Gendered gift guides make me feel decidedly uncomfortable, mostly because I spend far too much time trying to position the title and product blurbs in a way that doesn't alienate anybody or reinforce any tired old stereotypes, whilst at the same time being clear that the items chosen have been chosen with male recipients in mind.
When did gift guides get that deep, right?
Trouble is, when I was pulling together this list of pressies, there was no escaping the fact that both my brother and boyfriend would prefer an Xbox controller holder over three different velvet cushions and a set of silky pyjamas. That's just their personal preference, however, and obviously isn't the case for all gents. That being said, the rest of the list is pretty similar to the gift guide I pulled together for myself; clothes, fancy toiletries, some cracking Etsy finds - it's all there. So I'm going to give my mind a rest for 15 minutes and feel happy saying, hey, this gift guide is intended for the awkward gents in your life that are difficult to buy for, based on the personal preferences of my brother and my boyf.
Okay, I admit, I have bought this for myself, but that gives me double the reason to recommend it as a pressie. It's only £5.99 (v. good stocking filler), it comes in a bunch of different colours, it's useful, PLUS you can wear it yourself. Everybody's happy!
Is he an old-school music lover or fan of vinyl? Grab one of these incredible disc clocks, all of which are made from real, recycled vinyls, come ready packaged in a gift box and can feature gold or silver hands depending on your preference.
Whenever I'm buying clothing bits for the gents in my life, I like to keep it classic. It's safer and I'll know they'll get a lot more use out of them, which makes these black tapered trousers the perfect everyday wearers. Team with a t-shirt and beanie for Shoreditch cool or smarten up with a viscose shirt for date night.
I featured this journal in my personalised gift guide and couldn't resist bringing it back for another mention, especially as it would make the ideal companion for any avid writers, creators, or workers on the go. Desk looking dull? Choose a brightly coloured leather and have their initials embroidered to brighten up the 9-5.
Very rarely do I ever see Keiran using a bag. Men seem to have something women aren't given: pockets. With that being said, this beautiful handmade phone sleeve protects against screen damage whilst also making your cards easy to access, and is available in tan, black or navy blue.
This is the 'big' present if you guys are doing them this year, or the one to club together with his friends or family for. Docs are pretty pricey, but they're such cool shoes and Keir wears his all the time. Also available in vegan leather, if the gent in question is a good person.
7. Dot & Stripe Shirt, £66.50 (currently on offer)
If I'm ever in doubt and I'm wanting a main pressie that I know is going to be well received, I opt for an All Saints shirt. They're good for dressing up or down, they feature a whole host of cool prints and colours, and they're a little more special than your usual high street finds.
Another great main present, this leather card wallet by Aspinal of London is on the affordable end of the designer scale, whilst still being beautifully crafted and a useful day-to-day alternative to his over-stuffed wallet.
If all else fails, buy gin. Give Gordon's a rest for a few weeks and pick up something a little more swanky (and by a little more swanky, I am, of course, referring to the design of the bottle), like this 700ml bottle of Sipsmiths. For extra Christmas points, combine with gift number 12 from this list and a stash of hipster lemonade.
They don't call them man's best friend for no reason (I mean, they're most people's best friend, but I said I was going to give myself a break for 15 minutes didn't I...). If there's a lad in your life that is crazy over his pooch, have their beautiful pupper face illustrated and printed onto a mug as a daily reminder of how much we don't deserve doggos. Be quick though - as each mug is handmade and personalised, you'll need to get your orders in within the next week to ensure the item comes in time.
The perfect stocking fillers, Keiran regularly picks up these 4 for £9.90 Uniqlo socks for his everyday foot-cosies. They're comfy, ribbed, and come in a shit load of different colours, so if you're trying to steer clear of the novelty route, maybe opt for these bad boys instead.
Is he partial to a drink or two in the comfort of his own home? Grab him a fancy glass to suit his gent of the manor lifestyle, and for extra points, accompany with a healthy bottle of alcohol.
My boyfriend and brother are both beard parents, and I hear on good authority that this Lush beard wash is the peak of face-fluff care. Surprisingly affordable too, so great for a stocking filler or Secret Santa gift.
14. Emu Slippers, £64 (currently on offer)
Slippers fall into the category of things that neither Keiran or Joe would ever buy for themselves, but that they both use on a daily basis. These sheepskin-lined ones are currently on offer for £64 and, judging by the Emu slippers that I own already, they promise to be insanely comfortable.
90% of the boys I know exclusively wear Calvin Klein pants. I don't know why - maybe they're recommended in their Year 6 sex ed lessons or something - but whatever it is, CK trunks will always be a safe bet come Christmas time.
16. Check Brushed Jumper, £21 (currently on offer)
Fluffy, comfortable and easy to throw on, this brushed check number from Urban Outfitters would look great paired with the trousers above (number 3) or with a simple pair of jeans.
17. Gold Lamp, £55
Looking to jazz up his bedside table or working desk sitch? Bring a little light into his life (hehe) with this minimalist gold lamp, also available in copper.
Another item that both Keiran and Joe use every day, but that neither of them ever buy, Christmas is as good a time as any to upgrade your gent's washbag game and opt for something new, clean and personalised. Pop his initials on here and fill with goodies for an easy winner.
If the All Saints option above (number 7) is a bit too pricey for your budget, then ASOS have some amazing alternatives made from the same viscose fabric and for a fraction of the price. I picked this one up for Joe as he's a fan of a jazzy shirt, but click here to have a peep at the other options.
20. Levi's 502 Jeans, £90 (currently 30% off everything for Cyber Monday)
A contemporary update on the classic 501s, the Levi's 502s are a great gift if you prefer picking up one or two more special pieces that you know he'll make use of everyday. Keiran wears his light blue 502s all the time, so they have the stamp of approval from him at home.
This is my all-time favourite moisturiser, and since everybody needs to take care of their skin, this will be going straight in Keiran's stocking. Don't bother getting him men's branded skincare for the sake of it - skip straight to the good stuff.
It's simple, it's timeless and it won't go green after a few days of hand-washing - treat him to a sterling silver ring and have something engraved on the inside at Timpson for extra sentimentality.
Fancy shower gel is the treat that keeps on giving. It looks expensive, he'll enjoy the scent, and you won't have to endure Lynx Africa for another week longer. What more could you want?
The perfect bedside table addition, this wooden docking station is made by hand and also features a handy hole to feed your charging cable through. Upgrade to the larger stand for watch and change storage too.
Does he spend a good portion of his life untangling headphones or trying to locate his phone charger? Pocket one of these cable organisers and have his initials embroidered for an extra special touch.
I respect this mug. You want to know why? Most biscuit mugs only leave space for one treat, which is ridiculous. Who the fuck ever eats just one biscuit? This jumbo babe knows the truth. It's simple and it does what it says on the tin, all for under a fiver. Please note: must be accompanied by copious packets of biscuits.
This is as much a gift for you as it is him. In our household, we're both guilty of gaming for hours on end, but only one of us takes the time to tidy up the controllers and wire situ after a day's hard graft. These handy wall mounts are only £4, and can be easily popped in a few minutes to make everything else that little bit more organised.