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15 thoughtful gifts for your boyfriend this year

Whether you’ve been together a month, a year or a decade, we have something on the list for everyone’s beau — official, or otherwise.

Boyfriends! Dating-but-not-official friends! Almost-engaged friends! Love ’em or hate ’em, the men in our lives are also in need of a good spoiling this year. Is he a bookworm? A watch enthusiast? A dapper sort? Or more of a sneaker-head? This festive season, when it comes to picking the perfect gift for the man in your life, fret not. We’ve got you covered.

The best gifts for your other half

Oh, don’t get me wrong. We love our all-white kicks most days. They’re easy, dependable, and fresh as hell. However, everyone needs a little colour in our lives here and there. And what better way to spice up your shoe game than by getting them customized? A one-of-a-kind creation by JC Arenas — a relative newcomer, yes, but already making waves on the social scene after his AF1 commission for Jap-star Yuri Tomiyama.

Commissions start at HK$300 for simple designs and can go to HK$1,000+ for more elaborate etches. If this is something you’re interested in getting done, run and request it now before he gets backlogged with Christmas orders.

Note: You’ll have to provide the sneakers yourself, of course.

Price
HK$300 and up

Whether the man in your life is the practical type, or the flashier kind of fella, Montblanc has them covered with their stylish, personal and functional writing instruments. They’re tools to create, tools to delight — and nothing feels more satisfying than the glide of a fountain pen.

This gorgeous, special edition Meisterstück features engravings of waves and steamships, created as an homage to Jules Verne’s classic adventure novel — Around the World in Eighty Days. In a world where we cannot freely travel without a two or three-week quarantine, we’ll have to make do with adventures of the mind, or, rather, through writing and doodling. Is this a pen for doodles? Why not. It’s 2021. Everything is for everyone. Make everything you pen a masterpiece, or, rather, a Meisterstück.

Price
HK$10,400

Yes, it’s getting chilly in Hong Kong, and we all know what that means: Everyone pulling their big jackets out from where they lay, dusty and forgotten the last ten months. Well, here’s a year-round piece that your man could rock any day of the year. Well, almost any day, since we’re in the humid trap of Hong Kong.

A replica of the original 1990s make, the Mountain Light Jacket from their ICON collection features DryVent™, a material which is waterproof, breathable and perfect for your next urban mission, wherever that may be.

Price
HK$2,690

Can one put a price on reversing the dreaded T-word for men? No, I’m not referring to taxes. I’m talking about “thinning”. Hair thinning, specifically.

Using LED module technology, this innovative gadget that looks like it comes straight out of a sci-fi movie utilises near-infrared gamma rays to penetrate deep into the scalp and hair roots to stimulate hair growth. It’s not a fast fix though — clinical testing shows an increase in hair volume and growth only after a whole 24 weeks of use. That’s almost half a year. But, the time will pass regardless, so why not spend it doing something preventative and, possibly, productive? Pop it on for up to 20 minutes a session while binge-watching Netflix. It couldn’t hurt, right?

Price
HK$18,000

If you’re with a man that you feel like could be the one, or better yet, if you’re already engaged (you lucky duck!), this book should be your Relationship Bible.

John Gottman, one of the most famous research scientists on marriage and family, and co-founder of the Gottman Institute, is the author of more than 200 professional journals and over forty books. I’ve followed his teachings for years and The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is one that is perhaps the most important to know. Gottman offers straightforward yet profound examples that teach readers how to resolve conflict, achieve greater intimacy and much more.

The book is also much more affordable than a relationship therapist, so, there you have it.

Price
HK$88.51

Sometimes, amidst the bemoaning about our current quarantine sitch, we forget that, hello? — we’re trapped in Hong Kong; one of the world’s most illustrious shopping meccas. So what should we do with all the money we’ve saved from not travelling? We shop.

When it comes to a good tailored piece, we’ve done the hard work for you and made a list of all the best shops to visit. There’s a certain lead time to consider, of course, but when you see your man spin around in his flashy new gear, it’ll all be worth it. Promise.

Price
Various

What screams “festive season” more than something luxuriously, decadently gold? As a self-identified human magpie, this gleaming, metallic bottle immediately captured my attention, and — scent preferences be damned! — this would look enticing set upon any man’s vanity.

