Southern Scholar Holiday Gift Guide 2017
A Gift Guide for The Modern Gentleman
“Hey, gentlemen – Kevin Wohlman, founder of Southern Scholar, here. I wanted to kick off the week leading up to the holidays with a gift guide for the modern gentleman. This is basically a list of items that I personally can’t live without, written in a manner that looks like a list of gift ideas for you and/or your loved ones… If you’re anything like me; you tell yourself that you’re going to get all of your holiday shopping done early but, before you know it, Christmas is only a week away! My apologies in advance if I start to ramble on, but I’ve been enjoying a few of the items listed as #5 on this list this evening while watching Christmas movies and packing your January 2018 boxes!”
I hope you enjoy and, as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any further questions regarding any of the items on this list. Here is my list of 10 must have items for the modern gentleman. Happy shopping!
#10 Thursday Boots – Honey Duke Suede Chelsea Boots
Thursday Boot Co. stood out to me for many reasons when I first discovered them. However, the biggest reason would have to be their story. The company was founded for many of the same reasons that I founded Southern Scholar. “Thursday Boot Company was built out of our own frustration. Clunky work boots or delicate fashion boots? Cheap boots that fall apart after a few wears, or boots that were incredibly overpriced? It didn’t seem right that we had to make these trade-offs. There had to be another option.” – There wasn’t, and thus Thursday Boot Co. was founded.
I founded SS for all the same reasons. When I was 23 years old, fresh out of school, and working my first “big boy job” in downtown Dallas I literally could not find dress socks that I liked. They were either tacky patterns, poor quality, itchy and uncomfortable, or fit like potato sacks drooping down my legs every three steps. Even when I shucked out big money at Nordstrom or Nieman’s (sometimes $35-$40/pair) I found myself laughing at the price tag when I pulled the socks out of the dryer after the first wash. Their “incredibly soft and durable 100% bamboo cotton material blend” came out shriveled and misshapen, I could see white fibers poking out through the colors, and the itch factor was at an all-time high due to an incredibly tight fit caused by the shrinkage that occurred and the lack of give that cotton provides. I thought “there had to be another option..” – sound familiar?
I now wear these incredibly durable and insanely comfortable boots just about any time I’m not wearing slacks and the weather here in Dallas is under 85 degrees. Whether I’m in jeans or chinos, my Thursdays are on my feet.
Just a side note, I recommend ordering 1-1.5 sizes under your dress shoe size.
Without a doubt, 100%, best boots you can buy for under $200.
#9 Bellroy – Slim Sleeve Wallet
Minimalist, no bulge when worn with custom /bespoke slacks or suits. Incredibly lightweight, compact, and stylish and still holds 12+ cards.
We all know a guy whose wallet could be used as a one-step ladder. It’s jam-packed with several expired coupon cards, his high school ID, and dozens of receipts dating back to when Mad Dog 20/20 was an acceptable purchase. Don’t be that guy.
I’m going to give you a 100% honest and true list of everything in my Bellroy Slim Sleeve Wallet at this. exact. moment.
Give that a quick count. That’s 9 cards, 11 business cards, and some walk around money in a wallet that feels and looks so light. It really is a minimalist’s dream. And here’s the best part; I’ve had it for over four years and not a stitch is loose. I highly, HIGHLY, recommend this as one of the best gifts under $100 this holiday season.
#8 Banana Republic – Extra Fine Italian Merino Crew Sweater
A good sweater can go a very long way. I have 4 different colors of these and if you see me out on a Friday or Saturday night (which is rare because I’m typically working or packing y’all’s socks up) between October and February you can almost guarantee that I’m wearing one of these. I’m a simple man, especially when it comes to clothing, so my closet is primarily filled with shades of blue and grey. However, my favorite BR sweater is definitely the cranberry (which I’m not sure they carry any more) but I’m just being honest. My second favorite is definitely the Navy, and I know they still carry that one.
This sweater is incredibly diverse. It can be worn on its own, layered over a white or patterned dress shirt, or under your favorite blazer or overcoat. Incredibly durable, affordable, comfortable, and stylish. You really can’t go wrong with an essential like this.
#7 Glasses/Sunglasses – Warby Parker
I’ve been damn near blind since I was 17 but didn’t figure it out until my freshman year in college. Even after learning that fact, I still refused to wear glasses when I wasn’t studying. My eyes never agreed with contacts but I forced them in there for almost 6 years because I hated how I looked in glasses. That is until I discovered Warby Parker. I’ve now had the same pair of glasses for about a year and a half and the only time I put contacts in is when I’m playing hockey. I love the way they look, the way they fit, and the price. For $95 you get the frames and your prescription lenses. Now, here’s the best part. They offer a 1-year warranty. I had an incident that destroyed my glasses and they replaced them for me for free. If you’re looking for prescription or sunglasses, whether prescription or not, these are your guys. I’m currently in the Whiskey Tortoise Seymours but they have a ton of styles to choose from.
#6 Tevolo – Ice Sphere Molds
If you’re a whiskey drinker, these beauties are for you. Unless you mix your whiskey with coke, then move onto #5 on this list. Actually, move onto #4, you don’t deserve #5.
