Phew – it’s been a busy week of blogging, I hope you’re not getting sick of me. Today it’s all about the men in your life and as always I’ve tried really hard to find things that are either meaningful or useful. I should add that a lot of these gifts would work just as well for women – and I’ve included some that can be enjoyed by couples too, the best of both worlds. So let’s crack on with thoughtful Christmas gifts for men 2021.
Thoughtful Christmas gifts for men 2021
I’m increasingly being asked to include men’s fashion on here so I’m starting with a few simple pieces that have caught my eye. This merino half zip comes in seven different colours and it’s great for a relaxed casual look. It’s probably best worn with a simple white t-shirt underneath so that the zip can be worn undone – the V shape that it creates does wonders for a midlife jawline.
Merino half zip available in 7 colours
Classic rugby shirts are hugely back in fashion. My boys spend hours scouring Depop for vintage versions from the 80s and 90s that make my heart pound. Do you remember when even at a national level rugby was a sport played by normal men with day jobs rather than the pro machines that they’ve turned into? I remember watching the five nations (as it was), knowing that I’d seen Will Carling in the flesh playing against my Sixth Form boyfriend on the school pitch (and, I should add, our team won!). I digress but cotton rugby shirts hold so much nostalgia for me, here’s a really lovely one that ticks the trend in a chic way, also available in grey.
One thing that I think often goes wrong in a midlife man’s wardrobe is t-shirts. Upgrading them to a textured knit makes the world of difference because it’s kinder to the flesh which, like ours, is softening (although they tend not to admit it). They’re often twice the price of an ordinary jersey tee and so if the man you’re buying for is anything like Mr MC they resist spending the money but they’re worth every penny. They’re hard to find, especially at this time of year but if you buy one for them, even though it feels like a bit of an unexciting present I bet you’ll find they opt for it every time when summer comes around again.
Here’s a white one, they come up small so size up.
This one is more true to size and less of a tapered fit.
If it’s snazzy you’re after though you can’t beat this. These shirts have a contactless payment facility built into the cuff; all of the designs are fabulous and they’re pricey but… they come with a free pocket square(!)
The same company produced the Climate Code shirts for men and women that you saw a lot of people wearing at Cop26. The design incorporates 800,000 years of data highlighting global warming – and of course the cash cuff is integrated too.
Back to the classics, if I could get Mr MC out of trainers, this is what I’d buy for him. Suede’s just that little bit more laidback than leather.
Thoughtful Christmas gifts for men 2021- smaller gifts
Moving on to other ideas, BrewDog have started an eco campaign in an attempt to make a small but important change to the climate crisis, you can find out more about it here.
Another good thing for the man who already has everything he needs is finding a truly great fragrance. Mr MC wears Aventus by Creed and it’s my favourite smell in the world which is a good thing because an EdP of this quality really lasts. It sticks to everything he touches for a while after he puts it on which I love if he carries my bag to the station because the fragrance keeps me company for the rest of my trip. It’s a risk buying a big bottle without trying it on the skin for a while first to test the dry down. This little selection pack is a great way of sampling Creed’s principle fragrances to find a favourite.
Now this idea might have been better in the teens post but apparently younger men in particular are increasingly starting to use products that enhance their complexions. Charlotte Tilbury’s discrete Unisex Healthy Glow has been popular with men since it launched and now there are ranges designed just for them such as this one. You’ll know if it would go down well with the man in your life – or not – as would be the case with mine.
Again this is possibly one for younger men who don’t wear prescription glasses, I’m thinking of my boys who stay on their screens until they go to sleep. They’re designed to filter blue light for a more restful night – and they look cool so there’s a chance they’d wear them in daytime too.
Thoughtful Christmas gifts for men 2021 – travel and good times
For as long as I can remember Mr MC and I have given each other travel related gifts. There isn’t often anything we really need so we focus on making memories if we can. Years ago he bought me a globe and it’s still one of my favourite things. When we lived in London we’d let the boys spin it, pick a country and then we’d find a restaurant that offered its cuisine. There’s no chance of that up here but at least now we can play the same game when we’re working on our list of ’60 places before we die’ (still in progress if you’re an Instagram follower).
And I can’t tell you how much I love these scratch-off maps. You can buy one to suit someone’s hobby and a few of you came to mind when I was looking through them – Gillian H this one’s for Mr H (I so hope he hasn’t got it)
There’s UK Golf Courses for Nicola R, British gin distilleries for lots of you, UK cycle climbs for our friend Roy (although Nicky really won’t thank me for that!). You can tick off British National Parks or UK & Ireland Marathons, these are the ones I’d like – European City Breaks and/or a European wine region map. There are loads of ideas for projects you can have with your other half or your friends – or just to follow a passion of your own. You can see the full collection here.
Alternatively how about a voucher that’s a gift to self as much as to him – a romantic break that comes with chic guaranteed.
For something that would last even longer, this pack contains 52 date ideas and can be personalised.
