It’s the week before Christmas. You missed all of the great Black Friday deals because you were too busy trying to secure yourself that 65” Vizio HDTV you so desperately needed. You’re sweating thinking about whether or not you’ll even have the time to find your gifts, buy them, and have them delivered and wrapped in time for the big day.
You’ve been here before.
The hard truth of the matter is that there are just some people in your life that warrant spending a little bit more money on than others. That’s why this year we’ve put together our annual gift guide based on the ever-so important factor: how much you care.
Doing the annual gift exchange at work? Maybe your barber deserves a reward for keeping you clean throughout the year? Perhaps you’ve developed a crush on that cute Starbucks barista and want to get her/him something to stand out but don’t want to seem overly excited about it? Fortunately for you, we’ve got a number of great items for the acquaintances in your life, starting with the Christmas classic - socks. That’s right, Grandma’s favorite gift is now cool thanks to the skilled craftsmen of AnonymousIsm, who’ve been able to turn your least exciting gift as a child into some of the coolest fashion accessories on the market today. The contemporary unisex patterns are paired with unique fabric blends, and fit a wide range of sizes meaning you won’t have to worry about including the gift receipt.
For a more utilitarian approach to the gifting season, consider the modestly priced Key Hook from Corter Leather. This patented design serves as a contemporary alternative to your standard carabiner. By providing convenient access to your keys at your hips, the Key Hook protects your denim and pocket bags from unwanted holes or damage. It also comes with a built-in bottle opener, which’ll give your friend a reason to finally stop opening beers with his lighter, or teeth if he’s insane.
And for the outdoorsman or iPhone 6s adventure photographer in your life (#nofilter), look no further than the soaps and sprays from Juniper Ridge, who’ve been distilling fragrances from plants and tree trimmings for over 17 years. Just one quick spray from your Cabin Spray of choice will turn your buddy’s studio apartment into a log cabin, or in the case of the new Christmas Fir scent, the artificial tree his wife insisted on into a real one. It’s also great for discreetly telling your coworker he stinks.
- "Utility Bifold" Wallet, Tanner Goods, $100
- "Bifold Wallet," Vermilyea Pelle, $85
- "Journeyman" Card Wallet, Tanner Goods, $60
It’s Thanksgiving, and your family passes around the hat with the names of everyone participating in this year’s Christmas day gift exchange. You reach in and pull out the name of your cousin, Chad, the guy you grew up with but truthfully only see twice a year at big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. You know that he’s been the produce manager at the local Albertson’s for the last few years, and that he loves dirt bikes and MMA, but that’s about the extent of your knowledge of current-day Chad. However, despite the fact that you don’t share a similar enthusiasm about the next Tool album, he’s still family, and therefore, you feel obligated to get him a gift of slightly higher significance than an acquaintance. After all, your entire family is going to be there, watching Chad hastily tear open your gift after knocking back his second can of Full Throttle. And while you can’t quite spring for the new lift kit or suspension coils he raved to you about on Thanksgiving, you can get him a wallet - arguably the best bang for your buck you’ll find this Christmas.
With a wallet, not only do you not have to worry about Chad’s constantly expanding waist size, but good wallets like the bifold from Tanner Goods or Vermilyea Pelle, are timeless pieces built to last a lifetime. He’ll get a kick out of the aging properties of the vegetable tanned leather from Tanner Goods, or the genuine horsehide from Vermilyea Pelle, and if he’s the type of guy that only carries debit or credit cards, you can opt for the “Journeyman” card wallet from Tanner Goods instead. Either way, at least now you’ll actually have something in common other than your last name.
Your Roommate, Mike
An avid gamer and aspiring Twitch streamer, Mike’s been your best friend since college and your roommate for the last year. Between his bi-weekly dodgeball games and Fallout 4’s campaign, he’s got himself a pretty busy routine, or so he claims. He doesn’t have time for trivial things like showering or figuring out what he’s going to wear in the morning. After all, he's been wearing that stupid graphic t-shirt for the better part of the week. You love the guy to death but damn does he need some new clothes. That’s why you’ve decided to play the role of hero this Christmas, and gift Mike his first pair of raw denim.
It seems like a natural fit. You already know that he’ll take to the lack of laundry and can’t help but think he’d blend in nicely with the /r/rawdenim community. You’re still just a little unsure of Mike’s willingness to exchange the comfort and free-flowing lifestyle of his sweatpants for fades and honeycombs, like you and many other brave souls before. You know you’ll have to make it as easy as possible on him. That’s why Mike’s first pair of raw denim should be the Naked & Famous Left Hand Twill. This 13.75oz denim is made from an exclusive Japanese fabric spun in reverse direction on the shuttle loom for a much softer feel than most raw denim. It’s easy to wear, easy to break in, and provides ample stretch if Mike continues to power through the party-sized bags of Doritos he’s been addicted to of late.
