Nick’s 2019 Coat & Gift Guide for Guys

This is a guest post by Nick, husband of Jean. 

Another year, another gift guide. Somehow, despite a rowdy one-year-old on the loose, I was able to get this guide up earlier than ever. It’s a Christmas miracle! All it took was both her grandmothers, a stack of lift-a-flap books taller than she is, and a possessed dancing monkey to keep her occupied.

(For sizing reference, I’m a little over 5’8”, about 165 pounds, and 10.5/11 in shoes)

1. Coats: A Mini Guide

A good coat is all about the fit and materials. But most guys don’t like going store-to-store trying on dozens of coats comparing quality and price, etc, so I’m happy to do it for you! Under Jean’s watchful eye and with only minimal bribery and coercion, of course.

jcrew mens insulated topcoat camel coat review

J.Crew Everyday Insulated Topcoat, Frye shoes (similar from a “great” sneaker brand; TTS)

J.Crew Everyday Insulated Topcoat
Features: Insulated with a quilted lining, comes in short sizing, all the classic colors, and great price. This is the most practical, bang for your buck topcoat I found, and it earns bonus points for the use of sustainable materials in the insulation. From my try-ons, this seems like a really solid coat, but you do sacrifice some sleekness for added warmth. 

Club Monaco Wool Blend Topcoat
Features: Trim fit with a hint of texture and full lining. However, no short sizing. Compared to the J.Crew Insulated Topcoat, this one looks a little more tailored and the textures look nice closer up. I’m trying on a size 38 here.

mens coat gift guide club monaco

Club Monaco Wool Blend Topcoat 38 on sale! in grey vs navy, Sperry boots (updated version)

club monaco topcoat gift for men

2. A Socially Acceptable Hoodie

Somehow my old tattered hoodies have a way of sneaking into the donation pile, or trash can, or even one time the compost bucket. Maybe it’s Nori’s doing? This mystery will probably never be solved.

Everlane Felted Merino Hoodie
It’s light and soft without feeling overly delicate, and it fits like a nice sweater. I actually found the merino to be softer than their cashmere version, plus it has a kangaroo pocket and is $60 less. And I have a suspicion it won’t mysteriously end up in the donation pile. This fit well on me in size S. 

3. Comfortable EVERYDAY Pants

While a pair of flannel snowman-print pants is a lovely gift, a pair of comfortable pants you can wear year-round and in public is a truly useful gift. Although, I shouldn’t be talking as our mailman can attest, I wear my Christmas jammies in June.

Lululemon ABC Pants (6 colors; free in-store hemming)
The bottom line: stretchy but classy athleisure pants, good for gluttonous events at work and at home.
An update on these pants I first wrote about in the summer: they’ve held up well in the washer and dryer and, uh, stayed true to their name (Google the acronym on your work wifi at your own risk). Basically every day that requires wearing pants, I either wear or at least considering wearing them. The only other pair of pants that’s managed to get me out of them is…

Everlane Performance Chino (6 colors; lots of inseam options including a rare 28″)
The bottom line:
the best-looking, most-comfortable chinos in recent memory.
Really great chinos. They don’t have that tech-fiber feel of athleisure pants but are just as comfortable. They have a similar look to my old go-to J.Crew chinos, and although the material is a bit lighter in weight, they fit better on me and don’t bag out at the crotch and knees after 1 wear. Plus, good news for all the begrudging pants cuffers out there—they offer a short 28-inch inseam. I’m still cramming my dad thighs into the slim cut, but the athletic cut is actually pretty good and not too loose.

nordstrom anniversary sale mens topshop jacket

Lululemon ABC pants in slim, Topshop bomber jacket (updated version here)

4. “Sub” in some instant gratification

The great thing about digital subscriptions as gifts is they can be bought last minute, used immediately, and require zero gift-wrapping. Although it doesn’t hurt to do a little creative presentation beyond “merry xmas i texted you my hbo login.”

5. Waterproof Boots 

As much as I secretly want to be a real life Paddington Bear, I can’t pull off galoshes (or wellies, as our furry friend would call them). Fortunately, Cole Haan has a selection of very nice waterproof boots that don’t look like waterproof boots.

gift ideas for guys cole haan waterproof boots

Wagner Grand Plain Toe Boot
They make the Wagner waterproof boot in a few different styles (i.e. Chelsea and Chukka) but this was my personal favorite. The brown nubuck is a little more casual, while the British tan has a nice polish to it. It also has a lightly padded lining throughout the boot for additional warmth and runs a little narrow in the toe, but it’s pretty comfortable for a dressier boot. 

holiday gift ideas for men cole haan boots

OriginalGrand Boot
A comfortable, everyday fall and winter boot. The light tan is less green than it looks in the online images, and the black ones give off some serious Doc Martens vibes, if that’s your thing.


