Entertainment Magazine

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Posted on the 24 November 2017 by Nguzan @BAMFStyle

Today is Black Friday, the annual phenomenon in the American retail world that finds many waking from their heavy tryptophan-induced slumber to save 10% on a TV. In recent years, this “holiday” has been exploited by said retailers capitalizing on in-store deals by expanding them to the world wide web on Cyber Monday for an additional day of merry marketing goodness.

Cynicism aside, with one month to Christmas Eve, today feels like a perfect opportunity to present some picks for BAMF Style’s somewhat-annual Holiday Gift Guide… whether you’re seeking to treat a loved one, a friend, or yourself!

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

“This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f*cking Kaye!”

For the 2017 gift-giver, I created three different gift guide categories:

  • Eight relevant essentials of classic style icons and where you can find the best options based on your budget
  • Two BAMF-approved gift packages based on products that I regularly wear, use, and appreciate
  • A roundup of (mostly) new books for BAMFs and others to enjoy

8 Style Icon Essentials

Browsing through five years of BAMF Style archives, some timeless trends tend to emerge as we find characters that span decades wearing the same items. Think the naval-originated pea jacket that has survived for more than three centuries as go-to winter wear in various forms… or Steve McQueen rocking his shawl-collar cardigans in the 1960s that Daniel Craig wears religiously half a century later.

The following eight cold-weather “essentials” are inspired by some of the best BAMF Style icons. Their timeless nature lends themselves to being just as easy to find today as in the mid-century heyday of men’s fashion.

Dressing well doesn’t have to break the bank, either. After determining the eight stylish classic essentials for inclusion, I researched “budget” alternatives that didn’t sacrifice quality in the pursuit of value, capping at $50 when possible.

NB: All listed prices are as of November 2017 and are subject to change based on size, color, availability, and promotions though, with any luck, they’ll be even lower for your online shopping quest!

Navy Peacoat

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Left: Daniel Craig wears a Billy Reid peacoat in Skyfall.
Right: Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor.

As worn on screen by Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor, the brothers MacManus in The Boondock Saints, Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale and Skyfall.

The high roller option:

Billy Reid “Bond”, as worn by Daniel Craig in Skyfall. Unique with its leather detailing under the collar and pockets, four outer pockets (two upper hand pockets, two lower flap pockets), and the peak lapels. Made from a blend of 90% wool and 10% nylon; available in navy or black.

$486.50 (discounted from $695) at Amazon.

The budget option:

Nautica offers a more traditional take on the peacoat with classic broad lapels, six anchor-motif plastic buttons, and vertical hand pockets on the sides. Made of a 52% wool blend with polyester, rayon, nylon, and other fibers making up the difference; available in navy, charcoal, or black.

$55.00 up to $79.99 at Amazon.

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Left: Billy Reid
Right: Nautica

Nylon Bomber Jacket

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Steve McQueen wears an Alpha Industries MA-1 in The Hunter.

As worn on screen by Steve McQueen in The Hunter and Michael Douglas in Basic Instinct.

More than six decades after its inception as a versatile outer layer for U.S. military aviators, the bomber jacket is undergoing a renaissance as nearly every retailer from the worlds of fast fashion to designer labels are coming out with their own garment based on the classic MA-1 design. Just two weeks ago, The New Yorker satirically answered the question evidently on many an online shopper’s mind.

When looking for a classic MA-1 style bomber jacket, be sure to find one with a comfortably insulated nylon/polyester shell and lining, short ribbed knit collar with matching cuffs and waistband, hand pockets (preferably with snap-closing flaps), and the zip-fastened sleeve pocket once heralded as a “cigarette pocket” in the days when a flyer wouldn’t dream of taking off without his trusty deck of Chesterfields.

The high roller option:

Alpha Industries, the originator of the MA-1 and the provider of Douglas’ and McQueen’s screen-worn jackets, still delivers the gold standard (or should I say the “sage green standard”) in bomber couture. Shell is 100% nylon; available in original sage green as well as black, gunmetal, navy, replica blue, steel blue, and maroon.

$52.02 up to $150.00 (depending on size and color) at Amazon, though typically on the higher end of that spectrum.

The budget option:

Goodfellow & Co., Target’s new men’s line introduced this year, offers a number of different bomber jackets in a variety of styles, material, and color, but I purchased and swear by the “Standard Fit Insulated Bomber Jacket” in a rich shade of brown referred to by the brand as “olive”. Shell is 100% polyester; available in “olive” brown and gray.

$39.99 at Target.

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Left: Alpha Industries MA-1
RIght: Goodfellow & Co. Insulated Bomber (from Target)

NB: You already know this, but the term bomber jacket has a broader definition than just the collarless nylon MA-1, particularly its leather and shearling predecessors.

