Second City Style’s 12 Days of Christmas (Shopping) ’10. Joseph Spells It Out For Us

December 14, 2010 • Male Box, Yahoo


What do you give “the man who has everything” for a holiday present? Let me spell it out for you – literally.
H is for Houbigant, the French perfume house known to European royalty for centuries. Fans of fragrance delight in the complex and long lasting offerings of the House of Houbigant which has served as official court perfumer to both the Court of St. James and the Imperial Court of Russia. Fougere Royale was first introduced in 1882 as the first “fougere” or fern-like perfume ever created. Today’s updated version is as complex as the original, opening with notes of citrus oil and Mediterranean herbs, passing through notes of rare roses and exotic spices, and finishing with the earthy amber tones that are the olfactory hallmark of the well dressed man. If fine under garments are the stylish gentleman’s gift to himself, then Houbigant’s Fougere Royale is his gift to the world, or at least to the chic circles in which he moves.


O is for Overcoat – Even fashionable men want things they’ll have forever. Men’s fashion usually trails a little behind women’s trends and I’m sure that this season’s craze for camel coats will hit menswear next season. Give your man a full year jump on the trend and invest in a classic single breasted camel coat from Brooks Brothers like the Golden Fleece Camel Hair Polo Overcoat.  


L is for Liquor – In sub-freezing weather, the one thing that keeps the stylish gentleman warm – even more than Under Armour – is a little nip from a monogrammed flask. My current favorites are the Commonwealth Utilities one I got at one of their recent fashion shows and my sterling silver double flask that’s shaped like a pair of binoculars that kept me warm though several seasons of opera at Lincoln Center. Even the most discreet and fastidious of tipplers though are plagued by dents and dings in our favorite flasks. The Hennessy VS Rubber Flask Sleeve fits a half pint of cognac perfectly or perhaps even one of your favorite metal flasks. Either way, your spirits will be as well dressed as you– and safe!
I is for iPad – Everyone wants one, but only 6 million people have them. I’m holding out for one with two cameras for videoconferencing, but in the meantime the iPad is changing the way consumers interact with fashion news and images and, more importantly, for editors like myself, the iPad is changing the way we create fashion images and video. Even though I’m holding out to invest in the next generation, I’d still be happy to find the current one in my Christmas stocking!

D is for Dior – OK – the real reason I want an iPad NOW is all the cases for them that are out this holiday season.  How to choose though? Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Chanel? The one I want is the from Dior Homme who gave us the first ever designer iPod cover. The patent leather stripes will be chic forever – as will I when I carry it!
A is for App –  The one so-called “luxury” that most of my fashionable friends had to let go in the wake of the recent recession was another “A”, the much needed “Assistant.” While most of us have made do with synching our PDAs with desktop organizer programs like Outlook, Just Ask!, America’s favorite personal assistant service, is now an IPad app. Your man will be able to manage your personal finances, travel, entertainment, even your pet services while on the go.

Dog Treats Y is for Year – Make 2011 amazing and give the gourmet gift that keep on giving for 12 months. puts together a full year of gifts ranging from exotic spices for the gourmet cook you married (or plan to marry) to wines for your boozehound (at least you’ll know he’ll be stocked when you visit) to herbal teas for the teetotallers in your life.  As for me, I’d love a year of dog treats for my prized – and very pampered – pooch!

That’s how I spell “Holiday” this season! Remember, it’s better to give than to receive and I promise to help you be better people this giftgiving season. So, feel free to send any of these my way and you’ll know when you receive a chic little thank you note on my Smythson Nile blue stationery with the custom monogram that you’re a “Giver!” Happy Holidays!

—Joseph Ungoco, Second City Style Columnist: Male Box

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