FORtheFIT.com’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014 (& BONUS “Guy’d” to Holiday Cheer!)

So, the festive season is upon us.  After weeks of holiday parties, cocktail hours & lots of web browsing and window shopping, millions dash madly from store to store on Christmas Eve, nearly tearing their hair out as they realize the only option gift options left are on shelf at the gas station on the way back home.

But not you, dear Customer! You’re planning ahead this year and researching the right gift for your loved one.  Kudos to you!  Brownie points are headed right your way.

Because you’ve been so good this year, we’ve put together a special gift guide to help you along – and there’s an extra sprinkle of Holiday cheer in the form of guy-friendly ideas for decorations, party food and gift wrapping.

Gifts for Dads

If anyone deserves a thoughtful Christmas or Hanukkah present, it’s your good old Pops. So instead of opting for socks again this year, why not find him something that he’ll really love?

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Everyone needs pajamas, but there are basic PJs… and then there are OUR PJs. Our stylish, men’s tall pajama pants are made of a super soft cotton broadcloth and specially proportioned for tall men (no more fire, no more flood!).   Dad will enjoy the comfortable fit, and he’ll look great at the same time! Here’s the link.  They are also available in flannel and in men’s short pajama sizes.

Has Dad been known to swing a golf club now and then? Or maybe just daydream about it at while he’s at work or weekend brunch?  A gift of our short rise pants, specifically our men’s short microfiber golf pants (specially designed and proportioned for shorter men under 5’9″) are sure to be a winner. They feature moisture wicking technology to  help  beat the heat on and off the course and the Teflon coating means they’re wrinkle and stain resistant (for work, brunch or the 19th hole…) – one less thing for Dad to worry about! Find them here.

Gifts for Husbands (or Significant Others!)

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How can you show your husband that you love him? By giving him a warm hug even when you’re not around! This 100% ring spun combed cotton sweater is soft and breathable, and can be dressed up or down for any occasion. And because it’s designed with shorter guys in mind, it won’t swamp him like other sweaters might. Find the link here.

Unsure if he’s a sweater sort of a guy? You can’t go wrong with a pair of classic flat front chinos – the most flattering design for men of all shapes and sizes. They’re stain and wrinkle resistant and specially designed and proportioned in tall men’s pant sizes (slim to big!), so you can be sure to find the perfect fitting pair. Here’s the link. (Also available in short rise pant styles for men under 5’9″ here).

Gifts for Outdoor-types

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Got a guy in your life who can’t seem to stay inside? We don’t blame him! It’s called “the Great Outdoors” for a reason! They key to making the most of outdoor adventures is comfortable, well-fitting clothes that are a match for the elements and are as “ready for anything” as he is!

  • He’ll adore our Waterproof Tech Zip Tall Men’s Jackets. Not only are they waterproof, but also wind resistant and tailor-made to keep the cold out. A waterproof zippered chest pocket is the best feature – keeping cell phones and MP3 players handy, safe and dry, no matter what he’s up to! Check it out here. Also available in short men’s sizes, here.
  • For shorter guys, our Herringbone patterned 3-in-1 jacket might be the perfect choice! The jacket can be worn in three ways (hence the name!) – either just the waterproof shell or just the quilted inner jacket, or both together for when it’s super cold and super rainy! Find the link here.
  • Nothing says “rugged outdoorsman” like a pair of comfortable, well-fitting jeans. Available in tall men’s jeans sizes and for short men too – they make the perfect gift for your outdoor lover ( & “urban cowboys” too…) The best jeans for men with short legs can be found here and for the tall skinny guy’s jeans, look here.

What to Wear  for Holiday Events

The holidays usher in back to back parties and celebrations – one of the many reasons why we love it!  But navigating your closet for the right clothes to wear for every event and occasion is a virtual minefield. Plus, with well meaning friends wielding cell phone cameras at every turn, a bad wardrobe decision can haunt you for years to come! Fear not! Follow FORtheFIT’s basic tips for holiday dressing and you can’t go wrong…

Informal occasions

(eg. Meet-up at the bar with your college buddies or hanging at home with long-time friends…)

Of course, this all depends on just how informal the occasion is, but we’re willing to bet your old sweatpants ain’t gonna cut it (unless the ‘party’ is a date with you and a tub of your favorite ice cream and Netflix, in which case, go for it!).

However, going all out in a tux will probably attract just as many odd looks… Hmm, what to do…

  • Grab a t-shirt. No- not the old one that you wear to the gym, of course, and not that one with the punny joke on the front. What you need is a classic, well-crafted t-shirt that says ‘smart’ without saying ‘overdressed’. This Luxe-Fit Tee is ideal for shorter guys – and because it comes in a bunch of colors, you can buy a few and be outfitted for every informal occasion you have lined up (& the ones that pop-up all season long!). Also available for taller men.
  • Corduroy pants have come back into vogue in a big way, and the new five pocket jean style combines classic tailoring with a little stretch and a soft wash, for that soft, warm cord comfort you remember. If you’re a tall guy looking for a great pair of men’s pants that will see you through the holiday party season and beyond, these are the ones for you. Also available as short rise pants
  • Combine your t-shirt and pants with a smart-ish jacket, especially if it’s cold out. Judge the ratio of ‘smart’ to ‘casual’ before deciding on which jacket to wear – a blazer might be a good choice for smarter gatherings (like at the hot new bar or restaurant or your boss’ house), whereas more casual occasions might call for a quilted jacket.
  • Don’t forget the shoes! Vintage sneakers are a great option for more laid-back events, or perhaps go for a more casual business shoe if you want to look a little more dressy.

