Design

Gift Guide #4: Your Handsome Husband Who Makes Killer Tacos and Is Sweet Even When You’re Grouchy.

filson beanie

Beanie, $45. Because it’s impossible to not look handsome in a red cap. (This one is nice, too.)

three's company keychain

TV show key tag, $7, to make him laugh.

filson utility jacket

A Filson work jacket, from $150. Rugged, stylish and cool.

titanic illustrated history

This incredible Titanic book, from $2. Because we’ve been reading children’s Titanic books to Anton, and they’re endlessly compelling. This grown-up version is illustrated and super detailed.

field cast-iron skillets

Prices for vintage cast-iron skillets are skyrocketing on eBay, but Field, a startup by two brothers, is making hand-poured skillets with smooth cooking surfaces (versus pebbled), just like the old-fashioned ones. Made in the USA to last a lifetime. $125.

Aesop Marrakech Intense

Marrakech Intense, $85, a sultry mix of spicy and woodsy. (Bonus: It’s unisex, so you can steal it.)

thumb massagers

Thumb massagers to upgrade your shoulder rubs. $4. (They also double as Troll crocs.) (Just kidding.)

kyoto dry gin

Kyoto Ki No Bi Dry Gin, $60. From Alex: “A friend from Japan turned me on to this, and it might be the best gin I’ve ever had, with a unique lightness in feel (maybe because it is a rice-based spirit), and a great balance, blending classic British-style juniper notes with distinctive Japanese botanicals: yellow yuzu, Japanese cypress, green tea, bamboo and sanso berries.” So, there you go.

tempur-pedic sleep mask

Tempur-Pedic sleep mask, $29, for the most luxurious sleep, ever.

bon appetit

A year-long subscription to the witty Bon Appetit magazine, plus treats, from $15.

dan white magician

A fun experience together, such as the mind-blowing magician at the Nomad. (People rave about it; tickets sell out in 10 seconds.)

ashkahn romantic card

A note saying how much you love him, since that’s all he really wants anyway.

P.S. The 2016 gift guide for husbands, the 2017 gift guide for husbands, and the 2018 gift guide so far.

  1. Kelsi says...

    I’d love to recommend quality specialty coffee from the Big Island as a good man’s gift… if your man dude likes good design and is also a foodie/coffee person, Big Island Coffee Roasters have amazing small batch coffees with great packaging. You can buy from them online. My parents used to run a coffee farm in Kona and this little farm was blowing everyone out of the water.

  2. Denise says...

    I had that Titanic book as a kid, and I LOVED it!!!

  3. lesley says...

    Thank you again for putting cool small business on your gift guides. I discover the best stuff and designers through them.

  4. Susan says...

    I have Marrakech Intense perfume–actually wearing it right now! Can vouch firsthand that it’s an amazing scent for both men and women and I find perfect for fall and winter. It’s got this perfect balance of spice and warmth. My boyfriend sneaks a spritz every once and a while, so definitely man-approved.

  5. Margaret says...

    No way! I went to grad school with dan and he was constantly blowing all of our minds! In generic post college UES bars and blowing our minds 😂. Nicest guy. Love these gift guides every year…sweater beard?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      WOW!!!!

  6. Tara says...

    Oh Joanna, thank you! Picked up the skillet and some accessories for my wonderful husband, who claims he doesn’t need a thing. We are very lucky in that regard but I do think he’ll enjoy using this to cook with. We have an older stockpot that I had before I met him that is now uneven and rattles when you heat water up in it. The noise drives him BONKERS. Maybe I will finally let that go when this beauty arrives and he will get TWO gifts that way! ;) Happy holidays.

  7. HH says...

    OMG! I had that Titanic book as a kid and it is AWESOME! I haven’t thought about that in years; thanks for that walk down the nostalgia brick road ;)

  8. Betsie says...

    Seconding The Magician at the Nomad! My husband and I went two years ago, and it was indeed a magical experience!

  9. Alex says...

    Hi– I just want to say don’t the hotel keytag!! I have that same one on my keys and the words rubbed off within a week of them being in my bag. Try out another brand for keytags though, because they are super cute!!

    • OH NO! I’m sorry to hear that! (I’m the owner of the shop linked to the keytag) Good/bad news is I am sold out of that one and my new ones are foil stamped. No words rubbing off! :)
      Thanks for the info!

