Sometimes it’s hard to remember exactly what life was like before becoming enamored with raw denim, leather boots, and other buy-it-for-life items. For many of us, this list will be filled with nostalgia; for others, these gifts will represent things that are still on our personal wish lists. Either way, this list will hopefully help you to find some great introductory items for your loved ones who are interested in the Heddels product-obsessive way of thinking.
1) Timex: Weekender Watch
Many of us enjoy mechanical or automatic watches, but if truth be told there is no real benefit to them if you don’t find the mechanism to be fascinating. A quartz (i.e. battery powered) watch will keep more accurate time and require less servicing. Timex’s Weekender Watch is arguably the most recommended basic watch out there; it’s simplistic, durable, and comes in a ridiculously large array of colors. It’s truly a timeless timepiece.
Available for $55 from Stag.
2) Kirkland Signature: Outdoor Trail Socks (6-Pack)
I can’t tell you how shocked I was when I bought my first high quality socks. Everything I had ever known was a lie. And while Kirkland Signature’s Outdoor Trail Socks aren’t the crème de la crème, they are a massive upgrade from the department store socks many of us are wearing. They’re made from a 72%/27%/1% merino wool/nylon/spandex mix, which gives the warmth and water wicking abilities of wool with the longevity and stretch of flexible, synthetic fabrics. This year’s pack comes with six pairs: three medium grey/blue and three beige/olive. They may not have the provenance of one of our typical product features, but they do the job well, are built to last, and can get those “I want nice things” wheels turning.
Available for $17 from Costco.
3) Vermont Flannel: Fitted Flannel Shirt
It’s not difficult to pick up a high end flannel shirt and instantly fall in love. They’re soft, warm, and good looking—what more can you truly ask for? While there are a lot of expensive flannels out there, sometimes you don’t have to spend all that much. Vermont Flannel has been producing quality shirts for years, but fashion consumers had one complaint: they were too bulky. Luckily, our calls were answered with the release of their Fitted Flannel Shirt. It’s made in the USA and comes in a bunch of colorways, from solid blue to many-fabric patchworks.
Available for $54 from Vermont Flannel.
4) Corter: Rangefinder Bottlehook
If there is one thing Heddels’ readers love, it’s products that get better with age. Enter Corter’s Rangefinder Bottlehook, which will certainly do that. They’re coated in a black lacquer that’s similar to the coating used on vintage rangefinders, which will gradually wear off to show the solid brass body beneath. The hooks themselves are made in Indiana, the O-rings in Montana, and final assembly is completed in New England. By the time your Bottlehook arrives, it’ll already have made a tour of the United States—and be ready for another.
Available for $37 from Corter.
5) Deejo: Tattooed Pocket Knife
There are a plethora of great pocket knives out there, but Deejo’s Tattooed Pocket Knife is among the most unique. While some may find the “tattooed” pattern—a tree branch in this case—to be a bit gimmicky, others will find it an attraction. However, these knives also come sans tattoos, and the overall package itself is what really stands out. It’s a minimalist pocket knife with a thin rosewood/metal handle, and the thing only ways 37g which is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to add unnecessary weight to their everyday carry.
Available for $50 from Amazon.
6) Surplus: German Army Trainers (GATs) – Like New
German Army Trainers are some of the most iconic sneakers ever made, having been replicated by some of the biggest names in the fashion industry (see: Maison Margeila). Many people love those modern versions, but you can’t be the original and Sportman’s Club has acquired a limited supply of true 1980s and ’90s military surplus. They’re cheap, durable, and stylish, and you’d be a fool to not at least consider buying them for one of your loved ones this holiday season. And if true surplus isn’t your thing, they have reproductions for only a bit more.
7) Alpha Industries: MA-1 Slim Fit Flight Jacket
Nylon MA-1 flight jackets are a classic, and Alpha Industries’ Slim Fit MA-1 takes this classic pattern and cuts it down to fit in with today’s trimmer styles. It comes with the traditional elasticated cuffs, hem, and collar, as well as flapped hand pockets and a zipped upper-arm pocket. This version is made by one of the original suppliers to the U.S. and, in order to stay true to form, it also comes with a neon orange lining, originally used by downed pilots to alert rescue crews to their location.
Available for $150 from Alpha Industries.
8) Howlin’ by Morrison: Pleasure Scarf in Multicolored Lambswool
Many designers specialize in wool pieces and Howlin’ by Morrison is one of the latest in a long line of such brands. A standout from their latest collection, the Pleasure Scarf is a well-priced masterpiece, combining a host of different 100% lambswool fabrics to create one perfect scarf. It measures a hair over six feet long, which gives you plenty of wrapping options, and the double sided pattern will make sure it looks slightly different each time.
Available for $88 from Unionmade Goods.
9) Pigeon Tree Crafting: 1.25″ Quick Release Veg Tan Belt
The boom in vegetable-tanned leather accessories has subsided slightly, but the artisans that remain are the best of the best. Pigeon Tree Crafting claimed our heart with their indigo-dyed veg tan creations, but their standard veg tan offerings are just as great. The 1.25″ Quick Release Belt, for instance, is a great width for any pair of casual pants, and it features solid brass (or nickel plated brass) hardware, with a wonderful quick release buckle. And have no fear about wardrobe malfunctions—the belt puts enough tension on the buckle for it stay securely fastened until you intend it to be released.
Available for $85 from Pigeon Tree Crafting.