Gift Guide 2015: Part 4

This one is for the men on your list!

Accessories

jcrew Astronaut

I realize I live in the preppiest part of the country, but statement dress socks seem to be very in with the men I work with. You can go two directions with this: holiday socks, or general statement socks. Both are good ideas, but I’m thinking go general so the recipient can wear them all year. The above astronaut socks are just one of many options from JCrew, and almost every men’s apparel store have comparable options. Other classic work wear accessories are cool cuff links, a power tie, or a funky tie bar.

Banana Scarf

A scarf might seem like a snooze, but in my experience, it’s something that a lot of men forget to buy for themselves. I love a good mid-weight plaid scarf that will look smart with a wool coat. The above is from Banana.

Home

MarkTravelBag

Time to upgrade the travel toiletries bag! I love these leather ones from Mark and Graham. Pottery Barn has something very comparable. If you want a sportier option, I would look to L.L.Bean.

DollarShave

I’ve heard a lot of raves about the Dollar Shave Club, and it’s a pretty universal gift for men because most of them shave, right? You can gift a membership, and the options are very affordable. We all know that razors are annoyingly pricey, so it’s a great break! It’s something a little out of the box, but makes the recipient’s life a whole lot easier.

Apparel

Banana Sweater

The guys I know seems to accumulate tee shirts and sweatshirts like it’s going out of style, and they have to buy clothes for work, so I usually go for a shirt or sweater that is somewhere in between. This sweater from Banana is work worthy for most people, but it’s also casual enough for weekend outings. I also love this subtle patterned crew neck sweater, and a machine wash JCrew Factory half zip is always a winner.

UA shorts

If you’re shopping for a guy that likes to hit the gym, shorts are a great option. Like I said above, tee-shirts appear out of no where, but shorts are another story. I think it’s a great idea to gift a good quality pair or shorts from Under Armour (like above), or Nike because they will last a long time.

Technology

USBCharger

There are all sorts of great techy accessories out there that can make life easier. One of my favorite places for these items is The Container Store (there’s one in walking distance from me), but you’ll also see a ton at places like Best Buy. Something like this four USB charging adapter will help maximize outlets and get everything charged on time. There’s another similar option for the cigarette lighter in the car. Other good tech accessories are containers for all the cords, or stands for smart phones.

BasisWatch

Since we now need everything available on our wrist, this smart watch version by Basis is somewhere between a Fitbit and an Apple watch both in functionality and price. It tracks all of your activity and sleep, and it communicates with your smart phone to give you text, email, and phone call notifications. I also think this looks a little cooler than most of the fitness trackers on the market. You can go with the leather band, or there are sportier band options as well.

What are you getting the guys on your list this year?

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Suns Out Guns Out

Even though I hit the gym year-round, there’s something about the spring that makes me think, it’s time for a gym wardrobe refresh! Here are a couple things I’ve grabbed over the last couple months and a couple things I have my eye on.

Gym Shoes:

NewBalancesneaks

I got these a couple months ago and I love them! They are super cute, comfortable, supportive, but very lightweight. Basically the best of all worlds. I was dabbling with Nike shoes for a while, but now I’m happy to be back with New Balance! (and they’re on sale right now at Athleta!)

UA Tank:

UAtank

Even though I’m not usually a logo girl, I love a placement print, and if there’s anywhere I will wear a logo, it’s definitely the gym. This top is easy breezy cotton. It’s perfect for those days when you’re not looking for a super skimpy, skin tight top (which is most days for me).

Coordinating Cropped “Joggers”:

UAjoggers

Again with the placement print. These aren’t necessary for my workouts, but it’s the perfect lounge solution. Comfortable, easy to wear, but not oversized and ratty like those college sweats. (I have them in grey)

Carrie Underwood Seamless Capris:

CUcapris

Have you seen Carrie’s new line of workout gear at Dicks Sporting Goods? There are some really cute things! Also, I did some comparison shopping and while her prices are not necessarily bargain basement, they are consistently lower than the big names in fitness apparel, and the quality seems very comparable. It seems like everyone sells a seamless capri these days, but these have some serious shaping properties (almost to the point of muffin top, so be careful about sizing). They are very comfortable!

On my wish list:

Nike Epic Run Shorts:

Epic

During the warmer months I like to run outside in 5 inch Nike Pro shorts. The only downside is that they’re very basic so they lack a couple features like a zip pocket for keys. These Epic Run Lux shorts are pricier than my typical shorts, but they’re designed specifically for running and the zip pocket might be worth it!

Nike Gradient Top:

NIKE-GRADIENT-TANK-646634_518_A_PREM

I like that this top has some interest but isn’t too obnoxious, and these also have a zip pocket for keys! It takes some effort to find the right kind of sports bra, or capris that stay put, but tanks are easy so I always forget about them. This would be great for my weekly summer runs, or just the gym.

Old Stand Bys

Workout clothes might be my favorite topic. I wear them everyday, I take a lot of interest in them. I love trying out all the new fabrics, patterns, and silhouettes that the athletic apparel companies come out with, but there’s something to be said for the basics. I have pieces in my dresser that are a little pricey, crazy, or activity specific, but at the end of the day there is core wardrobe of basics that are durable, comfortable, affordable, and awesome for every workout.

Here are my favorites that I will buy until the companies discontinue the style:

Tops

This basic Under Armour tank. It usually comes in several colors, and I love it for anything from weights to Pilates to cardio. It stays put whether you’re upside down or right side up!

UAtank

When it comes to a tee shirt, I love this Nike option. It’s a company staple so they come out with new colors all the time, and keep the style the same. I like it because it’s not skin tight so it’s perfect for days that I’m not looking for something comfy, but a big step up from a standard cotton tee shirt.

NikeLegendT

Bottoms

I think bottoms can be a little trickier than tops because they ride up, fall down, are see through when you bend over, or just plain unflattering. These ones from Under Armour though, are the definition of basic. They work for everything from spin class, to weights, to Pilates (no zipper on the back). Every time I wear these I wish I could wear them 24/7/365 because they are that comfortable.

UAcapris

When it comes to running I have a few requirements. I need a drawstring, a pretty high rise, and a little zipper pocket on the lower back for my keys. These Nike capris meet all the requirements, and I think I usually get an even more affordable version of these from the Nike outlet.

NikeCapris

Based on my observations over time, I’ve realized you can go two directions for running shorts. You’re either a spandex person, or a Nike tempo (or other brand equivalents) person. I am a spandex person. Always. These are my go-tos from Nike. Comfortable, light, and a slightly longer inseam (5 in.) than the shorter version (3 in.) makes them age appropriate for everyone older than 17.

NikeShorts

Sports Bras

I have done extensive research in this category. This is obviously very dependent on your body type, and I require maximum support. I cannot tell you how many times I have bought a sports bra because it claims to be my size and/or be extremely high impact/high support, and they just don’t live up to any of the claims (I will not name names…). Time and time again I come back to this very basic compression bra from Nike. I have tried all the imitators, but no one does a compression bra like Nike. Plus, just like all these other basics, they often release it in several colors and patterns every season.

NikeBra

Socks

I’m pickier than you might think when it comes to socks. After trying several of the fancier brands, it turns out Champion makes my favorite in their target line. They are the perfect combination of low profile, and fluffy. Socks are a goldilocks thing for me, they’re either too thin or too thick and fluffy, but few are just right.

targetsocks

Shoes

I am a New Balance sneaker girl. I like the lightweight, basic nature of these ones that I’ve been ordering at a discount from DSW for a couple years now. When you find a shoe that works you need to stick with it!

Sneakers

What are your old stand bys, when it comes to workout gear?