  10. Amy says...

    What are the kids Titanic books you are reading? I have a 5 year old obsessed with shipwrecks….

    • Madie says...

      Yes I’d love any kid-Titanic book recommendations too! Even though this is the Husband gift guide, I’m thrilled to have this new idea for my 5 y/o son, who is Obsessed with all things Titanic and I hadn’t even thought about getting him a book! Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes! we love love love this one: https://amzn.to/2SlYuYI
      the illustrations are great and it’s written really nicely and age-appropriately.

    • Erin says...

      “Polar, The Titanic Bear” is really cool. My boys are 5 and 8 — they love it.

  11. Kat says...

    I wish Alex drank bourbon – you always have the best gin recommendations but I’M the one who likes gin!

    • Sarah says...

      My husband loves bourbon and his recent faves are Four Roses and FEW Bourbon (American Whiskey is good, too!), and Koval (last two are Chicago based, where we are from, so not sure if you can get them where you live!).

    • Dana says...

      Oh, as Sarah says below, Koval is great and the bottles are beautiful. Would be a nice addition to a bar cart!

      You might also want to check out Art in the Age (based in Philly, but has an online shop) for interesting spirits.

  12. Hannah says...

    Totally going to try and get tickets for the magician at the nomad. What a great gift!!! Fingers crossed :)

  13. Annette says...

    The jacket is sold out as is the keychain. They don’t ship the Gin to Louisiana :(
    Do you have anymore awesome gift ideas?!??!

    • Alexis says...

      I’m looking at one of these for my partner. https://store.apolisglobal.com/collections/jackets
      Aside from looking smart and lasting a long time, Apolis is a certified B-Corp!
      If you have a gin lover in the house, can you go to a nice liquor store and see what kinds of non-basic gin they have?
      Also, Stance socks are great – super well made and the cushion on them feels amazing.
      And if he’s a meat lover, something from Olympia Provisions: https://www.olympiaprovisions.com/collections/gift-sets
      (Giving you all my gift ideas here)

    • Annette says...

      Thanks Alexis!! I appreciate the ideas :)

  14. Taylor says...

    WHOOPS posted my comment on the wrong post, I love this gift guide so much for ME. I want the gin, the bon appetit subscription, the thumb massagers, the cast iron skillet!!! I texted my fiance “I think I am Jo’s husband in woman form.”

    Also an update: fiance texted back “….one of your Hanukkah gifts is a BA subscription”

    CONFIRMED

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awwww thank you!! :) xoxoxoxo

  15. Annie says...

    Thanks so much for these guides! Such a great range of ideas. Just wanted to note that I think this is technically #4 ;). Those thumb massagers are an awesome stocking stuffer!

    • Franny Eremin says...

      Thanks for catching that, Annie! xx

  16. Jackie says...

    the troll croc joke really got me – thanks!

    • Kate says...

      Me too- troll crocs- hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  17. Ray says...

    Love all the cool ideas!
    How about getting him a blue shirt 😄 👔

    • t says...

      HAHAHAHAHA!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahahaha yes!

  18. Sarah says...

    I have that eyemask and it is, hands-down, the best eyemask I have ever used. I can’t recommend it enough! Happy holidays to all!

  19. Laura C. says...

    Thumb massagers?! Wait, what??

  20. Callie says...

    Love this!!

  21. Jennifer says...

    This is the best list! My husband would love every item. Thanks so much for the great ideas.

  22. Lisa says...

    Oh my God. That gin sounds so good.

  23. My husband is a huge craft beer fan, this year I’m making him a beer advent calendar, I saw one online and it was very expensive once you added delivery so I’m going to make my own. I picked up two empty boxes that wine comes in from our local liquor store. I’m going to pick out 24 different craft beers and have a special one for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day….maybe a bourbon barrel aged stout? I’ll put a number sticker on top of each of the beer caps and maybe cover the wine boxes with kraft paper. I’m hoping for the best wife ever award😂😂

    • naseem says...

      Denise, your husband is the luckiest!

    • Mel says...

      Brilliant!

    • Amy says...

      This is genius!

    • Julia says...

      I’m SO doing this!!! Thank you for such a rad idea!

  24. Hayley says...

    Troll crocs = dying. But seriously, they are definitely troll crocs.

  25. Annie says...

    I love the hat but my husband has a large head—but proportional, handsome, etc ;) so it’s tricky to buy for him…does anyone know a good source for big hats ?

