Behold: The ultimate gift guide pour les hommes (!) For those odd, Animal-Planet-Like creatures we love.. they always seem so simple in their t-shirt, flannel pants & cereal bowl glory, but every holiday, they’re next-to-impossible to buy for. Why is that??
…Anyhow. We sifted through the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops out there for guys – through all the wood grain cufflinks and lunchbox-sized portable grills, which (no offense) *sound* like a good idea buuuuuuuut… those cufflinks will have dust by Valentine’s Day, and next football season, the itty bitty weiner-griller ends up being able to hold enough hot dogs for 1.5 people (or 5 Smurfs) at the tailgate. SO – with a seriously discerning eye + the approval of a few super studs, this is what we came up with:
1 – AVIATOR CLASSIC RAY BANS, $150. Show me a guy who doesn’t look amazing in Aviators, and… God. I’d probably agree to show you my boobs. Cuz even Chewbacca would charm just about anyone if he had a pair of these on. NO ONE LOOKS BAD IN THEM! We also love the classic gold w/the grey lens. Baller.
2 – UNTUCK IT ALZERO SHIRT, $89. The same way cute low-rise jeans create unfortunate plumber cracks for girls, apparently too-long to leave out, but look-silly-to-tuck-in button-ups are a big issue for guys. (Ping!), whattayaknow – there’s a company called Untuck It that puts a big plaid Band-Aid on this. Problem solved.
3 – HESTRA WOOL-LINED DEERSKIN CLASSIC GLOVES, $80. We’ll be stealing these, thanks. But while we let you guys wear them in the days following Christmas, we’ll watch in awe over what a hard core, rugged lumberjack you are.
4 – TROON MESSENGER BAG FROM KNOMO, $149. Ahem – No, it’s not a “murse”. Knomo was created by the guy who created Tumi, so you know they’re legit. Plus, you’re not a briefcase-carrying Steve Martin in Planes Trains & Automobiles chasing a cab on down Park Ave, cuz it’s just not the 80’s anymore (single tear…). So out with the briefcases, in with the messengers. PS: No joke, whenever I see guys carrying them, they always seem unaffected, put together, literary and sure-of-themselves in a Ryan Gosling sort of way. Translation: hot. Plus we love the army canvas & leather detail on this one.
5 – HIMALAYAN SALT TEQUILA / SHOT GLASSES – SET OF 4, $30. Carved from Himalayan Pink Salt (so Fred Flinstone!), and REAL pretty to look at. #everybodywins! They’re also supposed to give off a more nuanced flavor with your tequila than regular salt. So there’s that. OMG wait – can I burn votive candles in these??
6 – RAG & BONE DOT POCKET SQUARE, $55. Pocket squares are dapper, they’re classic, and they’ve made a serious comeback. If anyone has any questions about that, please see below.
7 – BASEBALL BAT BOTTLE OPENERS, $95-$125. I always trust Uncommon Goods to come up with amazing gifts… they’re the same people behind the etched city map glasses I put on my gift guide in 2012… (while we’re at it, how cool are these??) Anyhow.. the bottle openers below are made from game-day bats from your guy’s favorite team. Cubbies? Check. Sox? Check. I meeeeeeean… you didn’t go to Kohl’s and grab him the sweater that was on sale in a heaping pile on the first rack you saw cuz you were hurrying to check the boxes in your shopping list. You got him a bottle opener made from the bat Babe Ruth probably used before he cracked a bat hitting a HOMERUN in the who-knows-what-year-it-was World Series. And I bet he’ll think of you every time he cracks an icy Smirnoff Ice Stella with it.
8 – STEPH’S PERFECT EGG SANDWICH. Everybody loves something homemade and heartfelt, right?? This is my recipe, and I hate to toot my horn, but it’s seriously the best. It’s never met a soul who didn’t love it. Perfect for lazy Sunday mornings.
Ingredients (serves 2):
-Loaf of fresh bread (sourdough, whole wheat, white – your call)
-About 10 slices of bacon
-2 handfuls of arugula
-4 slices of Habanero cheese (NOT PEPPER JACK. Sorry.)
-A few pads of butter (the good salty kind)
1. Fry bacon in a pan over medium to medium high heat till crispy but not burned. Remove and let it cool on a paper towel.
2. Drain some but not all of the grease in the skillet – you want the bacon grease to coat the base of the pan so you can fry the eggs in it.
