Guys, it’s my favorite time of year, the holidays!

Yeah, family dinners and gift exchanges are great and all, but the reason I’m excited is that the holidays mean it’s time for my annual “Gifts You Should Get Yourself” buying guide!

If you’re new here, let me catch you up. When I first started The Essential Man, a reader asked if I was going to do a holiday gift guide.

“Sure,” I thought, “It seems like a standard kind of post to write.”

And then I thought about all the gift guides I’ve read in the past and came to the conclusion that I often ended up buying things listed for myself and not my friends and family.

That’s when I decided I wanted to buck tradition and write a gift guide for things you should get yourself.

As with all the past gift guides (which you can find here), these are items I’ve either own and religiously use or tested to some extent.

If you see something you think might make a great gift for someone you know, by all means pick it up! But don’t forget to treat yourself. You’ve made it through another year, and that’s a big deal!

Enjoy!

STYLE

mack weldon cashmere socks

I had to buy a 2nd pair so my wife wouldn’t steal mine: Mack Weldon cashmere socks

I’m not joking when I say I had to buy a 2nd pair of these cashmere socks from Mack Weldon after I saw my wife’s eyes light up after she touched them.

These over the calf socks are ridiculously warm as they are soft and comfortable. While Mack has a guy wearing them under his boots in the promo shots, I recommend saving them for end of the day lounging around the house.

BUY: MACK WELDON CASHMERE SOCKS, $68

james perse cashmere ribbed beanie

My styling clients love this beanie: James Perse Cashmere Ribbed Beanie

I’ve been introducing my private styling clients to James Perse for the last few years after picking up a cashmere beanie for myself a few years back. It’s quickly become my clients personal favorite brand for luxe, well made essentials.

The speckled ribbed beanie this season has been a hit with the last few clients I picked it up for. It’s a bit more of an investment that your standard wool beanie, but you’ll quickly find upgrading to cashmere is going to ruin beanies for you forever.

Cashmere does a much better job at trapping heat than most standard wools with the added benefit of not being itchy. If you’re on the fence about dropping $150 on a beanie, just drop by James Perse in Soho and try it on. After you pick it up, email me at peter@theessentialman.com to thank me.

BUY: JAMES PERSE CASHMERE DONEGAL RIPPED BEANIE, $150

bonobos wool trench

Because black coats in the winter are boring: Bonobos Wool Donegal Coat

I’d bet good money you have a solid black winter coat lost in the depths of your wardrobe. I’ve always stressed the importance of staples in core colors, but it’s time to step out a bit. You don’t need to go wild to break away from dull blacks or solid greys this winter.

Bonobos’ wool donegal coat is a perfect option. Donegal is a specific weave that creates a speckled pattern throughout the fabric. What you get is a timeless coat that gives you a bit of texture and pop without trying too hard.

BUY: BONOBOS WOOL COAT, $548

mr p cashmere peacoat

The forever peacoat: Mr. P Cashmere Wool Peacoat

Sometimes what you need is an upgrade of a favorite, not something completely new. It’s like being a burger fan and treating yourself to a wagyu burger.

Mr. P’s cashmere peacoat is that wagyu burger. It’s not trying to reinvent what a peacoat is, just offer you using the best ingredients out there.

A wool blend gives this coat the best of both worlds – the strength of virgin wool with the softness of cashmere. The cut and design, especially the large classic lapels, are super flattering, helping you look powerful.

It really is the perfect peacoat that you’ll keep forever.

BUY: MR. P WOOL CASHMERE PEACOAT, $725

apc cotton drawstring pants

The perfect business class pant: A.P.C. Cotton drawstring pants

I understand the appeal of athleisure, it’s comfortable as hell. But I’ve never been fan of most athleisure pants. They still looked like sweat pants to me.

A.P.C.’s cotton drawstring pants solved this problem. The drawstring waist and relaxed leg helped with the comfort, but what stood out to me the most was the fabric. The subtle tone and tone stripe in crisp cotton helped elevate the look and vibe of these pants. It was a huge hit with my recent travel hacking, jet setting styling client.

