Looking to treat yourself with a lil sumthin’ sumthin’ this Christmas season? Or are you a lady looking to surprise her man with a special gift this holiday season? Or perhaps you have a dad, brother, cousin, uncle, best bud and grand dad to consider on your shopping list? Either way, our MenStylePower ‘Bumper Men’s Christmas Shopping Guide 2012′ is your Knight in Shining Armour.
From mental stimulation, to gadgets, gear and threads we’ve got you covered this holiday season from head to toe! Good Tidings …. Happy Shopping!
FOR YOUR MIND
Reading is such a wonderful holiday pleasure. Many pleasant Christmas hours have been whiled away under a tree reading my favourite classic and getting lost in a world very different to my own. This year, Penguin’s new cloth bound classics collection (which includes ‘Crime & Punishment’, ‘Great Expectations’ and Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’) has been designed by award winning Coralie Bickford-Smith. Her combination of fantastic modern color pairings with old worldly nostalgia makes for great design and the covers each represent central themes of the books themselves. As Vogue said, “what better excuse to revisit these timeless stories?” Penguin Hardcover Classics; USD $20 each. us.penguingroup.com
Tech industry analysts say e-readers are going to be one of the hottest gadget categories this holiday season. But before you buy ask yourself: 1) Does the person I’m shopping for actually read? If the answer is no, please proceed to the “tablets” section of this article. Don’t buy an e-reader for the tech geek on your list just because you think it’s a hot item. Many of them will glare at you and ask: “Like, how am I supposed to get Twitter on this, Mom?” 2): Does your geeky reader go to the beach? If the answer is yes, you may want to consider the Amazon Kindle (USD $139) and other e-readers that have “E Ink” displays. They mimic paper, don’t emit light and are good for people who want to read outside. LCD screen e-readers, which are the alternatives, suffer some glare problems in sunlight. But, on the other hand, these come in color – the newest is Barnes & Noble’s Color Nook (USD $250) with a full-blown 7-in. color LCD touchscreen – and you don’t need a night light to read with it in bed. That is, if you can go to sleep. www.barnesandnoble.com
FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment paints the town diamond white with the release of the Twentieth Century Fox 75th Anniversary Gift Set, a 75-film, three-volume set, highlighting a remarkable, rich and unparalleled heritage of classic films, Academy Award® winners and box office smashes. South Pacific to Star Wars, Alien to Avatar and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes to The Devil Wears Prada. Among its 46 Academy Award®-winning features, the collection highlights seven Best Picture winners including How Green Was My Valley, All About Eve, The Sound of Music, Patton, The French Connection, Slumdog Millionaire and the DVD debut of Cavalcade. Each of the three volumes cover 25 years of the studio’s legacy along with an exclusive hard cover book detailing the historic filmmaking of some of the greatest movie stars and directors from yesterday and today. USD $375. www.amazon.com.
FOR YOUR EARS
The X-Mini Max II’s portable speakers design is quite eye catching. They resemble an egg, and it’s an egg you’ve got to crack apart to get the sound oozing out. Magnets hold the two halves of these stereo speakers together for transport, and a small bag is also provided for carrying purposes. Once separated the two speakers can then be twisted out, accordion style to accentuate bass tones slightly. Audio bliss – www.x-mini.com.
FOR YOUR TASTE BUDS
Aside from being a book named after one of Benjamin Franklin’s most famous contributions to society (the quote, not electricity), Beer is Proof God Loves Us is author Charles Bamforth’s social history of beer and includes everything from craft brewing to global beer production. We thoroughly endorse it as the only history book you may ever be interested in reading. $18 – www.amazon.com
FOR YOUR NOSTRILS (AND HERS)
Although discontinued when Donna Karan cosmetics was purchased by Estee Lauder, This fragrance (which was entitled UNLEADED) still has it’s fans. The bottle was designed by Donna Karan’s Scultpure husband.
Relaunched as Fuel for Men in 2008, it is still one of those fragrances that when you walk past women, their heads turn proceeded by their flaring nostrils trying to draw in another whiff of those masculine notes.
It’s by far my favorite out of all fragrances that claim to be leather-heavy, and it’s achieved in a genius way. It initially struck me as being strangely rugged, yet warm? sweet? Leather, yes, but with a brandy like carmelized citrus enigma of unidentifiable notes.
Compared to other leatherish creations like Bandit, Cumming, D’zing, Nostalgia, Tuscan Leather, Cuire de Russie, and Lonestar Memories, DK Fuel is sweeter and actually fruitier with the citrus and pineapple notes.
This fragrance is hard to find, but can be purchased in all Donna Karan stores worldwide as part of her new fragrance collection.
FOR YOUR WRIST
Simplicity is key. The beer should be without fruit, the drinks without straws, and the women without daddy issues. Sometimes even simplifying your watch is good. The chronographs, laser levels, calculators, and homing beacons are great and all, but there are apps for all of that. Watches should be for telling time and, perhaps more importantly (since there’s an app for time too), looking good. O’Clock Watches deliver in every way possible. They’re inexpensive, simple, European designed, and available in an almost complete array of pantone colors. Throw in some silicone, take out the clasp, and call it a day. They’re also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about taking it off before you shower her off of you. From USD $36 – www.oclock-usa.com/
You know them; you love them. Now there’s more. The Nixon Gunship Collection consists of The Banks, The Player, The Sentry, and the 51-30 Chrono – all decked out with a unique gunmetal finish and red targeting matrices… err hands. Supposedly this finish is designed for wear and tear and is engineered to ultimately have battle scars. Is it really just a clever marketing ploy to prevent returns when the watch gets scratched? Probably, but ask us if we care. These four watches on their own aren’t anything new (you probably even know somebody that has one), but the finish is what really sets them apart. At the end of the day, there’s nothing like looking at your wrist and feeling like you’re on a battleship. And if you happen to get in a bar fight or hit the bed post with your watch all the better – it adds character. From USD $190 – www.nixonnow.com/gunship
FOR YOUR LOOK
Christmas Day is rolling around fast – what to wear? There’s the work Chrissy party, the numerous cocktail events, the big day itself, New Years’ and maybe even meeting the parents. There are 1001 occasions and a myriad of choices from designers and brands all over, but we’re going to recommend just one brand to you today. Why? It’s the only one, at least that we’ve found, that offers men more than just thread and fabrics. Armani Exchange Online is a fantastic one stop shopping experience – from video advice from stylists and their picks for the season, to tips on how to wear those seasonal clothes and how to pull together that ‘talked about’ outfit, their advice is priceless for this time of the year. I especially love their holiday essentials list – every man this Christmas needs kick ass cufflinks, a dramatic bow tie and satin – tuxedo pants and blazer. www.armaniexchange.com
FOR YOUR PAWS
I saw these shoes on a mate the other day and I couldn’t help but pester the dude about where he’d got them from. Gents, theses shoes may not look so hot onscreen but they’re fantastic on your feet – trust me, I’ve seen them. The Tretorn Shoes brand is Swedish, and like its national character, it feels very straight 180, – an outdoorsy focused design aesthetic that is both functional and stylishly understated. We like, LIKE! From about the USD80 mark. – www.tretorn.com
FOR YOUR RELAXATION
There’s more to luxury than comfort and high quality leather; it’s really about atmosphere. And what better way to create atmosphere than enjoying your favorite music gently whispered into your ears from a soft ergonomic pillow that makes a cloud look stiff? My friend, we can’t imagine anything more wonderful than sitting in a Natuzzi Sound Armchair, except for maybe sitting in a Natuzzi Sound Armchair while getting a lap dance and cuddle from your lady. Any mp3 player can be simply connected to a 3.5 mm minijack cable pull positioned between the back and sitting area and a 8 -watt amplifier and two invisible speakers located inside the back transmute the comfy sitting in a actual your stereo speaker. ‘Sound’ by Natuzzi retails for around USD $2,679.80. www.natuzzi.com
FOR YOUR NEED … TO SNEEZE
The Forbidden Linen range of men’s handkerchief’s have been on the market for some time now and need no real introduction. These sensually designed hankies are now dubbed ‘linen at its most sensual’. Created by an Australian designer, using her artwork digitally manipulated into discreet yet titillating images for the man about town. The product is also eco-friendly using reactive dyes to steam the colours into the Italian imported fabrics. Made with love, and a little cheekiness, the range also encompasses silk pocket squares.
FOR YOUR iPHONE ZANINESS
Even if we weren’t in the midst of a vintage revival, we would still make no bones about our love of the classic audio experience. Gramophones, for instance, rank pretty high on our list of “stuff to buy when we’re old and rich.” The combination of metal and wood, the organic and geometric lines, something about it just makes us feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. Let’s face it though, regardless of how awesome it is, it’s just freaking inconvenient. And that is exactly why approximately 60% of the time we listen to music on our iPhones – all the time. What if we could bridge the gap between gramophone greatness and iPhone portability? The Bone Collection iPhone Portable Speaker is that bridge. Using old school acoustic science, the stand adds 12 decibels of output to your iPhone (original, 3g, 3gs, 4) speaker. Best of all, it won’t eat up your battery. At all. From USD$25 from leading tech retailers e.g. www.mwave.com.au
FOR YOUR HOLIDAY LEATHER FIX
Most holidays season its seems all we do is whip out the wallet, and pack then unpack suitcases and bags – all in a whirlwind and lather and the worst thing is having accessories that fall apart on you when you least expect them to, and when all the shops are closed. So if you want durable travel hold-alls, look no further than Louis Vuitton’s new range of men’s bags, travel cases, wallets and leather accessories. www.louisvuitton.com
FOR YOUR WINTER IN THE SNOW
Glancing down at a personal fitness monitor while you’re skiing or snowboarding is about as smart as firing off a few texts while flying down the highway. Unfortunately, there really hasn’t been an option to track your progress while carving some slopes. The Only GPS Ski Goggles available from Hammacher Schlemmer don’t only make this possible, but will make you feel a bit like the Terminator in the process. A 2” LCD “Heads Up” display shows all sorts of performance stats right on the lens of the goggles. See the times of your runs, your max speed, the total ground you’ve covered and lots more without wiping out in the process. Even upload your data to your computer after your day is done with an included USB cable and free software. (By the way, if it isn’t obvious, the display screen is completely unobtrusive and will not block your view.) USD $500 from www.hammacher.com
FOR YOUR SUMMER IN THE SEA
Imagine water sports at a new level. Imagine relaxed gliding, sporty driving or diving safely under water. It’s all possible with a SEABOB. Yes, that’s right, it’s now actually possible to move through the water like a fish. Either on the surface or at depth. And when it’s in its element, this fun-sport machine is also completely environmentally friendly. All this means that the SEABOB is the realization of a human dream. The Seabob Cayago F7 water sled retails for a cool USD $17,408 – www.seabob.com
FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT
These are TVs that are are — duh — connected to the Internet. They act more like computers with really really big screens than the televisions of yore, and they let you stream YouTube videos or Netflix movies alongside shows on old-fashioned TV channels. Some of them, like the Google TV from Sony ($800), feature fancy remote controls with QWERTY keyboards, so you can search for shows and channels much like you would on the computer.
If you want to get bonus points from your geek, check out the Boxee Box ($200), which went on sale only recently and will enable TVs (of more recent vintage; check out the specs) to hook up to the internet in this same, easy-breezy way. Boxee Box also won the crowd-favorite,”Last Gadget Standing” award in January at CES (that’s Consumer Electronics Show, the annual event where most of the year’s new gadgets debut). So it’s geek-approved. www.boxee.tv.
Those 3-D images that have been so popular at the box office have jumped into the living room. The 3-D television debuted on the market this year and, while it’s still a toy that’s more for the early adopters than the mainstream, it’s sure to be on the wish lists of some tech hounds. A few things to consider: Do you or your gift recipient get headaches or motion sickness from big screen 3D? Also, how many people are you buying this TV for? If it’s for the whole family, you’ll need to pick up some extra 3-D glasses, which still are required for viewing that coveted third dimension. Each pair costs about $100. Finally: Which to choose? It might be smart to think about what kind of TV you would want even if it didn’t have the 3-D effects. That way, if you or your gift recipient is not into the third-dimension experience, you can just switch it off. Panasonic 3D TVs are getting rave reviews and they retail from USD $1,750. www.panasonic.com
FOR YOUR THIGHS AND CALVES
Remember Minion from the game Twisted Metal? The thing could take a pounding but it was slow, dull and beat-up. Well, this Minion is the exact opposite. Using only domestically sourced materials, the Minion from Autum is a built to order bike that combines class and utility. Autum, who is known for producing high-quality leather goods, set out to create a cruiser that was as stylish as it was usable. The Minion has a powder coated cantilever steel frame, a double spring linkage fork, extra-wide aluminum rims, and, unlike a lot of cruisers, actually looks like it was made for a dude. Each bike comes with its build number laser-engraved on the frame but that won’t take up much room considering there are only seven of them. Minion retails at a cool USD $1630 – www.autumshere.com/minion
FOR YOUR MEMORIES
The all-new Nikon D7000 has landed, muscles fully flexed. A gladiator in the hot mid-range digital SLR battle, the D7000 has the Canon EOS 60D set directly in its viewfinder, undoubtedly pleasing Nikon shooters with delight. A 16.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, new 39-point autofocus system, 100% viewfinder, 1080p 24fps (720p 30fps) HD video capture with continuous auto-focus, ISO 100-6400 extendable to 25600, dual SD card slots, 6 fps burst mode, and durable magnesium alloy partial-body round out this contender’s features. Ouch or drool. That’s what we imagine most Nikon D90 owners are saying… right, about, now. From USD $1,199 (Body only) to $1,499 (with a 18-105mm lens kit) . www.nikon.com AND www.nikon.com.au
FOR YOUR PARTEEEEEE!!
Having a party this season and want to sound like a DJ Pro? Well … become a mix master with the Numark Complete D.J. Controller. This “too school for cool” turntable combines an all-metal chassis with adjustable torque, motorized, aluminum-turntable platters, vinyl, and a professional audio interface to deliver a complete performance solution that will satisfy even the most hardcore turntablist. A full complement of premium faders, knobs, buttons and virtual-needle-drop control integrates seamlessly with the included Serato ITCH software resulting in a rock-solid hardware/software DJ system that works with Mac or PC and feels as good as it looks. From $300 – www.bestbuy.com
FOR YOUR JUICY MOMENTS
Why talk when you don’t have something to say? Why design something if it doesn’t make an impact? That’s the philosophy behind Italy’s Bugatti – the name behind the world’s most fascinating kitchenware and homewares and their latest ‘Vita’ Juicer is so much more than a mere means to juice citrus fruit. It’s a stylish, suave and undeniably sexy piece of kitchen art that features two juicing cones and a special scraper blade that extracts more juice from the pulp which then passes through a special stainless steel strainer and collects in a container in the cone base, ready for you to pour. And here’s the cool part! By simply clicking a button on the side, the whole cone-shaped section swivels down – allowing you to effortlessly pour your nectar of the Gods! Sleek, unique … Bugatti Vita Juicer, USD $234. – www.harrods.com or www.petersofkensington.com.au.
FOR THE CHEEK IN YOU (AND HER)
Do you need to occasionally open bottles? This opener is in the shape of a leg, for some quirky wholesome fun. Finally you can open a bottle of light or non-alcoholic beer using the heel of somebody’s shoe – what a great conversation starter! The stainless steel means this is a clean product that won’t let you down. The weighted bottle opener comes with a magnet so you can place it on the refrigerator, and it stands upright, allowing you to use it as a paperweight. The Leg Opener is one handy footy multi-tool from Bondi Beach based designer giftware company Fire Monkey! www.legopener.com.au – available from AUD $23 from www.petersofkensington.com.au
FOR SURFIN’ TIME THIS SEASON
At the rear of our bumper gift pack is this very classic, retro kombi clock from Nero. Complete with surfboards and sunflowers, it reeks of 60s cool and is a definite ‘talk-worthy’ gift on Chrissy morning plus no self respecting chillaxed, style-wise dude will say no to it. Only if he’s way too school for cool. From what saw on a quick surf online, the kombi clock’s sold out in most places but try snagging yours at www.malebox.net.au. Good luck!
FOR YOUR SOUL
Gents, whatever you do this festive season, please ensure that the holidays are not all about baubles and me-me-me gifts. The best gift you can give yourself and others this Christmas is a rested soul, a happy heart, a generous spirit, the most passionate love and a sense of contentment with your lot in life.
WISHING ALL OUR READERS A VERY MERRY, MSP CHRISTMAS!