Holiday shopping for my mom, sister, and girlfriends is usually a piece of cake. However, when it comes to my dad and Ryan, it’s sometimes challenging to find the right gadget to gift. It’s times like this I don’t have a brother to shop for! Just incase you’re feeling as clueless as I am on what to gift the guys, this guide is for you.
Because I couldn’t even tell you where to start, I called in a true expert, my fiancé, Ryan, to round up his favorites. He has selected all of the items below, as well as written explanations of why he highly suggests each. If you don’t see anything here that looks just right, be sure to check out my full collection of gift picks for him here. Stay tuned for several more gift guides to come including beauty, home, and last stocking stuffers.
A HUGE thank you to Ryan for putting together this list for us!
1 / Wool Stadium Jacket – The current trend of a bomber jacket while also satisfying the spirit of fall/winter varsity tradition. This wool will keep you warm and you can guarantee that with a style like this, you can wear this for many years to come.
2 / Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016 – (Under $100) As a photographer, I find significant inspiration in the work of Annie Leibovitz. Annie’s work brings out the natural beauty in her subjects while simultaneously being staged in a cinematic fashion. I’d list her stylistically in my top five favorite photographers, so I have a feeling that this book (just released in October) will be my favorite photography book on the market.
3 / S0fort Compact Instant Camera – This is an adult’s instant film camera. It has many more controls than your FujiFilm or Polaroid options with the image quality standard that is expected from Leica. Everyone that’s ever taken photography even a little bit seriously has coveted Leica with it’s iconic red dot logo and classic rangefinder design. When this was first announced last year, I wasn’t sure that it was true. I thought it had to be a joke – why would a company known for setting the bar for quality make a cheap plastic instant? No, this isn’t a rangefinder or anything closely resembling one. Leicas normally cost as much as a year of college, but with this recently released Leica Instant Camera, you can now be a part of two very exclusive clubs: Leica owners and Instant Film Shooters (maybe this club isn’t as exclusive). You can bet this is on my wish list!
4 / America: The Cookbook – (Under $100) I love cookbooks and this is one of the better ones I’ve seen. It not only has recipes from everywhere in America (most of them originating from overseas), but also gives you a map of where you would find the dish and a brief history or description of the food. For instance, Pork Adobo is a dish that’s from the Philippines, but it is in this book and lists the Philippines, as well as Hawaii and California (because of the high Filipino populations).
5 / Call of Duty: WWII – (Under $100) I don’t “game” seriously like many guys out there. I know how to play Madden (a football game) and Fifa (soccer) and have played about two other games since getting my Playstation 4 (The Last of Us and The Order). I’d always said if they ever come out with a WWII Call of Duty for PS4 (or Xbox One/PC), that I would buy it and play the heck out of it. Well, fast forward a few years and my wish came true. This is a game that anyone will be able to enjoy and spans many peoples’ interests. Get this and your man will be very pleased, but be warned, you won’t see him until Valentine’s Day.
6 / Patagonia Trucker Hat – (Under $100) I got this hat two years ago and I’ve worn it more days than there are in a year. I have a handful of people comment on it every time I wear it! Though it really isn’t part of my personal style, it is perfect for those lazy days (and we all know that every guy has 8 lazy days a week).
7 / The Silver Spoon New Edition – (Under $100) Are you Italian? Yeah, neither am I. But Marianne is-ish, and Italians have a taste for good food. I had the luxury of being able to flip through this book recently and NEED it (though I didn’t end up getting it…yet). It has over 2000 recipes and not only will you have the satisfaction of a seemingly endless supply of (mostly) Italian recipes – let’s be real here, this book will look cool on anyone’s countertop or bookshelf.
8 / Echo Dot, 2nd Generation – (Under $100) I actually won mine at trivia. I was like “this is cool but I doubt I ever use it.” WRONG. This thing is awesome. It links up to your Pandora and Spotify. You can ask it to set reminders and timers, you can ask it what the temperature is outside or what the forecast is for the week, you can ask it how traffic is, or you can ask it for headlines. The Echo Dot is awesome (and I’m sure the Echo 2 is too). Highly recommended.
9 / Sennheiser HD1 Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation – You don’t have to compromise sound quality for a pair of headphones that look good too. You also don’t need to be like every 15 year old on the block and have a pair of Beats. These headphones are wireless (you can also get the wired ones for cheaper) and they are vintage-inspired in design. Sennheiser has been in the game for a long while, and you can guarantee that they live up their name with this pair of headphones.
10 / Nest Learning Thermostat – This has made controlling your energy consumption and comfort so much more convenient. Sometimes I lay in bed burning up and then smile at how I don’t have to get up to start cooling off. Now, let’s make this conversation relevant to this season. You’re in bed bundled up in your warm bed in your cold house, how great would it be if you could schedule your house to start warming up an hour before you’re supposed to get up? The answer is “So great.”
11 / Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Bluetooth, Immersion Circulator – Never overcook your food again. This Sous Vide/emersion cooker is for anyone that cooks or really anyone that eats. Use this to perfectly cook your steaks to the desired doneness (then heat up a cast iron skillet and sear both sides for a minute). It isn’t just for meats though – this can be used for salmon, the perfect soft boiled egg, crème brulee, glazed carrots, and much much more. I can say with absolute certainty that your guests will think you hired a chef at your next dinner party if you add one of these to your kitchen.
12 / Skinny Rapid Movement Chino – (Under $100) This may come as a surprise, but I’m actually an active person. I was on the NC State Track team for a few years, I’m the captain of my adult soccer team and I play pickup basketball and for those of you that are also relatively active, you know that sometimes don’t end up always changing into gym clothes before you’re being pulling away to kick a ball, throw a football, or play a short game of basketball. I like the way the slim pants look and feel but they are not practical for most people, and they’re definitely not the best for running around. These, however, are incredibly comfortable and have a good amount of stretch to help you move in those moments that you need to have that range of motion.
13 / Iron Ranger Cap Toe Boot – I personally can’t take a man seriously that doesn’t own at least one pair of Red Wing boots (I’m kidding, of course). These boots will literally last you a lifetime. Just condition them once a year, replace the laces periodically, and get the soles replaced every decade or so. I’ve had a pair for more than seven years, and imagine that I will have them for another sixty. To make this even better, Red Wing will allow you to send your boots in to them and you can have them resole them the way they came, or you can change the sole to a new material, you can have them replace eyelets and replace the lining in the shoe. Oh, did I mention that your man will probably cry when he opens this gift?
14 / OneStep 2 Analog Instant Camera – It’s less than $100. There’s just something about a Polaroid picture that can’t be duplicated from something else. Now add the fact that this is an updated version of the anachronism that everyone cherishes, this becomes a must have.