Christmas Gifts: No batteries required
Gifts don't have to go beep to keep men interested, reveals Robin Clegg
Friday 10 December 1999
The micro-skate scooter by Paul Smith (pounds 120, 0171 379 7133) therefore makes for a particularly attractive gift option. Weighing in at just 2.76kg with full alloy construction, it folds up to the size of a large umbrella. It is stable, strong, has a solid brake at the back, and is the ideal way to get around without having to lock you vehicle up - just fold it under your arm.
Men like to collect things, so they will probably also appreciate the trinket box from Paul Smith Accessories (pounds 15, 0171 379 7133). It's covered with cartoon scenes in Spanish and has a reassuring, vintage appeal. Also from Paul Smith Accessories is a fine drinking glass with the image of a well-dressed lady facing outward (pounds 6); when you look inside the glass the woman is somewhat less dressed and boasts strategically placed hands. Interesting.
A useful gift from Boots comes in the form of a natural collection of skin-care products for men (pounds 6.50, 0845 070 8090). These include facial wash and scrub, shampoo, shower gel and an aftercare balm. This comprehensive gift is packaged in a stylish CD wallet. Or there's always the Visor wallet (pounds 8, also from Boots. The wallet is attached around a sun visor with Velcro straps and comes complete with shampoo, conditioner and shaving balm sachets.
Clinique For Men offers a grooming set for pounds 29.50 (0800 525 501). The set contains shaving foams and lotions up to their usual high standard. It also comes in an attractive travel bag which will still be in use long after the unguents run out.
Muji, the Japanese chain store, takes a simple approach to gifts for men. Its simply packaged business set (pounds 24, 0171 323 2208) revels in minimalist detail and contains a solar pocket calculator and an aluminium card case, pencil case, fingertip pencil and ruler.
For fashion-conscious individuals, Thomas Pink offers luxurious mother- of-pearl dress studs and collar stiffeners (pounds 55, 0171 498 3882). A shirt from Thomas Pink to go with them might prove to be handy as well (from pounds 35).
Art lovers, fashion addicts and bookworms will enjoy the rather expensive but highly collectable new book by Helmut Newton, Sumo (pounds 1,000 from Selfridges, 0171 629 1234). Weighing in at nearly five stone, this mammoth read comes complete with its own coffee table, contains 540 pages and focuses on Newton's career from fashion photography to recent portraits of Elizabeth Taylor and David Bowie.
A less costly gift idea is the Executive Yo-Yo (pounds 4.99 from Next, 0845 600 7000). Part of the Next objects range, it has a modern chrome finish and is weighted and counter-balanced which makes for a particularly fluid yo-yo action.
The Jaguar car company also has a fine range of gifts for men in its classic collection. There's a stylish golf bag made of green canvas and tan leather (pounds 390) or a reversible black/burgundy belt (pounds 30) boasting the famous Jaguar logo. Jaguar also has a range of model cars (from pounds 21). The pewter models are fixed to a solid wooden base and there are seven to choose from. (Jaguar, 01323 410403)
A Sally Gissing belt (pounds 44.95) will also make a successful gift. They're strong, durable and available in green and khaki. Or perhaps opt for a Gissing leather belt wrap (pounds 105), which consists of a belt-style strap with a zip bag worn around the bottom. Both are available from Harvey Nichols, 0171 235 5000).
If all else fails, there's always the option of showering men with elegant colognes and stylish silverware. This year, as ever, there is an abundance of fragrant choices for men. Some of the best include Clinique's 'Chemistry' for Men (from pounds 32), Gucci's 'Envy' for Men (from pounds 40), Chanel's 'Allure' pour Homme (from pounds 28), Calvin Klein's 'Contradiction' for Men (from pounds 32.50) and D&G's 'Masculine' (from pounds 30).
If you're feeling particularly generous this Christmas, Versace make some of the most beautiful rings and watches in the world. The Dynasty Diffusion (pounds 2,100, 01372 747 734) model is made of 18-carat white gold set with diamonds. Alternatively Versace's "Fifth" wristwatch (pounds 495, 01372 747 734) has a cambered steel case with smart decoration. It comes with a black or brown, cross-grained goat strap and is water resistant to 30 metres.
All of which should keep the boys happy with their toys this festive season, and will certainly ensure that the clicking and whirring of the latest autofocus mega-zoom camera, or the mewling of some other top-of- the-range, bleeping gadget is kept to a bare minimum on Boxing Day.
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