3. Crack all 4 eggs in skillet and let ’em sizzle for a sec while you sprinkle flaked seat salt and a little pepper on. It should still be medium to medium-high… not so hot that you smell them burning, but hot enough that once you crack the egg, it doesn’t spread out forever, it cooks enough to catch itself.
4. While the 1st side of the eggs are cooking, cut a few pieces of fresh bread and pop in the toaster.
5. Turn eggs, then turn skillet down to low. They’re probably almost cooked through, so you just need to finish cooking the other side so you don’t get salmonella. But you don’t want to burn them. Sprinkle with salt & pepper again, and wait until they’re about over medium.
6. Take bread out of toaster, butter slices, then immediately put habanero cheese on while the toast is still hot so it starts to melt in. Place now-cheesy slices on the serving plates, then remove over-medium eggs from pan, placing 2 eggs on each open-face piece of bread on each plate. The eggs should start melting the cheese into the bread.
7. Break each bacon strip into 2 or 3 pieces, and layer on top of egg.
8. Grab a handful of arugula, crush in your hand, then put on top of bacon. Repeat on other plate.
9. Top with the other slice of bread. I usually give the whole thing a smoosh to meld some of the ingredients together, and so some of the yolk spills out.
10. Draw a smiley face – or whatever you want – on the plate with Sriracha. Because there is nothing better to dip your egg sandwich in than Sriracha.
9 – BOOTS No7 RAPID REVIVAL EYE ROLL-ON, $12.74. One of our closest friends’ husbands – who is like the male version of OP (aka has the most refined and best taste in everything, always) – swears by this. Keep it in the fridge, and use it when you haven’t gotten enough sleep, or had a few too many the night before. Feels like cucumbers on your boy’s eyes, but better. And makes him look like he slept 12 hours last night.
10 – THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES, BY GARY CHAPMAN, $9. We know you think we’re kidding, but we are so serious about this. I don’t know how many couples – COUPLES – not chicks – I’ve heard rave about this book. I also just had one of my closest guy friends – an upstanding, talented, successful man with a heart of gold tell me: “Stephie. This a big statement, but I honestly feel like if I had read this book when x and I were still together, I don’t think we would’ve gotten divorced.” And I don’t think I realized until my most recent relationship how imperative communication is. And how HARD it can be if you don’t naturally communicate in the same (love) language – which, next to none of us do. This book helps break some of that down so we can all get on the same page.
11 – ECVISION BED BOLT iPAD HOLDER, $62.99. …….Tim, can we get you anything?? We could go to Gjelina for brunch, hit the Pasadena flea market, putts down the Promenade and set the kitchen on fire, and he’d never even know we were gone. #dontblamemeblameyourwife #wecouldleavehimherefordays But seriously – it clamps to the bed, to a desk… to just about anything. So you no longer have to hold it while you’re doing a Homeland binge.
12 – JAMBOX BY JAWBONE, $129.99-$299.99. “Turns any phone, tablet or portable device into a hi-def sound system.” Doesn’t plug in, doesn’t have a dock – just sits there all big pimpin and plays tunes from your phone. You can also hands-free video chat with it on FaceTime / Skype. I wish I would’ve known about this on Monday, cuz I would’ve put it on my wishlist. Comes in a gaggle of pretty colors, in addition to the murdered-out version below. Which is pretty boss.
13 – GREAT STAPLES FOR HIM:
If I’m generalizing, 99% of dudes despise shopping, but they don’t not appreciate looking dapper & put together. This is probably why Trunk Club is such a success… Most guys I know just want to be given a cheat sheet for what to buy. Well Campers… here you go! The Alternative Apparel henley looks great on everyone I know who owns it, it’s super affordable, and it never goes out of style. And if you bought one for your man last year – welp – good thing it’s cold out, because layering is a good look.
I do realize the cashmere hoodie is a bit of a splurge, but guys deserve a little luxury too, right? I’ll be the first to admit that a good ‘ol Werthers Original-esque wool dilf sweater popular on gift guides the world-over looks purdy… But after you buy it and they put it on, 5 minutes later they’re wearing an old sweatshirt… cuz the wool Werthers sweater looked great but felt like an itchy Scotch Brite pad. (This is also cozy alternative).
Last staple… our friend we’ll call Affluenza loves these.
I lied – one more… I hate to sound like a broken record, but the Lulu sweatpants from last year’s gift guide?? Classic, cozy staple. Perfect for borrowing. And spooning. #everybodywins!
Steph & Karrie