Brown Tweed Sport Jacket

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Left: Sean Connery sports a brown barleycorn tweed two-button hacking jacket in Goldfinger.
Right: Steve McQueen wears a brown herringbone tweed 3/2-roll shooting jacket in Bullitt.

As worn on screen by: Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger and Thunderball, Steve McQueen in Bullitt, and Ryan Reynolds in Mississippi Grind.

So much can vary when it comes to a tweed sportcoat:

  • Connery’s Bond shared stylistic similarities such as its slanted side pockets and long single vent with the equestrian hacking jacket while McQueen preferred a 3/2-roll shooting jacket with unique elbow patches and short double vents.
  • Ryan Reynolds in Mississippi Grind dressed down his L.L. Bean patch-pocket jacket most of all, wearing the lapel flipped up to showcase an unbuttoned throat latch.

Given the amount of variety one has when searching for his brown tweed sport jacket of choice, I expanded the below offerings to include four across the cost spectrum that should meet the needs of any aspiring secret agent, San Francisco cop, or down-on-his-luck gambler.

The Bond option:

Orvis, America’s oldest mail order retailer, knows something about rugged, outdoor-oriented clothing from its 150+ year reign as “the 800-pound gorilla” of the fly fishing industry. Those credentials stated, they’ve also developed an intriguing Highland tweed 3-roll-2-buttoning jacket with bi-swing shoulders for greater range of movement. Made from pure wool tweed; available in brown, gray, blue, and pine green.

$375.00 at Amazon.

Two intermediate McQueen options:

Jos. A. Bank, famous for their “buy one, get 19” promotions, includes a “tailored fit” herringbone sportcoat in is 1905 Collection. The shade of brown and the two-button front are a bit closer to Bond than Bullitt, but it has narrow notch lapels, short side vents, gently slanted flapped pockets, and elbow patches that contributed to McQueen’s sleek yet professorial look as San Francisco’s hippest cop. Made from 100% wool; available in brown, gray, and blue.

$169.00 (discounted from $398) at Jos. A. Bank. I own this jacket personally and can vouch for its comfort, warmth, and look.

FLATSEVEN, a brand about which I know admittedly little and thus approached with caution, has developed a well-reviewed take on the warm brown shooting jacket from Bullitt with its elbow patches and side vents. Made from a blend of 80% wool and 20% polyester; available in brown, khaki, and dark gray.

$89.99 up to $149.99 (depending on size) at Amazon.

The budget Mississippi Grind option:

Goodfellow & Co. strikes again as Target’s new house line introduces a modern take on this classic with unique and sporty details such as three outer patch pockets and a throat latch on the left lapel. Made from a blend of 62% wool and 38% polyester and other fibers; available in brown herringbone only.

$49.99 at Target. Read how Primer Magazine incorporated this and other Target attire into a budget-friendly fall office look.

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Left: Orvis

Shawl-Collar Cardigan

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Steve McQueen kicks back in a navy shawl-collar cardigan in Carmel, 1964.

As worn by Steve McQueen in real life and his movies (Bullitt and The Cincinnati Kid, to name a few), Lee Marvin in The Professionals, Daniel Craig as James Bond in Quantum of Solace.

The high roller option:

Citizen Cashmere offers a well-reviewed chunky cable-knit shawl-collar cardigan in warm but light-wearing Tibetan yak wool, marketed for its cashmere-like softness. Despite its lesser-known brand name, the sweater is very well reviewed from satisfied customers and appears to be worth its price. Made from Tibetan yak wool; available in royal blue, black, and light brown.

$204.95 at Amazon.

The budget option:

Goodfellow & Co. pulls off the trifecta with its third consecutive offering making the cut. Their take on the shawl-collar cardigan is stylish, comfortable, and can transform its wearer into the King of Cool, relaxing on a seaside cliff in northern California circa 1964. Made from a blend of 60% cotton and 40% nylon; available in McQueen-approved navy blue, gray, and brown.

$25.00 (discounted from $34.99) at Target.

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Left: Citizen Cashmere
Right: Goodfellow & Co. cardigan (from Target)

Wool Trousers with Side Adjusters

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Cary Grant’s suit trousers have buckle-tab side adjusters, seen here as he goes for a jog in North by Northwest.

As seen on the classic suits often worn by Cary Grant (including his iconic North by Northwest suit) or by Daniel Craig as James Bond (in the spirit of Sean Connery’s button-tab “DAKS top” adjusters.)

