Holiday Head Start: Gifts for the Gentleman in Training

No matter who you are and who you know, getting gifts for the guy on your list is always infinitely more difficult than the girls. Whereas most women would be impressed and grateful for something as simple as a Chanel lipstick, new bottle of perfume or a blingy statement necklace, guys are creatures of habit (and necessity). Odds are, if they need something, they’ll go out and grab it themselves or even worse, they’ll already have something they love so much that they’re unwilling to waver from their favorites. So we suggest an upgrade from man to gentleman. Get any of these great guys’ gifts and your man’s wardrobe will get an instant upgrade.

Brooks Brothers Collar Stays

Brooks Brothers Collar Stays

They’ve got: cheap (probably free) plastic collar stays

Get them: Brooks Brothers Collar Stays ($85)

Collar stays usually come with shirts, but they’re usually flimsy, plastic and get lost in the wash. Even worst than that, they’re often so thin that they don’t do what they’re supposed to, which is make a man’s collar look straight and sturdy. Instead of settling for second-rate stays, get Brooks Brothers’ more substantial option. Available in silver or gold-plate, the set might seem extravagant, but consider the napa leather carrying case — which will keep them organized instead of at the bottom of your sock drawer — and their heft. These heavy metal stays won’t get lost in the laundry and their heavier weight means that they’ll keep your collar looking crisp and sharp.

Available at Brooks Brothers.

Nordstrom Cedar Shoe Trees

Nordstrom Cedar Shoe Trees

They’ve got: dress shoes

Get them: Nordstom Cedar Shoe Trees ($19.95)

If you need to gift a guy something that’s glamorous or flashy, skip right past this pick, but if you’re looking for something a man will actually use, opt for the humble shoe tree. No man has enough, unless he picks up a pair every time he gets a new pair of shoes. An essential item for keeping shoes in good shape, Nordstrom’s own brand is a great option for any type of dress shoe, whether you’re looking to keep them inside wingtips, boots or any other shoe. The split-toe design makes it an easy fit no matter what shoe size or type you’re looking to fill and it’s easy in-easy out handle is what sets this apart from cheaper options. They’re a gift any guy will appreciate and they’ll be put to good use long after Christmas day.

Available at Nordstrom.

Tiffany & Co. Plain Tie Bar

Tiffany & Co. Plain Tie Bar

They’ve got: Don Draper envy, a tie

Get them: Tiffany & Co. plain tie bar ($120)

Few menswear items have become as ubiquitous as the tie bar, but unfortunately, most guys are grabbing them on the cheap from big box stores and fast fashion chains. The upside is that they’re definitely channeling the midcentury Rat Pack look. The downside? Those cheap tie bars look cheap. Upgrade your style with the real thing. Tiffany’s plain tie bar is as classic as it gets. No frills, bells or whistles in sight, but its simple design gets the job done. Narrow enough to work with skinny ties and wide enough to withstand even the most powerful boardroom go-to, it’s a necessary luxury that ups a guy’s style ante with little effort.

Available at Tiffany & Co.

Allen Edmonds Leather Shoe Care Kit

Allen Edmonds Leather Shoe Care Kit

They’ve got: a cheap shoeshine sponge

Get them: Allen Edmonds Leather Shoe Care Kit ($95)

While shoe shine sponges might be quick and easy, the truth is that they’re not great for your shoes. And while guys will occasionally indulge in a shoe shine (we love seeing them relaxing at Nordstrom while they’re getting their kicks cleaned up), the truth is that there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with shining your own shoes. This kit from Allen Edmonds has all the tools a guy needs to polish his shoes from start to finish and it all comes in a leather case to keep it all organized. Need a lesson? Allen Edmonds’ YouTube channel has great how-to videos to teach you how to get that perfect shine.

Available at Allen Edmonds.

Images courtesy Brooks Brothers, Tiffany & Co., Nordstrom and Allen Edmonds

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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.