Editor's Picks

Union Square Blog
Cafe Coton Union Square
Neatly-lined Shirts at Cafe Coton
Goorin Bros Union Square
Goorin Bros Hatmakers
Industrie Denim, San Francisco
Ultra-Hip Industrie Denim
Merrell Geary
Merrell boutique on Geary
December 9, 2011

2011 Union Square Gift Guides: For the Gents

This is about the time during the holiday shopping season when you begin to panic about what to get the men in your life. You’ve crossed off all the ladies on your list with jewelry, stylish accessories, home décor and other such items that were probably long ago hinted at and now you’re stuck with a list consisting of your male relatives and possibly your partner, none of whom have given you the slightest clue what they might like. Well, we’re here to help. Going on some key personality traits, we’ve put together a list of awesome gifts that will put a smile on his face this holiday season and eliminate the need for gift receipts.   

For the Dapper Gent

If you’re interested in shopping with a local company, Wilkes Bashford has been in Union Square since 1966 and offers a wide variety of designer styles for the well-dressed man. While this store is probably best experienced through a personal visit with one of their extremely loyal and friendly sales consultants, you can whet your man’s appetite with a fashionable accessory such as an Ermenegildo Zegna tie or a Brunello Cucinelli vest, then take him to the store for the full experience. They’ll also be renovating and expanding the space in the coming year, so now’s a good time to start visiting. Just a couple blocks away is a more specialized men’s store where you can get elegant dress shirts in every size and color. Café Coton is a French store that prides itself in using the finest Egyptian cottons. We recommend a stylish striped shirt in their Sélection collection with a classic collar and either single or double cuffs or one of their luxurious scarves. Another great shop to stop by if you’re looking for high-end men’s clothing and accessories is Hickey Freeman on Market Street. We’re keen on their charming accessories, such as a subtly polka dotted Mahogany Collection bowtie in red, blue or gray or their sharp black and ivory paisley cuff links. You might also consider a striped V-neck sweater to keep him warm and stylish all winter long. No dapper gentleman would be caught without a hat to finish off a polished ensemble. Luckily, we have a tiny outpost of Goorin Bros. hats that has filled every inch of their small Union Square space with beautiful classic hats ready for gifting to your man. This one might take a little bit of research in the size department, but it’s worth it to surprise him with something like their Lefty Decarlo fedora, which sends us right back to the times of the Maltese Falcon with its wide brim and contrasting ribbon. If you’re looking for something a bit more whimsical, their White Rabbit take on the top hat is the perfect party accessory. 

For the Rugged Gent

If the man you’re buying a gift for is more the rugged, outdoorsy type, we have plenty to outfit him here too! Tucked away in the Macy’s building on Geary Street is a small Merrellboutique, where you can grab all the gear he needs to stay warm on those trips to Tahoe. One of the more unique items they carry is a down button up shirt in black or beige. We have to admit it’s pretty stylin’ for an item of clothing that contains layers of feathers. If he needs a place to stash Cliff bars or even a laptop, their Affi messenger bag is sleek, compact and attractive in a chocolate brown textured fabric. Another option for the adventurous type is Orvis on Sutter Street. Here, you can find gear for everything from urban getaways to fly fishing. If you want to splurge, their Vintage Shearing Zip Jacket is a fabulous choice for the rugged gentleman. Made from distressed leather and super warm shearing lining, it’s handsome and straight forward, great for a casual office or a trip to the mountains. If you’re looking for something he can wear at home or to a holiday gathering, you might consider their Tweed Cable turtle neck in cream, navy or charcoal. This cozy piece even comes with faux-suede elbow patches for added durability.  Orvis also carries a number of gadgets and home accessories fit for a man of distinguishing tastes. If he has a taste for the past, we suggest an antique-looking pocket watch, displayed in a bell jar, which would make an elegant addition to any den or study. You might also try an impressive brass sundial compass, which is made to look like the instrument that Dr. David Livingstone brought to Africa and can be embossed. 

For the Nerdy Gent

For those of you who aren’t aware, nerdy is the new cool, especially here in the Bay Area, where tech geeks reign supreme. The nerd look is proudly donned by many in this city from horn rimmed glasses and bowties to skinny pants and suspenders. Of course, these looks have been updated to fit the modern, style-savvy guy. One of our favorite places to pick up a geektastic cardigan is Ben Sherman. Their shawl collar cardigan in grey with a cabled pattern is a great gift for the modern nerd. It’s warm and adorably geeky and pairs well with skinny jeans. Of course, any good nerd needs a good way to tell time, and their vintage-looking , brown leather watch with an off white face is a very fashionable method. If your man needs a way to carry his computer, calculators and smart phone around in full nerd style, try their Tartan Jack messenger bag in green plaid with faux leather trim. To help him create a more upscale nerdy look, Ted Baker is a great place to stop. We’re partial to their Yalong velvet jacket, which would look sleek at a New Year’s Eve gathering. You might also consider their splinak pocket square in blue, black and white checks, which makes for a unique touch to a nerdy ensemble.  

For the Hip Urban Gent

If your giftee is a little more casual, fear not. We have many options for the casual dude as well. The newest addition to the hip urban clothing scene in Union Square is Industrie Denim, where you can find all manner of designer denim and also many fun tops and accessories for men and women. If you’re looking for a unique winter gift, we’d start with aprint scarf by Engineered Garments. It’s grey with an intricate but subtle black pattern and easy to pair with many winter outfits. If you know his shoe size, you might consider snazzing up his wardrobe with their Walk Over Saddle Shoe, an updated take on the classic with distressed leather details. Another cool way to stay warm is to give him a Rebel Jacket by Obey. It comes in a charcoal grey with a high collar that can be worn up or down. Another denim mecca in Union Square is our flagship Levi’s store right on Union Square Park. There, you can find fun urban styles like their Cord Coat, a long navy blue corduroy jacket, great for a cold day in the city. The Union One Pocket Shirt also makes a nice gift for winter in ivory and black plaid with suede elbow patches. If you want to help him step up his urban look, there’s no better place to stop than John Varvatos. Any man would look hot in one of their black plaid slim fit shirts or one of their skinny plaid ties (not together, please). If he’s not afraid of jewelry, we’re pretty smitten with their rockin’ manlets (that’s man bracelets), such as their leather Alexander the Great bracelet in black or white.

If you have a sense of your man’s personality, you should be able to find something for him from this guide, and even if you don’t, there are still a few safe bets. This is the last of our holiday gift guides for the year, and we wish you good luck and good cheer during these last couple weeks of shopping!