These are particularly difficult to find on their own, as the nature of side-adjusters means that your trousers should be tailored for you rather than pulled from off-the-rack or, riskier yet, ordered online. Many made-to-order suit-makers do include buckle-tab side-adjusters as an option for their trousers, however, and these are often a comfortable alternative to the far more commonly encountered belts.

The high roller option:

Paul Smith prides itself on “classics with a twist” so it’s no surprise that the brand would offer dark wool trousers with the traditional buckle-tab side adjusters. Made from a lightweight wool blend (98% wool, 2% elastane); available in navy and black.

$425.00 at Paul Smith.

The budget option:

Charles Tyrwhitt came onto the menswear scene in 1986 with a focus on luxury dress shirts. More than 30 years later, the brand’s offerings have so expanded to include a pair of trousers marketed as “morning suit pants” in solemn suitings like dark gray wool for a classic look that would pair perfectly with a navy blazer à la Sean Connery in Dr. No… of course the morning suit connotation carries with it a high fishmouth-notched rear waistband that may or may not be desirable for the wearer.

$200.00 at Charles Tyrwhitt. (At this price, this is hardly a “budget” option compared to some of the other items on this list, but Charles Tyrwhitt is generous with its promotional discounts.)

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Left: Paul Smith
Right: Charles Tyrwhitt

As you’re ostensibly buying these as a gift for someone, chances are you won’t have their exact waist and leg measurements at hand for custom-tailored trousers. In the event that you do have these measurements, you can look into some of the more made-to-order retailers like SuitSupply which offers these gray wool side-adjuster trousers in a dark gray blend of 90% wool and 10% cashmere for $269.

Desert Boots

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Steve McQueen kicks back in his Hutton Original Playboy desert boots during the filming of Bullitt.

As worn on screen by: Steve McQueen in Bullitt, Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino RoyaleQuantum of Solace, and Spectre.

The high roller option:

Sanders & Sanders refreshed the design of Steve McQueen’s legendary Hutton Original Playboy boots for their Hi-Top suede chukka boot in snuff brown that Daniel Craig would wear for the climactic action sequences in the latest James Bond film, Spectre. Made from suede leather uppers and thick crepe soles.

£199.00 (approximately $263.32) at Sanders & Sanders Ltd.

The budget option:

Clarks debuted the original desert boot at the 1949 Chicago Shoe Fair based on the crepe-soled rough suede boots worn by various military ground troops for desert combat.

Nearly 70 years later, they’re still the affordable quality standard with new models like the featured Bushacre 2 constantly improving on the original design. Made from suede leather uppers and signature soft crepe soles; available in essentially any color you’d imagine.

$41.42 up to $176.99 at Amazon, though typically on the lower end of that spectrum.

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Left: Sanders & Sanders Hi-Top chukka boots in snuff suede
Right: Clarks Original Bushacre 2 desert boots in walnut suede

Navy Grenadine Tie

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Sean Connery wears a navy Turnbull & Asser grenadine tie in his first 007 film Dr. No.

Most associated with James Bond as played by Sean Connery and Daniel Craig, though grenadine neckwear has shown up on other BAMF Style featured characters.

The high roller option:

Turnbull & Asser, the original maker of James Bond’s grenadine neckties, continues to manufacture this timeless neckwear 55 years after Sean Connery first sported his navy tie in Dr. No. Made from 100% woven silk in a width of 9.5cm; available in a range of colors including navy, dark blue, royal blue, inky blue, green, burgundy, brown, and black.

$190.00 at Turnbull & Asser.

The budget option:

The Tie Bar offers a “grenafaux” silk tie, textured to resemble the classic open grenadine weave. These all-silk ties are available in a wide range of colors and in widths of 2″, 2.5″, and 3″.

$21.99 at Amazon.

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Left: Turnbull & Asser
Right: The Tie Bar’s “grenafaux” tie

Stainless Dive Watch

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Roger Moore looks to his Rolex Submariner ref. 5513 to get James Bond out of a sticky situation in Live and Let Die.

Rolex watches have been associated with nearly every male style icon through the later half of the 20th century, with the venerable Submariner dive watch particularly popular as seen on the wrists of Steve McQueen, Robert Redford, and James Bond himself for much of that film franchise’s history.

The Rolex Submariner was introduced to the world at the Basel Watch Fair in 1954 and has asserted its place among the most recognizable wristwatches in the world… a recognition that also earns it the title as one of the most counterfeited wristwatches in the world. Rather than dishing out for a shady fake, you can instead use your modest budget to explore the many Submariner-inspired dive watches from more value-oriented brands.

