You haven’t bought anything yet.
Don’t worry – you still have time.
And while I can’t help you with buying gift’s for women (well, you can buy her some Amazing Home-Made Chocolate from Texas) this list is sure to have something for even the hardest to please guy – including yourself!
Please note – I can personally vouch for every single item on this list. I either own it, or know the man who makes the product.
Productivity and Education
Who says a gift has to be physical? Why not just give a subscription to yourself or friend.
I love this service – free 2 day shipping on just about anything I need to buy. This alone has made the yearly membership worth it. Throw in free movies to watch and access to a wide range of kindle books for free – it’s a no-brainer in terms of value delivered.
The best website on the planet for learning about entrepreneurship. I have extracted thousands and thousands of dollars of value from Andrew’s interviews. If you are a business owner, professional executive, student, or just love entrepreneurship this is the website for you!
I pay for 100 Gigs as the piece of mind knowing everything on my computer is backed up instantly (with the ability to access from other computers and smart phones) is a great feeling. I’ve had 2 computers crash on me in 3 years. Dropbox has saved my butt every time!
I spend about 8 solid hours a day on my computer. This amazing app saves me at least 30 minutes every day as I don’t have to retype common messages or even look for form letters in my computers files. I simply hit a 4 letter combination – and BOOM! – it opens up what I need instantly.
Fitness & Workout
Your 24/7 exercise monitor. If you want to know how much exercise you’re getting, how you’re sleeping, and where you can improve, this figures it all out and updates to your computer or wireless device automatically.
A bathroom scale that’s way more than a bathroom scale. It calculates weight, BMI, and % body fat, and synchs with your Fitbit One to chart it all on your computer or iPhone. But still – why a 130 for a scale?
Accountability – this scale automatically uploads my weight to Fitbit where I can see charts and graphs that track my progress. It’s a simple system that shows you plain as day as to whether or not you’re staying on course.
Slip-on cleats for exercise (and plain old walking) in the snow and ice. Perfect for anyone that lives where winter is still a season. I love using these when running in the winter – zero slips!
A tiny MP3 player designed for exercise. Yeah, you can store music on your phone these days, but this is a lot lighter, can handle a lot of bouncing around, and doesn’t throw your whole life for a loop if you drop it and break it. Besides, we should all own at least one electronic device that isn’t made by Apple.
One of the great fitness book classics. If an athletic trainer ever tells you to read a book, it’ll probably be this one. Pretty much everyone that exercises should own a copy.
For the meathead in all of us. A shrine to muscles and muscle groups. Your ticket to the gun show, baby. Seriously though, a great book that introduces you to a hundred different weight training exercises and what muscles they use.
A scientific take on fat and fat burning. This one’s a serious read, but it should be on your list if “losing weight” is a thing you’re striving for. Seriously – this book blew my mind!
A man’s body is the vessel through which he travels throughout life. If he takes care of it – it reflects in other aspects of his life and enables him to succeed because he can think clearly, avoid illness and injury, and signal to others he is healthy. My friend Ryan runs the workout corner, and as that he’s just starting out he’s very accessible – in addition, he has quite a few free videos with solid information on how to improve your physical health. Contact him for a new you in 2013!
Clothing and Wardrobe
Serious luxury ties. If you’ve only ever seen the department store approximation of a quality necktie, this will provide a useful — and slightly humiliating — comparison.
A large seller of name-brand and designer neckties. I like Hendrick’s site for younger men especially — this is where a lot of college students and recent grads can get a quick leg up on good-quality neckwear at less than retail outlet prices.
Handmade leather wallets and electronics cases. Every piece is unique. A great way to give someone something that no one else around them will have.
There are a lot of options out there for conditioning your leather shoes, belts, and other items. This is the one you want if you want a one stop protectant and conditioner. It’s also the one everyone else wants, so buy it as a gift for just about anyone who owns a leather couch, leather shoes, leather wallets. Still not sure – see my review here!
Leather care made simple – what I really like is Chamberlain’s numbering system. 1 for conditioning, 2 for cleaning, and 3 for waterproofing. Oh, and it works!
18. Kirby Allison’s Hanger Project clothes hangers
For pampering suits, jackets, and trousers that deserve it. Thick, specialty-designed wooden hangers that take great care of the clothes on them. Also – Kirby has started to carry other quality items like shoe trees, Saphir Shoe Polish, and even colored laces to add a bit of punch to your look.
Undershirts that actually fit, actually absorb and wick moisture, and actually keep you comfortable. Who knew? I’ve been a proud owner of these shirts for 2 years now – and the owner stands behind the product.
