It’s that time of year again, and as we all gear up to trample each other this Black Friday, it’s good to keep our eyes on the prize, the things we actually want to pick up for our friends, family, and everyone in between.
Last week’s guide was all about stoking the flames of what we personally want, this week is a bit more inclusive and designed to give you some realistic and achievable suggestions if you act quickly. You’ve still got over a month if you’re a Saturnalian, so get reading!
Subscription to Clutch/Lightning
Japanese men’s fashion magazines are often revered with mythical status in the west (see our guide here), primarily because all we can do is look at the pictures and marvel at how things read from right to left. That said, Clutch and Lightning are two of the most authoritative J-mags in the space you can get their opinions on American culture delivered straight to your door starting at a cool twenty bucks–beware the shipping fees though!
Available from $20 at Lightning Clutch
The Hill-Side Indigo Beanie
Did you or someone you know miss out on The Hill-Side giveaway we ran last week? If so, we’re sorry that luck was not in the cards, but you can still get your hands on one of their knit pima cotton indigo beanies the old fashioned way–cold, hard, cash!
Available for $78 at The Hill-Side
Jacob Bromwell Tin Cup
Authentic historical reproduction has always been a key point for our audience, and no I’m not talking about making love in the style of our ancestors (although some of you are probably into that as well). Jacob Bromwell was founded in 1819 and has been making this tin cup in the same way, on the much of the same machinery since the Civil War. There’s no better way to enjoy a splash of whiskey this holiday season, because unlike the men who drank out of them 150 years ago, you most likely don’t have to worry about sepsis.
Available for $75 at Amazon
Used Sewing Machine
I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve personally been digging our latest columnist Robert Eames’s intros to DIY sewing. I can tell you things are about to heat up real quickly over there, so if you have a crafty person in your life or even someone with crafty potential, why not pick them up a used thread injector? If you’re lucky, they might just make you something.
Available from $0 and up at Craigslist
Anonymous Ism Socks
In our guide to how to give good gifts last week, one of Robert Lim’s guidelines was to give someone something that they really want but would never buy for themselves. Well, let me tell you that Anonymous Ism socks certainly fit the bill for me. These Japanese made beauties are a little price to fill out your entire sock drawer but you can bet whoever you gift them to will forever be reaching for them the first morning after laundry day.
Available from $19 at End Clothing
Winter Session Slash Wallet
The holidays are all about celebrating what we already have rather than what we desire, so if you have someone on your list that has a Costanza level overloaded wallet, show them the beauty of minimizing what they’ve already got. This 4oz. natural veg tanned leather wallet with handsewn waxed linen thread from Winter Session is the perfect invitation to slim down to the bare essentials. And if that doesn’t work, they can use it as auxiliary storage for the other pocket.
Available for $65 at Winter Session
Original Denim Scent Body Soap
Never has getting clean felt so dirty. This Italian made body soap supposedly has all the perfume-y goodness of denim packed right into a light blue bar. If this isn’t enough for you, don’t worry, there are also denim deodorants, body sprays, and aftershaves.
Available for $7 at Amazon
Knickerbocker MFG 1924 US Postcard Set
I’m almost as big of a fan of writing postcards as I am receiving them. When nearly all communication is digital and transient, sending a simple postcard can be a gift in and of itself. This 20-pack set from Knickerbocker MFG features designs by Christian Watson hand printed onto 130lb. cardstock. And hey, someone’s gotta keep the Post Office in business.
Available for $15 at Knickerbocker MFG
Left Field Variety Box
What better gift is there than one you don’t even know you’re giving yourself? New York’s Left Field leaves the mystery to you and your recipient with their old school variety boxes. You could be opening up jeans, tees, shirts, sweats, who knows!
Available for $60 at Left Field
Ametora – How Japan Saved American Style
If there’s one book you should be reading this holiday season, it’s Ametora, David Marx’s extremely thorough history of the Japanese adoption and perfection of American clothing in the wake of WWII. It has glowing support from the likes of William Gibson and yours truly, but if you’re still unconvinced, have a look at the article he wrote for us about Japan’s first jeans.
Available for $21 at Amazon
Studio D’Artisan Low Gauge Scarf
Based on our reader demographics, it’s probably cold outside wherever you are, and one of the quickest ways to stay warm in a cold snap is a scarf. This wool blend one from Studio D’Artisan is knit with heavy gauge yarn in Japan, so it will be warmer than most. Although you and/or whoever you give it to can do whatever you want with it, I’m not a cop.
Available for $135 at Blue Owl
The Manly Art of Knitting/Knitting Needles
But if you think whoever you’re gifting to would rather make their own scarf, but is afraid of risking their masculinity, get them the book that’s all about the manly art of knitting–The Manly Art of Knitting. This easy to follow guidebook covers everything from the early days of Viking’s knitting in between pillaging villages through cowboys knitting on the range. The book was originally published in the early 70s and recently went into reprint for the first time. And if you want to go the extra mile, you can pick up a set of needles and some denim colored thread for just a few bucks more.
Available from $4 – $11 at Amazon
Cheap Monday Pocket Operator Beat Maker
I’m honestly still a little confused about what this thing is or does, but whenever a denim company releases something way out of whack with their usual offerings, I get a bit intrigued. Cheap Monday’s “Pocket Operator” is described as a mini-synthesizer with over a dozen settings, modulators, and an old school LCD screen. If beeps and boops are you or someone you know’s jam, look no further.
Available for $59 at Need Supply Co.
Brown’s Beach Jacket Ear Muffs
It took years for Japanese enthusiasts to unlock the secrets of reweaving the famous Brown’s Beach Cloth, but now that they have, it is back and better than ever. One of the most accessible options for the knit/woven, wool/cotton amalgamation is this spiffy pair of earmuffs, which, just like Beach Cloth, look like they are coming back. Order soon though, because Rakuten Japanese shipping can take a while.
Available for $51 at Rakuten
Wrangler Denim Stocking
No holiday gift guide would be complete without the requisite Wrangler denim stocking. This western classic is only for those who have been extra good, though–you’d hate for that outside pocket to be just another spot for coal.
Available for $14 at Wrangler