Why a thrift store is the best place for last-minute Christmas shopping

Thrifting is a fun hobby to have.  Sure, I understand the allure of buying something from a store or getting it made, but you never know what you’re going to find when you walk into your local Goodwill, Savers, charity shop, or vintage store. It may seem daunting or even a hassle if you’re not used to it, but if you look at it instead as a fun, low-risk gamble and not just an opportunity for cheap clothes, I think you can have a good time.  And what better time to check them out than this holiday season!

First off, let me say that I’m a terrible gift giver. It’s not laziness or apathy, but it probably has to do with how specific I am; I just want the person to either love the gift or have some genuine enjoyment out of it.  As a result, I used to either give gift cards, cash, or exactly what the person wants. But lately, thanks to a plethora of fun white elephant exchanges with friends and family, I’ve tried to adopt a new view on gift giving. Something quirky or even funny.  It’s much better than simply giving them something that they would buy for themselves anyway. So the next time you’re out thrifting for menswear, try looking for out for these cool pieces, perfect for your close friends or that next joke white elephant swap at the office.

Thrifted Clothing

Obviously clothing is a no brainer, since you’re already there and chances are not everything is going to fit you.  I’ve written about how to thrift for clothing, but this time try to match the measurements to your friends, that way it feels more like a score even if you don’t get something for yourself.

There’s always a plethora of oxfords and other dress shirts that can be great stocking stuffers for friends who don’t necessarily dress too well; you could even throw in complimentary tailoring if you feel the need to be extra charitable.  Tweed jackets, corduroys, and shoes are also a good buy if you get lucky. And if all else fails, a good repp or foulard tie can usually be found on the way out. I can’t tell you how many times my friends always ask me to find things when I’m out thrifting!

One last thing to look out for (if you have streetwear-oriented friends), are cool 1980s-1990s T shirts.  You probably know the ones I’m talking about: stuff from old company parties, band (both rock and brass) festivals, or just ones with “totally radical” graphic design.  Perfect for lightwash 501s (which are also good to find while thrifting), tucked into chinos, or as a fun PJ shirt.

Glasses and Decanters

I’m not a big drinker, but I like the opportunity to make it look like I am. Instead of buying fancy glassware or china, I like looking at the aisles for interesting containers or decanters.  It was a big hit in my college days when I would put apple or grape juice in the decanter to have a non-wild night with my friends. As you get older, juice turns into the fermented versions and getting a unique one is usually the way to go until you’re in a position to get an expensive one.  Or you can get one for your own holiday parties; just don’t forget to clean thoroughly after bringing it home.

Books

While a majority of books found at thrift stores are cookbooks and outdated advice books (which can be hilarious in itself), you can definitely find some grails. Obviously I tend to look for older editions of classic books or general ones centered around history or culture that my friends will find interesting; the best ones are usually ex-library books, still “mint” in the wrapping.  

Coffee table books are common to find and can be given to friends who have interests in those topics. I’ve come across a few menswear books (like Dressing the Man, by Alan Flusser) but painting, photography, and architecture compendiums are the usual faire. Again, older ones tend to be more interesting, if you can find them that is.  

Unique Toys, Bric-a-brac, and Accoutrements

I used to think that bric-a-brac was something reserved specifically for grandparents, but I’ve come to love it! It’s something completely unique that you really can’t find anywhere else that makes for a fun story or at least a funny reaction.  One of the most common ones are 80s-90s toys that my friends and I can reminisce on about your youth. I tend to prefer menswear related ones, like a cool wooden statue of a dandy gent that brings to mind the old esquire mascot.

Depending on your thrift/vintage store or antique mall, you could also find things like vintage cufflinks/tie bars, cameras, and even watches.  Other than that, nice models of airplanes, bookends, or figurines can be equally as nice. It’s just always worth a look!

Records

Lastly, we have the music. More and more people are getting record players and  collecting vintage LPs. While you may not find that crazy-rare jazz record at a Goodwill, you can find some hidden gems; I personally have found the old 1960’s score to Mary Poppins and the first Pink Panther film! Usually, random jazz recordings, orchestra compilations, or obscure 1970’s groups are what populate the racks.  I’m not a huge physical music collecting guy, but it’s fun to find something with great album artwork and to listen to music that you can’t really find online.  Just be sure to inspect the record for any scratches before you buy them!