Oh – and in the video I mentioned this handy product – Deo-go armpit stain remover. See the below and after photos below – if you have 1 shirt this product saves, it has more than paid for itself.
Found my Kapaluas on sale in 2005 at a department store. Prior to dropping this much money on sunglasses, I had never spent more than $20 on shades. However I had been reading about Maui Jims and really wanted to see if they were as good as the reviews said they were. 8 years later my Kapaluas are still my primary shades.
Rugged, classically-styled, made-in-America luggage. Everything from hanger bags to briefcases to Dopp kits. Way cooler than Samsonite. I own three pieces and Blue Claw is made in the USA!
Your stop for all things leather, luggage or wallets or everything in between. Hand-crafted with real Italian leather. Owned by my friend William Scott Forshaw, it’s an English based business looking to make a strong entry into the USA. You can listen to our discussion about men’s leather bags here.
A contemporary men’s designer with his own unique style. Very fashion forward while still true to the traditions of timeless men’s style. Think traditional cuts with unusual patterns or textures. You can find his designs at his new website or in his Chicago shop.
Great leather belts with a unique “microadjust” system, very different from your usual tongue-and-holes buckle arrangement. It’s also a father and son operation, based out of South Carolina.
Handmade, custom-fitted denim. For someone you really love. The owner, Christopher, is a great guy who will walk you through the whole process.
Latin-style shirts like guayaberas and Mexican wedding shirts made with fine imported linen and cotton. Very unique look for men in the U. S. or Western Europe. Made in Miami, Florida!
Out of San Francisco, CA, Barron and Katie produce a small line of high-quality products at pretty reasonable prices. If you’re looking to move into upscale menswear, they’re a good place to start your shirting adventures. They also have a blog that’s worth checking out while you’re there!
Specializes in men’s accessories: hats, scarves, belts, etc.
Know a skinny guy? His shirts probably don’t fit. Get him some 5th & Lamar this year and make his day.
Yea, they now make sweaters too. Only three colors to choose from, they made it easy to choose a classic piece that works with everything. And they fit just like the shirts – slim and clean. Just look at me in the video above – I’m wearing one!
I’ll be reviewing my friend Raja’s company here soon, but in the meantime know that if you need value priced custom clothing and are willing to work remotely with him in Bangkok (he’ll Skype with you if needed!) his work is a great deal!
Ten years ago I wouldn’t have been caught dead in boots – which is funny as I grew up raising horses in Texas. But now they feel right, look great with raw denim, and they make me stand 3 inches taller. Also – my kids love it when they can say their dad wears cowboy boots.
Give someone the gift of never shopping for socks again. Their selection of socks arrives on the doorstep at regular intervals. Magical.
Yes – this image is not attractive. But the way these keep your shirt looking all day is. I learned about shirt stays in the military and to this day feel they are the most underused yet most highly effective men’s clothing accessory out there.
I’m not a man who normally wears suspenders – but these braces are sharp (I have a set and really like them – good build quality) and are close to changing my mind.
Clothing brushes from a traditional British manufacturer. Try the CC2 for pure function, or dress it up a little and go for the presentation-boxed CR8 model — the luxury car of suit brushes.
A champ of a travel iron. Dual voltage, lightweight, portable, and sturdy. Works just fine at home too.
An industrial-grade steamer. Works on clothing, carpet, drapes, the works. Pretty much eliminates all fabric wrinkles from your life, ever.
A subscription for that family you know that’s always going on vacation. Give them some ideas — and an easy gift. The amazing National Geographic photos don’t hurt either.
Always a winner with tech geeks, do-it-yourselfers, and anyone that likes to tinker.
A wonky business, advertising, and entrepreneurship-themed magazine. Great for small business owners and the self-employed — or for those friends who really need to quit their boring corporate jobs and just haven’t realized it yet. Go ahead and send them the subtle hint.
“I wanted to read the newspaper that the people who control my world read” was how my father described his subscription to The Wall Street Journal. Still the best daily paper out there no matter what your political slant might be.
The quintissential man’s magazine. As manly as it gets, and classic. If you need a gift for someone and the only thing you know about him is “he is a man,” a subscription to Esquire will probably work.
Witty, tongue-in-cheek, and surprisingly full of useful advice. It’s also a handsome book, which makes it a visually pleasing gift as well as a thoughtful one.
Somewhere between a coffee table book and a fashion resource. Beautifully illustrated and full of essays on the craft of handmade men’s shoes. For the guy with the closet full of leather shoes.
The science behind habits and how our brains form them. A thoughtful gift for someone who you know is working on a goal — quitting smoking, losing weight, etc.
