Anyone who's ever attempted to buy a male loved one (significant other, brother, father, etc.) a stylish gift is likely aware that many men have an ingrained aversion to anything overtly “trendy.” These gifts walk the line between fashion and function, making them ideal options for secretly elevating any reluctant fashionista’s style this holiday season.
Nothing says "I care… but not too much" like the perfect heather gray sweater. This wool-cashmere blend sweater from hyper-transparent industry favorite, Everlane, offers a heavy gauge knit for a richly textured pullover. An easy, non-intimidating, way to elevate your guy's style, this piece can layer over one of his plaid button-ups or under a thicker coat or even a denim jacket for a casual, put-together look.
Every man needs bit of a vintage flair to fill out his more modern wardrobe. For a subtle statement piece with an interesting story, Alpha Industries makes a diamond-quilted variation of the classic MA-1 flight jacket—ideal for adding a bit of intrigue to an otherwise traditional style.
There's no question that minimalism is in, but Chicago-based brand DPTR takes the notion of no-fuss to the next level. For the laid-back man, the Clamshell wallet utilizes leather from Horween Leather Company to secure bills—relegating your quintessential wallet to the basics only. The lack of adornments and straightforward structure will prove appealing to men interested in effortlessly taking their style up a notch.
A brand recognized for its laissez-faire attitude and sharp, almost aggressively rigid shapes, Acne Studios merges the fabrics and aesthetic details of our parents' generation with the oversized cuts and straightforward attitude of a more modern clientele. A starched pair of jeans from Acne are fashion-forward without being intimidating.
Feit, known for its high-quality, sustainable footwear, makes a hand-sewn leather sneaker that’s ideal for any man who artfully treads the line between rustic and urban. Created from start to finish by a single craftsman, each shoe incorporates a cork footbed and a bamboo stabilizer with a leather outsole. The shoe’s vegetable-tanned suede both breathes well and ages nicely—making for the perfect long-lasting gift.
If it’s made in England, it has to be elegant. These custom cufflinks from Ellie Ellie are sophisticated without being stuffy—personalized with your choice of initials and plated with either silver, rose gold, or gunmetal. Subtle but stylish, they're a simple way to enhance his usual workweek look.
Instead of relegating style to solely sartorial assets, extend it to skincare with a slightly edgy, high-quality hand cream. Grown Alchemist is an organic, sustainable brand devoted to innovating formulas to ameliorate skincare issues. Added perk? The product's packaging is elegantly designed, helping to casually dress up the nightstand.
Vests are an easy gateway item for men to experiment with expressing a sense of style without committing to something offputtingly overwhelming. This vintage, military-inspired piece from Exley can serve a multi-seasonal function and is specially made in New England to be durable for a whole host of scenarios—all selling points when convincing your significant other that this rustically elegant vest is worth the wear.
Socks are an essential way to subversively assert a personal sense of style. Created by an ex-messenger from San Francisco, Cadence Collection was inspired by cycling gear and has evolved into a full-fledged lifestyle brand. Adopting a slightly athletic aesthetic, the no-nonsense nature of the brand will appeal to men who would prefer function over fashion.
While bags are a sensitive topic for most men, they're a crucial component to stepping up personal style. Iconic leather brand Frye Company makes an easy, streamlined, leather messenger bag called the Logan Messenger that’s suited for day to night use. The wash of the leather lends itself to casual use, so its recipient won't feel uncomfortable trading in his backpack for a more sophisticated accessory.