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Essentials 16 December 2020

Our Men’s Editor Tells Us What Guys Actually Want this Christmas

Why we’re hoping to find these basic necessities under the tree this year.

After close to 20 Christmases spent being disappointed with uninspiring gifts from older relatives, I’m here to lay down a couple of epiphanies that came with hitting my late 20’s. What I now consider as a monumental shift or second coming of age, I have grown to not only appreciate but actually look forward to, receiving them at Christmas time. That’s why these quintessential gifts from Grandma have now gained cult status as being the yearly offerings of necessary items.

Words By Miles Cooper


With age comes wisdom and also a deeper appreciation for good quality necessities. Let’s be honest, we millennials would much rather be spending our disposable incomes on clothes that can be seen, or rather being out and about with mates.

So, what do we know about socks? If you wear shoes you need them, and so, nobody can have too many of them.

There is no feeling quite like putting on a brand-new pair of great quality socks. It is really a luxury that should be savoured and an absolutely luxe one to gift to others.

The appreciation of good quality socks, and lots of them, definitely comes with age. There is something quite poignant with the moment in time you no longer feel ok with rocking an odd pair or the shame that comes with wearing one with a hole by the little toe.

When it comes to socks, we all have favourites. I’m sure you all reading this will have a very special pair that you’ve held onto for a decade or so. This is why socks actually do make amazing gifts.

Sporty, dressy, whatever socks, even a selection for those with some extra fancy taste, all new socks have a place in the top drawers of the ones you love.

You can thank the likes of Mr Porter, Matches Fashion and SSENSE for bringing the very shiny and fun world of designer socks to our attention. Probably the only opportunity where you will build an outfit from the ground up, the luxury sock makes a very handy yet fancy gifting option. Brands like Gucci, Calvin Klein, Balenciaga and the like all have a foot in the designer sock game so why not give it a whirl?

MR P. Tie-Dyed Cotton-Blend Socks, £27, Mr Porter


Not taking up a priority spot on our lists mixed with the inherent boringness that comes with purchasing these sometimes-uninspiring items can leave us, dare I say it, a little lazy to go out on our own and purchase.

One thing more necessary than socks is definitely jocks. If there are only a few constants in life one of them is underwear.

We do not need to spell out how utterly important underwear is. What is very interesting is how receiving underwear well into our 20s and beyond is such a large part of our culture.

Have you known your Dad to go out and purchase his own jocks? Uh-huh. We believe that probably 8 times out of 10 a significant female within the underwear-wearing man’s life will take on the role of buying their underwear for them. Something to think about..

Boxers, briefs, a hybrid in between, the world of men’s underwear is a funky and infinite place to be in 2020. With colours, motifs, shapes and materials available a-plenty, there is certainly something for any male figure within your life who deserves a pack of necessary.

The ones that come in a pack of 3 or 4 are great value for money and can be a little fun with a mixture of motifs is included. Of course, for those with a particular penchant for posh, a pack of Calvin Klein jocks is a no-brainer.

For me, I prefer a boxer brief crafted from organic cotton or bamboo to ensure proper comfort and breathability. The eco-space for men’s underwear is an exciting place to shop and some of our faves are listed below.

Bonds Guyfront Trunk 3 Pack, $64.95, Bonds

Basic Undershirts

Some of us guys prefer to preface a collared shirt with an undershirt or singlet. An undershirt is integral to avoid a see-through moment, or as an extra layer of comfort and support.

Worn as the shield between the torso and whatever is worn over, or simply as a very basic top option, this category of apparel is the equivalent of underwear but for north of the waist equator.

Doubling perfectly as pyjamas or a shirt to hit the gym in, the undershirt is the perfect versatile addition and of course, the perfect Christmas gift.

For me personally, as the layer that comes in contact most with my skin, I love a great quality organic cotton or bamboo when it comes to an undershirt. A well breathable fibre will ensure sweat is kept at bay and feel comfortable and less friction-y underneath pretty much any outer layer.

Amazing sustainable fits such as Everlane and Boody have mastered the perfect layering under top. Both brands offering singlets, tanks, tee and sleeved options for the cooler months, not to mention in a multitude of colours, they’re high on the versatile list this Chrissy.

Everyone needs more great quality staple pieces, right? The undershirt is wholeheartedly that, and a no-brainer when it comes to something a man will actually need and importantly, want.

*Hint, if you buy them in value packs it will mean this gift will probably tide the recipient over until next Christmas!

Everlane The Organic Cotton Pocket Tee, $26, Everlane