As you may have guessed from our love of cupcakes, shoes and lip gloss, Team Sassy is so far a bit of a girls only zone (although any boys that wish to join us are very much welcome)! We’re happy to admit that all things man aren’t exactly our speciality… and we daren’t venture too deeply into the minds of our significant others for fear of what we might find in there!
So instead, we’ve recruited some of the coolest guys about town to give us their top suggestions for our Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Guys – from fashion to gadgets to food and everything in-between! Read on for some surefire shopping inspiration…
JJ – THE DANDY
JJ Acuna is HK’s resident cool guy about town – his taste is impeccable, his wardrobe unimpeachable and his style inimitable! Check out his fab blog, The Wanderlister, for art, design, lifestyle, fashion and trend reports from Hong Kong and the Asian Region at large; JJ is also part of ultra-cool new blogging collective Brew & Post, who offer an eclectic take on fashion and lifestyle in Asia.
All my wishlist picks this year are less general and more personal than my ones from last year. As a style blogger, there are certain tools that I need to help me grab my blog posts more efficiently while looking good doing it! If you’re a guy who is also thinking about blogging, or are just really into social networking, taking photos of everything, and wanting to look stylish all in the same time, or if you’re a girlfriend or friend who just wants to upgrade her man’s toys, then consider my ideas as presents this Christmas… or if you want to personally gift me with one of these things, I’ll be more than happy to accept! Happy Holidays!
1. CANON EOS M, from around $7000
Available from Fortress
This new camera from Canon takes the compact camera concept but allows novices like me to learn more and do more by attaching any one of Canon’s selection of SLR Lenses to the main body. The price varies depending on what’s available in the box as a package – one includes a zoom lens, whilst other packages come with two types of standard lenses and a flash. The small body is lightweight and allows for the camera to be carried around more varied locales, which you can’t do with a standard SLR. Canon is betting on the EOSM to introduce a new group of consumers (like me!) to their wide body of lenses and cameras beyond the point-and-click. Also the camera has an iPhone-like touch screen, which allows you to take a photo by tapping on the screen and view shots by swiping and zooming in using fingers.
2. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE, from around $5000
Available from Fortress
As of writing this post, I’ve already gifted myself with this great new phone! And I’m certainly glad I switched from the iPhone to this new device. After having my fifth iPhone stolen in three years, I’ve had enough of the super expensive smartphone that everyone just wants to take. Moving ecosystems wasn’t really all the difficult either – your contacts and music can be imported via your computer or Gmail account. The bigger sized AMOLED screen makes everything read bright and crystal clear, and attached to the phone is a stylus that allows you to draw and write notes smoothly with different “digital pens”. I felt like I was writing on a real piece of paper! It works like a phone, and reads like a tablet. My websites load clearly and nicely, with no need for mobile versions. As a person who’s always online, I can’t even think of going back to a smaller screen after this phone. AND the game changer: the Galaxy Note 2 LTE allows me to expand my memory using a micro-SD card of up to 64GB, on top of the 16GB already included in the phone. It’s really amazing.
3. Anyday Bags by 15SquareStreet
15SquareStreet, G/F, 15 Square Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2362 1086
These really cool bags are another item I would like to add to my collection of briefcases and satchels. Briefcases aren’t just for your dads… these days everyone can look cool in them because you can hold them any number of ways because they are designed to be held in different ways. Some of them have straps you can wear on your shoulder, others have a more traditional handle, and sometimes guys can cradle the bags on the side if they’re completely in a hurry. For bloggers, briefcases are good because you don’t have to dig deep looking for your business cards. They’re also a perfect carry-all for Macbooks, Ipads, phones, and small cameras. 15SquareStreet are leather artisans based in Sheung Wan – their stuff is designed perfectly, looks amazing, and really doesn’t break the bank. They feel that their bespoke goods should be accessible and affordable to every guy out there. I agree.
4. A pair of TOMS shoes, from $525
Available from IFC Mall, Canton Road and Times Square Lane Crawford
As an architect by day and a style blogger by night, sometimes it’s really difficult to just sit down in front of a computer. My day usually consists of me running from meeting to meeting, then after work, hanging out with friends and meeting new faces via fashion and art events. TOMS are perfect because these modern versions of the Argentine alpargata are equipped to take you from your day work to your night fun while feeling like you’re wearing flip flops. For me, I tend to wear them with suits and/or a nice tailored pair of jeans. If you’re not too sure, the basic black, grey, or navy blue models should do the trick. Trust me, once you try one on, you’re going to be hooked. [Check out my article on TOMS here.]
