Not all of our friends and family members are as obsessed with clothing as we are, and that’s okay. It’s also worth keeping in mind before you go out of you way to buy a pair of 20-ounce Ironhearts for your nephew, or a limited-edition pocket square for your wife (“Wear it as a…scarf?”), here are five gifts idea that anyone – no matte their age, gender, or relationship to you – is sure to enjoy.
My iPad died halfway through The Proper Kit, which means I have to get a new one if I want stay up too late watching YouTube videos in bed again. Since I have a La Portegna briefcase that I adore (disclosure: they sent me one free of charge, and I now use it every single day), I have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this. Namely, fantastic leather that actually gets better as it ages (for real – everyone claims this and it’s not always true), and a size perfect for those days when I don’t want to tote around a whole bag. Plus, you can monogram it for the intended recipient. Future iPad, meet your future new best friend.
La Portegna, 215GBP
No one writes anything by hand any more, and that is a filthy shame. I carry two small notebooks with me wherever I go: one for story ideas, one for absurd Deep Thoughts. And I write with pens exclusively – no graphite here. As a middle school science teacher once told me, never erase anything – put a line through it, because you might come back to it later and find some unexpected brilliance. Having a half-decent pen to write with (or a really nice pen to write with), as opposed to the disposable ones we all steal from hotels, makes the experience so much more pleasurable. I’ve never owned an unabashedly nice fountain pen, because I’m probably too scatterbrained to be trusted with anything fancy, but that’s what a wishlist is for. I am mildly obsessed with the design of the Lamy 2000, which is unassuming but (in my eyes) gorgeous; not the heavy gold-and-black cigars that still dominate the world of higher-end fountain pens, but sleek and futuristic. And it’s built for writing – which is, after all, the point.
Al Oudh isn’t the fanciest perfume in the world, nor the most expensive, nor the most fully-packed with exotic ingredients. It is, however, an excellent scent, and for men or women who don’t want a collection in their cabinet there’s a good chance this could become an every day fragrance. It’s more accessible than fancier oud scents, less cloying, and a bit fresher and friendlier to more noses. I’ve been jealously hoarding my tester-sized sample of this fragrance for a while now, and I think it’s time to treat myself to a full bottle. Or rather, for someone else to treat me. ‘Tis the season.
L’Artisan Perfumeur, $145
I scored a pair of Jaybirds on Amazon over the summer, and they have changed my life. That sounds like exaggeration but it’s not – I’m not an audiophile, but I do listen to music 12 hours a day, whether I’m sitting at my desk or exercising. These are great for both – they’re comfortable enough to wear for long periods, the battery life is great, and when you do go for a run they actually stay in your ears. Plus, the sound quality is pretty darn good. So far, mine have been one of the best purchases I’ve made all year.
Best Buy, $130
I am a sucker for all things symbolic, and doubly so for vaguely heraldic imagery. Pyrrha has been making wax-seal silver jewelry for over a decade now, and has inspired legions of other brands. They’re rough-hewn, cast from Victorian-era wax seals, and – I think – quite beautiful. I also have a thing for stags, generally; horned gods being both classic and timeless and beautifully foreboding.
For women, there are a host of beautiful necklaces, rings, and bracelets, which means that whoever you’re shopping for, you’re bound to find something that will speak to them. Pro tip: searching for “wax seal rings” on Etsy will show you plenty of other options, but since they go quickly and are variable in size, Pyrrha is a good stop for consistency.