I guarantee it’ll be a hit with you when you’re flying home this holiday.

BUY: A.P.C. TAPERED COTTON DRAWSTRING PANTS, $210

benjamin by franks pomade

The only hair pomade I use now: Benjamin by Franks Pomade

Full disclosure: This recommendation is going to be a little biased because this pomade was created by my personal barber Mr. Bee of Franks Chop Shop here in NYC. But I should also note that he’s been in the barber game for over 20 years, and has cut everyone from Anderson Cooper, Drake, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Anthony Kedis, so he obviously knows what he’s doing.

When Mr. Bee first told me his concept for his hair pomade, I knew he had something special in the works.

“I want something that doesn’t smell so much. Guys are already using soap, shampoo, got their cologne. They don’t need another smell throwing everything off.”

And Mr. Bee delivered. His pomades have the perfect hold and just enough of a scent to chill in the background while your nicer cologne takes center stage. I personally use the water pomade, which offers a high shine with a light sandalwood scent. For something more matte with a strong hold, get the clay pomade.

BUY: POMADE BY BENJAMIN BY FRANKS, $22

saturdays nyc t shirt

The essential graphic tee for the grown man: Saturday’s logo tee

Longtime readers will know how often I stress avoiding graphics and prints.

The problem is most men overdo it, or just flat out pick ugly graphics and prints that make them look like a college kid who never grew up.

If you’re like me and love a good graphic tee when you want to keep things casual, I recommend picking something up from Saturday’s.

I’m a big fan of their classic logo tee, which has the perfect amount of un-uniqueness to help it fly under the radar.

BUY: SIGNATURE T-SHIRT BY SATURDAYS, $48

suit supply mid grey ames pleated trousers

The best business casual “dress pant”: SuitSupply Ames pleated trousers

SuitSupply’s Ames pleated trousers kinda feel like a cheat code to business casual dress codes. It gives you the sharp professionalism of wool trousers, while making you feel like you’re wearing sweats. You can easily pair it with a sports coat for an important meeting, or throw it under a bomber and wear it with white sneakers for a date night look.

If you’re looking for the perfect way to look like you know your shit without feeling overdressed, get these pants.

BUY: WOOL DRAWSTRING TROUSERS BY SUITSUPPLY, $190

bonobos 5 pocket corduroy pants

Your new casual go-to fall pant: Bonobos 5-pocket corduroy pants

I’d bet good money corduroy pants are something you never even considered. These pants by Bonobos have all the details you love from Bonobos more standard chinos and pants: huge selection of fits, a flattering, comfortable cut.

Except they’re made from corduroy – a velvety textured fabric that’ll take your look up a few notches and will be hard to stop touching. (But you should stop because it can look really creepy).

But seriously, you don’t need ANOTHER pair of chinos this season. Make these your new winter go-to pants. I recommend picking two up – one in an easy to wear dark grey, and another in cooler fall color like burgundy.

BUY: 5-POCKET CORDUROY PANTS BY BONOBOS, $98

todd snyder gold stripe shirt

The button-up shirt guaranteed to get you a compliment: Todd Snyder gold double striped shirt

Think back to the last time someone complimented you on something you were wearing, or a new haircut. 

Felt really good right?

I’m a big believer in dressing for yourself first, but sometimes it feels good to put something on you know will attract some good reactions.

I discovered this Japanese cotton gold double stripe shirt after shopping with a client at the Todd Snyder store here in NYC. 

For me it hit all the right notes: The style was familiar. It’s a great timeless cut shirt. It wasn’t trying to be anything avant grade.

The color is bold, but not in an annoying way. The gold is perfectly muted and will easily mix with your current wardrobe to help you turn some heads at the next company holiday party.

BUY: GOLD DOUBLE STRIPED SHIRT BY TODD SNYDER, $168

alex mill donegal sweater

The perfect sweater to throw on when drinking a hot toddy at the bar: Alex Mill donegal sweater

Every man needs a cozy sweater. My pick this season are the donegal sweaters from Alex Mill.