Formal occasions

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No, Wait, Stop… don’t break out that tux yet! Unless you received a gold-edged invite that says ‘black tie’, it’s likely you’ll end up feeling a little overdressed in a penguin suit. However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t make an effort.

  • On formal occasions, a tie is essential. However, if you’re on the taller side you may have been put off in the past by ties that barely reach the level of your elbows. Luckily, we’ve got stylish ties in a longer length that will suit your proportions perfectly. Click here to see one of our favorites – a 100% silk stripy number!
  • Dress shirts, when they fit right, can make a man look a million bucks. The key word here is ‘fit’, which is why shorter dudes should go for a shirt that’s tailored with narrower shoulders, a slimmer torso and shorter overall length, like these well-proportioned dress shirts.
  • Complete your look with a suit jacket and some brogues or a pair of dress shoes – and be sure to polish them up to a shine before setting foot out of the house!

Impressive (but simple!) holiday food ideas

One of our favorite parts of the holiday season is that we get the perfect excuse to enjoy lots of yummy, festive food! Back in the day, Holiday meals would be prepared by the ladies, but a modern guy  is equally comfortable getting in the kitchen and whipping up a storm of deliciousness, too.

Whether you’ve got mad skills in the kitchen, or you’ve never even picked up a pot holder, we’ve rounded up the 3 simple recipes every man needs to host a great holiday gathering and are sure to win you tons of brownie points with family and friends!

  • Cocktail meatballs. Though these snacks might be bite sized, they’re seriously delicious! Make a few batches and watch them disappear. Find the cocktail meatballs recipe here.
  • Hot buttered hazelnut whisky. Just be warned – if you make this moreish drink, expect guests to come back for more! Find the hot buttered hazelnut whisky recipe here.
  • Candied nuts. The only thing that can make nuts more scrumptious is adding sugar and cinnamon. These babies are super easy to make, but enormously impressive (and addictive!).  No one has to know how easy they were to prepare – we won’t tell your guests  if you don’t! Find the candied nuts recipe here.

Dashing decorations

If you find that the candy canes and candles are a little too feminine for your tastes, or if the man in your life replies only in grunts when you try to discuss décor options for the holiday season, why not try incorporating some more manly elements?

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(image credit: a very nerdy Christmas)

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Antlers. There’s surely nothing that screams ‘manly log cabin in the wilderness’ more than a set of antlers. Why not get a set of fun baubles with antlers, or get a large silver set to put on the wall and hang a wreath from?
  • Add some kitsch pop culture references to your design. Fan of Star Wars? Love Jurassic Park? National Lampoons Christmas Vacation? A quick Internet search will be sure to find you a bunch of decorations created with your favorite TV show or film in mind, no matter how obscure. Christmas is supposed to be fun, after all!
  • Manly stockings. There’s no need for your man to miss out on stocking stuffers just because he can’t find anything he likes to hang over the mantelpiece. Look for burlap and tartan plaid options that look chic and stylish, but are guy-friendly, too.
  • Football team colors. Or baseball team, hockey team… whichever team he loves the most, use their colors as the basis for Christmas Tree decorations. This way, both sports fans and non-fans alike get to enjoy the Christmas décor!

Guy-friendly gift wrap ideas

Think guys’ presents can’t be wrapped in a fun way without looking girly? Think again. These ideas are sure to wow!

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  • Who said all stocking stuffers need to go into the stocking? Incorporate an extra gift into the wrapping by using a tie to adorn your present on the outside of the paper. Your gift will look super cool, and you’ll get extra brownie points for the additional gift!
  • Brown paper is great if you want to create a traditional look, but you can add modern and personal touches using a silver or gold pen to add a design of your own – think robots, light sabers, or the logo of his favorite sports team.
  • Got any old shirts? Use the sleeves to wrap any wine or whisky bottles you’re giving to the men in your life. Ensure the cuff of the sleeve is at the top for maximum impact, and sew up the other end on a machine if you have one.
  • Mustache stickers will also jazz up any gift bags or boxes you’re using to wrap your gifts, and facial hair is very in right now, so additional style points for you.
  • Bows are not just for girls! Even ribbon can be used in a manly way if you choose the right colors. Opt for black, blue, grey or racing car green ribbon and tie into a simple, small bow to add interest with a guy-friendly spin. Or, incorporate the colors of his favorite sports team!

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