world of men's style / fashion / grooming

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In Defense of the Old Gift


We take it for granted that your gift list is also a shopping list, but we’d like to suggest a curveball idea for those at the very top of your list: the old gift.

It’s something you’ve owned for years—a first-edition book, maybe, or a trinket you picked up in foreign climes. Something you’ve had long enough to get tired of, but that hasn’t lost its luster to anyone else. Something personal.

And most importantly, something money can’t buy.

The delicate art of the old gift...»

The Casual Handkerchief

A man should own a handkerchief.

They’re ideal for mopping brows and consoling distraught strangers—but it’s not just that. It’s the kind of gentlemanly affectation that suggests you’re in tune with a more genteel era. Of course, the white linen version can be a little traddish, even for us, but there are plenty of more lively options.

For instance, this chambray handkerchief from Rogue Territory. It’s rough-and-tumble enough to leave hanging out of the back pocket of your jeans, or peeking out of the breast pocket of your coat.

It wouldn’t look bad tucked into a stocking either.

The Kempt Gift Guide, Part One: Formal Trinkets

Good style leaves a lot of room for flourish. No one actually needs a tussah-silk tie or a pair of pearl-topped cufflinks, which is why it’s so special when someone actually has them. That goes double for the smaller trinkets like lapel pins that are usually more memorable than expensive... and happen to make perfect gifts.

So in the name of filling out your list, we’re running down three of our favorite types of formal accessory, a perfect gift for any gentleman-of-style on your list. Even if he’s already got one, he’ll be pretty glad to have another.

Three great gift ideas for a gentleman of style»

Keeping Your Edge

One trick to gift giving is finding something you can be absolutely sure your giftee doesn’t have—which is why a Japanese pocketknife is a surprisingly good pick.

This one is notable for not having any locking action (you just keep your thumb on that lever), but mostly it’s the world’s coolest letter opener. We can easily imagine one on Gekko’s desk, which is saying something. Think of it as a power trinket.

The Hippest Teddy Bear on Earth

Gifts are hard—especially when the acquaintance involved is too young to appreciate a bottle of bourbon—so we were pleased to see these aggressively plaid teddy bears come down the transom. They come from Head Porter, where they’re surely savvy enough to remember when Comme des Garçons was splashing the same tartan on everything in sight. The result is one of the hipper toys you can give—assuming the parents are in on the joke.