They keep your drink cold without diluting it. They freeze quick and can be reused as many times as you need, which I imagine to be a lot.
My brother got me these for Christmas a couple years back and let’s just say I’ve used them a time or two.
Great for whiskey, scotch, or gin on the rocks, or a good old fashioned or negroni. You can get a set of 2 for under $10.
Yep, I’m leaving it at that for now. Whiskey is an incredible gift for anyone who enjoys a stiff drink. I’m going to give you a few of my favorites for this one as there’s more than a few distilleries that I love.
Now, I’m more of a rye guy than a bourbon guy but I love them both. Scotch as well, but none of that glen-macallan-johnnie stuff that you think is amazing. Many of you are going to disagree with me here, and that’s okay, but these are the name brand scotches and, frankly, there’s much better stuff out there for the same price.
Forgive me, as this section is going to be extensive…
Below are my go-to Ryes, Bourbons, and Scotches.
High West Rendezvous Rye –
By far the best Rye Whiskey I’ve ever had for the price. Incredible straight, on the rocks, or in a proper old fashioned – which are hard to find these days. At under $60 a bottle this is my go-to rye whiskey. Believe it or not it’s distilled in Utah of all places, but man is it good.
Whistle Pig Old World Cask Finish –
Yes, The Boss Hog is incredible, but I truly feel that the Old World is their best. It’s bold, it’s peppery, but it’s smooth at the same time. A great sipping rye and 12 year aged. The Farmstock is great too, so is the Straight Rye. You really can’t go wrong with this distillery. However, as I said, at $150 a bottle this is your best bang for your buck.
I left Pappy off the list as you’d be lucky to find a bottle at a price you’d be willing to pay.
Blanton’s Original Single Barrel –
Drink it neat, please just drink it neat. It’s 140 Proof by still, 62.5% entry proof, and a damn good bourbon. You’ll get hints of citrus, vanilla, and caramel. A great Kentucky straight bourbon for $50.
Basil Hayden’s –
A phenomenal bourbon with a light, smooth finish. Again, no need to mix this spirit with anything but ice. A great bourbon on a budget that’s far superior to your name-brand Jack, Jim, etc.
Glenfarclas 25 –
One of the best sherried whisky bottles out there (aged in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks). I’ve seen articles and forums comparing this bottle to Macallan 25 and I can’t help but giggle. The complexities of this scotch can’t be compared to such a simple-bodied scotch like Macallan 25. Get yourself a bottle and see for yourself.
Balvenie 12 Year DoubleWood – $50
As far as bang for your buck, this is my guy. Single malt, rich, and also aged in ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks, then transferred to large oak vessels for a few months to “marry”. You can’t go wrong with this scotch whisky.
#4. Best Self Journal –
For the entrepreneur or organization freak. This journal is what allows me to run a company entirely by myself. It provides daily, weekly, and monthly task and goal sections. It keeps me on track and I know it can do the same for you.
#3 Alton Lane Navy Herringbone Overcoat –
Now, you may be thinking “you’re kidding, right!?”. But, let me tell you, the price is far worth it. The difference that custom makes is incredible, and when it’s cold outside there’s nothing worse than throwing on an over-sized, bulky coat to stay warm. It ruins your entire look and takes away from the beautiful suit you have underneath. If you don’t have an Alton Lane in your city, find another custom suit shop and get one made for yourself, you’ll forget about the price tag as soon as you put it on.
#2 Toro Luna Ventalló Watch –
Believe me when I tell you that this is the best minimalist watch you can buy for under $200. I own 8 of them and they are my daily go-to watch. The beauty is the simplicity. You can dress them up or down and add a bit of class to any look. They’re a brand new company, just like us, and already making waves in the timepiece sector. I’m not sure what they do different with their bands but they are so comfortable you’ll forget you have it on. I find myself stepping into the shower or getting into bed forgetting it’s still on my wrist. Like I said, I own 8 of them, and a couple haven’t even been worn. In fact, let’s have some fun. Signup for our Newsletter by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “TORO LUNA” and we’ll enter you into a drawing to win one of my brand new Toro Luna watches. Winners announced after the New Year. You won’t be disappointed.
Or win it by following the instructions above!
#1 Southern Scholar Socks 1 Year Gentleman Membership – $165
What else could it have been? If we’re being honest, I wear our socks every. single. day. – and I gift them to every guy I know who takes pride in his appearance or works in a professional environment. We use an incredibly unique material blend, design everything from scratch with a specific business casual and business professional outfit in mind, and guarantee their quality and fit or your money back. What else do you need?
Dress socks that stand the test of time, make a statement, and stay up and keep you comfortable throughout your entire workday ought to do the trick..
Don’t forget we’re offering 50% OFF your first month with code HOLIDAY50
Well, that’s all folks. The Southern Scholar 2017 gift guide or, more literally, my daily go-to items and accessories.
I hope you enjoyed reading and apologize for the lengthiness of the whiskey section.. I wish you and your loved ones a happy holidays and a prosperous new year.
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