Because you’re a fabulous and refined reader of our blog, it’s probably not a coincidence that you are likely in a relationship (or seeking one) with a man who either lives a sophisticated lifestyle himself, or is at the very least aspiring to. My husband definitely falls into the category of someone who lives a refined lifestyle. He has closets full of impeccably tailored designer suits, his cashmere sweaters are folded with care on tidy colour coordinated shelves, he owns more pairs of shoes than I do, has a signature cocktail that he refuses to waver from, owns more bottles of face creams and potions than I think is normal, loves shopping potentially more than I do and drives a fancy car that he takes better care of than I do of my handbags. If he didn’t like sports – and me – I’d be concerned that he was a little too fabulous – but he’s one of the “new” men out there that fall under the rapidly growing group of men who are embracing the fact that it’s OK to not be a boorish idiot when it comes to sophistication and why luxury men’s retailers are popping up like wildfires (see the male version of Net-a-Porter, Mr.Porter) and why many brands are now releasing men’s lines (hello, Kiehls)
The hardest part about living and loving one of these refined gentlemen? Buying them gifts. They do not like old standard gifts for men that have so little style that anything is an upgrade. The refined gentlemen do not like generic ties from the department store. They do not enjoy cheap aftershaves that doesn’t compliment their oily-but-sensitive-combination skin. They do not like the tie racks for their closets or random toolkits from the pre-wrapped selection section. They require gifts that have a lot of thought put into them, gifts that are things they need but haven’t gotten around to buying themselves yet, or gifts that are just so luxurious they can’t say no. Having lived with one of these men, I’m going to share with you my best recommendations for the refined gentleman this holiday season.
The key to this entire shopping experience? Finding things that he likely already owns but upgrade them for him in a luxury style or find a little something special for him to add to his collection. Some of our favourites:
- Men’s Skincare products are literally the hottest things in the beauty market. Men are buying more and more skincare products and there are more and more brands catering to them now. My husband is obsessed with products by Baxter of California (and I mean obsessed, buys them in bulk and uses nothing else) Baxters has a really great starter kit available if you’re not familiar with the brand, as does Kiehls and Aesop.
- On that same tangent, men are forsaking the disposable razors and returning to the brush (only the ones made of badger, of course) and traditional razor. Getting him a brush and razor with stand is a great way to introduce him to the concept – and even if he never uses it, it will look pretty spectacular on your bathroom vanity.
- Since we’re in the bathroom, let’s move to the bedroom where buying him a proper pair of pyjamas can make a huge difference from the oversized t-shirts and boxers he may be used to. I like the ones from J.Crew which can be monogrammed with his initials for an added sophistication punch.
- Does he have a fancy pants job, or is he wanting one? A great new briefcase, sophisticated pen or nice new business card holder can really make a difference on his career aspirations.
- It’s getting cold outside… Who doesn’t need more cashmere? A cashmere scarf (this is a great option at only $125) and a pair of cashmere-lined technology savvy gloves (so he can still operate his touchscreen, of course) is a must-have for today’s modern gentleman.
- We’d love a pair of Tod’s driving shoes for ourselves, but getting him a pair in a bright, fun and unexpected colour will do wonders to increase his colour combinating skills. You also can’t go wrong with a luxe hoodie or upgrading his baseball caps.