The following sub-$200 alternatives are inspired by the aesthetic of the stainless Rolex Submariner automatic dive watch with black dial, black bezel, and stainless Oyster-style bracelet from generally reputable and reliable brands for their respective price brackets, starting with the least expensive…

Invicta Men’s 8926OB Pro Diver

$55.29 (discounted from $85.98) on Amazon.
(The 8932OB quartz model is even more of a bargain at $36.29.)

Seiko 5 SNZF17

$139.99 on Amazon.

Orient Ray II FA002004B9

$164.10 on Amazon.

Rolex Submariner 16610 (if you’re a purist)

$6,050 on Amazon.

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Four dive watches, left to right: Invicta, Seiko, Orient, and the mighty Rolex.

Looking to add a touch of 007 style to your timepiece or just give a watch enthusiast friend some options?

For just about $10 a pop, you can pick up a striped NATO strap in the style of Daniel Craig’s black-and-gray striped strap for his Omega in Spectre, the classic black, red, and green stripe of Sean Connery’s strap in Goldfinger and Thunderball, or any color combination you find!

BAMF-Approved Gift Packages

BAMF-Approved Packages To Treat Yourself Or A Friend (consisting of tested-and-true items I own and use!)

The Daytime Adventure

For the adventurous Type A kind of day. I was sartorially inspired by the aesthetic of Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher meeting the practicality of Steve McQueen in The Hunter.

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Clockwise from top left: Goodfellow & Co. bomber jacket, Pendleton blackwatch tartan plaid wool shirt, Persol sunglasses, Mission belt, Timberland boots, and Levi’s 501 jeans.

Goodfellow & Co. Standard Fit Insulated Bomber Jacket in olive brown, as featured above, inspired by the classic MA-1. ($39.99 at Target)

Pendleton Classic Lodge Shirt in blackwatch tartan plaid wool flannel ($115.00 at Amazon)

Levi’s 501 Original Fit jeans in dark stonewash (Amazon)

Mission ratchet belt in “mocha” brown leather with gold buckle ($36.95 at Amazon)

Timberland Carter Notch dark brown full grain leather Chelsea boots (Amazon)

Persol PO9649S sunglasses with Havana frames and crystal brown polarized lenses ($149.55 at Amazon)

The relevant accessory…

Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker ($119.57 at Amazon)

And one stocking stuffer to keep you smelling fresh…

Every Man Jack Cedarwood deodorant ($4.99 at Amazon)

The Night In

For the laidback Type B night in.

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Left to right: Pendleton Westerley sweater, J. Crew thermal henley, Goodfellow & Co. jogging pants.

Pendleton “Westerley” full-zip Cowichan knit sweater… as worn by The Dude himself! (Amazon)

J. Crew Wallace & Barnes thermal henley in heather grain cotton ($59.50 at J. Crew)

Goodfellow & Co. Men’s Jogger Pants in heather gray cotton ($24.99 at Target)

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Explore the “sockology” of Toe Talk‘s new grip socks for men.

Toe Talk “Tom’s Determination” non-slip grip socks in a comfortable cotton-blend. In fact, I’m wearing these socks as I write this post! ($12.50 at Toe Talk and Amazon)

The relevant activity…

The James Bond Collection Blu-ray, featuring all 24 officially released films fully restored in high definition ($79.98 at Amazon)

And one stocking stuffer to keep the room smelling fresh…

Makers of Wax #4 Bourbon wood-wick candle ($28.00 at Amazon)

Books for BAMFs

Books are my idea of the perfect gift (or the perfect self-gift!) All of the below selections I have either read or have come highly recommended to me. I tried to keep the selections relatively current, but I couldn’t resist a few classics, particularly in the style realm!

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

You can never have too many books. Take it from Frank.

For the style enthusiast…

  • Dressing the Man by Alan Flusser ($28.99)
  • The Handbook of Style: A Man’s Guide to Looking Good from Esquire ($4.23)
  • A Man and his Watch: Iconic Watches and Stories from the Men Who Wore Them by Matt Hranek ($25.73)

For the classic pop culture follower…

  • William Claxton: Steve McQueen ($14.99)
  • À bientôt by Roger Moore ($11.09)
  • The Way It Was: My Life with Frank Sinatra by Eliot Weisman and Jennifer Valoppi ($17.70)

For the gourmand…

  • Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat ($20.09)

For the fiction reader…

  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead ($16.39)
BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

The couple that reads together…

For the history buff…

  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann ($17.37)

For the political nerd…

  • The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency by Chris Whipple ($19.04)

For the lady in your life…

  • Hunger by Roxane Gay ($16.15)
  • Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco ($18.15)
  • Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin ($18.32)
  • In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney ($16.24)

Happy holidays… and happy gift hunting! I hope you and your loved ones find exactly what you wanted under your tree.

BAMF Style’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

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