Fashion for Men

Best of Everything: Les Best Gifts for Men.

By: Jen Shoop

One of the most common questions I receive from readers is — “What do I buy for my husband/boyfriend/father for a birthday/anniversary/Christmas/etc?” Today, I thought I’d round up some of the best gifts I’ve ever given Mr. Magpie. They range in price from around $20 to nearly $1000. I rank each product highly because they are well-used and well-loved by Mr. Magpie, they are thoroughly vetted/researched, and because I’ve recommended their purchase to many, many friends, family members, and readers — and have heard nary a negative response yet. Note that I’ve featured many of these products across my blogposts in the past, but here is a consolidated list!

+Filson Briefcase. Mr. Magpie uses this daily. I love that it walks the line between sporty/masculine (i.e., doesn’t it kind of look like something from Orvis, but nicer?) and refined/sophisticated. Appropriate whether your man works in a buttoned-up office or a casual co-working space, and accommodates a range of different fashion styles.

+Memory Foam Bedpillows. These have insane reviews — and for good reason. I upgraded our bedroom pillows to these and they’ve entirely changed the game for us. (And we’re now annoyingly judge-y about pillows when we travel!) They literally never turn hot; you’re always on “the cool side of the pillow.” They’re also beautifully supportive and comfortable, and you can adjust the fill level easily by yourself depending on how firm/soft you prefer your surface. Trust me when I say any sleep-loving man will geek out over these.

+Prosource Accupressure Mat. A great gift for a stressed and overburdened loved one. Mr. Magpie was obsessed with this for months on end during a particularly intense period in our lives, and this brought him little pockets of peace and relaxation.

+Patagonia Baggies Shorts. These are technically swim trunks but can also be used for lots of outdoor activities, i.e., gardening, hiking, etc. Super comfortable and breathable and come in great colors. Mr. Magpie has been wearing his constantly this summer.

+Stubbs and Wootton Tuxedo Slippers. If you and your man tend to go all out for black tie festivities, a pair of these will up the ante. Not for the fashion faint of heart, but whenever Mr. Magpie wears these, he earns dozens of compliments.

+A really good cookbook and a Boos block, if your man is into cooking. (Lots of other kitchen gadget and implement suggestions here.)

+For gents who enjoy good food but aren’t as into the cooking: Jeni’s ice cream or Alaskan king crab legs.

+If your man is a budding gourmand (i.e., cook with training wheels), Mr. Magpie and I often suggest Steve Raichlan’s How to Grill, which essentially taught Mr. Magpie how to grill and is full of foolproof, non-fussy, delicious recipes, along with grill tongs and a basting pot with brush.

+Weber Kettle Grill. Related to the above: there’s nothing like the classic. (Mr. Magpie is a purist when it comes to grills — he prefers charcoal to gas.)

+Laguiole steak knives. One of Mr. Magpie’s most cherished possessions.

+A vintage watch. I bought Mr. Magpie a beautiful alligator strap Montblanc watch from The Real Real similar to this one for one of our anniversaries and it’s now his “dress watch” and he loves it.

+Marmot Precip Jacket. A great all-purpose windbreaker/rain jacket that actually keeps you dry and includes side vents for warm weather. Can essentially be worn most of the year (until it’s really cold) and for a range of purposes: as a light layer when hiking, as a rain/wind repellent when inclement or windy, etc. Comfortable, breathable, and highly packable (folds up really small). I also own one.

+Apple Airpods. I feel like everyone already owns a pair of these, but they are simply fantastic. Beautifully designed, comfortable to wear, and highly functional — I wear them every day on my walks with Tilly/while out running errands.

+Pocketknife. Every man needs one, and this one is particularly beautiful. I bought my brother one of these from this store and he loves it.

+A framed matchbox from a beloved restaurant. Would be super cool if you have a special memory with your man at one of these places, or offer to take him to the actual restaurant as a part of the gift. What a cool keepsake to position on a bookshelf or gallery wall after!

+A Warhol canvas reproduction. If your guy has an appreciation for art/art history. I bought Mr. Magpie a canvas reproduction of Warhol’s General Custer to fold into our gallery wall — he loved it.

+A Zojirushi coffee thermos. The actual best. Keeps coffee piping hot for hours and does.not.leak. Also stands up to the test of time: we’ve had ours for nearly a decade with nary a problem.

+Waffle robe and/or L.L.Bean Wicked Good slippers. Both things Mr. Magpie adamantly insisted he did not need. Both things he promptly used daily.

+Eagle Creek compression packing cubes for the frequent traveler.

+Qi wireless charger. A small but great gift — we love these in our house.

+Sonos speaker system. We had this installed throughout our home in Chicago and oh man did we love it. I think the key differentiator with Sonos is that their software/app is as beautifully designed as the actual speaker hardware — so you have high quality sound and an easy-to-control system. We could even have guests help us create a playlist! So fun.

+Nest thermostat and Hue lightbulbs for the smart home enthusiast. Both are well designed and easy to use and I’ve already written extensively about both.

+Poncho fly fishing shirt. I gave this beautifully, thoughtfully designed fishing shirt to my father for Christmas and it’s probably the first (and last) time I’ve ever seen him get excited about a gift. Maybe throw in some Orvis dry flies — they tend to go over well with the men in my house.

+Plantronics wireless bluetooth earbuds. If he exercises regularly, he’ll need (and love) these, even if he owns a set of Airpods. These are waterproof, sturdy, and will never fall out.

+Davek mini umbrella. Great gift for a traveler or someone who walks to work frequently and thus confronts inclement weather on the regular. This umbrella is excellently made and surprisingly sturdy for its size — but small and lightweight enough to keep in his Filson briefcase.

P.S. Great gifts for girlfriends.

P.P.S. The resin of memories and the thrill of the chase.

P.P.P.S. This post made me think of just how much I love Mr. Magpie’s company.

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7 thoughts on “Best of Everything: Les Best Gifts for Men.

  1. So many excellent suggestions here! I never run out of ideas for gifts to give my partner, but I can’t say the same for my brothers or my father (my dad is IMPOSSIBLE in this respect, as he tends to buy whatever he needs/wants before anyone can give it to him — I know this because I’m similar, ha!) Glad to have this list in my back pocket!


    1. Haha, I hope that didn’t come across as too braggy! I think it’s more that he is very appreciative of most every gift, and after 6 years, I have a decent handle on his style. 🙂

  2. I’m going to put in a plug for a pocketknife as a good gift for people of any gender- I have been carrying the standard $25 red Swiss Army knife since I was a teenager and it has come in handy more times than I can count. Knife, bottle opener, wine puller (!), tiny scissors- it has it all!

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