For anyone who’s spent any time getting sucked down a YouTube rabbit hole, you’ve undoubtedly come across the celebrity torture interview series, Hot Ones, which features everyone from Chrissy Teigen to Shaq eating an increasingly spicy array of hot wings while answering questions. So grab a few of the sauces featured on the show and see if his tongue could handle the hot seat . And if they’re not into hot stuff, maybe try some seasoned salts from Momofuku.

7. WHISKEY tasting set

Jean picked up on my hint in last year’s guide, and I found an excellent bottle of Japanese whiskey under the tree. But if you want to avoid the trip to the liquor store and having your ear talked off by the local whiskey connoisseur, just get this Japanese Whiskey Tasting Set.


Surprise him with some classy noods haha get it wink wink nudge nudge…I am talking about a delicious ramen or pasta-making class, of course. It doesn’t have to be in Italy or Japan (although ideal). Just do a search for classes or events in your area or check out Airbnb Experiences, and always assume clothes are required. Although, who knows, maybe Noods in the Nude is a thing out there somewhere.

I hope this post helps you with your holiday shopping, but to make guides like this more useful, let me know what categories you like seeing best or other types of reviews you’d like in the future!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

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  1. Jill wrote:

    I bought the Japanese whiskey tasting set for my husband’s birthday, and he absolutely loved it! He loves whiskey, and he has never tried Japanese whiskey before. He is usually (self-described) very challenging to shop for, so this was huge/ I scored major points with him. 🙂 Thanks a million Nick, and to Jean for kindly asking Nick to provide a guest post.

    Posted 12.24.19 Reply
  2. I look forward to Nick’s posts every year 😀 This year definitely didn’t disappoint as well! Really thinking about getting those boots for my BF!

    XO, Elizabeth T.

    Posted 12.5.19 Reply
  3. Stephanie wrote:

    I got my boyfriend the Scotch Whisky Advent calendar (found through your whiskey tasting link). Shipping was fast and it arrived today. He’s a big scotch guy and was so excited! Thanks so much, Nick!

    Posted 12.5.19 Reply
  4. Shirley wrote:

    Great post! Would love to hear some suggestions for men’s fashion bloggers in general for all the gals that shop for their partners 🙂

    Posted 12.4.19 Reply
  5. Stephh wrote:

    Great list Nick! This is so helpful! Some category suggestions for the future: men accessories like wallets, belts, etc.(budget friendly options as well as luxury ones!) Thanks! Looking forward to next years!

    Posted 12.3.19 Reply
  6. Ruth Josey wrote:

    Hahahaha! I like your style, Nick! Thanks so much for the tips and reviews and gift suggestions. I love the idea of waterproof boots that aren’t galoshes. I’ll have to have a look at the Lululemon ABC pants.


    Posted 12.2.19 Reply
  7. lola wrote:

    what size were you wearing for J.CREW EVERYDAY INSULATED TOPCOAT, nick?

    Posted 11.30.19 Reply
    • Nick wrote:

      In my haste to get this post up, that was the one size I forgot to note down! I *think* it was a 36R but will go try it on again and update the post accordingly.

      Posted 11.30.19 Reply
  8. Thank you so much for the gift guide, Nick! Reading through it with my husband now! The clothing and shoe ideas are most helpful for us! As for other ideas in the future, maybe trips/experiences-type gifts?

    Posted 11.29.19 Reply
  9. Billie Li wrote:

    Love the guest post! Could really use the gift ideas for my guy

    Posted 11.28.19 Reply
  10. Mireia wrote:

    He made such a great selection!

    Posted 11.28.19 Reply
  11. Raven wrote:

    Just made ramen noodles at a cooking class (not one of these two), and it was a great date! My husband likes to cook but is fairly new to it. Noodle making is simple but feels special. Great gift idea!

    Posted 11.27.19 Reply
    • Sunita LeGallou wrote:

      Nick’s posts are the best 🤣 also, I forward them all to my bf

      Posted 11.28.19 Reply
      • Victoria wrote:

        His expression is just the best! But these are great tips!!

        Posted 11.28.19 Reply
    • Irene wrote:

      I bought my husband Lululemon’s ABC commission pants (more zippers and not slim cut) based on Nick’s previous review and he LOVES them! Thanks, Nick! Would love to hear any other recs he might have for high quality, low-to-moderately-priced not-pajamas-but-feel-like-pajamas millennial Dad attire! Or if he’s tried the competitor brands like Public Rec

      Posted 11.28.19 Reply
    • Christine wrote:

      Thanks for this! The Tasting Sets are a GREAT idea! Too late for Xmas but upcoming birthday is perfect.

      Posted 12.25.19 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    Great insight

    Posted 11.27.19 Reply
  13. Risa wrote:

    Great post!! So helpful as always 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

    Posted 11.27.19 Reply
  14. Janine wrote:

    Yay, always love Nick’s guest posts! This is such a good Cyber Week shopping guide, I love how curated it is and not overwhelming at all!
    xx Janine

    Posted 11.27.19 Reply

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