5. The Bespoke White Shirt, from $880
PYE, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
PYE is a new dress shirt line for men that recently launched their flagship store in Pacific Place. The brand, its collection, and craft ethos took about 2 years to formulate, and the brainchild behind it is entrepreneur, socialite and philanthropist Dee Poon. Her network allows her to source everything that goes in each shirt from the fabric to the thread, with even the cotton type and the location of the crop is handpicked for the PYE shirt. Your can grab a white shirt off the rack (there are 11 variations) or have one especially made to measure using a very simple and straightforward one-page form. You can customise your ideal collar and even have your name embroidered where you want it.
For those who are not too fussy, the White Shirt collection is perfection. Different white fabrics are available, with different detailing, and with slightly different cuts depending on the body type. The price is great considering the tailored fit – again this is accessible luxury. For me, the white shirt is great because I can wear it to work with a nice pair of chinos and then take it out to party at night with great jeans and my favourite TOMS. All shirts are wrapped in a special garment bag, packaged in a nice handmade paper box, and placed in a beautiful PYE eco-bag. This IS THE perfect gift this year.
RICHARD – THE TECHIE
Richard Lai is the Senior Associate Editor of Engadget, our go-to guy for gadgets and all the latest scoops in the world of tech. He’s also a total karaoke king!
1. ASUS PadFone 2, from $5,998 with tablet station (or free with some PCCW packages)
Imagine having a phone that can also transform into a tablet! ASUS’ second attempt with its PadFone is a huge improvement, and it comes with pretty much all the tops specs in the current market: best quad-core chipset, gorgeous 4.7-inch 720p display and a feature-packed 13MP camera. Slide the phone into the 10.1-inch tablet station and it becomes the latter’s brain, while at the same time the tablet also recharges the phone. The most amazing part is that this combo is actually lighter than the new iPad!
2. Liquipel, from $449
Liquipel Service Centre, Shop 2 G/F, Billion Centre, 1 Wang Kwong Road,Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong, 3622 2271
California-based Liquipel offers a “watersafe” nanocoating treatment to a list of approved devices (such as iPhones, iPads plus many Android devices from Samsung, HTC, and Motorola), and now the devices have added protection against water damage both externally and internally, yet they look and feel the same as before. Oh, don’t worry, I’ve already dunked some of my very own treated devices into bowls of water, let alone taken them into the shower to watch videos! (But if yours do suddenly switch off, just let them dry for a day or two and they’ll come back – the Liquipel coating would’ve prevented any short-circuiting and corrosion.)
3. Parrot Zik, $3,388
Available from Apple Store, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, 3972 1500
These are technically the big daddy of all wireless headphones: Bluetooth, great audio quality, best noise-cancellation that I’ve ever come across, removable battery, intuitive (and super cool) swipe gesture control and NFC pairing. Thanks to Philippe Starck, these unique cans are way more stylish than the usual Beats and Soul.
4. Lytro, from $3,888
See Hong Kong stockists here
Yes, this little rectangular tube is a camera, but with a twist: just take pictures, and then you can play with the focus on the computer later on. In a nut shell: the Lytro captures the light field instead of a flat image, so it can “see” an image with the light rays coming from all sorts of directions. Quite a mind-blowing kind of fun toy with a lot of potential, and there’s no harm in letting your other half get a taste of the future.
5. Red Packet Gift Experiences, from $888
If gadgets won’t do the job, you might have better luck with one of the many gift packages offered by Red Packet. Be it a massage, flight simulation, photography workshop or even a DJ tuition masterclass, your guy gets to pick an activity for whichever package you get him.
JASON – THE “GUY-TAI“
Jason Tse is one of HK’s top food bloggers, a travel consultant at Flight Centre, founder of e-boutique My Fashion Birdcage and a self-proclaimed ‘guy-tai’! Check out his blog Life As A Bon Vivant for great foodie reviews or pop down to see him at Flight Centre and get all his travel advice in person.
1. LIFETRONS Dual USB Digital Display Portable Charge, $1,090
Available from Cathay Pacific Duty-Free
Smartphones nowadays are getting ever more hungry for power! As a heavy user and an Instagram addict who spends at least 10 minutes editing an image before posting it on various social media platforms, my smartphone requires several recharges during the day. This high capacity (5,600mAh) portable charger will last you throughout the day and is compatible with various mobile devices including iPhone and iPads as well. What’s most attractive about this compact yet high-capacity portable charge is its dual USB ports, which allow you to charge two devices simultaneously! It’s available on-board Cathay Pacific, or you can even do a pre-flight order online for your next trip… Oh, and don’t forget to collect your Asia Miles as well!