And lastly on the subject of gifts for him that can be shared by you, I thought these would be a good idea for couples who’ve been together a long time and feel they already know everything about each other. The idea is that you take a card when you go out for a meal and there are questions to ask each other over the starter, main course and dessert. I bet you’d start with the first few and then go off at a complete tangent which is fine, sometimes you just need a prompt and they’d be great to take on holiday with you. Of course you could use them with family or a group of old (or completely new) friends too
This made me smile, it’s a ‘Wonkey’ to add to your keyring and whip out when you’re at a ‘wonky’ table. My brother is always on the hunt for useful gadgets that you never knew you needed and he’d love this. Again, good for a holiday when you’re eating out at lots of different tables.
When we were on our Greek trip the one thing we were missing was a portable speaker. We’re used to travelling with the boys who take them wherever they go but this time we had to manage with the phone in a glass trick. So for our next foray we need to decide between a functional one that integrates with our home speaker system or something more visually appealing like this – and of course it will be great down on the deck in the summer too.
Portable speaker (4 colours available)
Oh how I love this. For some reason nobody in my life picks up on my love of pencils. I never write in pen unless I have to, I remember when the youngest was little he rather insightfully asked me if it was because I was afraid of making mistakes! Anyway retractable plastic pencils of course are no longer an option and I like the feel of a wooden one with a rubber on the end (for those mistakes) anyway. This beaver is such a great desk accessory – it would just bring small pockets of joy to anyone’s day in the office.
And that brings me on to the joy of pencils – a set for for number lovers…
… or for word lovers…
… or for animal lovers.
Another mention for Lego because these advanced kits are apparently so cult this year. Here’s an Man U Old Trafford set (other football grounds are available!) along with all kinds of other amazing projects here – complete Lego for adults collection
This looks like fun if you have a cheese lover in the family. It makes 40 batches of cheese, each one takes about an hour and includes options for: Mozzarella, Ricotta, Mascarpone, Halloumi, Feta, Scottish Crowdie, Labneh, Goat’s Cheese, Queso Blanco and Paneer. It even comes with a book of recipe ideas for each cheese when you’ve made it.
And last of all books are very personal but this is what I’ll be buying for Mr MC. It’s exactly the kind of dystopian concept that he likes and yet it sounds as though it runs close to the truth as far as the dominance of social media companies are concerned. It’s the long awaited follow-on from The Circle so it may be best to read that first.
Some brands are releasing their Black Friday offers early so that they can manage distribution over a period of time. Others have decided this week that they won’t be running them at all – I’ve heard from a couple who had sent notice of the usual 20% through but have now cancelled it because their sales have been so strong (particularly in partywear) that they don’t feel the need to discount. It’s all very interesting. On the whole the early offers are teasers and will get bigger next week.
I’ll be running my usual Black Friday listing post next week where I’ll collate the best offers. In the meantime these are the early starters:
Offers to note
There’s currently 10% off flower orders with code FLW10 (I’m not sure how long for) which annoyed me because it came out just after I’d placed mine. As usual I’ll remind you about the amaryllis, they’ve added pussy willow to it this year too, far nicer than last year’s gold sprayed twigs. Don’t forget that it arrives in tight buds that take about 4 days to open if you’re timing it for Christmas Day and it’s available in red or white.
Christmas Amaryllis – also available in white
Joules – have lots of big discounts on their own and ‘Friend of Joules’ brands including 25% off Cox and Cox where there are fabulous Christmas decorations and gift ideas. Find all the information about discounts here.
Waterstones – have launched their Black Friday offers here. They take longer to deliver than Amazon but it’s great to support them so now’s a good time to look for presents.
Oasis – has launched Black Friday early, not the most sustainable of brands but they probably have the biggest selection of sparkly partywear as we remember it, all now discounted here.
Warehouse – ditto really, lots of partywear and an extra discount on top of the ones that are already there if you download the app. Black Friday here.
La Redoute – have started their Black Friday early with offers on everything until 30th November. You can find details here.
New Balance – are giving us Black Friday early access between 22nd and 25th November, it will go live here at 00.01 on Monday 22nd November. It’s open to the public from 26th November.
John Lewis & Partners have now started to price match brand offers so you can keep up to date with that here – there are some good new beauty offers at the moment
So with that I’ll leave you to shop. I wrote this post last night because I’m having some vascular surgery today so I’m taking it easy. I’ve had a problem with a vein behind my knee since I was pregnant with the middle one but over the last 18 months with all the running and gym training I’ve been doing it’s got a lot worse (as my sister quipped “exercise – it isn’t good for you!”). This summer it’s been burning and itching and if I’ve done a hard session it swells to the point where I can’t bend my leg. I’ve been told it’s only going to get worse if I wait so I’ve opted to pay to have it sorted out now. It means it’ll be a quiet weekend for us with me in a surgical stocking (which won’t be as thrilling as Mr MC seems to think). I have a sit/stand regime to follow and tickets for a play we’ve been waiting to see tomorrow night so I hope we can still go – and that I won’t be too much of a nuisance to the people behind. Other than that I’m going to keep myself busy by both starting and finishing my Christmas shopping.
Have a brilliant weekend and I’ll be back on Tuesday with gifts for women and then Friday with a round-up of the best Black Friday offers. Thank you for reading – as always.
Disclosure: ‘Thoughtful Christmas gifts for men 2021’ is not a sponsored post
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