Listen up gents: cuffing season is officially over. Lonely souls around the globe are finally paired off, basking in the glow of their treacly newfound relationships. (‘Cuffing season’, for those scratching their heads, refers to the natural phenomenon of cosying up to other unattached persons, around the time of the holiday season when the temperature dips.) Eager-to-please men and women will often try to set the tone with their inaugural Valentine’s Day present — the only problem is what to get.
It’s a perennial quandary which affects relationships of all mileages, regardless of whether you’ve been married two decades or have only been dating two months. To compliment the man with impeccable taste (that’s obvious, he picked you) here are some foolproof last minute options to explore before Valentine’s Day rolls around.
Scents are deeply personal, and it would be pretty cocky to suggest there’s a fragrance that appeals to all men. Having said that, we’re confident ‘Hwyl’ by Aesop will prove decidedly appealing to those men who appreciate the smell of rich mahogany. Designed to evoke the feeling of strolling through a Japanese forest, the base notes are complemented with touches of smoke and spice. For significant others who subscribe to a lo-fi aesthetic, this is right on the money.
Spoiler alert, ladies: every man secretly wants to play pretend cowboy. And thanks to Hidetaka Fukaya, now they can. The cultish Japanese designer runs the Il Micio label out of a Florentine atelier, crafting robust but luxurious leather goods that utilise top notch materials and an aesthetic that utilises pops of whimsical colour. Adding a touch of ‘Old West’ can go a long way for a belt, and this is a fine example of an intricate design that stops short of garish costume. Thick vachetta leather is paired with an intricately detailed brass buckle — perfect for wearing with denim or high waisted trousers. Channelling his inner Butch Cassidy, your special someone will definitely rock this belt with aplomb.
Picking up a pair of shades produced by Los Angeles-based Jacques Marie Mage, the difference in quality is immediately evident. Each frame’s ironclad quality comes down to the tiny size of their ‘Made in Japan’ production. Concocting bold yet inexplicably wearable designs has become what they’re known for, with the ‘Zephirin’ being their most iconic frame to date. The smokey grey acetate used throughout is certainly uncommon, but makes one wonder why (given how fantastic they look). The matching tinted lenses channel effortless Beat gen cool, while the limited 400-piece run minimises the chance of seeing these on another guy. Feel free to reiterate all of the above to the lucky beau.
Arguably the only scarf you’ll ever need. Hunting for Fall neckwear that’s the correct weight, proportion and shade is a difficult task to say the least. (Bonus points if said scarf doubles effectively as a pillow on flights and a cape in a chilly café.) Begg & Co’s wispy superfine is as close as you’ll humanely come to perfection: gossamer-thin and airy, the Mongalian cashmere fibres will drape beautifully around anybody’s neck. Designer with all sexes in mind and available in 38 colours, this is the definition of no-brainer. Buy it, gift it, then steal it for yourself when he’s not looking.
We’re going to go out on a limb and guess your man owns a pair of navy or khaki chinos. Help him elevate his trouser game with this pair of cream trousers by Swedish tailoring brand Saman Amel. With protean tastes which bely their age, founders Saman Amel and Dag Granath have developed a reputation for their artful combination of colour palettes. Think taupe, soft browns and cream. Their first ever RTW collection is exclusively available at Mr. Porter, and offers a fantastic preview of their made-to-measure offering. No matter whether dressed up (suede pennies) or down (sneakers), these are a great addition to His closet.
Decent examples of vintage clothing and accessories are hard to find, especially as the push toward environmental and social sustainability intensifies. Fans of pleats, generous lapels, and a distinctly archival sensibility probably already know Bryceland’s — hidden above Luk Yu Teahouse in Central. If the man in your life abides by said style, one could do a lot worse than to pick up their signature denim shirt. The hardy fabric will soften with wear and has been left untreated so that it moulds uniquely to the shape of the wearer’s body.
Kids go camping; adults go glamping. The key ingredients to a worthwhile trek into the wilderness involve good company, great vistas and stiff booze. Whilst settling down for a romantic night under the stars with your significant other, there’s nothing like the crisp taste of a great Daiginjo to set the mood. To ensure safe passage of this elixir, top-line Japanese hiking brand Snow Peak has developed a nifty, nigh indestructible vessel to transport your precious rice wine from point A to point B. That’s one less worry, so consider this a shared gift to be enjoyed responsibly whilst gazing upon mother nature’s finest work.
Many men do not care for trends or fashion, and simply require utility from their clothes and gadgets – but just because an item is purely practical, doesn’t mean it has to be ugly. For the majority of men’s fashion, form always follows function. Enter high-end German accessories manufacturer Bagjack. Combining a stealthy matte black finish with a streamlined design using the highest grade materials, versatility and durability the Messenger S’s main selling points. Equally suitable for carrying a laptop and papers to the office, and for weekend jaunts, there is no way that your boyfriend could dislike this.
Buying a watch for the special man in your life is a pivotal moment in any relationship (think of it as an opportunity to flex your profound understanding of His likes and dislikes). Some find a timepiece to be especially personal because it’s worn close to a person’s pulse on their wrist. For such an important task, there are many pitfalls to avoid. A sporty divewatch would be a safe (albeit pricey) bet, but for aficionados that can appreciate clean Bauhaus-inspired designs and small batch in-house movements, Glashütte watchmaker NOMOS would be a discerning choice. Here we have a fantastic example of their ‘Club’ model: featuring bold yet tasteful typography, a large date window and one-of-a-kind bracelet. Guarantee to spark joy every time He wears it.
The ‘dreadnought’ shape for a guitar is what most people think of when picturing the archetypal acoustic axe. The slightly boxy construction is the imitated silhouette ever since C.F. Martin & Company debuted it in 1916, and to this day they still produce the finest guitars on the market. Whilst ‘dreadnought’ guitars produce an impressively loud and booming sound, those who prefer a more comfortable body and a brighter response should not overlook the 000 size (otherwise known as an ‘Auditorium’ body) — Eric Clapton seems to prefer it. Enough said. This handsome specimen is expertly made in Martin’s factory in the United States, ensuring that you will be serenaded for years to come.