Gifts of Indigo...for the men

Indigo seems to be the impact color this year. It's rich, earthy, enticing and it sprung up in all manner of gifts for the guys this year. This mix of items above I found over at the Stag Provisions shop in Austin, Texas. 

From top left: Tweeds floral pocket square, $40. The Hill-Side indigo bow tie, $85. Appointed Workbook, $24. Billy Reid chevron tie, $125. Sid Mashburn scarf, $85. Mifland Rucksack, $415. 

More gifts to impress include Sid Mashburn cashmere sweater, $475. Herringblone blanket, $420. Indigo dopp kit, $51. Imogene + Willie jeans, $235. Indigo catch all, $150. Anchor Bracelet, $31. Oak Street Loafers, $325.  

 

Textures and Layers

A Bradley Odom Holiday...

The always fashionable and fun, Bradley Odom, is the Director of Design Education at West Elm. He's also my friend. So it was a no brainer this year to add him to the Holiday Gift Picks roster. Bradley, who is currently finishing his Interior Design degree at SCAD, tends to lean towards all things luxurious and fabulous so I was curious to see his picks for the holiday season. They, as expected, do not disappoint...

1. SID MASHBURN OVAL BUCKLE, $75. I've coveted this buckle for some time. But of course, when it was time to purchase it, I couldn't just buy the buckle, I needed the alligator belt to go with it. I can't wait to have this buckle engraved with my initials. 

2. BILLY REID VINTAGE POCKET SQUARE, $35. It's all in the details and this vintage pocket square offers the perfect splash of color and pattern to bring life to a solid suit. Plus, it's quite the attention grabber. 

3. MADE IN AMERICA CAST IRON SKILLET, from $150. My mom always made cornbread in a cast iron skillet. I ate every bite mixed with milk. So southern, I know. 

4. FRESH FLOWERS FROM THE CLAY POT. It's simple, every home should have fresh flowers- especially during the holidays. Joe and his team at The Clay Pot in Chattanooga are super nice, extremely talented and will make any arrangement of your desire look picture perfect. 

5. DONATION, INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION. Because it's always better to give than to receive, this Christmas I'll be donating $10 for every gift I buy to IJM. It's a fantastic cause to support as IJM continually fights to rescue victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.  

6. REVIVAL'S LARGE DEER ANTLER, $1800. Rodney and his team at Revival can do no wrong in my eyes and although this is a gift no one I know is getting for me (nor will I be gifting it to myself), a guy can dream, can't he? I envision this mixed in with a saloon style art wall to add the perfect High/Low mix. 

7. SHOP KEEP HANDMADE QUILT, $550. I love the idea of pairing a traditional craft with a fresh, modern approach like they do so well at Shop Keep. I'll take my one of a kind quilt framed as art. 

8. NICKEL + RHYME STUDIO PAINTING, from $240. I'm loving the use of color and abstract approach in Ashley Hizer's paintings. They are a perfect wow statement and conversation starter. Who wouldn't like this under the tree? 

9. R. NICHOLS HUDSON SPARKLE CANDLE, $45. My vote for best hostess gift this year. Love the graphics! 

10. ZKANO SOCKS, starting at $10. Although most of the year I am not a socks guy, I do love a pop of color in the winter. These Alabama made socks fit the bill perfectly. I'll take one in every color please. 

11. IMOGENE + WILLIE'S APHOTHIA CANDLE, $55. This candle sits inside a nice, clean jar with a bit of brass and oh, it happens to smell great too. As I believe every room should have a touch of black, this I+W candle is an easy, stylish way to do just that. 

12. THE SOUTHERNER'S HANDBOOK, $28. uh, hello. I am from Mississippi. That's about as Southern as it gets so of course I'm a fan of The Southerner's Handbook. 

13. BRADLEY GORDON PAINTING, contact for prices. I love the color, scale and style that denotes a Bradley Gordon piece. Bradley's paintings, which showcase Southern wildlife from his home in Oxford, Mississippi, have been on my wish list for a very long time- much like that lake house I've been dreaming of... Someday the two shall meet. 

