Any and all beard decorations.
Of course, the holidays mean gifts and get-togethers…
but they also tend to bring style abominations out of the woodwork.
Why not be the family trendsetter this year?
Add these items to your list and show them that festive and seasonal doesn't have to mean obnoxious and tacky.
#1. Classic Glasses Frames
Yes, you heard that right. Done correctly, glasses can be a fantastic style statement that's just right for the cozy vibe of the holiday season.
The holidays are about tradition and old-fashioned celebration. It's the best time to channel the dad look (even if you're 22 and single). Go ahead–ditch the contact lenses.
If you're shopping for eyewear this season, look for something timeless. Acetate frames have just the right classic vibe. And check our infographic to make sure you get the best glasses for your face shape.
#2. Men's Velvet Jacket
Velvet jackets are a classic for winter evening parties (but they're not for daytime wear). They can be dressed up with black tie or dressed down and worn like any sports coat. You can easily find them in thrift shops and get them tailored to fit, and they come in seasonal colors like wine red, forest green, and chocolate brown.
You have a lot of options with velvet jackets. Most have peak lapels, but notch or shawl lapels are acceptable too. Lapels may be covered in a contrast fabric like silk, satin or petersham. Velvet jackets can be single or double-breasted, come with a center vent or side vents, and have jet pockets with or without flaps. Velvet-covered buttons are a nice touch if you can find them.
#3. Men's Red Corduroy Pants
If red pants aren't your speed, brown corduroy is a good alternative that still looks cozy and seasonal. Cords are casual, but a notch up from jeans, and warmer too. 18th-century London tailors designed them to keep hunters warm in winter.
Again, these are touchably soft, but also durable and easy to clean – a good choice if there's snow or mud about. However, bright red corduroys are prone to dye running – it's safer to dry clean them.
Corduroy is measured by ‘wale’ – the number of ridges or ‘wales' per inch. The lower the number, the thicker the wales. Between 10 and 12 is your best bet. Pants can have wider wales, jackets (and suits) call for finer ones.
Good corduroys are tightly woven and usually have a ‘Genoa back' – a twill back that looks and feels similar to the front. A plain (‘Tabby') back is often a sign of lower quality, but there are exceptions.
#4. Holiday Pocket Square
Have fun with red, green, and holiday-themed patterns in your pocket squares. White polka dots have a snowy appeal at this time of year.
Look for a statement pocket square, not a novelty one. A novelty pocket square has a large, often cartoonish pattern and tends to look tacky. A statement pocket square can be just as bright, bold and characterful, but has a smaller pattern and looks classy.
Remember, if you're wearing a tie your pocket square should go with it, but not match it. And if you've always been a Presidential fold man, how about learning a few more fun ways to fold a pocket square?
#5. Men's Holiday Socks
Socks are one place a man can really express himself with bright colors and fun patterns.
Again, though, steer clear of the cartoon characters.
Even in a holiday sock, a high-contrast man can get away with a little brighter of a color than a low-contrast man. A high-contrast outfit can take brighter socks too – you don't want eyepopping holly-berry red if the rest of your outfit is in subtle colors. A nice forest green or burgundy will be more your speed.
Bright doesn't have to mean clashing, so look for socks that go well with the rest of your outfit (or an outfit that goes well with your socks.) Have something in a more muted red or green elsewhere to pick up the color.
#6. Classic Holiday Sweaters
No large images, cartoons, bells, fur fabric, sparkly bits, or fairy lights on your sweaters, please. Instead go for Fair Isle, small repeating patterns, or red, green, and/or true blue sweaters.
Fair Isle sweaters, named after the Scottish island where they originated, are typically made from warm, thick wool. Patterns usually contain 2-5 colors, use two colors in each row, and can include seasonal motifs like running deer. Although they come in various styles, the most iconic is the crew neck.
Pair your sweater with jeans, chinos or cords, collared shirts, sports jacket over it, and even a casual tie if you like (anything with a rougher, matte texture).
You can also wear your sweater knotted across the chest. This emphasizes your chest and shoulders, echoes the masculine V silhouette, looks a little bit like a cape, and can easily be removed to drape around a lady's shoulders.
#7. Tartan Bow Tie
With all the bows on gifts and Christmas trees, the holidays are DEFINITELY a time for bow ties, and no bow is more Christmassy than a tartan one.
Strictly speaking, a tartan is the ancestral pattern of a Scottish clan, and anything else is just a plaid – outside Scotland, the words are used interchangeably. But to be clear, yes, we are talking about the kind of bow tie that would suit a Scottie dog.
Red and green are best, but any color of tartan will do. Bonus if it actually looks like tartan – thick, matte, soft and a little rough. (Again – they'll want to touch you.)
#8. Casual Vests For Men
There are many different men's vest styles – some people use ‘vest' and ‘waistcoat' interchangeably, but a waistcoat is a formal garment with a low and deep ‘v' in the front, while a vest is a more casual garment with a higher front.
Unless you're going to a black-tie event, your best bet is a winter-weight vest in a warm, thick, tactile fabric. Go for red, green, or tartan for maximum seasonal appeal. And if you happen to own a pocket watch and your vest has a pocket, pop it in there.
The shoulders of the vest should always lie flat against your body. If you're wearing it with a sports coat, the v-shape should be narrow enough to be visible (unless you're wearing a waistcoat.) The vest should be long enough to cover your waist, but shorter than your jacket – and as with a jacket, always leave the bottom button unbuttoned.
Sweater vests are great holiday wear too – just follow the advice on sweaters.
#9. Colorful Flannel Shirts
Flannels are another warm cozy garment with a tartan look, although the vibe here is less Victorian Scotland and more log cabin.
Your flannel shirt should be well-fitted and not baggy. You can wear it tucked or untucked.
Flannel shirts are not really meant to be worn with a tie, but if you want to go there, a plain knit tie is best.
#10. Holiday Tie Bar And Cufflinks
A themed tie bar is a subtle way to add a little bit of holiday spirit while avoiding the notoriously gaudy novelty tie. Even a plain tie bar can make an outfit look special if you don't normally wear one.
Go for warm yellow golds that echo the merry-and-bright-ness of the season, and make sure to match your metals.
Cufflinks are another subtle way to show holiday spirit. Go for something that's fun without being garish or offensive. Price is a factor – $5 reindeer cufflinks will probably look tacky, but $50 reindeer cufflinks are definitely ‘statement' rather than ‘novelty'.
Bonus – Stylish Holiday Underwear
Most guys have received underwear at one point or another as a gift… typically bad, cheap underwear. This year, why not let the lady in your life know that you'd like some stylish, comfortable holiday underwear?
Speaking of clothes that are touchably soft, try telling her MeUndies are 3 times softer than cotton… she might be keen to buy you some. Why not treat her to some soft and sexy ladies' MeUndies too?