Tidy Kitten Holiday Gift Guide 2017: For the Guys

Updated November 2019

Buying gifts for guys, especially boyfriends, always feels like a much bigger challenge than shopping for the girls on our list. Asking can feel besides the point — shouldn’t you know him well enough to intuit his desires? — and then if you do ask, 9 times out of 10 he’s vague. And most gift guides are written by women, who somehow are all dating (or wish they were dating) James Browning from Winning London — the only person we can think of who might actually welcome and use the monogrammed flasks and gaudy cufflinks so pervasive to gift round-ups. Luckily for you, we browbeat the men in our lives — real men, not idealized British lords — into revealing what they’d really like to see under the tree this year. Take a look!

Experience Gifts

Far and away, this was the number one gift the guys we asked recommended. Concert tickets, weekend getaways, even cooking classes all fit the bill. One friend told us about a memorable afternoon learning about urban beekeeping. Another mentioned a leather working class, then proudly showed us the belt he’d made. Any chance to spend quality time with you — while doing something fun, or at least interesting — seems like a winner.

Allbirds Men’s Wool Runner, $95

Maybe it’s because we live in San Francisco — Allbirds’ hometown — but every guy we know is wearing these shoes. Doesn’t matter is they work in tech or finance, these wool sneakers are on their feet. Available in a range of colors, the shoes promise a host of benefits: they’re lightweight, stay cool in the heat but warm in the cold, can be worn sock-free, and the wool supposedly wicks moisture and minimizes odor. Almost sounds like a gift to you, too, if they make smelly dude feet a thing of the past.

Nikon D3300, $499.95

Instagram has made photographers of us all, and the men we know are ready to take their game to the next level. Or, at least, several told us that they’d like a grown-up camera for Christmas. The Nikon D3300 is a great first step into dSLR, promising great photo quality and approachable features at a reasonable price. (Leave the $2000 cameras for when they hit 20,000 Insta followers.) Get ready for a lot of photo walks in your future.

DJI Mavic Pro Drone, $905

The other big tech gift on our pals’ wish lists? A drone. We admit we don’t much see the appeal here, but then that lack of understanding is what results in all those ill-advised monogrammed flasks stuffed in stockings each year. Anyway, supposedly this DJI Mavic Pro is first class. If you suspect a drone won’t really get that much play after a few heady days of enthusiasm, a good budget option is the Syma X5SC ($50).

Fat Cat Poker Set, $39.58

Poker night really is a thing, even 14 years on from How to Lose a Guy in 10 DaysThis comprehensive set. comes with two decks of cards and 500 striped clay chips, conferring top dog status on the receiver. The sleep aluminum case is also a vast storage improvement over rubber bands and ziploc bags.

Ray-Ban Original Wayfarers, $150

What guy doesn’t look great in Wayfarers? Not a one, and new sunglasses were a common request among the men we polled. The Wayfarer is close to universally flattering in shape, and the shades got a boost of cool from Ansel Elgort in this summer’s Baby Driver. And, of course, there’s the residual cool from Risky Business. Don’t be surprised if, after getting these sunglasses, your boyfriend listens to “Old School Rock ‘n Roll” on repeat. (Hold the tighty whities.)

Vilebrequin Morio Stripe Swim Trunks, $230

Maybe you and your beau have a tropical getaway planned for the new year. Maybe you know that when Memorial Day rolls around, your beau will resort to wearing the same raggedy Pac-Sun board shorts he’s had since high school. Either way, new swim trunks make a perfect holiday gift, falling perfectly in the Venn Diagram of “essentials he really needs” and “essentials he’ll never buy himself.” To make this gift feel a bit more indulgent, choose a pair from French brand Vilebrequin. Their beautifully made trunks come in a range of fun colors and patterns. We’ve selected this Morio pair with a more subdued pattern — albeit in a bright hue — popular among our guy friends, but take a look at the whole selection to find the pair best suited to your beau.

Patagonia Men’s Retro Pile Fleece Pullover, $129

The limit does not exist when it comes to guys and the number of Patagonia pullovers they’d like in their closets. Find one in a new color, a new material, and this is sure to be one of their favorite, most used presents. This year, our friends are especially taken with this retro pile fleece offering — maybe Stranger Things is responsible? At any rate, the “El Cap Khaki” color is quite charming in a lumbersexual kind of way.

HyperIce Vyper 3-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller, $179

If you think a regular foam roller is great for sole muscles, imagine one that vibrates. Exactly. This vibrating foam roller is so good, we included it on our girls’ gift guide, too. A perfect “didn’t-know-I-needed-it,” “how-did-I-live-without-it” gift that will leave your partner (and you, if he shares) more relaxed and limber. And who doesn’t love that?

Kat Crookshanks