Donegal is an extremely warm yarn made from lambswool that was a favorite among Irish fishermen. Twisting colored fibers throughout the weave create the signature flecks of the yarn.

It really is the perfect sweater to throw on and sink into the couch for a Netflix marathon (that wouldn’t be out of place when grabbing a drink at the bar with the fireplace.)

BUY: MERINO WOOL DONEGAL SWEATER BY ALEX MILL, $125

bombas over the calf socks

The socks that’ll never fall down your leg: Bombas over the calf socks

Here’s what I love about Bombas socks:

They come In an over the calf length which helps them stay up your leg all day long. That means no more bunched up socks and cold calves this winter.

The alternating weave throughout the design make the sock hug your foot for a better fit.

And they come in crazy colors like tie dye if you want to go wild, or solid classic colors like navy and grey if you just want to restock your work wardrobe.

BUY: OVER THE CALF SOCKS (PACK OF 8) BY BOMBAS, $108

todd snyder marlin watch

The fancy watch for the man who’s not really into watches: The Blueface Todd Snyder x Timex Marlin Watch

I had a client a while back who was in the market for a watch. As someone who makes regular appearances on major news networks, he needed something that looked professional.

The problem was that he wasn’t really a watch guy. That is, he had no interest in dropping a few thousand dollars on a watch. At the same time, he didn’t want one that looked (and felt) like it came out of a Cracker Jack box.

Todd Snyder’s collaboration with Timex is the watch he fell in love with. A reissue of Timex’s Marlin model from the 60s, the mid-century aesthetic has the right amount of restraint to help it fit in any era. The crystal dome gives it a nice weight and gloss to make it look and feel like its bigger brothers that are 10 times the cost.

If you need a “grown-up” watch, or want to dip your toes into watches without dropping an entire month’s worth of rent, this is the perfect entry point.

BUY: TODD SNYDER X TIMEX MARLIN WATCH, $199

malachite signet ring

The pinky ring you never knew you’ve always wanted: Malachite signet ring by Danelian Jewelry

Ah, the dilemma of the pinky ring.

For many men I talk to, they all love the look but wish they could pull it off.

The answer is a bit of a chicken and egg scenario. Sure, having the confidence to put one on in the first place helps, but one really gains confidence in wearing something like a pinky ring by wearing a pinky ring more often.

The trick is to get one that doesn’t scream I get my style advice from 90s rappers.

This is why I usually recommend a small, solid gold signet ring as a starter. If you want to venture out a bit more, go with a colored stone like this malachite ring, but keep the size small.

A signet ring is a statement piece. Think of it like a very strong ingredient in a dish, less is more.

BUY: SIGNET RING BY DANELIAN JEWELRY, $94

nike air force 1 triple white

The sneaker that will give you some street cred without looking like someone trying hard to get street cred: Nike Air Force 1 Triple White sneakers

Fun fact: streetwear was my first foray into fashion. When I moved to San Francisco for art school, I found myself in a class with Ricky Saiz (who would go onto design for Supreme and direct Beyoncé music videos), and hanging around the streetwear shops on Haight with Heron Preston.

My style has evolved to more tailored suiting and minimalism, but I still enjoy throwing in some streetwear elements into my style.

I recently picked up a pair of Nike Air Force 1 and have been pairing it with my more tailored pants and suits to great success.

Minimal white sneakers have become the go-to casual shoe choice for the modern professional man. Subbing in the AF1 in white gives you the same versatility all your minimal white sneakers but a bit more of a cool factor thanks to the streetwear roots. In short, it looks cool without looking like you’re trying hard to look cool.

BUY: NIKE AIR FORCE 1 TRIPE WHITE, $90

new balance 997 codura sneakers

The ultra comfortable walking sneaker that doesn’t scream dad sneaker: New Balance 997 Codura Sneaker

Dad sneakers, like pineapple pizza, get a bad wrap. It all depends on what elements you combine. (Pineapple and bacon > pineapple and ham).

Dad sneakers are essentially walking sneakers, they’re designed for comfort. Which is a great reason you should add them to your wardrobe. And given all the options out there, it isn’t impossible to find a pair that actually looks good.