A very technical and thorough work on negotiation and bargaining. Not light reading — but powerful stuff. Good for the Wall Street crowd, lawyers, and anyone with an overdeveloped competitive streak and a taste for deal-making.
“A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families,” according to the subtitle, which makes it a great gift for exactly those people.
Another one for people on a mission to change. A guide to making small, incremental changes that add up to a big improvement over time.
The last of our self-improvement selections. Just in time for the New Year’s resolutions. Give it to someone who struggles with theirs…
The best introduction to men’s fashion you’ll ever read. For the sharp-dressed man in your life — or the man who needs to be a little more sharp-dressed and could use the help.
One of the all-time greats. I think this might be the best beginner’s book out there for someone who’s really dedicated to improving his style. You get a lot more information than newer, flashier books provide but the wealth of photos and hand-drawn illustration keeps the text broken up and readable (and gives a very clear idea what the author’s talking about, naturally).
A fast, readable guide to contemporary style. The Details Style Manual looks at more casual styles as well as the finer dress covered by more traditional tomes, making this one a great resource for easy-going guys that want a more relaxed, urban sensibility.
A must-read for women who want to help men dress better. Normally I caution men against taking advice from their wives and girlfriends — even a very well-dressed woman can steer you wrong, as men’s clothing uses color and cut very differently from women’s. But Ms. Matthes has done her research and produced a valuable guide.
A top-notch reference on fine menswear, especially suits and jackets. Not for the casual dresser — this is a book that assumes you spend most of your life wearing a suit or at least a sports jacket. But there’s no better source for detailed information on fit and fabric. Every first-time custom suit buyer should be sure to take a look.
Short but sweet. A useful visual guide to casual men’s style. It’s not the most comprehensive style guide out there, but it manages to touch on just about every piece of casual clothing you might own for at least a line or two. Great layout helps the book make its point efficiently, without too many words.
56. “Icons of Men’s Style”
If you already own the books above – buy this one to compliment them.
57. “A Guy’s Guide to Style“
Bernhard’s latest work – not a repeat of gentleman, a smaller book that’s less intimidating and more aimed towards those seeking a style overview.
Don’t wear a mustache – grow a mustache so darn cool it wear you.
(No Number – Just Awesome) Art of Manliness Boxed Set
This set is too good to even assign a number – seriously, I’ve devoted hundreds of hours to support this site’s mission. To help men be better husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons. These books are dedicated to that goal – a great gift for any age.
Travel & Outdoors
Room for the whole family, in a pinch. A portable mattress that makes everyone that much more willing to go on your road trips, and lets you make your visits easier on hosts as well.
A smart photographer told me to not worry so much about the camera body – instead focus on buying good glass. At the time I was shooting with Canon – but getting fed up with having to change lenses multiple times a day and carry a backpack of equipment I decided to find the best all in one lens I could afford. That led me to the Nikon 18-200mm. That month I sold my Canon equipment on eBay and bought the Nikon 18-200 and a basic Nikon camera body. Now I always have my camera, never change the lens, and always get the shot.
Your cold-weather underlayer. Better than UnderArmor. We mean it.
Gadgets & Tech
Small. Simple. Sturdy. Decent sound quality, decent price. They aren’t fancy, but they get the job done. We like that.
The top dog of plug-and-play computer mics. A simple interface with complex insides that can do everything from voice chat to recording your band’s jam sessions. Nice.
Stop using the build-in camera at the top of your monitor and try this little 1080p monster. HD, comes with its own internal mic, zoom capable; fast upload to everything from Facebook to Skype. Make a vblogger or a Skype-obsessed exec happy this Christmas.
Photographers are hard to shop for — cameras are usually too expensive, and they tend to be picky about them anyway. But camera accessories are always nice, and this is a good one for any of the Nikon family of DSLR cameras. Great for family photos, “photo booth” set-ups at parties, time-lapse exposures, and more.
Our favorite of the Kindle family of E-book readers. Light, compact, simple, and easy on the eyes.
There are power strips, and then there are Uninterrupted Power Sources. No more chaining $3.99 extension cords together.
Perfect for giant, sprawling home entertainment systems or desktop computer setups.
A deeper pan from the same company. 3 1/2 qt. dutch oven can cook just about anything, on a house stove or over an open bed of coals — your pick. The lid flips over to become a 101/4″ skillet.
A long-handled “oven” mitt, but don’t let that limit you. You can pluck pans off an open flame with one of these babies too.
