Around this time of year is when my friends start asking me for gift suggestions for their boyfriends, brothers, fathers and so on. Men aren't the easiest to shop for, and there's often not as much choice. Or so you'd think. Indulge me if you will, as I run you through what's on my ultimate Christmas (and beyond) wish list, which I hope in turn helps your quest for the perfect gift.
I have a habit of forgetting just how young Thom Sweeney are as a brand, such is their demeanor and understanding of British tailoring. Established ten years ago, they have continued to stand out for me as experts of their craft, particularly in their use of fabrics. At one point in life, I would love to own a bespoke suit made at their charming Weighhouse Street store. For the time being, though, I'll settle for their grey wool tie.
A perfect cufflink should be one of subtlety, not garishness. It should be understated at all times. Despite the fact that I have a slight preference for monochrome, these smoke grey cufflinks are particularly charming. Whether it's down to the mother-of-pearl button front, the expert craftsmanship or the sterling silver finish, is up to you to decide.
Cubitts are somewhat of a spectacle tour-de-force it seems, especially given their newest shop is located in the heart of British menswear's Jermyn Street. The Seaford spectacles were named after Seaford Street in Lower King's Cross, a stone throw's away from their flagship. Not only are their prices reasonable, but you have the ability to go bespoke - and that's when the personal touch really comes into play.
Farbeit for me to question a Kingsman agent's preference for Oxford over Brogues, but why not have both? I prefer a rounder silhouette as I'm not the tallest of people, and a strong sole is imperative as I walk a lot. These Oxfords look elegant dressed up or down and are robust to handle whatever the British weather may throw at you. Plus, I'm a sucker for a brand name and I need to own something of theirs at one point in my life.
I love Maker's Mark (and Cask Strength) on the rocks, and 46 is no different. Named for the number of different wood 'recipes' they tried before getting it right, it is matured in part in barrels containing a 'ladder' of toasted new French oak barrel staves to give more spice, sweetness and vanilla. Basically, it's delicious and if someone doesn't buy this for me, I'm probably going to get it myself.
Going back to the whole 'sucker for a brand' thing, Aēsop do great hair oils that can, in turn, pass off just as effectively as beard oil. I've used Shine before and I absolutely love the subtle aroma—it's stunningly earthy, and makes you feel like you've been out in the wilderness for a very long time. That being said, my beard has become a lot healthier and softer since.
If you're as serious about your coffee as I am, Allpress will need no introduction. Probably the best coffee you'll get in London, you can partake in a two-hour session at their Dalston home, where they will take you through how to make the perfect cup of coffee—from extracting the espresso shot to creating their world-famous silky flat white. I've also just picked up their Christmas blend which is festively wonderful. Coffee up.
It's been on my wish list pretty much since I first saw it. Acne has a wonderful range of scarves, in a beautiful variety of colours and styles. However, you can't beat a classic like this. Opting for a solid colour, the oversized pink scarf goes perfectly with a wintry palette.
Timeless, ethical, sustainable, affordable. This is the ASKET mantra, and the quality really is in the product. The Sweatshirt is a staple piece that is classic and versatile and should be a part of every gentleman (or woman's) wardrobe. Mine at present is very, very grey—much to the dismay of my fiancée—so I've opted for this deep Burgundy colourway.
A handy wallet for all your travel needs. I'm on the go quite often so it's nice to have everything in one place, especially when that place is a beautifully made wallet inclusive of a passport cover and personalisation. Quality and timelessness is worth the investment, after all.
And there you have it.