When it comes to dad sneakers, I like to avoid what I call Midwest grey. (It’s ok, I can make this joke as my wife is from Ohio).

These New Balance 997 in army green are a much more stylish and versatile color. They’re made of Codura, a ballistic nylon often found in military gear, which means they can take a good beating. This is truly the pineapple and bacon of sneakers.

BUY: SAGE GREEN CORDURA 997 SNEAKERS BY NEW BALANCE, $90

thursday commander boots

My favorite boot that can tackle rain, snow, and gross NYC subways: Thursday Commander Boots

What more can I say about Thursday’s Commander boots? There’s a reason they’ve been my go to NYC winter boot for the last few years.

Their cushioned ankle are super comfortable. The “tank tread” sole from Vibram have the perfect amount of grip for slipper snow and ice. If you have wearing clunkly snowboots as much as I do, these are going to be your new best friend.

BUY: COMMANDER HIKING BOOTS BY THURSDAY BOOTS, $249

TECH

apple airpods pro

Airpod Pro Noise Canceling Earbuds

Do I really need to write about why these are so good?

I’m one of those people who aren’t compatible with the Apple earbud designs. I have a weird shaped ear and those fuckers love slipping out and wrapping themselves around subway poles like Indy’s whip.

The Pro’s solve this with their suction buds.

Plus they will drown out the noise of other humans. That should sell you on them alone.

BUY: APPLE AIRPODS PRO, $249

ricoh gr iii camera

The camera that will impress your one friend who’s really into photography: Ricoh GRIII Camera

I love learning about things that are considered “insider favorites.” For example, one of my favorite designers and brands is Dries Van Note, who’s often considered the designer’s designer.

Enter the Ricoh GR line of cameras. Tell any photographer you’re interested in getting a Ricoh GR and you’ll most likely get a “Ohhhhh!” in return. It doesn’t look like much and that’s the appeal. It’s simple. It doesn’t have any complicated features or settings. It’s roughly the size of your average smartphone, which means it’s compact and pocketable.

Picture quality is awesome, but what camera doesn’t take good photos these days? The most important part is allowing yourself the opportunity to take great photos. And this is where a standalone camera shines.

It’s everything you wish your smartphone camera was. Simple and free of distractions.

BUY: RICOH GRIII DIGITAL CAMERA, $899

courant catch 3 wireless charging tray

A charging tray I’d probably find at the fancy hotels I love staying at: Courant Catch 3 Charging Tray

When searching for a charging tray for a client a while back, my eyes were assaulted by the amount of bamboo box and oddly shaped options out there.

The Courant Catch 3 is my pick if you’re in the market for a charging tray because it’s everything you want in a tray – it’s a rectangle as opposed to a circle! The matte black finish isn’t painful on the eyes and will seamlessly blend in on any desk or counter.

BUY: COURANT CATCH 3 CHARGING TRAY, $175

london undercover camo umbrella

Because I’m tired of seeing black umbrellas: London Undercover Camo umbrella

I always look for ways to add a bit more color, pattern, and surprise to my clients style.

People often think about accessories as a bag or scarf, but this can include function items like umbrellas. I love this camo unbrella by London Undercover because it blends something non-traditional (the camo print) with a traditional bamboo handle design.

BUY: CAMO UMBRELLA BY LONDON UNDERGROUND, $90

us half dollar proof coins

The desk object that will change your life: U.S. Half Dollar Proof Coin

One of the best life hacks I’ve implemented has been using the power of flipping a coin to make decisions.

Don’t know what to eat for dinner? Flip a coin between two options. Puppy or cat? Flip a coin. Quit your job and join a cult? Flip a coin.

A while back, I picked up a proof coin in my birth year to use for actual flips.

Proof coins are coins used to test coin dyes and for archive purposes. Because they’re not circulated, they’re pristine and extremely shiny. When flipped, they give an extremely satisfying ring, flickering brilliantly as it spins in the air.