Nice-looking but functional, these keep the classic colored, quilted look of traditional oven mitts but beef it up with top-notch heat protection treatment and 17″ wrist covers for deep ovens and large barbecues.
Great for anyone who’s been bitten by the sushi bug. You can make pretty much any roll you’d see at a restaurant using this — and cheaper. And better after a few tries because it’s always how you like it!
Everyone needs a blender. This is a good one. Make smoothies, blended soups, or just some crushed-ice margaritas for a party without having to think about it. Throw the ingredients in, press start, and you’re done.
For feeding large numbers on short notice, or just whipping up a batch of chili that will last you the week. And yes, you can make stocks in it too, if you’re fancy like that.
The best knives for their price out there. Five knives, kitchen shears, sharpening steel and block. I’ve worked in professional kitchens that used the same line, so you know it’s good stuff.
Self-explanatory. A powerful, compact gas grill with nice, even heat. Beefy!
A great starter set for someone just beginning his first real kitchen. They make a plain steel version for people who don’t like nonstick, and both are sturdy, dependable sets of cookware.
Parenting and Kids
For those of you with kids – sometimes a good gift for them is a good gift for you as well!
A quick, manual balloon inflator for cranking out as many party balloons as you need& a bulk packs of sturdy balloons. Never run out at a birthday party and you’ll be the life of the party.
I learned how to twist balloons a few years ago and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a kid smile in 3 seconds by making for them a balloon dog or hat. Be a great dad/uncle/brother – the memories you create now will be remembered forever!
Four games in one, suitable for all ages. Comes in a convenient little travel tin, making it a vacation game as well as a home one. My kids and I love this game!
A dice-generated storytelling game. No two plays are the same. Encourages creativity, but in the fun way, not the lame way.
You can view my detailed review of Vero Linens here – but in a nutshell these sheets make me want to stay in bed. Which when you throw in my hot wife – well, all I can say is that life is good:)
One of our writers is 6’8″ tall; for the rest of us there’s this stool. Light, sturdy, and folds conveniently flat. A no-brainer.
Portable and powerful. Expect people to look impressed when you show up and unpack this baby. One-wrench blade changes make swapping on the go a cinch.
Charge it, throw it in the trunk, and never get stuck anywhere in the winter again. Holds a charge pretty well, so you should be able to go a long while between recharges. Plugs right into the wall when it does need more juice.
If you’re going to give a vacuum cleaner as a gift, it had better be a good one. This one’s light, simple, and sturdy. Great for first-time homeowners or kids just leaving college.
Thaws anything. Use it on engine blocks and oil pans (makes starting a LOT easier on the engine!), or take it out of the car and thaw gutters and frozen locks. A must-have winter tool for those of us in temps below zero.
Wide-jaw, adjustable-grip pliers. Satisfying to hold, and even more satisfying to use.
If you get these and #85 above, you’ve got every pair of pliers a man is going to need. Set includes slip-joint, diagonal, linesman, and needle-nose.
Leaf blower, shredder, and hand vac all in one. I’ve used this to clean my garage once a week for 4 years as well as clear an acre of leaves every fall.
Lightweight, portable, and powerful for its size. Plus, it’s a chainsaw. Guess who gave the favorite gift this year? Yeah. You did.
For Christmas lights and Christmas present yard tools alike. Insulated for winter use — no freeze-outs and it maintains its malleability.
Not your average workbench. Adjustable top can be a solid plane, sawhorse, or vice on demand.
The man’s assortment of power tools: hammer driver-drill, 6 1/2″ circular saw, reciprocating saw, flashlight, and portable charging system, all in one sturdy bag.
Still the last word in belt-worn multitools. Not your father’s Swiss Army Knife. You do have to learn to live without a corkscrew, though.
Tiny, portable nail kit in a tough leather pouch. Gleaming steel and oiled leather, for silencing anyone that says men shouldn’t do their nails.
Look, we all gotta do it. Fast, painless, and sturdy little trimmer. Not the most glamorous gift — but it just might be the most-used.
Real hand cream for real working hands. Repairs cracked and damaged skin and strengthens healthy skin. A godsend in the winter.
Just like your father used, and his father before him. Heavy, satisfying to use, and cheap to refill — a pack of five replacement blades costs about two bucks at the drugstore. Nice change from cartridge prices, isn’t it?
100 Ammo Mug
Yes – you do need a steel canteen that looks like a 200mm round. Get some!
Really, what more do I have to say about Robert Porter’s work. His belts are top of the line and sturdy enough for concealed carry, his wallets are slim and simple, and his cuff-links are one of a kind pieces of art.
Now your turn – what’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Leave a comment and you might just win one of the above gifts!