When it comes to checking best best-dressed man in your life off your holiday shopping list, you should make sure you’ve gone for things that are a little off the beaten path. After all, he’s probably already bought himself this season’s must-have loafers or that Gucci bag you’ve been seeing everywhere. So, whether you want to go big (an entire wardrobe) or small (blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cufflinks), the following four gifts all are perfectly unique, and are sure to be something your intended doesn’t already have his eye on. And if you need even more inspiration, check out seven other sartorially-minded gifts that are sure to be winners on Christmas morning.
Bespoke Wardrobe by Tokyo’s Top Artisans
Every well-heeled man has his share of bespoke suits and shoes, but only a few can have their suits and accessories handmade by Japan’s finest craftspeople. That’s because these hard-to-find masters produce such a limited number of handmade pieces. We enlisted Mark Cho, the genius behind the Armoury menswear stores in New York and Hong Kong, to take one lucky gentleman to meet his top Japanese sources, guide the recipient in commissioning his own wardrobe, and help him skip the waiting list.
Cho will spend three days with the recipient in Tokyo, escorting him to his favorite artisans. First stop: Tailor Caid, founded by Yuhei Yamamoto, for a bespoke suit. Says Cho, “He is my pick among Japanese tailors because he goes the extra mile to make garments unique to the customer.” Next, a visit to Yohei Fukuda for bespoke shoes. “His style crosses traditional English style with a keen sense of proportion and Japanese attention to detail,” says Cho, noting that Fukuda produces only about 60 pairs of shoes annually. Finally, a visit to Ortus, the atelier of Naoyuki Komatsu, who stitches his bags entirely by hand, eschewing any machines or automation of any kind—and thus makes only about 50 pieces a year.
Beyond the clothes, the recipient will spend time with masters and learn about their unique crafts and aesthetics. “Bespoke is not just about having beautiful things made for you; it’s also about developing a relationship with a craftsman,” says Cho. “It is simply a pleasure to form human connections with artisans, develop ideas, and see them create beautiful things by hand.” After commissioning the pieces, the recipient will tour the craftspeople’s ateliers and join them for a meal, where they can get to know each other and forge those relationships.
Prices start at $40,000. Visit The Armoury or 646.613.7613 to purchase.
Verdura Cuff Links
It can be hard for men to infuse a sense of personality or whimsy into their wardrobe without drawing too much attention, but cuff links are a quick fix. This Verdura Night & Day pair ($8,500)—a mismatched globe and starry sky in enamel, gold, and diamonds—is not only stylish and fun but also has a great backstory: Fulco di Verdura created the originals for his friend, composer Cole Porter. The jewelry house has reissued a limited series of the design.
If his work bag is looking a little tired, give him a wardrobe upgrade with one of these Magnanni hand-painted leather bags (backpack, $995, briefcase, $1,100). At first glance they look too precious to toss around, but in fact, they’re handmade in top-grade durable calfskin that over time will acquire a lustrous patina. Magnanni, based in the sleepy Spanish village of La Mancha, is a fourth-generation leather producer known for its artisan-made shoes and accessories. Available to purchase at Bergdorf Goodman, call 888.774.2424 for details.
Giorgio Armani Neve Ski Gear
Like it or not, the ’90s are back. Iconic brands have been revisiting their greatest hits from the era for the last few years, but Giorgio Armani’s update on the repeat decade is one of the first that’s actually built to last. The Italian house’s new Neve line, which is based on its first skiwear collection from nearly three decades ago, looks as fresh on the powder today as it did way back when. This time around, however, outerwear in Armani’s signature midnight-blue hue comes padded in cashmere flakes—a process that avoids the use of down while still keeping everything warm, lightweight, and durable. The collection also includes velvet ski suits and cashmere zip-up sweaters, plus helmets, boots, and accessories. What we recommend gifting your resident snow bunny? The stone-cold coat that looks like a slab of slate.
From $575. Available for purchase at Giorgio Armani’s New York City boutique, call 212.988.9191 for details.