I recommend picking one up in a U.S. half dollar size (great size for flipping) in your birth year Keep it on your desk so it’s always on hand to settle important decisions.

BUY: U.S. PROOF COINS, FROM $13

rag and bone cardiff cardigan

The Perfect Office Jacket is a Cardigan: Rag and Bone Cardiff Cardigan

Here’s why cardigans are the perfect office jacket: They’re soft. They warm. And they give you the vibe of a sports coat so you won’t look unprofessional if you need to jump into a surprise meeting.

I love a shawl collared cardigan because it gives the feel of a sports coat lapel. It’s also great to pop up to insulate your neck when it gets a bit windy out.

I particularly love this model from Rag & Bone because of it’s simplicity and nice little details, like the twill tape over the button plackets, which adds a bit of contrast and makes it easier to button.

BUY: CARDIFF CARDIGAN BY RAG AND BONE, $325

HOME

The one piece of furniture that’ll make you say “Where have you been all my life?”: Ikea Skogsta Stool

I still stand by that this Ikea stool is the best $25 I’ve ever spent.

It’s sturdy and compact – the perfect size for an entry way.

If you want to stop trying to test your balance every time you need to put your shoes on, I highly recommend this simple addition to your home.

BUY: SKOGSTA STOOL BY IKEA, $24

hibi incense matches

When a match isn’t enough but a candle is overkill: Hibi 10 min Incense Matches

My wife recently came home with these and they’e been one of my favorite discoveries.

A match + incense stick all in one that’ll make your bathroom smell like that cool Japanese tea house that (annoyingly) only has 5 seats. Each incense match last about 10 mins and the scent has a surprising amount of travel. A great way to give a room a quick refresh.

Just make sure you hold the match in the middle of the stick and strike it slowly as the sticks are a bit delicate.

BUY: INCENSE MATCHES BY HIBI (LARGE BOX), $36

Dyson V7 Hand Vacuum

The perfect vacuum: Dyson V7 Hand Vacuum

My wife and I loved our Dynson upright vacuum. The only problem it was the size of a small child.

Enter the V7 Hand vacuum. It’s everything we love about Dyson vacuums – great suction, easy clean up, in a small compact design we could easily stash away on a closet shelf.

BUY: DYSON V7 HAND VACUUM, $199

le labo santa 26 candle

The sexiest smelling candle one person can own: Le Labo Santal 26 Candle

Le Labo’s Santal 33 scent has, in my opinion, taken over Aqua di gio is the most universally liked scent for men. And I think I know why.

When I first smelled Santal, I was immediately transported to my days as a designer combing through my leather supplies showroom. To be, santal smells like a brand new leather jacket from a luxury designer.

From Le Labo “A fragrance that captures a defining image of the spirit of the American West and personal freedom. Fragrance story: The man, firelight in his face, leaning on the worn leather saddle, alone with the desert wind-an icon so powerful that every man wanted to be him and every woman wanted to have him. “

(Note: Santal 26 candle is the scent that inspired 33, the cologne.)

BUY: SANTAL 26 CANDLE BY LE LABO, $75

jonathan adler higher standards tray

Because you’re too old to be using trays that say “420” on them: Jonathan Adler x Higher Standards Tray

I love last year’s Hermes recommendation for a catch-all tray, but I know not everyone can drop $600 on what is essentially a nice plate.

This Jonathan Adler x Higher Standard’s tray was designed for the cannabis enthusiast. And while you can certainly use it for some end of the day de-stressing, I think it works even better as a place to dump your pocket full of change and keys.

BUY: JONATHAN ADLER X HIGHER STANDARDS TRAY, $40

gq cb2 kokta leather sofa

The leather sofa of your dreams: GQ x CB2 Kotka leather sofa

GQ x CB2 is the collaboration I wished happened as a single guy in my 20s.

It was hard picking something to profile in this guide. I loved the drawer, the simple desk, and the chairs I’d probably consider stealing if they were in my hotel room.

In the end, I believe your choice in sofa really sets the tone for the vibe of your place, which is why if you had to choose one thing from the collaboration to get, I’d recommend the kotka leather sofa.