 

Chilly Willy

I'm writing this on Sunday night, huddled on the couch with a blanket cursing at the cold. I hate it. But I must admit, the only ray of sunshine to these chilly temps is the plentiful resurgence of stylish man scarves. 

These beauties come via Sid Mashburn in Atlanta. The Gun Check Cashmere is a particularly nice one at $225 but I happen to love the green mix lambswool just as much, at $45. 

Scarves are an important part of men's fashion, having been a part of the man's wardrobe for over 2000 years, (first worn by Chinese soldiers). Over the years, this rectangle fabric has been adorning necks for warmth and style, evolving into some incredible colors, textures and patterns. These above are via Sid Mashburn and Need Supply in Richmond, Virginia and start at $28. 

Stag Provisions for Men in Austin, Texas has some of my favorites, including the Blue Wave at $96 and the handsome Wave Jacquard scarf for $60. 

And of course, you can't forget Billy Reid from Florence, Alabama. His cream cable scarf is on sale for $78. 

It may seem silly to spend a bit of cash on a scarf but the classic, well made ones will last a long time, becoming a mainstay in a guy's closet year in and year out. This cashmere version in natural from Sid Mashburn is a beauty. But beauty costs, at $275. Peruse all these shops to find the perfect match. And button up, it's chilly willy...

 

Gift Ideas for the Boys

Here's a compilation of some of my favorite manly products of the past year. Some are new and some are oldies but goodies... Old Try state prints ($40); Sid Mashburn dark brown boots ($145); Blackberry Moonshine ($20); Moore & Giles belt ($150); Chiefs Energizing Face Wash ($17) Makr round wallet ($240).

Best Made Axe ($250); Picker's wallet ($31) Alton Lane Pocket Squares ($35, available in store only); Blue Claw iPad sleeve ($75); Otis James handcrafted tie ($110) *Otis will inscribe the name of tie wearer on the backside of the tie; Moore & Giles slim briefcase ($515); Edisto Oyster Knife ($300).

Ledbury gingham cashmere scarf ($155); Bexar Goods waxed canvas bag ($240); Hamilton Gingham shirt ($245); Elijah Craig Bourbon ($25).  

Witherspoon watch ($130); iPhone wireless handset ($110); Jack Rudy Tonic ($21), Piggy Bank ($125).

If you made a little extra cash this year and feel the need to really splurge, this may be the best manly gift yet. It's the Mahogany Mailbag by Emil Erwin in Nashville ($1250) and is based on the original satchel carried by postmen for most of the 20th century. It's so beautiful, I think we need a moment of silence...

 

 

The Pocket Square

I'm a fan of the Southern gentleman, therefore I'm a fan of the pocket square. I've been seeing some great designs pop up in pockets around Georgia so I wanted to write a quick how-to guide with some links to stylish pocket squares for the summer. 

Now there are some basic rules to the pocket square. The first of which is never to be too matchy. You'll want to find an accent color, using a secondary tone from your outfit and the pattern should have a distinctive contrast to the suit. As stated by author William Briggs, "The more the colors and pattern of the jacket and pocket square are different, the more the patterns on both can match." Mix up patterns but be smart- polka dots and stripes don't do so well together.   

You also shouldn't try too hard as the pocket square should never look too perfect. These gorgeous plaid and gingham patterns are perfect for summer. You can find them through Alton Lane and Sid Mashburn.

All these looks are beautifully done. As you can see the colors of the pocket square complement secondary colors in the outfit and the contrasting pattern helps break up the mass of fabric of the suit. These pocket squares are pleasing to the eye without being overbearing. 

Billy Reid offers some fabulous vintage pocket squares. I think every guy should have at least two or three of these beauties...

I like how effortlessgent.com folded the pocket square in these top two pics, (the Rolled Hem and the Poofy Poof) and then offered a great idea on the back pocket, pocket square. As no matter what, you don't want to be without a hanky once you get in the habit. It can always come in handy and what woman in need wouldn't adore a man that hands her one? I'm liking this... See more of their tutorial here.  

 

 Photos: GQ; Alton Lane; Sid Mashburn; GQ; Billy Reid; effortlessgent.com    Content: Sweet Peach