For the third and final installment in our gift guide, we’re going straight to the heart of the matter. The good stuff. The clothes. The trick is knowing your giftee’s style, and finding an item they’ll still be wearing next year. It’s tricky stuff, but we’ve got a plan for you…

The Sweater
This is the classic—a solid bit of warmth at the coldest part of the year—but the 2012 version is most likely to come with a shawl collar, and maybe a few toggles. This Shipley & Halmos wool sweater is our favorite, although there are some handsome cotton options out there, too.

The Belt
Of course, for any non-fashiony folks on your list, we’ve got the most stripped-down item in our closet: the workwear belt. It’s handsome in a simple, functional way, letting you work a little style into even the most easily embarrassed wardrobes. Our favorite comes from Tanner Goods, but there’s plenty more where that came from.

The Hat
Of course, this only works for men who wear hats—a quickly vanishing tribe—but if you know a gentleman, and you’re sharp enough to size up his cranium in advance, a newsboy cap like this one can be perfect.

The Socks
Bear with us: they’re not the boring present they were when you were a kid. For a gentleman wearing a business suit every day, they’re among the more stylish items he’ll put on all day. To make sure it’s a substantial enough gift, you’ll want to give at least three pairs. Our favorites are Drake’s and (if you can find them) Marcoliani. Further reading here.

The Stocking
And in the case of last resort, there’s always the stocking. Fill it with chocolate and cufflinks.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom