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2007 gift guide: for him (by ac)

by Grace Bonney

Grace and I are living proof that opposites really do attract. And I mean complete opposites. She’s southern, I’m northeastern. She’s wine and cheese, I’m pizza and beer. She’s Justin Timberlake, I’m the Clash. So, when she asked me to help with this gift guide I was a little worried that the stuff I’d pick would have zero appeal to the average design*sponge reader. However, some of the comments from this post gave me hope that perhaps there might be a few of you out there who are looking to shop for AC’s of your own who may not be dreaming of unwrapping a bird decal this holiday season. Quick note: Grace lays out these pictures so that they’ll “look pretty” together, and they’re not really grouped the way I would group them (by product category) so bear with me if I seem a little disoriented as I walk you through these. It sort of feels like I’m leading you through a pile of stuff that I left strewn about the apartment (which I suppose shouldn’t feel that unfamiliar to me…)

[Image above, clockwise from top left: I think a nice watch makes a great gift for a guy. Now this watch in particular is insanely expensive (it’s on my “things to buy when I’m rich” list), so unless you’ve got over 2 grand to spend on a watch you shouldn’t even click here. The watch I wanted to use for the guide (but couldn’t because the picture was too small or something, you’ll have to ask Grace) was this one which is also really expensive, but very cool. Bottom line, Kenneth Cole makes nice watches at a whole range of prices. This poker chip set is a great gift for any guy who likes poker/card games. Classic Bicycle cards are way cooler than any fancy “design” cards, they’re easier to play with, and the guy in your life won’t be mocked mercilessly by his friends for having strange cards. Stick to basics. However, there’s no reason you can’t get him a fancy (to a guy) beer glass like this one from Bodum. If he’s a music fan you can go with these Shure headphones – they really sound great, and they’re good for a guy who doesn’t want the chunky big headphones. For the music fan who also plays video games, you’re really not going to go wrong with something like Guitar Hero (I’d go with III, personally –
but each one has different types of music), or Rock Band (These things are turning out to be as tough to find as the Wii this year, try Craigslist or Ebay if you can’t find them in your local stores. Good luck!). If he’s a constant cell phone jabberer and uses one of those bluetooth things, he may appreciate the Jawbone – which is mostly famous for cutting out all the background noise usually associated with those things (just don’t let him be one of those guys who wears it around all the time when he’s not actually talking on it – so lame. My personal rule: in the car only, but that’s just me). I like these Imooi cuff links because they can dress up an outfit (a little) or also still be cool enough to wear out on the town. Obviously, the Iron Maiden Vans aren’t going to be for everyone, but they totally rock (I personally have the high tops).]

[Image above, clockwise from top left: Ok, so let’s say he’s not really into clothes: that’s the sort of thing that could change if you bought him some nice
(ie, the more expensive designer jeans that he probably thinks are outrageously priced, and would never buy for himself). Grace talked me into my first pair (which were Diesel) and I was hooked. Same thing with shaving accessories, these are the kind of things that he wouldn’t buy for himself, but could really like. I was personally an electric razor guy until like a year ago (sadly, from reading this post – I know, pretty geeky) when I discovered how much better shaving with an actual razor is. I use the Fusion, so this kit from The Art of Shaving seems perfect (at least to me). For the Apple fan, Grace already covered the nano and iMac below (had you even heard of those before she put them in here??), but one thing you may not have thought of is the new Apple keyboard. It’s really slick, lightweight, and fun to type on (and quieter). For your more serious music/headphone fan these Grado’s sound and feel amazing (also, fyi, Grace chose the “prettier” photo which is one of their top-of-the-line models, they have much cheaper ones which also sound incredible). I think that comedy cd’s/ box sets are really fun, and usually the kind of thing people don’t think to buy themselves, but appreciate when they have. Great for long drives, or when you need to clean something. Right now I’m into old Richard Pryor and Lenny Bruce – but you can still catch Grace and I laughing to a Lewis Black, Patton Oswalt, or even (gasp!) Dane Cook. For the true Xbox 360 geek (not that I know any…) who enjoys playing online with his loser friends and laughing like an idiot (what a chump!) you can’t let him use the cheap-ass headset that came with the system (which makes him look like he works at a call- center), so go for the much “cooler” wireless headset. (Which you should definitely encourage him to wear on one ear while he wears the Jawbone on the other!) Lastly, here are some Oakley sunglasses, which pretty much speak for themselves. (I also chose these ones, but Grace thought they were too ugly to include – did I mention that we were opposites?)]

[Image above, clockwise from top left: Back to the Xbox (who grouped these photos?) for a second – if he has an Xbox 360 and an HDTV, perhaps he’d like an HD-DVD player? This is by far the cheapest one you’ll find, and it integrates very easily with the game console. Oh, and the picture looks amazing, so he’ll like that. Here’s one that I’m intrigued by: the Myvu, which lets him watch videos on his iPod, laptop, or whatever portable video device he might have, and gives him more of a “full screen” experience. It also has the added value of making him look like a complete fool, which is always fun. (Hmmm, I seem to have chosen a lot of gifts like this, and all I can say is most guys look like fools when they’re having the most fun. At least I do. Just ask Grace.) For a real HDTV and gadget geek, consider the Slingbox. You’ll have to click on the link for a full explanation of what it is (don’t even try to figure out how it works). I love these Clash shoes – they remind me of being in 8th grade and writing the names of bands I liked on my jeans. Basically, they rule. Lastly, the PSP (try your local Best Buy or Circuit City if they’re sold out online) – you can get a few different colors for it now, but you have to buy these (kind of lame) “packages” or whatever. Still totally fun (especially when they don’t get stolen).

These are my picks for the holiday season- not your typical Design*Sponge fare, but hopefully something that will help you shop for the AC in your life. Grace’s picks are below (after the jump) Much more appropriate for the guy in your life who isn’t a 30-year-old teenager like me. I suppose they deserve gifts, too.

Happy Holidays!

[image above, clockwise from top left: wobble cognac glasses $50, john allan’s mint hydrating conditioner for men (it smells so good on them!) $17, deadly squire neck tie $53, wire coat rack $300, dart coat hooks $39, nooka watch $135, bamboo business card case $18, wooden laptop bag $298, wooden usb stick $91, abici men’s bicycle $950, ipod nano $149 and up]

[image above, clockwise from top left: spider thermos $39.99, paperclip and safety pin cuff links $45, chain bottle opener $9.95, wooden rotolog watch $250, eco-friendly arbor skateboards $250, canvas tote $98, ben adler gloves $40, automoblox cars $39]

[image above, clockwise from top left: flying vee shelves $100, modern cigar case $18, hand hook $79, bucky ball soccer ball $150, jimi wallet $15, coat range coat rack $175, designer emulation kit $29, big gear key ring $65]

[image above, clockwise from top left: music mug $36, new imac (hey, big spender) $1199, gold hard drive $260, noise-cancelling headphones $200, AM/FM radio $180]

[image above, clockwise from top left: perpetual wall calendar $80, eco-friendly wallets $48, fire wire speakers $120, flashlight with case $120, PXR-5 EL watch $125, manhattan flask set $75, vintage typewriter key cufflinks $75, pair of smoke glasses $230]

[image above: log bowls by loyal loot collective, $71+ each. ac uses these for cufflinks and change]

[image above, left to right: alba clock $85, all terrain tripod $25-$45]

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  • Hilarious! I thought I was the only one dating a gadget-obsessed “opposite.” What a relief to know there’s more of us out there.

    I want so desperately to send this link to my guy to show him that bird-decal loving analog ladies and wrist-watch obsessed digital boys go together perfectly. But then I’ll be revealing my secret source for the boy gifts?

    BTW, I pre-ordered Rock Band for the PS2 last week from Target. I believe you can still get them for PS2 (which my mr gadget prefers.) it’s for the PS3 that’s sold out, yeah?

  • This is classic stuff, especially the very telling photograph of the writer (and significant other). I was rolling on the floor (from laughter) half the time while reading this post. Also got some great ideas- THANK YOU, as many guys are so difficult to shop for.

  • Amazing gift ideas. It will take me days to go through. Never saw so many excellent gift ideas for guys.

    Thanks so much for your hard work, AC, it is greatly appreciated.

  • great stuff! thanks for making it so easy to please our geeky, techie, design-friendly other halves. Must have the Iron Maiden Vans – so he can wear them with “The Sword” shirt.

  • love the ideas! especially the comedy cd’s as my (wonderfully simple in the only the best ways!) musician boyfriend is very much a low-fi technophobe that is opposed to watch-wearing, wallet-using, and relies on the barber for a beard trim.
    which, you know, makes gift-buying a bit of a challenge.

  • i agree with everyone…the pic of you both is great. my husband and i are also proof that opposites do attract. he is beer and the clash too, though i too like beer and a good bloody mary…and champagne. alright, that’s enough. only kidding. great post! and the new imac is on my list, as mine now makes a whirring sound whenever it starts up!!

  • I came here in total gift desperation thinking how to convince my boyfriend that ceramic birds were for everyone. oh thank god- thanks for the man gifts!

  • Fabulous – but manly – of course!

    I love Nixon watches…can’t go wrong with Iron Maiden vans and….well anything wood finished is super!


  • Truly hilarious and refreshing! Great work, you two! Can’t wait to find out what my quiche-baking, French-speaking, snotty-designer-wearing, but Wii-playing, car-racing, Mac-obsessed, iPhone-coveting guy chooses from among all the pix. I love him for his split personality!

  • Does AC stand for Alan Cummings? Just joking, you resemble him. Thanks for the guide, it was funny and interesting.

  • That photo is awfully cute! Grace, I prefer your picks because they’d go down much better with my boy who digs quirky design as well as the usual tech, beer, computer games stuff. Although AC has given me a couple of ideas too. Thanks!

  • TOO CUTE!!!

    ac, you just solved so many of my christmas list woes for my hubby. now i won’t feel so guilty when i forward him grace’s suggestions for ME. THANK YOU!

  • Loved the post! He should definitely do a guest post every Christmas.

    And to reiterate everyone else, the picture of you two is ADORABLE!

  • ha! i loved this post! my husband is definitely an ac type guy, same age and same interests and hard to find good gifts for, so i absolutely loved these ideas! the pic of you guys is perfect. :-)

  • Thanks AC (= ideas for my husband) and Grace (= ideas for my brother)—I always have the hardest time with those two!

  • Are AC and my husband secret twins? I think I’ve gotten at least half of his recommendations for my hubby already, so that leaves the other half over the next few years.

  • This was PERFECT! I finally figured out what I should get my partner thanks to AC…I bought the jawbone immediately after reading this guide. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  • This is hilarious, it was made for my beau… except for the Iron Maiden Vans, those are for me. My beau has been insisting on an Xbox, even though he already has a PS2 and a Nintendo DS.
    It appears that maybe all men are the same after reading some of these comments…

    P.S.: Even else has said it too, but that’s a fantastic pic of you two

  • BOTH of you did a fantastic job! I’m so inspired by it all. I have to add..”Yay” for the Automoblox. My son has 6 of them (given over time) and we ALL love them. Great product.

  • I don’t know if anyone has noted this, but that gold external hard drive DOES NOT cost that much. It’s $189. What a mark-up!

  • Awesome list, Mister and Miss Sponge

    LOVE the Gold Hard Drive and All Terrain Tripod.

    But what I (and every other man) REALLY needs is more firearms, medieval weaponry and motorcycles.

    You can never have too many of those things.

  • wonderful guides, i won’t be buying for myself, but now may have to amend my own list! let ac know if he ever needs to laugh like an idiot, he’s not alone, look up mr. grandpa

  • Back at Grace:

    Like I said, I went to GT. I’m a nerd. He’s a nerd. We have a 5.1 home theater, so speakers are useless. He thinks smoking is disgusting, so no cigar case. Cufflinks would not excite him in the least. & everything else, we have.

    We have a lot of stuff. We’re hard to shop for. D:

  • dont worry AC
    my boyfriend spends his sundays finding new music on pandora and reading pcgamer
    you arent the only overgrown boy
    thanks for the helpful hints!
    ps. grace is it sad that i already knew where your dress was from? im a target fiend

  • Fantastic! thanks for all the great ideas AC. I like that there’s something for every budget.
    you two are cute!!

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