20 Awesome Gifts for Men About to Leave Their 20s
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Turning 30 is a big milestone in a man’s life. Though there’s nothing etching your 30th birthday in stone, it’s often a time when, to paraphrase 1 Corinthians, we put childish things aside.
As you turn 30, in most people’s life trajectories, school is a distant speck in the rear-view mirror, and now, questions of career, family and home come to the forefront.
While these days, only a lucky few seem to have the 20th-century vision of a spouse and kids, a house and a car all at the same time, that’s no reason why your 30s shouldn’t signify a shift in some sense.
And if the products you own can’t be solely responsible for that shift, they can at least be part of it. So down come the dorm-room posters, out go the beat-up running shoes, and in come some statement pieces meant to last.
So if there’s a man in your life who’s turning 30 imminently — whether a friend, a boyfriend or husband, a son, nephew or grandson, or maybe even a cherished cousin — and you’re looking for a way to celebrate that moment in his life, here are 20 awesome gifts to help him ring in the new decade.
Cole Haan Wool Car Coat
Is there anything that makes a man look like a man (as opposed to a boy) more than a suave coat? Maybe a handful of things, but a wardrobe staple like Cole Haan’s black wool car coat can instantly shift a guy’s look from his 20s to his 30s. In addition to the classic vibes, it’s got seriously deep pockets, and the shimmery burgundy lining adds an unmistakable touch of class. With something this nice, he’ll be hoping it stays cooler longer just to show it off.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Headphones
Cheap headphones are a staple for guys in their teens and 20s. Show a guy you care about that his 30s have arrived with a pair of next-level cans, like Sennheiser’s Momentum 4 headphones. They look sleek, their sound quality is off the charts and, best of all, they’re wireless, meaning cable tangles are now a thing of the past.
Lodge Chef Collection Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
Everyone knows the stories about guys in their 20s when it comes to cooking — they don’t have a clue, and it’s impressive if they’ve stopped subsisting on instant ramen and bags of chips like they did in college. Of course, that’s an unkind stereotype, but sometimes the real thing holding a guy back from applying himself in the kitchen is a lack of tools. The right piece of kitchenware can function as an inspiration to overhaul your whole approach to food, and there might be no better option (especially not given the price point) than a well-reviewed cast iron skillet like this affordable one from Lodge.
De Tomaso Sorpasso Chronograph Watch
Isn’t it time he got a watch? Women get necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, piercings and even anklets, but for many guys, jewelry begins and ends with watches. Still, the right watch can really elevate a look, and gifting him one like this striking chronograph from De Tomaso will give him the opportunity to impress friends and strangers alike when they ask him for the time.
Matt & Nat Soren Briefcase
Look, there are men who are confident enough to carry a purse, and there are men who are cool enough to wear a fanny-pack diagonally across their chests. For the rest of us, when you need to carry something, it’s backpacks or briefcases. If his 30th birthday is coming up, there’s a good chance he owns one or more of the former, and none of the latter. Change that pronto with this vegan leather briefcase from Matt & Nat, which communicates both style and substance.
A man’s 30s are a good time to settle on a signature scent — or a few. (No, sweat and/or deodorant don’t count.) Give him the gift of choice (and exploration) with a subscription to Scentbird, which will send him mini-bottles of different perfumes and colognes every month so he can test them out until he falls in love with one — or a few — and splurges for the full bottle.
Kobo Libra 2
Reading blog posts, tweets and listicles is all well and good, but sometimes you need to read something a little more hefty to properly grow as a person. And while you could technically read books on your phone or laptop, those are where the blog posts, tweets and listicles live. For his 30th, help him make reading a bigger part of his life. You could get him several dozen classic books and a giant bookshelf — or get him an e-reader. We love the Kobo Libra 2, and we think he will too.
Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt
For many guys, a good bottle of expensive whisky is the equivalent of saying “I love you.” It’s old, it’s smoky, it conjures up notions of wood and fire, struggle and victory. It’ll make you want to sing. Got a man in your life you need to say “I love you” to? Nikka’s exquisite Taketsuru Pure Malt is here. It’s Scotch via Japan, and it’s going to be the best bottle he owns. It might even make him want to buy a liquor cabinet.
