What Guys REALLY Want (We Asked!)

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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When it comes to holiday gifts, what guys want and what girls want aren’t all that different — perhaps something useful but a little indulgent, something that’ll last, something fun and nostalgic. But, since the reality of finding those elusive unicorns can be near impossible, we’ve asked the men of Refinery29 to divulge their wish lists

From gadgets and man toys to sweaters you’ll be stealing — to some pretty big-ticket splurges — check out the gifts our own fellas are endorsing this season.


Philippe von Borries, co-founder

Paul Duncan The James Bond Archives — “Skyfall may be the Bond film everyone is talking about right now, but there are 50 years of Bond history out there to delve into. This huge tome is going to get prime real estate on the coffee table.”
$200, available at Taschen. 

International Watch Co. Schaffhausen Watch — “At some point, every man needs to splurge on a ridiculously expensive, ridiculously good-looking watch. I’ll keep dreaming about it for it now…”
price upon request, available at IWC.


Shipley & Halmos Down Jacket — “You wouldn’t think there could be anything you could do to make a puffer jacket look cool, but the guys at Shipley & Halmos have figured it out.”
$595, available at Shipley & Halmos. 

Rag & bone Zermatt Scarf — “I’m done with buying cheap, itchy scarves. This one from rag & bone keeps me really warm without making me look like a high school choir kid.” 
$220, available at Rag & Bone. 

Geo F. Trumper Sandalwood Deodorant — “The scent is subtle, but the deodorant is powerful. Plus, the missus doesn’t complain about me cluttering the dresser top with it, thanks to the fancy packaging.”
$24, available at FSC.


Justin Stefano, co-founder 

McClure’s Spicy Bloody Mary Mix — “A good Bloody Mary is tantamount to heaven, and the guys behind McClure’s pickles make a damn good mix.”
$12.50, available at Murray’s. 

Filson Twill Briefcase — “Filson is my go-to for luggage, and this twill bag is like a souped-up version of the ones I’ve been carrying for years.”
$295, available at Filson.


The Future Perfect Table Dodecahedron — “I’m not one for bringing too much of the outdoors indoors, but this terrarium set feels just right — living and vibrant, but still modern.”
$170, available at The Future Perfect. 

Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush — “Everyone hates going to the dentist (if you don’t, who ARE you?), and I try and make the visits as low impact as possible by using a really good toothbrush. This new Philips Sonicare could clean the mouth off a sailor.”
$175, available at Walmart. 

Scrabble Typography — “Typography nerds are oftentimes word nerds. Why didn’t this marriage come about sooner?”
$199, available at Winning Solutions.


Kristian Laliberte, senior editor

Amouage Body Cream — “The brand — a super-insider-y luxury fragrance house started in Oman — has a new collection fittingly called ‘Epic.’ The jade-green bottles are on point for Christmas, and there are super-luxurious details, like 22-carat gold candle holders and rare ingredients. The body cream is good for dry skin during the winter and it doesn’t smell too overpowering.”
$123.36, available at Amouage. 

Jack Spade Travel Kit — “I’d rather you didn’t see the state of my current dopp kit. So, to save me some sink-side embarrassment, can someone pretty please buy me this camo version from Jack Spade? I love that the lining is waterproof and is made from super-durable Cordura, meaning that it has serious staying power. Plus, I like that the camouflage print is more abstract than the usual offerings.”
$165, available at Jack Spade.


Title Of Work Tie — “Holiday-party season gives my tie rack a workout, so I want to treat myself with a new addition to the rotation. Title Of Work makes the most unique ties — fabricated in luxurious fabrics and featuring an artistic element, whether it’s a subtle pin or understated beading. This ombré one is handmade in NYC out of silk and rubber. Yes, rubber. I’m thinking I should rock this guy on New Year’s Eve!”
$340, available at Barneys New York. 

Cause And Effect Twisted Brass Cuff — “Who says girls get to have all the arm parties? I wear a couple of friendship-type bracelets during the summer in brighter colors, so I want to switch it up during the holidays with something that feels more wintry, with more heft. And the vintage-looking brass means there’s an ‘I’ve-had-it-forever’ thing going on.”
$75, available at Park & Bond. 

