17 Amazing Style Upgrades for Men
Finally, gifts that will impress even your toughest-to-shop-for friend.
We all have that one friend. You know the guy: the fashion-minded, image-conscious man about town. He loves all things style, knows all the ins and outs of today’s hottest designers, and hits up sample sales and holiday weekend blowouts like it’s his job. Oh, also, he’s impossible to shop for.
Yes, come holiday season, this friend of yours—after one too many years of instantly exchanging your “it’s the thought that counts” presents for store credit—might inspire you to bequeath him a generous gift card. But that’s just lazy. Instead, strive to finally strike gold. Start by perusing this roundup of ultra-stylish buys—which have been selected by Best Life editors for their unrivaled ability to instantly boost any guy’s look, no matter what degree of sartorial black belt he may be.
The Camel Hair Polo Coat
Brooks Brothers Camel Hair Polo Coat
$1,698; buy now at brooksbrothers.com
The camel coat is an essential part of any man’s winter wardrobe, and Brooks Brothers signature iteration is a pinnacle of the form. Made entirely from camel hair (so you know it’s the real deal) and tailored with timeless fit in mind, it’s the type of coat that utterly resists fads. And, given the company’s pedigree of dressing U.S. heads of state, it calls forth one word in particular: presidential.
The Stunning Reissue Watch
Citizen Promaster Tsuno Chronograph Racer
$895; buy now at citizenwatch.com
Style-minded guys these days are obsessed with vintage reissues, and for good reason: all the stuff that’s coming back looked fantastic the first time around. There’s no reason it wouldn’t look just as good in today’s age. Case in point: this handsome, masculine 1973 chronograph from Citizen, which has been updated with uber-modern “eco-drive” technology; it’s powered by light, meaning the owner will never need to swap batteries.
The Leather Business Portfolio
Shinola Accordion Portfolio
$450; buy now at shinola.com
It’s almost like the designers at Shinola cast a Harry Potter-esque spell on this sleek portfolio. Despite appearances, there’s room for a laptop, a tablet, a book, and plenty of folders in here. Oh, and it looks great too.
The Lazy Sunday Bottoms
Mack Weldon Sunday Lounge Pant
$68; buy now at mackweldon.com
A match-made-in-heaven hybrid of sweats and jogger, these loaf-around pants should be an indispensible part of any man’s wardrobe. Made from lightweight flannel, they’ll keep a wearer warm in the winter and cool in the summer. And since they’re styled like any pair of well-tailored trousers, they work just as well for Sunday lounging as they do for Monday meetings.
The Boot For Wintry Fury
To Boot New York Abbott Boot
$450; buy now at toboot.com
Inspired by the timeless looks of 20th century military getups, this boot from To Boot New York is perfect mix of form and function. A potent mix of sumptuous suede and polished calfskin make this boot a total beauty, while a rubber sole grants traction for effortless maneuvering on even the most treacherous East Coast sidewalks.
The Sartorial Cherry-on-Top
Tommy Hilfiger Silk And Cotton Reversible Pocket Square
$36.99; buy now at usa.tommy.com
Fact: no suit is complete without the finishing touches—lapel pin, tie bar, and, of course, a tasteful pocket square. This option, from Tommy Hilfiger, is a touch more fun yet no less professional than your standard, austere solid-neutral silk item.
The Statement Pen
Montblanc StarWalker Ballpoint Pen
$340; buy now at montblanc.com
Sure, every guy can jot his thoughts down on the trusty device(s) in his pocket. But few things make as much of statement than a commitment to going truly analog. And for that, no one beats Montblanc: the esteemed accessory makers construct sturdy writing utensils of the utmost quality. Bonus: you can get them monogrammed.
A Scent That Always Makes Sense
Hermès Eau de Citron Noir Eau de Cologne
$130; buy now at hermes.com
Yes, fragrance is often a personal choice. But this Hermès scent—which, while light, is somehow citrusy and smoky at the same time, like a good mezcal—is the type of cologne that everyone’s olfactory senses will enjoy.
The Everywhere, Every Time Jeans
ACNE Studios North Slim-Fit Stretch-Denim Jeans
$220; buy now at mrporter.com
Pair them with a blazer and a button-down or a beat-up band t-shirt. A good, deep-blue, well-washed pair of denim works with everything—and in any situation. This pair, from ACNE Studios, eschews the stranglehold skinny look that’s en vogue these days for a touch more room and comfort. Still, they’re slim, and are sure to flatter any silhouette.
The Ne Plus Ultra of Cashmere V-Necks
V-Neck Cashmere Sweater
$298; buy now at brooksbrothers.com
Few things are more versatile than a v-neck sweater—and it’s even better when it’s cashmere. But the absolute best cashmere v-necks, like Brooks Brothers stalwart options, are woven from pure Scottish cashmere, a fabric so smooth and airy it feels like wearing a (very, very warm) cloud.
The Subtle Accent
Ted Baker Forti Spot Print Cotton Socks
$16; buy now at tedbaker.com
If the idea of loud-and-proud accessories frightens someone, consider gifting a muted pattern. These textured socks, from the pattern maestros at Ted Baker, are just interesting enough to inject some (much-needed) flair into a rigid, ascetic wardrobe.
The Grooming Essential
Martial Vivot Beard And Face Oil
$48; buy now at martialvivot.com
Even if a guy has a well-honed grooming technique, there are surely ways in which he could majorly improve his regimen. For instance: pre-shave oil. While men the world over have ingrained the use of aftershave (it’s a rite of manhood, at this point), many guys inadvertently forgo the pre-shave. But lathering a layer on massively reduces the chance of bumps, nicks, and razor burn. It’s essential for any man who cherishes his morning routine.
The Power Tie
Paul Smith Signature Stripe Silk Tie
$125; buy now at paulsmith.com
Yeah, yeah, ties are obsolete. That doesn’t mean they have no place in a man’s closet, however. Sometimes, special occasions call. Better yet, sometimes, you just want to rock a tie. And for those days, it’s best to go all-out, with an equal-parts fun and formal necktie, like this works-with-everything blue number from Paul Smith.
The Everyday Tote
Mack Weldon Bonded Tote
$88; buy now at mackweldon.com
Forget briefs and backpacks. A tote is the best bag a guy can have. Just throw your stuff in and go—no need to fret about organization. This tote, from Mack Weldon, is done up in a lightweight nylon that’s both waterproof and leak-proof. Plus, it looks great, too.
The Dress Up Sneaker
Ted Baker Burall Suede Cupsole Trainers
$210; buy now at tedbaker.com
If you wanted to create a fulcrum between sporty and smart, it would be this suede sneaker from Ted Baker. They’re shaped like traditional Oxfords, meaning you can get away with wearing them at buttoned-up affairs. At the same time, they’re no less comfortable than a normal pair of casual shoes.
The Distinctive Final Touch
Two-Tone Square Cufflinks, by Lanvin
$192; buy now at nordstrom.com
Flashy cufflinks are fun, but fade with the tides. Instead, it’s best to stick to basics: understated designs and matte metals. This two-toned pair from Lanvin is an object lesson in what to look for.
The Season-Proof Vest
Belstaff Quilted Shell Gilet
$295; buy now at mrporter.com
As the seasons change, a body-warming vest is essential—and it’s no reason to scrimp on style. This vest, from Belstaff, done up in a hunter orange, is proof. Bonus: even the collar is lined in velvet.