2016 Gift Guide: What to get him this year, round 1…

Whether as a record player, a music player (via the front AUX input) or a decor piece,
there is no denying that the Crosley Dansette Bermuda USB Vinyl Record Player ($220 or $200 here)
is a thing of beauty.

Around September or so the head-scratching begins for me: What to get my guy this year? More and more we’re leaning towards experiences — a la the Tool concert (set list | photos | more photos) we built a trip to Colorado around a few weeks ago — but there’s something to be said for getting things; the right things, for a guy. From brothers to boyfriends to husbands, fathers, grandfathers, uncles or whoever the men in your life are, nothing tops that moment when they open a gift they truly love and fight to keep the emotion down.

Inside, lots of ideas meant to inspire and spark conversation…what are you getting the men in your life for Christmas and/or Hanukkah this year?

Let your guy make a mixtape for you, just like they used to do way back in the 1980s and 1990s.

1 | Music to his ears.
Most men are audiophiles of some kind; it’s simply a matter of figuring out what kind of audio gift is right for them. The Crosley Dansette Bermuda USB Vinyl Record Player ($220 or $200 here, seen top of post) is one of the most beautiful record players I’ve seen to date. It would look beautiful in a man cave, rec room or living room! As a bonus, the player also has an AUX input to act as a speaker if you prefer to play music off your phone rather than via a record.

Records are making a comeback and they are something that I see ever more in many friends’ homes. If $200 is above your budget, Crosley makes a wide variety of turntables (even more here).

Perhaps your man is of the more of the creative musical type. If so, the Custom Mixtape USB Stick Kit ($26, above) should be your go-to gift! Back in my elementary school days we used to trade mixtapes like nobody’s business, and nothing beat the heart throb I felt when a guy I liked delivered a mixtape just for me through a braces smile in middle or high school. Plus, a USB stick holds a heck of a lot more music than a cassette!!

If the man you’re thinking of shopping for already has all his musical toys set, then it’s time to think next-level: speakers. Once again Crosley comes through with speakers that are both aurally and visually pleasing in the Crosley Harper Wireless Speaker ($79) which is bluetooth capable and also available in a wood-grain version.

One level above that would be a Soundbar, which can be used for music or connected to the TV (or both). Soundbars are sleek, sexy and don’t take up a ton of room the way speaker systems can, and in general I find them to be excellent — especially for apartment living! I am a huge fan of the SONOS Soundbar ($700 or in packages here), which delivers the power of 19 speakers without the need for a subwoofer. It can be discreet to spare your neighbors or bombastic for that crescendo or action climax, and it’s about as pretty and sleek as a speaker gets. It also works in concert with other SONOS speakers if you want that true surround sound experience.

The SONOS Soundbar ($700 or in packages here) will fit right into most decor styles, 
and brings beautiful sound quality to everything it plays.

2 | Drink glasses and fine cutlery. 
Even if your man does not drink alcohol, you can’t go wrong with the right kind of drink glass. It’s simply an exercise in finding out whether whisky, coffee, protein smoothies or perhaps wine is his preference.

A short list of excellent glassware options for men, below, all available individually or in sets:
Beer glasses: Pint and Half-Pint Glasses with Crown ($3-$4/each)
Coffee mug: Marin Mug ($8) or Le Creuset ® Mugs ($14)
Coffee mug, commuter edition: Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Mug ($20) in black or ($12) in grey
Cordial glass: Glencairn Whiskey Glass ($8)
Martini glass: Viv Martini Glass ($5)
Rocks glass: Harry Rocks Glass ($7)
Snifter: Guy Brandy Snifter ($5)
Shot glass (or Amuse Bouche Glass!!): Bitty Bite Glasses ($3)
The only accessory he needs for this: Rapid Beverage Chiller ($90)
Wine glass family: Silhouette Wine Glasses ($7/each)

And for the man that prefers to cook, give him something to keep him busy during between and meals, like a knife…perhaps an engraved one?
My favorite knife to give a man: Wüsthof ® Classic 8″ Extra-Wide Chef’s Knife ($160)
To hone his cutlery: Global ® Ceramic Sharpening Rod (now $72) or Wusthof ® Classic Ikon Handheld Sharpener (now $30 — an incredible deal!)

Give your man the gift of knowledge, with a very cool-looking motorcycle patent art!

3 | Technical, mechanical or animal art.
I’ve never met a man who didn’t love a good schematic, diagram or animal print for his man cave wall. (Vintage naked lady prints too.) But few men have the patience to dig through the massive selection of options, so a particularly thoughtful gift is to do the work for him here and find him art you know he’ll love at the right scale and color balance. This art doesn’t have to be expensive either, some of my favorite prints to gift start under $10!

First, here are some of my favorite prints a man is sure to love:
Airplane Patent
Aquatic Plants and Animals 1931
August 1968 Playboy Vargas double page
Bicycle Gearing Patent
Circuit Diagram (framed)
Cole Borders (guitar schematic)
Fish of the Pacific 1931
French Spad, 1916 (WWI plane)
Henry Ford Patent – Ford Motors
Nikola Tesla 1888 Patent Art  (also on black, or antiqued)
Skip Jack (boat schematic)
Sopwith Camel, 1917 (WWI plane)
United States Fish Commission Volume 23 Bien Fishes Hawaii 1903
Vargas Playboy Pinup Girl Vintage April 1965
Vintage Airplane Print

And, here are my favorite sources (with a huge thanks to Emily Henderson who introduced me to many of these!):
Permanent Press
Pure Photo
Restoration Hardware

Good search terms to try:
Architecture drawing
Circuit digram
Patent diagram
Mechanical diagram
Military airplanes
Techincal diagram
Schematic (or more specific, i.e. guitar schematic)
Vintage Playboy photos or art
Vintage animal art
Vintage maps

We’ll take a look at more great gift ideas for men (comfy stuff, adventure stuff, and more!) in an upcoming Gift Guide 2016 post. What are you thinking of getting your guy and the men in your life this year?

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