9 Valentine’s Day gifts he’ll actually want to keep
Are we early? Perhaps. But it’s best to stay a step ahead in this high-stakes game…
Aah, Valentine’s Day. Once again, the love-thronged occasion is rearing its romantic head, taking over every restaurant in the country, setting expectations higher than ever and leaving a trail of red petals in its wake. But those rose-tinted notions aside, February 14th can be daunting: for those without a date, it’s another pressure-soaked day in the diary that, rather unfairly, makes many singletons question their marital status; for the coupled-up, it adds yet another dimension of difficulty to present-buying.
For those in the latter demographic, if you’re struggling to fan the flames of sentimentality, Gentleman’s Journal is on hand to inspire you to gifting greatness. Are we early? Perhaps. But we know it’s best to always stay a step ahead in the high-stakes game of love. To nix your worries, we’ve compiled a tightly edited list of 9 failsafe items that have an understated yet stylish appeal and don’t step into the usual territory of alcohol, aftershaves, and store cards. So prep your wrapping paper and your flowing strands of ribbon, for these are the presents to cop now…
Timeless wardrobe essentials
When one speaks of “timeless items”, it is usually in reference to things that never fail to evoke a feeling of delight or joy, whether it be a wear-anywhere fragrance, a perfectly formed whiskey tumbler, or a well-made turntable on which you can place your favourite LPs. When it comes to clothes, as we’ve long argued, you should never really shirk on investing in a few pieces that’ll act as wardrobe workhorses – in other words, rather than buying high-fashion patterns, consider, instead, getting him some classic menswear that’ll stand the test of time.
A favoured item on the Gentleman’s Journal Shop, Peregrine’s ‘skiddaw’ jumper is coveted for the fact that it balances a rural-worthy style with a rugged waffle-knit pattern, and a fuss-free look. The iconic grey sweatshirt, immortalised by Steve McQueen et al., is like a harrington jacket or a dark-hued bomber in the way that it can be mixed and matched with a variety of items – this organic-cotton option, by Uniform Standard, is pre-washed to minimise shrinkage and looks best with a pair of dark-indigo denim. For a go-to anchor, the ‘Barcombe’ chino, by Aubin, is crafted from 100% cotton twill that provides a soft yet hardy feel.
Peregrine ‘skiddaw’ waffle crew neck jumper
Uniform Standard organic cotton fleece sweatshirt
Aubin ‘Barcombe’ chino
Soles to last
Footwear is not a purchase that should be approached with little thought. If you invest lightly, it shows: as shoes get more wear and tear than any other item one owns – especially when commuting to work, running for cabs, scooting to meetings across town, day after day, week after week – a pair on the more economic end of the scale will get worn down in little time. So for soles he’ll appreciate, have him try these three on for size.
Dark and ideal for this final month of moody winter weather, Uniform Standard has produced these clean-lined sneakers that are done out in chocolate-hued Italian suede, and made with a rubber cupsole for extra durability. Aurélien’s light-grey options, which are equally finessed, are a mid-tone set that strike a line between formal and casual (we quite like the travel-friendly dustbag that comes with the purchase). And, with spring days soon to come, bear in mind Unseen Footwear’s two-tone, light-hued offering, whose debossed insoles and thick rubber soles provide robustness when traversing the streets.
Uniform Standard ‘Series 1’ sneakers
Aurélien ‘Cambridge’ sneaker
Unseen Footwear ‘Marais’ sneaker
It’s the little things that count
Then there are the minute details – the ones that are often overlooked, but can blend utility with sartorial flair and make all the difference to one’s everyday enjoyment. The items below are widely loved, universally appealing in their design, and can elevate the most simple of wardrobes, meaning that there’s a high chance they’ll be appreciated by the most difficult to please.
If he’s a timepiece aficionado, a gift to complement his Rolex, Tudor or Grand Seiko might be a winner – as part of its line, Bennett Winch, specialist in luxury accessories, is purveying a hexagonal-shaped watch roll that features Tuscan-leather panels and a lining of supple Alcantara suede. To pair with his new Aubin chinos, we’d suggest you plump for this Awling belt, a lovely example of craftsmanship and whose structure is defined by a weave pattern. Finally, though we’re now living in a cashless world, it’s still worth pocketing a well-made wallet in order to cart around those everyday essentials; an icon since the 1930s, this billfold wallet is Ettinger‘s bestselling creation, with a black exterior and a vibrant-yellow inner.
Bennett Winch watch roll
Awling braided belt
Ettinger billfold wallet
Want more sartorial advice? These are the 5 Scottish menswear brands that you should be wearing…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.