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 (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.
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.
SHORTER CASUAL JACKETS
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.
- 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.
THEMED DIY GIFT SETS
- 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.