Of course, if you’ve accepted the fact that Mike is going to be a lifelong sweats warrior, then at the very least, get him some good ones. The Reigning Champ core collection is made from a durable and soft medium-weight fabric, and is designed around timeless sportswear silhouettes, meaning he’ll never have to buy another sweater ever again, and you know he’ll be into that.
- "Freestyle Vest," Canada Goose, $295
- 7005SP "Going to Battle" 15.7oz Women's Selvedge Denim, Momotaro, $295
Congratulations. You’re engaged. After years of hard work and dedication, you’ve finally right-swiped your way to the woman of your dreams. You’re equal parts excited and scared, because your newfound love is about to be entitled to half of your earnings for the rest of your life, and you know she has a taste for expensive things like red-bottom Christian Louboutin heels and dinner at Per Se. Oh, and children. She wants four of them. Future plans aside, this Christmas is an important one, not only for you and her, but your newest side of the family.
When he’s not busy bragging about how he can out-grill you or beat you at arm wrestling, your fiancé’s father is usually asking you questions about your future, your career, and why you didn’t play football in college. Despite his never-ending judgement and belief that you’ll never be good enough for his little girl, he’s about to be your dad now too, and you’ll have to treat him as such. Needless to say, it’s crucial you make a splash at this year’s gift exchange. Fortunately for you, you’ve got your eyes set on the ultimate in cold-weather gear, the Canada Goose “Freestyle” Vest. Easy to wear and available in a variety of colors, the vest is rated for warmth down to 5 degrees fahrenheit, making it perfect for his bi-annual ski-trip to Sun Valley. It’s also available in Women’s fits, meaning your new in-laws can match their way onto the mountain in true Cialis commercial fashion. The good news for him is that his vest will look great with nearly any outfit, and the good news for you is that it’s large enough to cover up the majority of his Penn State sweatshirt he insists on wearing every Saturday.
Of course, you wouldn’t be much of a fiancé yourself if you didn't get your soon-to-be wife a solid gift this holiday season, because the rock you spent nearly 1/3 of your annual salary on clearly isn’t enough. Truthfully, you’ve been looking for a reason to get her the Momotaro 7005SP, and now you can spend your precious first years of marriage bonding over wine in a Woolite Dark filled tub.
- "BOM00X" 15.7oz Black Selvedge Denim, Momotaro, $295
- "Blackwatch" British Wool Flannel, Gitman Vintage, $220
- "Chesterfield Coat," N. Hoolywood, $815
Well, that’s it. You’ve done it. You got everyone in your life a gift of appropriate significance. Now it’s time to celebrate by kicking back and opening that bottle of Crown Royal Regal Apple your Cousin Chad was so excited to give you. Except, upon choking down your first (and last) glass of liquified garbage, you realize that in your rush to spoil all of the not-so important people in your life, you’ve neglected to reward perhaps the most deserving of them all - yourself.
Nobody knows you like you do, which is why the final chapter of the holiday season isn’t watching a bunch of meaningless bowl games and eating stale gingerbread. No, it’s purchasing yourself something you’ve always wanted, like the BOM00X. Momotaro’s first-ever double black denim is made from their signature Vintage Label fabric, a stiff and rigid 15.7oz selvedge denim twill widely considered to be one of the best-fading fabrics on the market today. The denim has been fitted with custom black iron buttons, tonal black inseam thread, and the iconic “Going to Battle” stripes synonymous with the Momotaro name. It’s built for a lifetime of wear, and unlike the bottle of leftover eggnog sitting in your fridge, actually gets better with age. But if you’ve already got your denim rotation solidified for the next few years, why not give yourself the gift of warmth with the Gitman Vintage Blackwatch Flannel. This heavy-duty flannel shirt is made from 100% wool and features the green, blue, and black tartan pattern made famous by the “Black Watch” division of the British Army. Hey, if it’s warm enough for the Scottish Highlands, it’s warm enough for you.
But this wasn’t just any year. You got that promotion you had been working towards. You got engaged. Your Instagram account surpassed 10K followers. Whatever the reason, a big year deserves an equally big reward, or in this case, coat, and the Chesterfield Coat from N. Hoolywood is about as big as big rewards get. Made from 90% wool and 10% nylon, the coat’s classic Chesterfield style is paired with rugged detailing like raw edges and two-tone fabric, making it suitable for anyone from Nick Wooster to Yo-Yo Ma. The full length of the jacket makes it is easy to dress up over the blazer of your choice, or dress down over a henley and your favorite faded denim.
Of course, for as great as these items are, remember that the real gift of the holiday season is being able to spend time with your friends, family, and loved ones. And despite what the kind folks at StyleForum may lead you to believe, there’s no amount of selvedge denim or vegetable tanned leather that can replace that.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays.