarly articles (a bit obtuse), some dandy profiles (often charming, occasionally a bit hagiographic) and a lot of amazing, spectacular pictures. A perfect gift, whether your giftee is an artist, a rebel, a dandy - or just wants to imagine himself as one. - Jesse


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Hilditch & Key Pyjamas

If you’re writing about British sleepwear, you get to spell it with a “y,” right? Hilditch & Key is one of England’s most respected shirtmakers, and in addition to shirts, they sell PJs. Flannel, twill or broadcloth, they’ve got it all, and on sale they’re quite reasonably priced, though delivery to the U.S. isn’t cheap. They even have long nightshirts, if that’s your thing. - Jesse


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Merz B. Schwanen Socks

It’s rare that I fall in love with a product based on a picture on the internet, but when I saw these Merz B. Schwanen socks on Where Is The Cool, I found myself leaping to the search field on my browser and tracking down European websites from which I might buy them. They’re not cheap, but they’re beautiful. If you prefer a more affordable alternative, try Wigwam. - Jesse


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Cedar For The Closet

If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer, why not some cedar for closets and underwear drawers? Sierra Trading Post has Great American Hanger Company’s hangers, rings, balls and sachets for less than five bucks, before you even apply one of their ubiquitous coupons. A bit of cedar oil can keep the wood fragrant for years. - Jesse


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Vintage Deadstock French Work Jacket

The classic French worker’s jacket is cotton with a plain buttoned front. It’s been made famous in the US by the photographer Bill Cunningham. The French vintage shop Le Magasin General has them for 35 Euros - about fifty bucks. - Jesse


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Les McCann & Eddie Harris: Swiss Movement

There are few records that can be relied upon in any company, in any context. Swiss Movement is one of them. One of jazz’s greatest LPs, it’s lively, fun and beautiful. It doesn’t require a degree in jazz studies to enjoy, but you can listen to it over and over again and get something new every time (trust me - I have). A perfect album for your giftee’s morning dress routing, or their evening cocktail parties. - Jesse


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Gordy’s Camera Straps

I needed a strap for my camera - something better than the hideous nylon-and-plastic monstrosity that came with it. I turned to Gordy’s Camera Straps, and I couldn’t have been happier with the result. They allow you to customize leather color, length, binding color, attachment and everything else. The quality was superb and the price is excellent (about thirty bucks). The perfect gift for a photographer on your list. - Jesse


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A Kiva Gift Card

Kiva is an NGO which specializes in third-world microlending. They offer small loans to poor people who otherwise would lack access to capital. The loans are low-interest, but are repayable, like any other, and the impressively high repayment rate makes an investment in Kiva a great way to make an impact on third-world poverty. They offer gift cards in any amount, and your giftee can reinvest his gift (and see it repaid) again and again. (Thanks, A.M.) - Jesse


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Knit Cap

Winter accessories are easy Christmas gifts; the only problem is you the recipient gets them halfway through the cold-weather season. A distinctive cap that will last a few years is the best choice. I’d love a Buzz Rickson replica WWII watch cap or a Scotland-made striped or fair isle cap from J. Press; for the budget-minded there’s the always reliable but essentially disposable surplus wool caps. - Pete


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Matt Zoller Seitz’s The Wes Anderson Collection
A fastidious and carefully orchestrated discussion and illustration of Wes Anderson’s fastidious and carefully orchestrated films. With full-bleed, colorful film stills and illustrations, this is not a candidate for your Kindle. The art complements accompanying essays and a long interview with Anderson by Zoller Seitz, TV critic for New York Magazine. Say what you want about his films, but Wes Anderson is maybe our culture’s best argument for corduroy suits and Wallabees. - Pete

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Brady Ariel Trout Bag with Liner

English maker Brady’s flagship fishing bag is fantastic for carrying fly fishing tackle or camera equipment, but because of the generous size and removable, rubberized liner, it’s also supposed to make a great diaper bag. As a soon-to-be dad to twins, I think I’ll need two. - Pete


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Subscription to a Magazine He Probably Can’t Read

Maybe Men’s Non-no, Huge, Free & Easy, and Popeye are as shallow and disappointingly ad-driven as most American men’s magazines, but I can’t read Japanese so I’ll never know. You can buy Japanese men’s magazines one issue at a time at places like Kinokuniya, and subscriptions through services like Acclaim.  A 12-month, 12-issue subscription to Popeye is around $200, but it’s exactly the kind of gift I like—something that defies practicality. - Pete


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Good Coffee

I recently moved into a new apartment and it turns out my landlord is a famous coffee expert. His website, Coffee Review, has a page dedicated to exceptionally good roasts. I imagine any of those would make for a great gift for a coffee lover. (Note, I’m not getting anything by plugging my landlord’s website, I just think it’s a good resource). - Derek


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Shoe Care Box

A nice box to hold shoe care supplies would be great for anyone who’s fastidious about their footwear. I listed some options here a couple of years ago, but just picked up this from Gerstner recently. They’re a bit more expensive, but exceptionally well made and, perhaps most importantly, big enough to hold all the shoe care supplies one might own. They also have nice cases for other types of enthusiasts and hobbyists. - Derek


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O’Connell’s Shetland Sweaters

I really fell in love with O’Connell’s Shetland sweaters this year. They’re the best Shetlands I’ve come across - dense enough to be hardy, but not so dense that they’re bulky. I recommend going one up from your giftee’s sport coat size. Note, the colors on O’Connell’s website are a bit washed out, so I took some photos of my Shetlands here for reference. - Derek


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A Nice Fragrance

If you want to give a fragrance, it would be hard to go wrong with Creed’s Green Irish Tweed or L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Timbuktu (both of which we’ve recommended in the past). I also really like Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet and Terre d’Hermes by Hermes. All four would be good, but safe, bets. - Derek


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Leather Laptop Sleeve

Most laptop cases are a bit of an eyesore, which is why it’s nice to see simple leather designs from companies such as Berg & Berg, Kaufmann Mercantile, and Calabrese. These would be well appreciated by anyone who puts thought into how they dress - regardless if they like to wear sport coats and ties, or something more causal such as field jackets with chinos. - Derek  


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Framed Photograph

For family members and close friends, consider giving a simple, framed photograph of you and your giftee, perhaps taken in the past year. You can find nice frames at Tiffany & Co. and Ralph Lauren, or more affordably at Target and Michaels. This past Thanksgiving, a friend of mine pulled out a photo I gifted him fifteen years ago. These kind of things really do become more special with age. - Derek