Gift Guide for the Classy Women in Your Life

Finding a gift for a woman is a complicated task – and things get even trickier if she happens to have sophisticated tastes. Here’s a selection of great gift ideas –or shall I call it a wishlist?– to inspire you to pick a great present for the women in your life. The best part? They are all quite affordable.

 

CASHMERE SWEATPANTS $140

“Cashmere” and “sweatpants” are two words that only recently have been seen together – with the rise of the athleisure movement and the attempt from retailers to ennoble (or at the very least dignify) garments of modest and humble tradition. You may think that paying over $100 for something with a drawstring is lunacy, but believe me when I say that whoever will receive this gift will hardly be able to stop wearing it. These sweatpants are as comforting as a warm cup of hot chocolate on a winter night, plus they are sustainably made with Mongolian cashmere in one of Everlane’s approved factories in China.

MINI VOTIVE CANDLES $78

Usually I refrain from suggesting any gift “for the home”, as the risk of not meeting the recipient’s taste in high, and they would find themselves in the unpleasant situation of having to dispose of the object by either donating it, throwing it away, or recycling it as a gift for someone else. However, candles are a fairly safe option, especially if they come in a mini size like these Dyptique votive candles: in the unlikely case the person doesn’t appreciate the fragrance, they are gone fairly quickly and don’t leave any bitter feeling of regret or frustration behind.

MARC DE CHAMPAGNE TRUFFLES $22

Chocolate is another great option if you’re unsure about someone’s tastes, because -again- it’s not an object that will perpetually be under someone’s nose, but rather it’s something that can be enjoyed by anyone who walks by. I am a big fan of Charbonnel&Walker’s truffles, which come in a variety of flavors and combinations. Dark chocolate lovers will appreciate the black truffles with Marc de Champagne, while more delicate palates will love the pink chocolate infused with roses.

MINIMALISTIC JEWELRY $29

If you’re confident enough to go down the jewelry route, my suggestion is to take a close look at the person’s style and choice of jewelry and try to choose something that could work with their collection. A giant cocktail ring encrusted with rubies might be cool, but it’s unlikely to work with most women’s collections. Consider instead a pair of miniature gold hoops, which look flattering on most face shapes and complexions, or a minimalistic necklace like this elegant piece by Mejuri in gold vermeil and sapphires.

A CLASSIC, BOYFRIEND-STYLE BUTTON DOWN SHIRT $228

A classic button-down shirt will find a place in almost any wardrobe, especially if you choose a neutral color or a classic pattern. I like Frank&Eileen’s take on the classic button-down, with a slightly more relaxed fit that’s almost menswear-inspired; the pattern matching is surprisingly good too.

OLD STYLE, NATURALLY FLAVORED TOOTHPASTE $36

This great stocking stuffer features one of my favorite Florentine brands, Marvin. I am a fan of their Jasmin mint toothpaste, but I am sure that any American girl will love the cinnamon mint tube. I have given away several tubes throughout the years and I can’t remember anyone who hasn’t come back to ask me where I bought it, because they just need more!

A DESIGNER PILLBOX $39

I am breaking the rule of not giving something with the potential of sitting unused for years to come, for the simple fact that this pillbox is adorable. The shape is incredibly satisfying just to watch, and I can almost feel its weight by imagining to hold it in my hand. Even if it did sit unused, it would just look like a beautiful design object, and I bet it could double as a cool paperweight.

A CASHMERE BERET $198

A beret is essentially the classier version of a beanie. I know the struggle women go through when they need to conciliate their city life with the burning desire to wrap themselves in something that keeps them warm. I succumbed to the chills of winter weather enough times to know that a warm beanie is the last resort, albeit ugly and resembling a woolen condom, to keep my head and ears from developing ice stalactite. A beret is a relatively basic hat – it happens to be in vogue just now – and if you pick carefully (I like this one in white cashmere by Janessa Leone) you will give something that is way more stylish than a beanie, but just as useful.