    • Rob Grennan says...

      yes! Not exactly for stocking caps, but watch Goorin’s XXL page: https://store.goorin.com/mens-hats/shapes/xxl

      The styles change depending on what they have in stock, but it’s my go-to for flat caps!

  26. caitlin says...

    i just want to point out that for those on a tight budget, lodge cast irons are made in the us and are $75 for a 15 in skillet. mine is still going strong :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes! Lodge pans are super great and budget-friendly. The difference with these Field handmade ones is that they have a smooth cooking surface (like vintage ones), versus pebbled. The idea is that cast-iron skillets are naturally non-stick, if you don’t want the chemicals of Teflon etc. For non-stick, some people think the smoother the better. For that reason, some people might like an old-school version w a very smooth cooking surface and Field makes a great version of that. Of course, you can make great food with either! Thanks! Xoxo

    • Jeanne says...

      Back before you could get these new fangled Field pans (jk – maybe 10 years ago), I read a chef’s blog and followed his instructions for using an orbital sander to smooth out the bottom of a Lodge. It wasn’t difficult especially because my husband owned a sander. I reseasoned them and they have been my non-stick, non-chemical, go-to pans ever since. So that option is also out there for those who want that smooth surface but are on a tight budget.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thanks for the tip, Jeanne!

    • Sasha L says...

      We love our Lodge skillets, had them 20 or so years. I find them to be very non stick, but honestly it’s all I’ve used since we got them so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. I do use ample olive oil.
      One hint though, don’t let tomato sauce or sauces with citrus, sit in the pans, it will pull off your seasoned finish. I’ve read don’t cook those sauces in them at all, but I’ve found it’s fine if you get the sauce out as soon as you are done cooking.

    • Anna says...

      My husband took the Lodge skillet and ground down the surface until it was smooth making it much more nonstick.

    • caitlin says...

      didn’t even think about/realize the smoother the better! but i can see how that would make sense, though mine’s pretty nonstick! thanks for pointing that out.

    • Hannah says...

      I live right next to the Lodge Factory here in Bridgeport TN and can vouch for how great a company they are!! Very involved in the community & have a great store attached where you can get “factory seconds” for a quarter of the price.

      Also they put on a Cornbread festival every year that is every bit as great as you’d think it’d be :)

  27. candace kim says...

    LOL troll crocs!!! that one really got me

  28. Kristin says...

    I have been getting Bon Appetit since the 80s, but somehow I’ve missed the hilarity!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I think their tone is so quippy and funny — even the photo captions are entertaining :) I also love the editors letter.

    • Kristin says...

      Yes, Adam’s letters are great!! I also love their Foodcast…plenty of humor there (that I actually catch!). If you haven’t read or especially HEARD Andy Baraghani’s essay about his sexuality, check it out. Only time BA has made me cry.

  29. maryann says...

    Troll crocs – hahahaha!

  30. Sammy is currently obsessed with the Titanic too. Let’s get them together to discuss :)

    • Lee says...

      My dad is obsessed with these peanuts! I always have some at my house when my parents come to visit. : )

    • Rae says...

      My husband honestly gets 50% of his calories from peanuts. He goes through a pound or more a week. I order him a case of the VA Diner peanuts or Hub’s peanuts for Christmas each year. The rest of the family never touches his Trader Joe’s peanuts but we can’t keep our hands off the extra tasty xmas peanuts, so I guess it is really a gift for us all ; )

    • Mary W says...

      My husband loves these, too. Thanks for the link and reminder.

  31. Robin says...

    That super specific description made me laugh! So perfect. These gift guides are so filled with love.

  32. Kristie says...

    Thank you for the wonderful gift guides! I bought my husband the board game Rummikub for Christmas, because he has always wanted it and I’ve said NO!! The reason he has wanted it for 10 years is this- when we first started dating at 17, I was very sweet and well behaved… until one evening he was invited over for dinner and a board game. My competitive spirit showed a bit too strongly, as I threw the board in air and stormed off, saying Scrabble is better anyway. He has never let me live that down, and so now we can play the game with friends while he gloats.

    • Alice says...

      Kristie, I am SO GLAD that I am not the only one who has been known to throw boardgames in the air when things aren’t quite going my way! My brothers still laugh about the time I flipped the monopoly board into the coal scuttle because I was SURE they were cheating…