I'm always looking for unique or interesting men's fashion and grooming items that you might not normally know about or think of. My top gift ideas for men for holiday 2011 features a variety of things that may not be obvious top picks for a holiday gift list, but they all offer a wow factor. And most serve a practical purpose.
Photo: Courtesy of Timex
Timex has stepped up their game with a new line of fashioanble watches that utilize a new 'Intelligent Quartz' movement. Bascially, this new movement drives up to four independently-powered hands, in addition to digital sensors and micro-processors. It was developed in Timex's engineering facilities in Pforzheim, Germany. The end result is an affordable, yet high quality time piece. What's more, the desogn of these watches have the look of luxury watches without the sticker shock.
Photo: Courtesy of icebreaker
This could very well be one of my favorite things to come along in years. I am someone who prefers to wear natural fibers since technical and athletic gear made with nylon, polyesther and the like, make me feel like I am suffocating. Enter Icebreaker merino wool 'Sierra' jacket. This mid layer piece, as they say, provides an alternative to synthetic fleece. It keeps you warm (naturally) and is stretchy allowing you to move comfortably. Unlike synthetics, this fleece won’t hold odor. I love it.
Photo: Courtesy of Case-Mate
There are a zillion iPhone cases out there but Case-Mate makes some of the best. One of my favorites is the 'Barely There' iPhone 4/4S case which is ultra-lightweight yet impact resistant. It's a hard shell that also covers the back and sides. The smooth finish makes it simple to slide in and out of pockets--a feature most people like. It comes in many colors so you can color coordinate with wat you are wearing.
Photo: The Real Shaving Co.
Real Shaving Moisturizing Shave Cream features natural ingredients such as Coconut Oil to protect and heal nicks, Cocoa Seed Butter for immediate moisture absorption, and Tea Tree Oil to help condition skin and reduce discomfort and irritation. I love how this product feels on my skin and I get a close, irritation free shave from it. It's available at Rite Aid and Target for only $6. Wow! It seems like a higher end product. It would make a great stocking stuffer.
Photo: Courtesy of Sephora
This is the first fragrance under John Varvatos' Star U.S.A. line. It's a fresh, woody, Blue Spruce and Tonka Bean infused cologne and quite unlike his signature frangrances. It's a little edgy yet sexy. Its key notes are: Red Ginger Essence from Laos, Juniper Berries and Cedrat From Sicily, Blue Spruce, Green Cardamom Absolute, Osmanthus Absolute, Vetiver, Belambre adn Venezuelan Tonka Bean.
Photo: Courtesy of Forzieri
One of the best gifts ever, if you ask me, is a beautiful pair of Italian leather gloves lined with the soft cashmere. These gloves have no seams which look nicer and are more comfortable. They are handmade in Naples, Italy, which explains the price tag. I own these and can't live without them on a cold winter's day.
Photo: Courtesy of Shaun's Shades
Buy a pair of sunglasses and do something charitable at the same time. Each time someone purchases a pair of Shaun's Shades, a person in need from a developing country, who suffers from visual challenges, will receive a pair of glasses as part of the company's "Buy One Give Sight" mission. How awesome is that?! And you don’t have to sacrifice style either. Shaun's Shades are designed in California and made in Italy. The designs are influenced by retro, vintage classics and aviator styles all using Carl Zeiss lenses and anti-reflective coatings. Shaun’s Shades has even been featured in Time Magazine and The Huffington Post.
Photo: Courtesy of Pricegrabber
A super fun gift for guys is a pair of Paul Smith socks. British designer Paul Smith is known for combining colorful prints and patterns, but his striped socks are almost iconic these days. Many designers have jumped on the striped sock bandwagon, but those by Paul Smith are the originals, and in my opinion, still offer the most interesting color combinations.
Photo: Courtesy of Nau
One thing I have always disliked about down coats and jackets is the quilting, which obviously serves a purpose—keeping the down in place. But despite the purpose, quilting can make you look like the Michelin Man or a musclebound superhero. But Nau’s smooth, sleek Rheostat down jacket offers up a modern alternative to traditional puffy coats. The Rheostat also features a stretchy waterproof shell for mobility. Nau also produces more traditional down jacket and vests, but this one is a winner.
Photo: Courtesy of InCase
This is such a simple phone case and practical too. It is light weight, slim and semi-transluscent. It is soft and smooth to the touch, yet slip resistant due to its rubbery material. It attaches to the phone easily and provides full coverage and scratch protection with direct access to all iPhone 4/4S features. I even dropped my phone on cement without any damage to my phone or the case itself.