GIFT CARDS $25 & UP

Contrarily to what seems to be the popular opinion, I am not against gift cards at all. What may seem like a couldn’t-care-less gift might actually be an effort to make sure the person receives something meaningful and useful that doesn’t go unappreciated. In order to keep this sentiment alive, my suggestion is to give a gift card along with the gift of your time to go find this special something. Pick a shop she likes – it could be Sephora, Nordstrom, or Bloomingdale’s – and make sure she knows that you’ll be there to share a fun afternoon of shopping with her.

 

The best Christmas gifts for your significant other and for you

That time of year has come again: you need a gift guide to buy a present for the woman in your life. Last January, you resolved to make notes about the things that she seemed really interested in but did not buy. And then at the end of November, you would just pick the best few things, an interesting mix that showed not just that you care and are attentive, but that you also have range and diversity and are full of good taste. But, just like last year (and the year before that, but there is no need to rub it in, I know) you are scrambling now, with under 10 shopping days, for a lifeline.

It’s all good. Styleforum is here to take the stress out of this situation for you. Remember Winston Wolf in Pulp Fiction? Mr. “I fix problems?” So do we, and you won’t even need to get all bloody in the process. But hurry. While, at the time of writing, rush shipping can get all of these to you in time to put them under the tree, wait too long, and you might end up having to write an IOU, which, ime, is usually not well received.

Also, you’ve done some good work this year. You deserve something too. In this gift guide, for each gift we recommend for your sig O, we are recommending something for you. Either drop a hint (a browser opened up prominently to the item in mind is a good bet) or just bypass chance and get it for yourself.


1. Earrings That Make Her Look Like a Golden Age Icon in Her Prime

HERS: Mikimoto Pearl Earrings ($300 and up at Nordstrom)

It’s hard to go wrong with simple, classic, 18 carat gold earrings set with precious stones. The usual names come to mind – Chopard, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, lets face it, you are not going to wrong. All you need is a fleeting familiarity with Romantic Comedies (jewelry stores are often strategically seen in them, for the obvious reasons), a credit card, and the ability and willingness to use it. If you want to show a little more imagination, maybe go for a set of pearl earrings from Mikimoto. Pearls have a Golden Age of Hollywood appeal, and yes, while you can get a diamond framed pair for tens of thousands of dollars, you can also get a classic white gold set studs for a relatively affordable price

YOURS: GIIN miniature rose boutonniere ($95 from giin.style)

While I am a few eggnogs in right now and tempted to suggest his and hers matching pearl earrings, I’ll instead suggest a GIIN tie pin made of a miniature rose taken apart carefully by a single artisan in Japan, preserved, and then put back together. At $95 for a pin, you should be able to afford it even if you had gone all in with the $11k diamond accented pearl earrings (https://www.mikimotoamerica.com/categories/earrings/twist-white-south-sea-earrings)


2. (It’s not just any) Scented Candle

HERS: Cire Trudon Josephine Candle

I was a guy who, until he got married, owned only one set of tableware and one plate, all of which I had rescued from the Harvard Law School Cafeteria (hey HLS, if you are thinking of suing me, I’d like to remind you that this article is for entertainment purposes only, and that all resemblances to events and persons are purely incidental). But even I knew that candles would romantic up a place. Cire Trudon is one of the oldest extant candle makers in France, established in 1643. Patronized by both the French Court and then Napoleon Bonaparte, the company has had a few years to figure out how to make scented candles. For her, I recommend the Josephine, named after Napoleon’s first wife and empress (https://www.matchesfashion.com/us/products/Cire-Trudon-Jos%C3%A9phine-scented-candle-1087235). It is a complex scent that opens with lime and bergamot, turns to rose and jasmine, and then has base notes of sandalwood and iris. What you have to understand is that it smells good and looks nice in a glass holder with a gold seal. ($75 at Matches Fashion)

YOURS: Cire Trudon Abd El Kader Candle ($83 at Matches Fashion)

If you are going to do a his and hers matching gift, you may as well do it with fancy candles. It’s a big step above matching sweaters. For you, I might recommend the Abd El Kader candle, the scents of which takes inspiration from Algeria’s coast. That alone might stave off the cold.