2. Bill Amberg Leather Messenger Bag, $4,515
Available from Mr Porter
Leather messenger bags are my soft spot and I am a big fan Bill Amerg (I’m even using one of their leather wallets as well!). Bill Amerg is all about fine detailing yet not overly extravagant designs. One thing I like about leather bags is how they age over time, giving it the vintage patina texture I love! Expandable if needed, this sleek looking bag is good for everyday use or perfect for exploring new cities during your weekend getaway.
3. Clive Passport Holder by HALO Inspirations, $390
Available at Timothy Oulton, G/F, 15 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2161 1742
It’s no secret that I love to travel and I am on a mission to have all my passport pages filled with stamps by the end of next year. It may seem irrelevant at this stage of age and call me old-school if you like, but I prefer my passport to be protected and all my travel documents well organised so I can just grab them and head to the airport when I feel like a short getaway!
4. Herb-savor, $240
Available from Prepara
Fresh herbs are already a tough thing to find in Hong Kong and even if you do find them, they are quite pricy too. Some people grow their own at home but most of us just buy them from supermarkets or the occasional farmers markets, but one of the biggest and most annoying issues is how to make them stay fresh in the fridge! So say hi to the Prepara Herb-savor which allows the stems to sit slightly submerged in a refillable water tank while inside the fridge, prolonging their freshness.
5. Burberry Prorsum Studded handle umbrella, $8,900
Available from Lane Crawford
For those who are over 5’9 in height (including myself!), I am quite confident in speaking on our behalf to say that we are no stranger (or rather we’re masters in!) evasive manoeuvres while walking down the streets of Hong Kong on a rainy day, trying to dodge the fearless attacks from umbrellas charging towards us (or our eyeballs to be exact) from all possible directions! Hopefully with this studded handle umbrella, we can scare a few, if not all, incoming offensives from advancing too closely. Safety comes at a price, and this is my preferred weapon of choice on a rainy day!
RAZLAN – THE GUY NEXT DOOR
Razlan Manjaji is a self-confessed travel addict and food lover. When he is not expanding his waistline consuming copious amount of beer and seafood, he can be seen toiling away as a digital product manager for a living or loving the treadmill to keep said waistline in check! Share his joy for life on www.razlan.net.
Do I believe in Santa? Yes I do, because I have been a good boy this year and totally deserve all these. Plus I have the greatest friends on earth so I am sure I’ll find these lovingly wrapped and placed under my (imaginary) Christmas tree come December 25.
1. Azzedine Alaïa Laser-cut iPhone case, $2650
Available from Lane Crawford
I saw this at Lane Crawford and fell in love with its simplicity. Black leather is always classy on guys and suitable for work and play, yet the laser-cut pattern on the case gives it a touch of attitude without being over the top. If you like that Hello Kitty x Curious George iPhone case that your girlfriend bought you, this is obviously out of your league.
2. Prada’s Saffiano Calf Leather Briefcase, $14,900
See all Prada locations in Hong Kong here
That metrosexual executive in me is yearning for this stylish leather briefcase from Prada. Deceptively simple, the briefcase can fit a laptop (yes, I measured) and also still fit a couple of files plus my point-and-shoot camera (yes, I measured that too). I like that it does not scream “PRADA!” like much of their other merchandise. If no one gets me this for Christmas, I’d get it myself and happily say goodbye to my hard earned bonus.
3. A Massage at Gentlemen’s Tonic, from $490
B47-B48, The Landmark, 15 Queens Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2525 2455
Vouchers for massages must be one of the best gifts you can get for the man in your life, for one simple reason – most men wouldn’t do it for themselves (though that’s probably a different story for massage junkies like me). I have heard so much about Gentlemen’s Tonic and would love to try any of their massage treatments. I always work up a good appetite right after a massage, so this is probably what I’ll be doing right before Christmas dinner.
4. Harry Potter’s DVD Collection, $1860
Available from HMV or online at YesAsia.com
I know, I am being a total dork here, but this Christmas gift would totally make my day. Despite being a big Harry Potter fan (I read those books at least a hundred times – no kidding – and I am still reading them!), I don’t own all the DVDs. Imagine the endless hours I could pig out in front of the TV watching Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) grow up from annoying little kids to total heartthrobs. Perfect way to spend Boxing Day.
5. Moleskine Professional Extra Large Notebook, $216
Available from Moleskine
In recent months, I have discovered the joy of Moleskin. They say every serious professional should use only a Moleskin for their work, and I can totally see why. Meticulously made, sturdy to a fault yet undeniably sexy, I loved my first Moleskin to death. The pages are quickly running out so here’s one more wish to Santa!
Good luck gifting your guys, girls!