Sometimes its hard enough choosing basics and essentials for ourselves, so when it comes to shopping for a man (whether he be a special someone or a good buddy), variety can seem a lot more restricted than what we’re used to. That’s why we need to take a closer look at the fine details. Let me take you through some key basics and classic shapes to get you on your way.
There are so many wonderful products out there for men, and thanks to the internet we have a bounty of natural formulations that make the perfect luxurious gift. A good place to start would be a body wash, something like Triumph & Disaster’s YLF Body Wash, and a popular choice would be Aesop’s Coriander Seed Body Cleanser. For the face, try Dr Jackson’s 01 which has an SPF in it… and pretty necessary thanks to our really harsh sun.
Let’s start with the classic T-shirt – a staple in anyone’s wardrobe and often overlooked. Guys live in their favourite white tee, and here’s what you should be looking for when browsing for one. Firstly, feel the fabric. It should have weight to it, not as if it will fall apart after a few washes. Look at the stitching and ask yourself if the thread looks natural or synthetic, and if the colour nicely matches the t-shirt fabric. A left breast pocket is often nice, and anther luxurious option is to choose organic cotton. My personal favourite is Velva Sheen made in America, or a more economic choice is the Lemaire X Uniqlo tee pictured above on my model Danny.
I think guys look great in casual military pants or jeans in a vintage cut, and frankly when you’re buying mens clothes you should be considering timelessness over trend. Here I’ve paired Danny’s plain white tee with some vintage military pants and a camouflage shirt. If you’re in doubt, steer clear of skinny fits which are restricting to wear and really difficult to style on a man !
Casual shoes like plain canvas sneakers will never go out of style either. I think every man should have his favourite pair in a good neutral colour so that it’s easy to match a handful of colours.
Finally, a classic watch will never go out of style. If you’re planning to get him one, figure out your budget, and look for shapes that you saw your grandfather wearing. Real leather or a NATO band is what you want as a strap. It’s important that the movements are of good quality, usually that means that the parts are made in Switzerland. Have a look at Farer watches, Instrmnt, and a more economical option would be a good ‘ol Timex.
There is nothing more graceful than giving someone a really good quality wallet. It doesn’t have to organise your tax return, but it should be stitched neatly and made of a decent quality leather. You shouldn’t have to sprain your thumb trying to open it either – a well conditioned leather is soft to the touch and will age beautifully. I am really impressed by Chester Mox leather-goods handmade in America, or closer to home, Bas and Lokes’ handmade slim wallet.
You can also help him compartmentalise his life in the bag department. A handy carry-all case that can fit his essentials (while ducking out of the office for a coffee) is far from feminine – its military grade organisation. Picture something like a giant pencil case and you’re on the right track. Have a look at Want Les Essentiels de la Vie and their clean cut range, and inspect that the zipper runs effortlessly. If he’s outdoorsy, a Patagonia bum bag could be a rad addition to his weekend kit, or perhaps a tote to throw odds and ends into (he can carry some of your things while he’s at it!) Pictured below is a lightweight ripstop tote by Battenwear.
A pocket square is a great piece to add interest to an outfit without breaking the bank. Don’t be afraid of a little colour or a wild pattern, just make sure it matches his favourite jacket. Pictured below is a tropical print by The Hill-Side who have guys covered for every situation.
So go with your gut, and try to get clues about colour, print, pattern, and key favourites. Neutrals are a safe option, but don’t forget that a statement splash of wildness can really make an outfit.
Shot and Styled by Lauren Yates