BUY: KOTKA LEATHER SOFA IN TOBACCO, $2,999

ikea saxborga jars

The surprisingly affordable way to make your bathroom feel like a hotel: Ikea Saxborga Storage Jars

My wife discovered these jars in a hotel room in Morocco and was surprised to find out they were actually from Ikea.

She picked up a set for our bathroom and now store our q-tips, matches (for candles), and small nicknacks. They come with a matching tray but look great on their own.

BUY: SAXBORGA JARS BY IKEA, $14

theory 11 nomad playing cards

The coolest deck to bust out during game night: Theory11 Nomad Playing Cards

The Nomad Hotel is one of my favorite hotels, bars, AND restaurants in NYC, so it’s no surprise that the playing cards they’ve released have the same stylish touch. (My favorite card in the deck is the Joker, which features a woodblock inspired illustration.)

Whether it’s for poker night or a meditative game of solitaire, these Theory 11 playing cards designed in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel are a beautiful upgrade from the old standard Bicycles.

BUY: NOMAD PLAYING CARDS BY THEORY11, $9

ugg mens kenton slippers

The most comfortable house slippers you’ll ever use: Ugg Sheepskin Kenton Slippers

I’m late to the house slipper game, having only picked up my first pair last winter. These men’s Kenton slippers will help you quickly understand why women have been fanatical about Ugg boots for decades.

The signature sheepskin is light and comfortable. The wool lining will keep your feet nice and warm on those chilly winter nights, while the rubber sole give you enough grip so you’re not sliding around your apartment.

BUY: KENTON SLIPPERS BY UGG, $99

TRAVEL

warby parker scout contact lenses

The gamechanger for blind people like me: Warby Parker Scout contact lenses

When I first heard Warby Parker’s expanded to contact lenses, I wasn’t sure what more they could do to make me want to switch to my regular dailies.

That was until I saw their redesigned flat packaging, which reduces the size of contact packaging by 80%. That means I could fit 6 weeks worth of Warby Parker contacts in the same space as 2 weeks of standard contacts.

If you’re a traveler this is a must have.

BUY: SCOUT CONTACTS BY WARBY PARKER, $110

aesop depatures travel kit

What I gift to my styling clients who travel often: Aesop Departure Travel Kit

I love Aesop products for several reasons. First, they work. Second, they’re not an eyesore. Stock a few Aesop products in your bathroom and you’ll feel like you’re at a fancy hotel. Third, many of their products avoid hard chemicals without feeling like a hippie product.

I often gift their Arrivals and Departure travel kits to my clients, which has TSA travel friendly sized minis of their most popular products.

While both are great, I’d recommend their Departure kit first as it contains their Resurrection rinse-free handwash, a Mandarin rind scented antibacterial hand sanitizer that doesn’t dry out your skin. It’s my all-time favorite Aesop product.

BUY: DEPARTURES TRAVEL KIT BY AESOP, $53

hook and albert garment weekender bag

The best weekend bag ever: Hook & Albert Garment Weekender Bag

The Hook & Albert Garment bag has been a favorite among my private clients who travel often. They’ve solved how annoying it is to travel with a garment bag by building a garment bag into the lining of a weekender!

The advantage to this is the gentle roll when the bag is zipped up, versus a garment bags sharp bend. The gentle roll will reduce creasing, and the weekender shape is much less of a headache to travel with.

BUY: HOOK AND ALBERT GARMENT WEEKENDER, $590

bagsmart travel cord organizer

My Favorite way to organize my cords when I travel: Bagsmart Cord Organizer

I picked up this cord organizer for a trip to Madrid recently and loved it.

What sold me were the zipper pockets, which were for storing the actual charger plugs as well as items that can’t really be secured with the bungee cord straps.

BUY: BAGSMART TRAVEL CORD ORGANIZER, $15

clipa baghook

My favorite essential when I work from coffee shops: Clipa Baghook

I work a lot from coffee shops, and one of the more annoying things to figure out is where you should put your bag. I don’t like leaving it on the ground, but I don’t want to take up table space or be that asshole that uses another chair for his bag.