3. A Luxurious Silk Robe

HERS: Carine Gilson silk Kimono robe (on sale now at net-a-porter) https://www.net-a-porter.com/us/en/product/962602/carine_gilson/chantilly-lace-appliqued-silk-satin-robe

It won’t always be cold. Summer will come again. Or, you can simply fly somewhere warm. Maybe Brazil. In that case, a silk robe will be the perfect coverup in the morning and at night. Carine Gilson is probably the foremost lingerie maker in the world today, working with elegant silks and delicate laces. This is about as good as it gets.

YOURS: Derek Rose Brindisi silk pajamas ($483 at Matches Fashion)

Hey, you’ll probably have to wear something too.


4. A Luxury Watch.

HERS: Chopard Sport Mini Happy Watch ($7040 at the official Chopard store)
No one needs a watch these days, with exceedingly few exceptions. That makes a quality watch that much more indulgent and luxurious. If you are fortunate enough to be able to do so, I would recommend that you get her a Chopard Happy Watch this Christmas. As you may know, Chopard is a Swiss watchmaker and jeweler known for its whimsy. The Happy watch’s iconic moving diamonds on the face of the watch are an example of this approach. I like the smaller faced “sport mini”. The 30 mm face suits smaller wrists, is elegant and sporty at the same time. With a simple face, and adorned only by the moving diamonds, the watch is both beautiful and unfussy.

YOURS: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique Medium ($8640 at the official Jaeger-leCoultre site)

I’ve always liked Jaeger-leCoultre’s Reverso watch, born of impractical solutions to practical problems. Cricket players were finding their watch faces smashed after a vigorous match, so instead of simply taking off their watches like sane people, they instead asked for a watch that could be flipped around so that the face was protected for the duration of the match. Today, there are a variety of JLC Reverso’s. including a duoface, for travelers who can’t be bothered to change the time on their watch. I still like the classique best.


5. Cashmere Loungewear is always a winner

HERS: Arlotta cashmere robe ($450 at Saks Fifth Avenue.)

I have yet to find a woman who does not like the feel of cashmere. Cold winter evenings and mornings alike call for a robe on top of any sleep clothes, and she will appreciate this robe – or at least, my wife does (if and when she wears hers out, I simply get a new one). This is about as failsafe as possible.  Bonus points if you get her cashmere slippers as well.

YOURS: Pendleton “Raven and His Box of Knowledge” Blanket ($295 at Pendleton)

I don’t know about you, but I spend inordinate amounts of time in front of a computer screen. And it gets cold. I also fall in front of the television at night. And when I wake up, my sedentary body feels cold. You get the picture. When you don’t move around, you get cold. In addition to this blanket looking really cool and keeping you warm, you’ll also be helping to support tribal colleges American Indian College Fund (AICF).


6. Iconic Jewelry

HERS: Tiffany Elsa Peretti “bottle” sterling silver necklace ($450 exclusively at Tiffany and Co.)

A lot of people will say that Tiffany’s is so played out. So cliché. After all, who hasn’t seen the blue box? 1) Who cares? It’s Christmas, and you are not that cool. 2) Elsa Peretti was an Italian model who turned to jewelry making. Her designs are full of sensual curves and quite unique. This bottle design is typical and iconic.

 

YOURS: Bottega Veneta Double intrecciato-woven leather bracelet ($350 at Matches Fashion)

Just as iconic Elsa Peretti’s designs is the woven leather of Bottega Veneta.  Too much of it can be ostentatious looking, but a discreet bracelet is just about right.


Bonus tip: Clothing that has numbered sizing is high risk and low reward. Sizing is not only not consistent between brands, but women, like men, hold illusions about their sizing. So just don’t do it unless you embrace the pain.

Gift Ideas from the Buy&Sell forum

If you missed the chance to snag all your Christmas gifts during the massive Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales, you are either stuck with the option of paying full price, or you can look elsewhere for great deals.

The Styleforum Buy&Sell forum is a goldmine for bargain hunters, and many users who browse it regularly swear it’s where they found the best deals in Classic Menswear.

