Nick’s 2018 gift + jacket guide for guys

father and daughter baby girl gift guide

As a new dad, I’m in need of a lot of things. But seeing as Santa isn’t going to give me more sleep (or get my infant to stop using the carseat as her toilet), let’s focus on stuff that actually could end up under the tree. So if you’re doing some last-minute shopping, take a look below and please excuse any bad jokes or sleep-deprived typos. You can also check out my gift guides from years past for more ideas.


I reviewed a bunch of coats last year, and a nice coat is even more important to me now. Because if I’m going to walk out of the house in anything other than a drool-covered Baby Bjorn, I’ll be damned if I won’t look good doing it.

(For sizing reference, I’m a little over 5’8”, about 165 pounds, and take sz S unless otherwise noted.)

banana republic mens camel wool coat

  • Banana Republic (pictured above)
    Camel Car Coat (on on sale!; 2 colors) – I was skeptical of this type of coat, mostly because I couldn’t figure out why it was called a car coat. Is it for driving cars? Is it for sitting in cars? Is it for driving camels? Anyway, I tried it on and was pleasantly surprised.
  • Theory
    The Belvin wool coat with a stand collar is a sleek, contemporary variation on a classic overcoat. They updated the coat this year with a zipper instead of buttons. I’m usually an S in most brands, but XS fit best in this year’s coat, so either they changed up sizing or I am slowly withering away. See it on me in gray and in a prior year navy.
  • More budget-friendly options
    Express (on on sale!; also in tall) + Asos (starting in XXS, plus or tall). Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try these on, but they seem like 2 classic topcoat options. Express has several colors including a water resistant one with great reviews. I have an older coat from ASOS that I like, and even though they’re across the pond it’s still easy and fast to order.

Maybe you don’t live in the frigid hellhole that is the Northeast, so you need something lighter. Or, maybe you live somewhere even colder and need layering pieces for under your coat.

mens gift guide sweater cardigan jacket
topman slim fit mens bomber jacket
Left: 1901 Terry Shawl Cardigan sz S // Right: Topman Bomber Jacket sz S

  • Knit: 1901 Terry Shawl Cardigan (Under $100)
    A sweatshirt cardigan seems like a weird combo at first, but it’s super versatile. I have a similar one from Ted Baker and wear it year-round. It’s a mix of cool relaxed vibes with refined old man style. And since being a super relaxed yet refined old man is one of my new goals in life, this cardigan is a winner.
  • Cotton Twill: Topman Bomber Jacket ($85; 2 colors)
    I think they make at least one of these every season and it always fits about the same (slim and not too long), which is a great thing because it’s one of my favorite jackets. An S was a littttttle tight in the upper back, but I wouldn’t size up because I am in denial and am totally going to join a gym in January. Also available on Topman’s site starting in a rare mens size XXS.
  • Wool: Banana Republic Wool Bomber Jacket
    This material is much heavier weight than your average bomber jacket, but without feeling bulky. It’s cut slim, and it kind of feels like a refined version of a high school letterman jacket, except my parents didn’t make me wear it 4 sizes too big so I could “grow into it.”
  • Quilted: Bonobos Quilted Shirt Jacket
    This one is more like a jacket than shirt, which is good considering the price tag. It’s cut slim like a shirt, but is thick and quilted, almost giving it the weight of something like a Barbour jacket. The blue is more of a dusty navy, and looks better in person than it does online.
  • Vest: J.Crew Factory Vest
    I always used to worry about wearing a vest because I didn’t want to end up on @midtownuniform. This one is foolproof to layer with, though, and is flat so it doesn’t add puffiness.

banana republic mens wool bomber jacket
bonobos quilted barbour style mens jacket gift guide