Chevrolet Spark —”While this car might look small, it delivers big performance. I test-drove it on a weekend getaway upstate, and it was smooth sailing all the way. But, more importantly, it’s the perfect city vehicle — the size makes it easy to navigate traffic and score parking spaces bigger cars could never fit into. Plus, it has five doors and something called MyLink, an infotainment system that allows you to connect your iPhone and, say, listen to your Pandora station or look at your photos on the dashboard’s touch-screen radio.”
starting from $12,245, available at Chevrolet.


Josh Himwich, VP of product

Apple iPad Mini — “It’s close to perfect because it combines the lightness and portability of the iPhone with the functionality and capabilities of the original iPads. I believe how we access the Internet on the go will forever change with this device because, like our phones are today, it’ll always be with us.”
$429 for 32 GB, available at Apple. 

The Brooklyn Kitchen Cooking Classes — “For me, experiences and the memories they create almost always trump a physical gift. One of my favorite pastimes is cooking, so this is close to a perfect gift because it’s both an experience in itself and it will lead to many more wonderful experiences when I cook (and eat) what I learn.”
starting from $30, available The Brooklyn Kitchen.


Thomas Keller Bouchon Bakery Cookbook — “Thomas Keller is the sort of chef who makes me so, so happy. He combines breathless creativity with rock-sold technique to produce food that is not only delicious, but also becomes the stuff of your warmest, happiest memories.”
$27.12, available at Amazon. 

Paul Smith Reversible Jacket — “I travel a lot, so I need a jacket that’s versatile in terms of both occasion and weather. This coat is serious enough for a night out on the town, but its slightly asymmetrical buttons and burgundy accents keep it fun and playful at the same time. And the real secret is that both the color and fabric are reversible — navy to burgundy and wool to nylon — so you have one coat that can go with anything and is ready for any kind of weather.”
$725, available at Paul Smith. 

Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy — “Thousands of New Yorkers, including some of my closest friends, are without a permanent home because their apartments are either gone or uninhabitable. Until every last person who was displaced by the storm is back on their feet, we need to keep on giving. We all love New York. Now, let’s show the world how much.”
donations of all amounts, available at RedCross.org.


Gabriel Bell, staff writer

Miansai Foksol Bracelet —”I’ve recently developed a taste for understated man bling. This piece would suit me just fine.”
$72, available at Miansai. 

Apple iMac Computer — “The new iMac is truly a thing of beauty — something even more elegant and amazing than the computers I dreamed of in my SciFi youth. I’ll have the big one, please.”
$1,299, available at Apple.


Marionette Theater R.U.R. Poster — “This is a print of a Works Progress Administration Federal Theatre Project poster for the 1939 Marionette Theatre production of R.U.R., the Czech play that first introduced the word ‘robot’ to the world. It is unspeakably awesome. Gimme.”
$348, available at Grabcart. 

F.S.C. Barber Signature Candle — “I’ve had many a good cut and many a filthy conversation at F.S.C. Barber. Love to take the smell of that place home.”
$55, available at F.S.C. Barber. 

Lemon Ball Original Lemon Peel Baseball — “There are few things more relaxing and conducive for thought than twirling an old baseball through your fingers. I don’t know if these guys are actually made for playing, but they’re ideal for handling, squeezing, and looking beautifully worn.” 
$45, available at Love Adorned.


Andrew Abshere, director of product management

Gant The Moleskin Skinny Cargo — “I’ve been wanting to get a pair of cargo pants for a couple of years now, but I haven’t because they were a little too ‘trendy.’ Whatever, I want them. Plus, they’re moleskin.”
$255, available at Gant. 

Oak Street Bootmakers Brown Vibram Sole Camp Boot — “These boots are kind of a no-brainer — moccasin construction (so they are super-comfortable), made in the U.S.A. (so you feel good), easily resoled (so they last a long time), and really good looking (so that you look really good).”
$236, available at Oak Street Bootmakers.


