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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 . 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 . 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 which is also really expensive, but very cool. Bottom line, Kenneth Cole makes nice watches at a whole range of prices. This 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 from Bodum. If he’s a music fan you can go with these – 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 (I’d go with III, personally –
but each one has different types of music), or (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 – 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 because they can dress up an outfit (a little) or also still be cool enough to wear out on the town. Obviously, the 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 (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 – I know, pretty geeky) when I discovered how much better shaving with an actual razor is. I use the Fusion, so this 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 . It’s really slick, lightweight, and fun to type on (and quieter). For your more serious music/headphone fan these 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 and – but you can still catch Grace and I laughing to a , , or even (gasp!) . 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” . (Which you should definitely encourage him to wear on one ear while he wears the on the other!) Lastly, here are some , which pretty much speak for themselves. (I also chose , 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 ? 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 , 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 . You’ll have to click on for a full explanation of what it is (don’t even try to figure out how it works). I love these – they remind me of being in 8th grade and writing the names of bands I liked on my jeans. Basically, they rule. Lastly, the (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*Droits-Humains 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: $50, for men (it smells so good on them!) $17, $53, $300, $39, $135, $18, $298, $91, $950, $149 and up]

[image above, clockwise from top left: $39.99, $45, $9.95, $250, $250, $98, $40, $39]

[image above, clockwise from top left: $100, $18, $79, $150, $15, $175, $29, $65]

[image above, clockwise from top left: $36, (hey, big spender) $1199, $260, $200, $180]

[image above, clockwise from top left: $80, $48, $120, $120, $125, $75, $75, $230]

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

[image above, left to right: $85, $25-$45]

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  • Wow this an AWSOME guide ..thanks AC for all this work..so many cool things! by the way fantastic photo of you too .. it couldn’t represent your thoughts any better … Thanks again AC and Grace !

  • But… I was so excited to give my husband those bird decals (which I do own…) AC’s post was very funny and informative! Thanks:)

  • being married to a 30 year old teenager who is into music, poker and beer, i really appreciate ac’s gift guide. thanks!

  • Great picks AC! My husband got the Jawbone and likes the sound quality. But the design is not so great. On me, it looks like a rectangle stuck to the side of my face.

    The new Mac flat keyboards are awesome and SO NICE to your wrists. You don’t have to hold your hands at such a high arch. Place you hands flat on a table and curve your fingers just enough as if you were typing. That’s kind of what it feels like. My wrists and fingers have been thanking me ever since.

  • Oh this was quite enjoyable. You guys are such a cute couple! Guitar Hero is definitely the way to go . . . I just wish I knew when the version for a mac was to be completed. Oh! Grace, where is your beautiful shirt from, or wait, maybe it’s a dress?

  • thanks guys, i’m so glad you like the post (and picture)- it was all ac’s ideas. he’s a good one ;)

    oh, and the dress is one of the liberty designs from target.com


  • Haha, you’re right grace! The photo of you two was well worth the wait, it’s awesome!

    And thanks AC, you reminded me I should get my bf a new razor to go along with his “designer” (not jeans, but…) cycling top from Rapha which is already hiding under the tree…

  • Buy him new Imac! Go for the big screen, believe me!
    It was was the first thing I bought when I got laid off from House & Garden (retail therapy).
    I can’t keep my Mac hating software developer boyfriend off it!

  • Could you two be any cuter?

    A job well done AC,
    you’ve come up with some pretty terrific suggestions.

  • AC- I already got him the xbox 360. which is nice because it gets me quite time. I would totally opt for the poker set, but then his friends would start hanging out at the house! If only poker were more like solitaire.

  • oh my goodness – that photo of you two is so great! (i totally feel the video game-playing significant other reference!)
    ac, such a great job and so funny – love the guys’ perspective!

  • AC this is the most useful guy gift guide I have seen anywhere this year. You definitely have the same hobbies as my BF and I would have never thought of the poker set (perfect!) and the comedy CDs (ditto–he will love them for the car). Thanks again!

  • What a GREAT post. I went right to the Amazon website and bought my boyfriend the Lenny Bruce box set. It’s the PERFECT gift.

    Thank you!

  • This posting was absolutely hilarious. Swap out the x-box for a ps3 and there you have my life.

    I must say, Grace, I think all the watches you picked out are way, way cooler. Unfortunately my beer drinking, video game playing husband would probably rather receive the ones AC chose :(

  • I also have a 12yr old/33 yr old boyfriend. He’s getting a Wii.
    But I think he would LOVE those Iron Maidon Vans as well. He’s seen them twice in concert. Once in the front row. The second time he got hit in the face with a drumstick, after which his friend who went with him caught it on the rebound off his face.

    I think it’s something about our generation….

  • this is an awesome post! getting gifts for my hubby is always tough. i’m in the process of buying a 30th bday gift for my lil’ bro. thanks AC!

  • i live with a 30 year old teenager who would very much appreciate all the xbox toys. I will agree that Rockband is EXTREMELY fun. Also, AC you are totally hilarious.

  • It seems everyone has their own AC (I have a Josh). I must admit that I did get hom some things from Etsy (porcelain cups and plates with “I love you mor ethan zombies live brains” by foldedpigs), but some of this stuff is so GREAT. Thanks AC. As far as a watch goes, my guy loved the Reveal watch from MoMA store and the price is under $100! Just another idea.

  • fantastic! you two make such a good posting pair… i see some hilarious potential in a valentine’s day gift duo posting!! keep it up!

  • awesome!!!
    ac rocked the post & all of the gifts you featured are excellent. well done!

    and grace, i’m kicking myself for not buying that dress when i saw it at target. you’re a lucky girl! at first glance i thought you had splurged on something from alison kelly. ;)

  • Love this. The funny thing is as much as I love design and seeing all the pretty things. Instead of the hubby, I’m the one with the gaming systems, and the tech gadgets and the love of bands a la The Clash. So of course I love his picks…

  • hilarious…love the guides but have to give ac the one up as my husband would be totally perplexed by anything design related :)

  • Ha ha! LOVE this guide. I’m desperate for gifts for The Hubs this year; last year I got him a Pro-Ject turntable (glossy candy-apple red…everyone wins!) so I feel like I’ve got to come up with something good. Those beer glasses from Bodum might do the trick. Thanks, AC, for keepin’ it real. Seriously, you should do a weekly column!

  • I would like to state for the record that my boyfriend asked for those double-insulated bodum beer/coffee glasses and he LOVES them. I think they are pretty spiffy too.

  • AC is a great personal shopper too. He helped my wife get me an xbox and my social life and work has suffered since. Thanks AC! FYI Grace is very good at ping-pong on the xbox.

  • I like AC’s picks WAY better if not just for the fact that my husband would be devastated like a child if he were to open most of Grace’s picks.

    I LOVE the Iron Maiden slip-ons – they’re been on MY list for a long time (I hosted the metal show on Georgia Tech’s radio station for 4 years).

    There’s an Art of Shaving store here in Atlanta and I’ve drooled over those sets for my hubby. One day I will get him a set.

    I LOVE the wireless headset for 360. We both play online and have the crappy ones; it would be so awesome without the cord! & we also have the Xbox HD DVD player and LOVE it. It really is the best price for an HD DVD player…

    Last, I have huge noise canceling headphones that I adore. I think they’re Philips and I can’t live without them!

  • 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 Droits-Humains

    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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