Here is a selection of items that would make every CM guy happy. Also, since these are one-of-a-kind items, you won’t run the risk of accidentally pressing the buy it now button twice so you can keep one for yourself.

Click here to keep browsing the Buy&Sell forum and find more deals.

Gifts for the CM Wife or Girlfriend

5 gifts for the woman in your life gifts for the CM wife

If you’re a Classic Menswear dude with a female partner, chances are she’s a classy, educated woman who treats her clothes just like you do: a vehicle to express her impeccable taste in a manner that is neither extravagant nor – heaven forbid – fashionable.

(The exception to this is if you are my husband, who is the archetypical CM guy, but somehow ended up marrying a fashion blogger who collects Victorian mourning jewelry).

If you recognize your wife in the picture I just introduced, and Zara and H&M are cringe-inducing words to her, keep reading and find some ideas for your better half.

 


An Eileen Fisher top

Eileen Fisher is my husband’s obsession when it comes to womenswear. Every time we go shopping together, he secretly hopes that I will drop the eye-catching lace dresses and opt for an understated, elegant poncho made of a soft alpaca and cashmere blend.  In his wildest dreams, I’m wrapped in an Eileen Fisher hand-woven cardigan in a melange color with tailored pants featuring perfectly ironed pleats.

The thing is, I like Eileen Fisher a lot. Despite my preference for lace and more “statement” clothing, I even own the above-mentioned poncho (which I hardly ever wear here in SoCal). Almost any Eileen Fisher piece is an evergreen garment that will work with most women’s wardrobes – even those in which white lace is predominant. Eileen Fisher is the anti-Zara, and any woman who has an appreciation for quality over “trendy” will gladly welcome such gift.


Carmina boots

I personally discovered Carmina’s women shoe line at The Proper Kit this past November, and it took all of my strength and willpower not to break the bank over their boots. If you’re just a little familiar with women’s fashion, you know how hard it is to find pieces that equal menswear’s in terms of quality – at least through mainstream outlets. When I think of quality footwear for women, the first names that pop in my mind are Louboutin and Ferragamo, and even then, the construction is not on pair with a comparable menswear collection.  Carmina offers mind-blowing construction and materials as well as classic designs that will likely last for over a decade. Again, if you wish to give a gift that lasts, and if your partner has the sensibility to appreciate the great work and care that’s behind this type of product, you can’t go wrong with Carmina.


A bracelet stack by Astley Clarke

Jewelry is, obviously, a great classic when it comes to gifts. Some couples even have a tradition where they give at least one piece of jewelry a year, in order to slowly build up a collection that can be passed on to the next generations, or to simply remind them of the years that pass while they’re together.

The first and most important thing to remember when you shop for jewelry is to avoid Tiffany’s at any cost. It’s mainstream, banal, and overpriced, and you don’t really want to see a condescending smirk appearing of your wife’s face when you hand her that sickening “blue box.”

Once you bid farewell to overrated jewelry houses, you will find a world of glimmering collections. One of my favorite brands – and I have to thank my husband for introducing it to me – is the English maison Astley Clarke. The founder was even appointed by the Queen with one of those crazy titles the English appreciate. Dame of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or something like that.

In any case, you can find something delightful on Astley Clarke’s website, and the best thing is that prices go from $50 to $50,000, so you really have a wide choice at every price range. I would personally choose one of their bracelet stacks, which follow the trend of layering jewelry with no risk of incurring in the Jersey Shore/Christmas tree effect.


A leather cardholder

Long are gone the days when a woman used to carry huge wallets and stuff them with anything ranging from pictures of her parents as toddlers to Target’s loyalty card. If there’s one good thing that smartphones did, it was ridding us from such superfluous paraphernalia.

Normally I dread patterns, but since a cardholder is such a small item, I feel that this could be a good time to be a little adventurous and choose a piece that would turn heads when making its appearance out of the purse. This beautiful Dolce&Gabbana cardholder features a typical Sicilian tile motif, and since it folds over, it actually has some space to carry some cash, which always comes in handy.

If you’d rather play safe and stick to a more traditional look, this Smythson card holder in powdery blue will do the trick.