The One For Men Gold edition celebrates the savvy gentlemen of our lives, the ones secure enough to dash around town in a cloud of juicy Italian bergamot, zesty bloody orange and red ginger spice. Vibrant yet earthy, this edition was laboriously crafted by a trio of celebrated perfumers — Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Michel Girard and Olivier Pescheux — so it has to be good.

Price
HK$720

Yeah, you’re on the right list. Don’t laugh! This has become A Thing. Google “Atlanta Braves Joc Pederson” and you’ll understand the origin story of this very surprising new trend.

Pearls aren’t just for fuddy-duddies anymore. Pearls are hip! Pearls are cool! And this rainbow freshwater strand will match almost anything he wears. Bonus perk: You’ll get to nick it off him on occasion as well, so… it’s really a gift for both of you. You’re welcome.

Price
£650 (Approx. HK$6,834)

Vladimir Kramnik, Russian chess Grandmaster, once famously said, “I am convinced the way one plays chess always reflects the player’s personality. If something defines his character, then it will also define his way of playing.”

We’ll take it. And, on the festive gifting side, one could always do with a show-stopping chess set to play and display at home. Super extra? Yes. Perfect for the witty, thoughtful, contemplative man? Also, yes.

Price
HK$17,174

We stan an environmentally-conscious brand.

In the season of giving, consider footwear from VEJA — a brand that sources consciously organic cotton, wild rubber, vegetable-tanned leather and recycled plastic bottles to create their products. They’re lightweight, trendy, and oh-so-comfortable.

Price
HK$1,152

Like it or not, it’s officially cuffing season, so ease the transition by snuggling together under a buttery soft scarf on the couch, or a park bench, or in the cinema — while you still can.

For the practical man, it’s an easy-to-match piece to add to his closet. For the fashionable man, well, it’s Kenzo. Win-win.

Price
HK$2,590

It’s been a whirlwind of a year when it comes to major brand collaborations.

This month, keep your eyes peeled for the drop between luxury lifestyle brand TUMI and luxury supercar maker McLaren. Think: Travel accessories, outerwear and sleek business pieces. Our favourite is the Halo Backpack, featuring a padded sleeve that can hold a 14-inch laptop and a built-in USB port for on-the-go recharging. The piece is accented with carbon fibre, a leather handle and magnetic zippers featuring subtle TUMI and McLaren branding. Luxe!

Price
HK$7,790

What’s large, soft, and keeps you warm? A golden retriever! Second best? A bathrobe, of course.

Let’s set the scene: It’s the festive weekend. Hong Kong is at a — maybe, hopefully! — 12°c low. The candles are lit. You’ve just stepped out of a scalding shower. There’s a slight chill in the air, but wait! Your love comes in and envelopes you in this warm, mid-length, pure cotton, puppy-soft bathrobe. Immediate comfort and joy. ‘Tis the season, indeed.

Price
HK$1,462

It’s absolutely no secret that we miss travelling. Japan, in particular, is a destination that we think fondly of. Quite often and desperately.

This year, while we face the festivities locally, consider stocking up on some of Nagano’s finest craft beers to while the time away. We love the classic Yona Yona Pale Ale, medium bodied with a great balance of hops and citrus flavour, but our favourite for this season is the Tokyo Black Porter with an easy roasted malt body and a smooth, rich mouthfeel. Best paired with grilled meats, rich stews or even cheese platters.

Price
HK$690 / case of 24

I’ll spare you the buzz words and go straight into it: The Liberty 3 Pro is the latest in Soudcare’s flagship lineup of wireless earbuds; a design that took into consideration the reflection and deliberation of 20 Grammy-winning audio producers. Notable features include active noise cancellation, air pressure relief silicone ear wings and a water resistant rating of IPX4 — ideal for workouts.

This model also comes in four colours: Midnight Black, Frost White, Fog Gray and Dusk Purple. His-and-hers matching buds, anyone..?

Price
US$169.99 (Approx. HK$1,324.11)
Sandra Kwong
Features Editor
A perpetually hungry individual paired with an acute dirty martini obsession. You'll catch Sandra waltzing around town from gallery openings to various happy hours. Usually waxing lyrical about her 10-step skincare routine or her latest gadget. Currently missing: long ski runs in Hanazono.