IGWT Flask — “These are some of the funniest flasks I’ve ever seen, and you can get anything engraved on them for free. Perfect for SantaCon.”
$50, available at In God We Trust. 

Miyamoto Manufacturing Co. Japanese Higo Knife — “I gotten into carrying around a pocket knife, and this is pretty much the most badass one I’ve ever seen.”
$60, available at Best Made. 

Sony NEX-5R — “I haven’t seen many cameras that are this good…that you still basically point and shoot. I want to pair it with this super-slim16mm lens so that I can literally slip it in my back pocket and carry it anywhere.”
$649.99, available at Sony.


Ryan Hines, videographer

uglyBROS Motorpool pant — “Rough and tough pants. Which I clearly need for my rough and tough lifestyle.”
$269, available at uglyBROS. 

Blackmagic Cinema Camera — “What video nerd wouldn’t want a low-budget, cinema-quality camera in their arsenal?”
$2,995, available at Blackmagic.


Ryca Custom Motorcycle Kit – CS-1 Cafe Racer — “A DIY Cafe Racer motorcycle kit! It’s perfect for letting your bike reflect a little personal style when you’re zipping around the city!”
$1,995, available at RYCA Moters

Carls Custom Amps ThunderGod — “Cool, hand-wired custom-amp clone!”
$465, available at eBay. 

Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot — “Having a good pair of leather boots is a must! If cared for the right way, these will last a lifetime.”
$340, available at Need Supply.


Nathan Reese, contributing music editor

Schott Bros. Classic Perfecto Motorcycle Jacket 118 — “If you’re going to buy a leather jacket, you may as get one that will last a lifetime. Schott Bros. invented the asymmetrical motorcycle jacket, and no one has ever made a better version. I like the 118, but there’s also a broken-in vintage version that’s beautiful, too. Classic.” 
$630, available at Schott Bros. 

Saddleback Leather Medium Bifold Wallet — “First, let me say that Dave, the proprietor of Saddleback Leather, is an American hero in the vein of Hemingway and Teddy Roosevelt. I’ve watched every single YouTube video on his website, and I fantasize about owning his luggage one day (that’s totally normal, right?). His products have a 100-year warranty and are built like tanks, which is more than I can say for the last ‘designer’ wallet I bought for double this price.”
$47, available at Saddleback.


Neil Gaiman Sandman Box Set — “One of the best comic books, ever, gets a nice box set and beautifully recolored art. You can’t call yourself a graphic-novel fan if you haven’t read these.” 
$119.88, available at Amazon

Blind Barber 90 Proof Pomade — “I get my hair cut by Rob at Blind Barber, and this is the product he uses on me after a trim. It does a great job of holding my hair in place without making it super-shiny, but I’m always running out!” 
$22, available at Beauty Bar. 

Jawbone Big Jambox — “I got my mom one of these for her birthday and I nearly kept it because it was so great. The sound is awesome for the size, and as someone who hates cords, Bluetooth is a nice option.”
$299.99, available at Jawbone


Jack Pearce, videographer

Oliver Sacks Hallucinations — “I’m into that kinda stuff — pop-sci neuro nonfiction and, uh…hallucinating.”
$16.17, available at Amazon. 

Dual Snowboard — “This is the best worst idea I’ve seen in a while.”
$299, available at Dual Snowboard.


Sushezi Sushi Kit —”No wait, actually the sushezi may be the best worst idea ever. And I just ordered one last night. So cross it off the list.”
$49.99, available at Stevens. 

Boosted Board Boosted Board — “This is seriously the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if it’s available for pre-order anymore, but I STILL WANT IT SO BAD. Plus, one of my friends from high school helped design it.”
$1,299 (not available), available at Boosted Board. 

Apple 27″ iMac Computer — “I need my anorexic CPU horsepower.”
$1,799, available at Apple.

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1 Comment

  1. Bought this for my mid teens grandson who is delighted with it. The leather is very substantial and the fit generous enough that he will not grow out of it for at least 2 or three years yet. The quality is good so no question it should be ok to pass on to his younger brother. Can only recommend highly. Have to praise the supplier for getting it to us with short notice to give as a present.

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