The Clipa baghook is a genius solution.

It’s a super strong ring that opens up and turns into a hook that you clip onto the side of a table. The notch is padded so it won’t ruin the table’s surface and can hold a surprising amount of weight.

When not in use, just stash it away in one of the pockets of your bags, or do what I do, leave it looped around a handle so you always have it on you.

BUY: CLIPA BAGHOOK, $15

wp carry on cocktail kit

When you just need a drink: W&P Carry on cocktail kit

W&P’s Carry-on cocktail kits are for those times when you need more than the standard airline alcohol choices.

These TSA compliant kits have everything you need to make your favorite classic cocktail, from the mixers like bitters and sugar, to a classy stirring spoon and linen coaster. All you need to do is add the appropriate alcohol from the in-flight menu.

Whether it’s a crying baby a row up or you’re looking for a way to kick off a much needed vacation, get one for your next flight for a quick upgrade.

BUY: CARRY-ON COCKTAIL KIT BY W&P, $18

FITNESS

heineken zero non alcoholic beer

The perfect way to socialize and get abs: Heineken Zero Non-Alcoholic beer

It’s easy to say “just order sparkling water!” when you’re trying not to drink, it’s another thing to do it without feeling like you’re missing out on a fun time.

My wife has been on a no alcohol kick for a few months, and Heineken Zero has been a life saver for her whenever we’re out.

Does it taste like regular Heineken? Sorta. It is missing that buzzy kick beers have. I think a good way to think of it is like the difference between Coke and Coke Zero. Coke Zero doesn’t really taste like regular Coke, but it doesn’t make it less delicious.

The great thing about Heineken Zero is that it looks and feels like the real thing, which helps you avoid all the annoying inquiries as to why you’re not drinking.

BUY: HEINEKEN 0.0, FIND A LOCAL RETAILER

powerbeats pro totally wireless earphones

The best gym earphones, period: Powerbeats Pro true wireless earphones

Here’s the thing about Powerbeats Pro True Wireless Ear buds: They’re basically Airpods with an ear clip, which means they’re everything you love about Airpods except you don’t have to worry about one flying across the room mid burpee.

BUY: POWERBEATS PRO TRUE WIRELESS, $249

SEX

leather condom wallet

Always be prepared with style: Leather Condom Wallet

First I’d like to start off that the wallet you use for your cash and cards is one of the worst place to store a condom. It’s cramped and you’re most likely sitting on it all day.

Now a wallet specifically for condoms are another story. Why do you need a wallet just for your condoms?

First, it’ll help you remember to bring condoms. Keep this thing loaded and near your keys so it’s ready to go.

Second, it makes it easy to find said condoms when you’re about to have sex. No more frantically digging through your pockets.

Toss in a few packets of Sliquid lube singles and an emergency $20 for some post-sex eats, and you got yourself the perfect safe sex kit.

BUY: CONDOM WALLET BY FUINLOTH, $9

ollie sex vibrator wand

The toy that will change your sex life: Ollie wand by Unbound babes

I know some men are weird about using toys in the bedroom, especially if they’re for her, but in my opinion whatever helps take the pressure off of you and makes her feel good is a win for both of you.

Wand Vibrators have been around since the 60s, and while many still swear by the classic Hitachi wand, I’ve never been a fan of it’s 80s Brookstone design.

The Ollie wand is the Hitachi for this generation.

The silicon body is waterproof. It has 8 settings and patterns that’ll drive her crazy, and it comes with a really cool magnetic charging cable that snaps into place.

If you’re looking for an easy way to add something to the mix in your bedroom, pick this one up.

BUY: OLLIE WAND BY UNBOUND BABES, $75

FOOD

tonys chocolonely chocolate bars

The best (and most ethical) chocolate bar in the world: Tony’s Chocolonely Chocolate Bars

Tony’s Chocolonely is a brand I discovered in Madrid while on a food tour. Founder Teun van de Keuken was inspired to create a 100% slave and child labor free chocolate bar after learning that most chocolate brands turn a blind eye to horrifying working practices in chocolate farming.