A Silk Scarf

There is something incredibly sensual in a woman covering her neck with a scarf (and a man too, actually.)

Perhaps deep down I am a vampire, but I consider it quite intriguing when one of the most vulnerable parts of the human body is hidden under layers of precious cashmere or impalpable silk, perhaps sprayed with a sophisticated fragrance.

On this account, I believe that the gift of a scarf comes out as thoughtful and delicate, even protective. It’s a way of saying: “I’m here and I’m taking care of you.” There is more love in a man kissing goodbye to his wife on her way to work while wrapping a scarf around her neck than there is in any epic poem.

Cozy Essentials for a Winter Cabin Retreat

huckberry cozy winter cabin retreat getway styleforum gift guide

by Cody Ernst of Huckberry

Last weekend, three other members of the Huckberry crew and I had the pleasure of filling the Eagle’s Nest Tree House to capacity and hiking the surrounding forest while doing a couple of photoshoots. The catch was: colder, wintry temps were just starting to creep into the area. So, before we departed from our foggy (and relatively seasonless) hometown of San Francisco, we armed ourselves to the teeth with all the warmest gear we could fit into our duffels. Below is a list of clothes and gear that we, as a team, deemed coziest. They’re the absolute must-haves for prolonging your time out (or in by the fire) this winter.


huckberry cozy winter cabin retreat getway styleforum gift guide

Yosemite Shirt:

This is hands-down the thickest, softest brushed flannel shirt we’ve ever put on. And it’s no wonder why. The design geniuses at Taylor Stitch had these made in a Portuguese mill that’s specialized in one thing for over 80 years: flannel. Don’t worry about looking too lumber-jacky either. These’ll fly in a packed bar just as well as they will out on a hike thanks to a stylish, tailored cut with a higher armhole for a slimmer-looking silhouette.  


huckberry cozy winter cabin retreat getway styleforum gift guide

The Rover Jacket:

Also from Taylor Stitch, this heavy-duty California-made fieldcoat, exactly what you want to be wearing in case you get caught in an unexpected shower. It’s built like a tank, and lined with heavyweight, ridiculously soft moleskin. And its outer cotton shell is fully waxed, so water beads up on it and brushes right off. Like the Yosemite Shirt, it’s handsomely tailored for ease of movement. This jacket is really the best of all worlds. Its classic look, rugged construction, and spacious pockets nail the sweet spot between form and function.


huckberry cozy winter cabin retreat getway styleforum gift guide

Sleepy Jones Keith Lounge Pants:

One of the perks of being inside: you don’t have to dress like you’re outside. So when you’re settled into your cabin for the night; lounging, sampling whiskey, or up late getting some work done, throw on these USA-made lounge pants from Sleepy Jones. They’re tailored for comfort out of high-quality 100% cotton, and come in fun prints ideal for when you’re kickin’ back and being yourself.


huckberry cozy winter cabin retreat getway styleforum gift guide

Whiskey Glass Candles:

Here we have a one-two punch of cozy. Ranger Station not only makes some of the richest-smelling candles out there (this particular one smells like Amber + Clove), but all their candles come in super sturdy whiskey glasses, perfect for toast after toast in front of a roaring fire.


huckberry cozy winter cabin retreat getway styleforum gift guide

Glerups Wool Slipper Boots:

It makes sense that these 100% wool slipper boots come from the frigid wilds of Denmark, where they have their own word, hygge, that roughly translates to “cozy with friends.” Their wool construction will keep you toasty while wicking moisture away from your feet, which means they’re good to keep you feeling super-comfy all day. And don’t just take our word for it. Men’s Journal called these, “The coziest indoor shoes money can buy.”


huckberry cozy winter cabin retreat getway styleforum gift guide

Woolrich Sherpa Blanket:

There’s a reason Woolrich blankets have been around since 1830: they’re damn good at keeping you warm. This blanket in particular is super-cozy and lined with insulating sherpa fabric. And it’s made in Woolrich, PA with an iconic Woolrich plaid they’ve been using since the Civil War era.