SuitSupply Dark Grey Houndstooth Havana Jacket
By the time they’re 30, most men will have already worn a suit on at least one or two occasions, if not a dozen or more. But because it’s an infrequent article of apparel, lots of guys try to skimp — they get a cheap one, they rent, or they get different pieces used and mesh them together. Give this 30-year-old the gift of a serious, take-no-prisoners suit with a number like this one from SuitSupply, which offers serious quality for surprisingly reasonable prices.
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO Turntable
Like reading, music is something that’s easy to do on your phone or laptop. But also like reading, sometimes doing it with a little more intentionality, with an object designed specifically for that, can be a really special experience. Why not give your newly 30-year-old guy the gift of a sublime listening experience with a gorgeous, high-quality turntable like this one from Pro-Ject (yes, even the brand-new bands are putting out vinyl these days).
Shun Classic 7-Inch Santoku Knife
Being able to prepare your own food — and make it delicious — sets a man in his 30s apart from the other would-be children stumbling through their 20s. If you don’t want to go with the cast iron skillet — or if you want to double dip — get him a statement-piece knife, like this gorgeous santoku blade from Shun.
Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Classic
Just because he’s moving forward through his life is no reason he can’t appreciate a little piece of the past. Ray-Ban’s Wayfarers are an enduring fashion accessory for a reason — the design is timeless, the feel is classic, and the effect is pure, unadulterated cool. Oh, and protecting his eyes from harmful UV rays. That too.
July Carry On Suitcase
When you’re 30, you might have been around long enough to know that life is about moments, not things. Which isn’t to say things are valueless, but that they’re a means to an end, not an end in and of themselves. Celebrate the newly 30-year-old’s future moments with a gift that will make him think of you whenever he sets out on an adventure, by getting him a top-notch suitcase that he’ll cherish. This one from July is lightweight, stylish, and packed with well-designed little details that make it a pleasure to use.
The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Full-Size Kit
Shaving can be a hassle, but nothing makes it more of a chore than sub-standard shaving equipment. If he’s one of those guys who’s been going through his 20s without a fully kitted-out shaving set-up, fix that in a hurry with this box from The Art of Shaving. Facial maintenance is so much more than just a razor and shaving cream, and he’ll be forever grateful to you for getting him addicted to pre-shave oil, aftershave balm, and the joys of the shaving brush.
Crate and Barrel Lava Resin Bookends
If he’s the reader type but not the e-reader type, why not pair a physical book or two with something to spruce up his growing collection of literature? A stately pair of bookends communicates to his guests that he’s a serious man of letters, and this gorgeous set, which achieve a textured, tri-shade look thanks to a handcrafted blend of lava, limestone and resin, will also suggest that he’s got great taste, too.
Huckberry Whiskey Peaks Rocks Glasses
Owning a set of glassware is a sure sign that you’ve left your 20s behind. Owning a set of glassware that incorporates a relief model of various famous mountains into the bottom is a sure sign that you’re a sophisticated man who takes pride in offering his guests an experience when he hands them a beverage. The Whiskey Peaks rocks glasses set will please mountain appreciators, whiskey fans and the many guys who are both.
Hartt Beaverbrook Oxford Dress Shoe
They say that you can tell a lot about a man based on what shoes he wears, and that hasn’t stopped being true. Give a man a pair of something truly tasteful, like these Hartt oxfords, and watch him start to walk into rooms with confidence. The details here (the gorgeous, whiskey-amber gloss, the subtle shading along the stitch lines, the silk-lined dust bags and wooden shoe trees that come along with) will instantly take his shoe game up a notch — or several.
Triangle Borea BR03 Hi-Fi Bookshelf Speakers
What were we saying about high-quality sound earlier? If he already has a turntable, why turn the dial up on his audio setup? These smooth, minimalist speakers will almost certainly fit in with his existing furniture — but stand out when it comes time to pump up the jams.
Sonder Cutting Board
Good knife and durable cast-iron pan already accounted for? Why not help complete his developing kitchen with a gorgeous cutting board, like this one from L.A.-based outfit Sonder? Its beautiful acacia finish, tasteful groove around the rim for juices and pleasing heft will mean it’ll likely be pressed into service doing double duty as a serving platter as well as a cutting board.
Doshi Vegan Leather Stainless Steel Belt
A good belt is like the foundation of a building — without one, everything’s likely to fall down. OK, kidding, a bit. But if he’s still making do with a ratty old belt from his early 20s, now’s a great time to offer up a refreshing change of pace, like this classic style from vegan leather brand Doshi.
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