  • Fancy Olive Oil…What?
    Never did I imagine I’d say the words: “You know what makes a great gift? Olive oil.” Yet here we are. I’d never buy this stuff on a trip to the grocery store, but I’ve gotten it as a gift before and use it all the time on popcorn, salads, and more. Package it up with this super easy to use microwave popcorn maker bowl and a jar of jumbo pop kernels (both of these are a staple in our household), and you can enjoy some homemade gourmet popcorn in under 5 minutes.
  • A Nice Set of Drinking Glasses + His Favorite Whiskey
    Apparently, you can’t take a baby to a fancy cocktail bar (I have yet to test out this claim). But in the meantime, why not bring the fancy bar home? Grab a few of these rocks glasses and pair them with his favorite whiskey. If you’re not sure, anything Japanese is pretty trendy these days and can please Scotch and bourbon drinkers alike.
  • Binge Eating Inspired by Binge Watching
    That dad bod isn’t going to get all pudged up on its own. Ship some Milkbar to your favorite foodie so he can binge eat while binge re-watching the Christina Tosi Chef’s Table episode or get her newest cookbook and maybe even re-up that Netflix subscription.
  • A good mobile battery
    For stocking stuffers, I always appreciate getting a useful thing I can never have enough of because I always misplace it. And one of those things is a good mobile battery. I like this one on Amazon because it has both the iPhone and micro-USB cords built right into the battery.
  • Tiny but expensive toiletries
    This is the part of the guide where I shamefully admit my wife has gotten me addicted to La Mer face cream. That is all.
  • Surprisingly good basics
    While our daughter was in the hospital, I ran out of clean underwear so walked over to Target to scrounge for a 5 pack of Fruit of the Loom tighty whities. What I found instead, was a bunch of great Goodfellow & Co. boxer briefs in fun (but still very manly!) prints. Plus, their T-shirts are a great value with a nice slim fit. I also love Uniqlo heattech thermal leggings and shirts, which I am now discovering also double as Dad Spanxx (patent pending).

Want more ideas? Check out my men’s gift guides from previous years.

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Leave a Comment


  1. Shannon wrote:

    This is so cute that your man writes posts on your blog for you…love it!

    Posted 12.16.18 Reply
  2. Always love Nick’s gift guides and his sense of humor! Thanks for sharing all of these great finds!

    Elizabeth T.

    Posted 12.16.18 Reply
  3. Denise W. wrote:

    Thanks, Nick!
    But don’t forget the Temecula Olive Oil Company! We sent out a bunch of samplers of their olive oil, balsamic vinegars, dips, and bath and body items (my husband loves their peppermint foaming hand soap). Online shopping 👍

    Merry Christmas!

    Posted 12.16.18 Reply
  4. Young wrote:

    Thanks for the gift guide, Nick! Your sense of humor is great – had me chuckle a few times.

    The Style Intermission

    Posted 12.16.18 Reply
  5. Janki wrote:

    It’s nice to see that lack of sleep has not affected Nick’s sense of humor. I would love a repeat of that hilarious April Fools post from years ago…was it Petite Asian Boy or something like that?
    Hope the first Christmas is awesome.

    Posted 12.15.18 Reply
  6. Love the camel coat – great list!

    Rebecca |

    Posted 12.15.18 Reply
  7. P wrote:

    Where is your dark gray wool hat from (and is it recent)? N lost one just like it last year and am trying to replace it for him. Thanks, Nick! – P

    Posted 12.15.18 Reply
  8. Trina wrote:

    Really enjoyed the reading. Thanks for the guide and the jokes since we just have our second sons in August. I wish they make tailor coat like the BR one you sported in the first photo for men at 5’6” height. My husband is slim and on a shorter side so even though like the look but couldn’t find one that’s not too long on him.

    Posted 12.15.18 Reply
  9. Thank you for the gift guide, Nick! It was super helpful and your picks are really stylish, haha! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Posted 12.15.18 Reply
  10. Janet wrote:

    I was actually excited when I saw Nick’s gift guide this year since I remember last year’s being so funny. He did not disappoint! Thank you for a great, well thought out and appropriately funny post.

    Posted 12.15.18 Reply
  11. I always love Nick’s gift guides! Thanks for all the great gifting ideas!

    Happy Saturday!

    Posted 12.15.18 Reply
  12. Naima wrote:

    I love that tan coat! I may be biased though, I have a very similar one of my own! (its an a babaton one form Aritzia and is actually super petite-friendly)!

    Naima |

    Posted 12.15.18 Reply
  13. Janine wrote:

    Nick did so well on this post! Hahah had to laugh a little bit over all the having a new born and being a new dad references – I can only imagine how little sleep you both get these days!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    xx Janine

    Posted 12.15.18 Reply
  14. Roses for Fridays | by mia wrote:

    Great gift guide for the men in our lives … very lovely! Joyeux Noel!

    Posted 12.15.18 Reply

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