Oh, and those leather boots? They’re lined with the same 100% USA-made wool used in every Woolrich blanket.  


huckberry cozy winter cabin retreat getway styleforum gift guide

Woolrich Fleece-Lined Suede Slippers:

While we’re on the topic of Woolrich, we couldn’t help but throw these into the mix — suede slippers with the same sherpa lining as the above blanket. Their tough suede construction and fleecy footbed make them the perfect slipper for throwin’ in your bag for a weekend trip. They pack all the legendary coziness Woolrich is known for into a pair of slippers, and are honestly one of the best values we’ve seen this holiday season.


huckberry cozy winter cabin retreat getway styleforum gift guide

LED Lantern:

Last, but certainly not least, this Barebones lantern offers the best of both worlds. It has a classic steel design and warm ambient light that harken back to your dad’s old-school camping gear. Yet its brightness is adjustable, and it packs a huge rechargeable battery that doubles as a USB charger for your phone or whatever other electronics you bring out with you into the wild.

To snag this winter gear and more in time for your own cabin retreat, Join Huckberry’s 1 million+ adventure community. We deliver the coolest gear and gifts at the best prices, inspirational stories, and a hell of a lot more to your inbox every week. Membership is free and takes seconds.

First Class Gifts for the Traveler

There is no place like home for the holidays.

Luckily, the other 360 days a year offer you a whole world to conquer, and we invite you to awaken your wanderlust with these travel treats. This gift guide features our favorite first class gifts: experiences, one of a kind vintage keepsakes, and affordable accessories to outfit you for your next journey. As for the lucky recipient? We think it should be you, the Styleforum reader. Remember, you are required to put on your own oxygen mask before you assist others.


Planes

Experience – Beginning your journey jostled by grumpy travelers is no way to unwind.  There is indisputably a better way to travel by becoming a fractional owner of a luxury fleet of planes. Allow your timetable to be the only one that matters as you skip the lines, sink into plush seats, and jet away to, well, anywhere you want. 

Fractional Jet ownership with Net Jets. Prices vary.

Keepsake – Fine china on an airline? We no longer expect to fly in such style. The halcyon days of flight your first class ticket came with impeccable dining…and drinking. Allow these 1960’s Pan Am glasses to spark conversations about distant destinations and days gone by.

Landing on your living room bar cart for just $120

Accessory – You may not be dodging birds in an open cockpit, but that doesn’t mean you should live your life without these aviator glasses. Equally at home on the sands of Caracas and the driver’s seat of a coupe, we give our nod to the origins of the aviator glasses by suggesting that you sport them for your next flight. 

Oliver Peoples, $425


Trains

Experience – Murder and mayhem may have graced the pages of an Agatha Christie novel, but in real life the Orient Express offers pampering with panache. The train from Paris to Istanbul runs only once a year. You should be on it. Five days and two continents offer a once in a lifetime luxury rail trip.

Starts at $12,250

Keepsake – While we are on the subjects of icons, may we pitch the posh 19th C. French Steamer trunk? Ages ago it kept an entire wardrobe. Today it brings the romance of the rails into our everyday lives. Great for travel (provided you have porters), storage, or a one-of-a-kind coffee table. Or perhaps all three.

Available on 1stdibs, $5,625

Accessory – Exotic architecture, fine wine, and bartering with local vendors; it all may fly by like the blur of the countryside beyond your authentic 1920’s art deco cabin window. Jot down notes to jog your memory in a Field Notes journal dressed in a fine leather cover.

Handcrafted in Vermont by Queen City Dry Goods, $65


Automobiles

Experience – Racing School  There is a certain high-pitched whine that you welcome. Unlike your mother-in law, the sound of these super cars make you thrilled to give up a Sunday. Perfectly tuned for high performance these cars respond to your slightest cue as you let go of the world and grab onto the steering wheel. Choose your favorite super car – or more than one – and give in to G-forces on XRS’s Los Angeles track.

From $299 for 5 laps

Keepsake – Amidst a flurry of accolades, the 1974 Series III Jaguar E Type roadster convertible earned its highest praise from competitor Enzo Ferrari, who called it “The most beautiful car ever made.” This example in British racing green is unrestored, which offers you the gift of bringing an icon back to glory. 

