Whether choosing gifts for your dad, bro, or beau, holiday shopping for the man in your life can be tricky.
Sure, he considers himself stylish, but when was the last time he ventured outside his fashion comfort zone? Gadgets make good gifts, but what does he need? What does he already have? And, most important: What would he never, ever use?
We're here for you.
As retailers continue to court today's men (they remain fashion's most sought-after - and untapped - potential customers), your friendly neighborhood specialty boutiques, online stores, and mall staples are overflowing with perfect presents for guys.
After consulting with the city's top designers and makers for their take on what will make your guy smile in the coming weeks, we've handpicked the best in gear, gadgets, and accessories from local retailers.
It's all about the custom, baby
Not only are more men turning to tailors for custom suits, it appears denim, polos, and sweats are getting the specially made - and in some really swank cases, bespoke - treatment.
"Our guys are realizing that while it's not always necessary to be dressed in a suit or even a sports coat, perfect fit is still important," said Brian Lipstein of custom clothing retailer Henry A. Davidsen. He began offering custom casual pieces in September. His best seller? The polos.
LEFT: Jeans, $375-$650; gray zip-up track jacket, $375; red polo, $195, all at Henry A. Davidsen.
CENTER: Ermenegildo Zegna wool-and-cashmere sports jacket, $1,075, at Aston Marx; orange lambskin-and-wool gloves, Hoons, $128, at Blue Sole Shoes; hat, Chapka in shearling, Hermés, $1,100.
RIGHT: MagnaReady shirt, $64.94, at Kohl's, J.C. Penney, and www.magnaready.com; gray knit hat, UGG, $55, at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Keeping him in step
It's true, shoes can make the man. And, these days, a spit-shined, tasseled loafer is just as dashing as a patchwork suede hightop.
TOP, from left: Roberto Cavalli patchwork suede hightop, $475, at Blue Sole Shoes; (inside the shoe: burgundy knit tie, Jay Butler, $100, at Jay Butler) Barron chukka boots, Cobble & Hyde, $220, at Cobble & Hyde; (inside the shoe: pocket square, Henry A. Davidsen, $200 and up).
BOTTOM, from left: lambswool-and-calfskin sneakers, Hermés, $1,125, at Hermés; Carlos Santos camouflage boot, $525, at Blue Sole; tassel shoe, Cobble & Hyde, $195, at Cobble & Hyde; Jay Butler slip-ons in caramel, $195, at Jay Butler.
Cool, classic accessories
Some want their timepieces to sparkle. Others value sturdy, old-school-inspired craftsmanship. Either way, throw in a pair of jewel-toned cuff links, package it all in a masculine, metal stash box, and you've delivered a stylish holiday look.
TOP: Hamilton stainless steel automatic khaki frogman, $1,095, at Bernie Robbins Jewelers.
BOTTOM: Spruce metal stash box with shearling, Shinola, $75, at Shinola; Canfield Shinola watch with white dial in navy pebble leather, $1,000, at Shinola; Baume & Mercier stainless steel Classima watch, $1,100, at Bernie Robbins Jewelers; emerald green cuff links, Benson & Clegg, $100; claret cuff links, Tateossian, $300, both at Henry A. Davidsen; red alligator-skin money holder, Jay Butler, $195, at www.jaybutler.com.
Spirits and toys
No, he doesn't need it, but he will want it: extras to make his downtime fun.
Stateside Vodka, $27.99, at Federal Distilling; John Hardy x Joya Sedap Malam candle, $90, at www.johnhardy.com; rosewood and mahogany chessboard, $2,300, at Hermés; monster wallet, Fendi, $230, at Saks Fifth Avenue; Sparq Whiskey Rocks, $24.99, at Bloomingdale's.
My Charge HUB Max portable charger, $99.99, at www.mycharge.com.
Smell-good stocking stuffers
Don't underestimate the power of a great shave and a new signature scent.
Fulton & Roark solid cologne, $42, at Perfumology; Zoet Bathlatier tobacco and cedar wood candle, $34, at worKS Kennett Square; Truefitt & Hill Shaving Kit Edwardian Collection, $289; Espa Men's Survival Kit with shower gel, face wash, shaving cream, and moisturizer, $75, both at , the Rittenhouse Spa & Club; Eight & Bob original cologne, $175, at Perfumology.
The man bag
Just like you, he needs a lot of things to get through his day: lunch, gym clothes, toiletries, his laptop. With these bags, he will carry it all well.
Herschel Supply Co. daypack in silver, $50, at Bloomingdale's; Mark Giusti Comasati traveler in navy blue, $695, at Blue Sole Shoes; Anchorage Frank Butler bag, $595, at Jay Butler.
Clothing and accessories
Aston Marx, 1937 Chestnut St., by appointment only at firstname.lastname@example.org; Bernie Robbins Jewelers, 775 E. Lancaster Ave., Villanova, 610-971-2446, www.bernierobbins.com, Instagram @bernierobbins jewelers; Blue Sole Shoes, 1805 Chestnut St., 215-496-9244, www.bluesoles.com; Bloomingdale's, King of Prussia, 610-337-6300, www.bloomingdales.com; Cobble & Hyde, 610-631-3486, www.cobbleandhyde.com; Federal Distilling, 1700 N. Hancock St., 215-425-4200, www.statesidevodka.com; Henry A. Davidsen, 1701 Spruce St., 215-310-0219, www.henryadavidsen.com; Hermés, King of Prussia, 610-992-9730, www.hermes.com; Jay Butler, 215-792-3127, www.jaybutler.com; Saks Fifth Avenue, 2 Bala Plaza, Bala Cynwyd, 610-667-1550, www.saksfifthavenue.com; Shinola, King of Prussia Mall, 610-290-4761; Perfumology, King of Prussia Mall, 610-337-0555, www.perfumologyshop.com; worKS Kennett Square, 432 S. Walnut St., 484-732-8586, www.workskennettsquare.com.
Decorative gift boxes courtesy of A.C. Moore.
Staff photographs by Ed Hille
Styled by Mark Anthony Barksdale