While that alone should inspire us to make the switch, the chocolate bars are actually reallly delicious! They come in a wide variety of flavors, everything from the classic milk and dark chocolates, to sea salt and pretzel toffee.

(The bars also have a paper label that’s really satisfying to unwrap. It’s what I always imagined opening a Wonka Bar felt like in the classic film.)

BUY: CHOCOLATE BARS BY TONY’S CHOCOLONELY (PACK OF 3), $24

bluepeak nespresso pod capsule rack

The espresso fiends best friend: Bluepeak Nespresso Pod Rack

I love my Nespresso machine but always hated the options they had for storing the pods. (Trays that took up too much space or boxes that didn’t separate the flavors weren’t cutting it.)

I came across this spinning rack on Amazon and it was exactly what I was looking for. It holds 50 pods and the sleek, stable base makes it easy to spin and use without worrying about it toppling over. A must have if you own a Nespresso machine.

BUY: POD RACK BY BLUEPEAK, $22

Notneutral vero cortado glass

If Tesla made an espresso cup: Notneutral Vero Cortado Cup

I’ve been drinking a lot of cortados lately and fell in love with the cup my local coffeeshop’s been serving them in.

Apparently the small smoked glass cups by Nonneutral were designed for cortados. If you’re not a coffee drinker, I’m sure you can find a liquid worthy of sipping out of such a cool cup.

BUY: VERO CORTADO GLASS BY NOTNEUTRAL, $18

FAMILY

herschel baby backpack and changing mat

The baby bag that doesn’t look like a baby bag: Herschel Baby Backpack and changing mat

Herschel’s baby bag was the one “baby bags for men” option that didn’t try to overcompensate with some military design. It’s simply a tweaked version of their classic backpack, and that’s why it so great. It’s a bag you can (and probably will) still use when your little one no longer needs you lugging around formula and baby wipes.

The modified backpack features storage for diapers, wipes and toys, and includes a matching folding changing mat that stows in a custom compartment.

BUY: SETTLEMENT SPROUT BACKPACK WITH CHANGING MAT, $99

anthropologie loki the lion stuffed animal

The stuffed animal your kid will probably still sleep with when they’re in their 30s: Anthropologie Loki the Lion

One of my favorite things is seeing kids lugging around their favorite stuffed animal. My second favorite thing is seeing beat up stuffed animals adults still have from when they were young.

I don’t have any kids, but I imagine if I did I’d get them one of the stuffed animals from Anthropologie. While they do have the classic bunny, I think I’d go for Loki the Lion.

Parenting pro-tip: Buy 3 or 4 and stash the extras away in case one is goes missing or is destroyed beyond repair.

BUY: LOKI THE LION STUFFED ANIMAL BY ANTHROPOLOGIE, $26

LIVE AN AMAZING LIFE

ramit sethi I will teach you to be a rich

The book that will make you rich: I will teach you to be rich (2nd edition ) by Ramit Sethi

Finally, I leave you with this.

Don’t you hate financial advice that tells you to stop buying all the things you enjoy? No drinks with friends. No nice clothes. No morning coffee to get you through rush hour.

Thankfully, Ramit offers a different take: focus on a few big wins (like systematize your finances, tackle your debt, optimize your credit cards) so you can spend more on the things you love.

I first went through this book 10 years ago. Now that I’m at a much different place in my life, I’m taking myself through the new 2nd edition that just came out. It includes 80 new pages and a ton of new material on topics like psychology of money and relationships, like discussing money with your spouse.

If you’re looking for guidance on getting on paying off your credit card and student debt and learning how to make your money work for you, get this book now. It’ll be the best $10 investment you’ll ever make.

BUY: I WILL TEACH YOU TO BE RICH BY RAMIT SETHI, $8.99

peter@theessentialman.com'
Author

Hi, I'm Peter. I spent 11 years as a menswear designer here in NYC. Now, I help some of the most successful men look really good as a Private Personal Stylist and writer of The Essential Man. You can learn more about what I do by clicking here

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