For sale at auction on Jan. 6th, 2017. Be prepared to break into the seven digits.

Accessory – Unnecessary? Possibly. Undesirable? Never. The point of accessories is to enhance experiences. Anything that offers both comfort and control can cap off our holiday list. After all…it is called a glove box for a reason. Italian Leather Driving Gloves by Mark and Graham. May we suggest cognac leather?

Available for $125


Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO.  She does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

5 Gifts That Aren’t Clothing

Jasper's holiday wishlist accessories gifts that aren't clothing

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.


La Portegna ” Jimena” Portfolio

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


Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen

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.

Amazon, $120


L’Artisan Perfumeur “Al Oudh”

Jasper's holiday wishlist accessories gifts that aren't clothing

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


Jaybird X3

Jasper's holiday wishlist accessories gifts that aren't clothing

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


Pyrrha Stag Ring

Jasper's holiday wishlist accessories gifts that aren't clothing

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.

Pyrrha, $380

Gifts for the Man Who Has Everything

This year has been all about unseasonably warm weather, the Cubbies, sensitive emails on private servers, mosquitoes, and a gorilla at the Cincinnati zoo. It’s been YUGE, folksAnd without Prince or Leonard Cohen to help us through, we all need some retail therapy this Holiday Season.  These goodies below will ensure we’ll make it through to 2017 put together, smelling good, and with all our gear properly stowed.


1.  The Bag: Shinola Flight Zip Tote

john clayton holiday gift guide

Made in the USA, the size and shape are perfect, the leather is durable, and the hardware is sturdy.  Known mainly for their watches, Shinola hired veterans Richard Lambertson and John Truex (yep, THAT Lambertson Truex) to design and launch a bag collection.  Comparing it to virtually any designer offering, I like the quality, pricepoint, and timeless design of the bag.  Black will probably be the go-to, but I prefer the “bourbon” brown.

Price: $1195


2.  The Scent: Tom Ford Oud Fleur

john clayton holiday gift guide

Oud is everywhere, from Avon to Yankee Candle.  Leave it to Tom Ford to do one of the best.  This one has the strong Oud note (a deep, dark, woody resin that has long been one of the pinnacles of perfumery), but balances it with a deep rose-based floral heart.  Worry not, however, it’s not at all feminine, but adds a touch of sweet to the famous Tom Ford sweat. This is a gift that your partner will want to steal.

Price: $225 for 50mls


3. The Pen: Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen

john clayton holiday gift guide styleforum

I recommend this one almost every year.  Like wines or watches, fountain pens can be daunting; you can spend a little or you can mortgage the house.  I find the Pilot Custom 74 to be one of the best all around fountain pens: excellent quality, good price point, and easy to clean, fix, and use.   And with the vast range of Pilot inks available, you can find a shade that expresses your own sense of style. I recommend getting one with a bottle of the “Iroshizuku” ink in Ajisai blue.

Price: $160 for the pen and around $25 for the ink bottle.


4. The Book: Joan Mitchell: Works on Paper 1956- 1992

john clayton gift guide styleforum joan mitchell

Accompanying a lovely exhibition at Cheim & Read going through the end of December, this is the sort of gift for somebody who has just about everything else.  As a couple they do wine tours in Napa; you don’t dare get them a bottle.  He gets bespoke suits; she frequents Goyard.  So what better than a gorgeous collection of Mitchell’s works on paper: understudied, often overlooked among more “famous” abstract expressionists (cough, Rothko; cough, Pollock), yet achingly beautiful. Guaranteed to up your aesthete value for less than half the cost of a demi of d’Yquem. 

Price: $100


5.  The Stocking Stuffer: Squareguard

And for a fun stocking stuffer, get a Squareguard.  Easy to use, functional, and lightweight, you weave your square through and it stays in place without the silk sagging, popping out of the pocket, or getting out of shape. I got one on a whim and have been using it ever since.  You don’t feel that it’s there, it’s invisible, and it fits almost all standard suit lapel pockets. 

Price: Single guard with square for $34.95 or a pack of three guards (without the square) for $24.95