BAMF Style’s 2016 Christmas List

One week left! Is there more Christmas shopping to be done, or are you looking to treat yourself? (Or are you just looking to treat yourself anyway?) Either way, back for 2016 is BAMF Style’s unsolicited list of gift ideas for you and yours.

Rule #1: Make sure your gift isn't meowing.

Rule #1: Make sure your gift isn’t meowing.

BAMF Style Recommends…

I’m not being paid to push any of these companies, products, or brands; I just happen to really like them and was lucky enough to experience or discover them over the last year!

If you’re looking to make a stylish investment for yourself or a deserving friend or family member, this could be the year of exploring a custom made suit for them from a quality suitmaker that cares about tradition and details. Pittsburghers are lucky to have a suit maker like Samuel Baron Clothiers that uses the finest fabrics and unparalleled precision.

Of course, what’s the use of a custom made suit without an amazing custom shirt and tie to go with it? Anto Beverly Hills has been a prolific cultural presence for more than 60 years, creating bespoke shirts and made-to-measure ties for major movies and personalities from U.S. presidents to movie stars. Most recently, Anto shirts and ties appeared in major productions like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemThe Nice Guys, and Westworld and much of their work has been captured on BAMF Style through classic films like Casino and The Sting.

And if you find the concept of reading about men’s clothing appealing and want to find something beyond BAMF Style (don’t worry, I understand!), I received a very entertaining and excellently illustrated book from a colleague (thanks, Jeff!) last Christmas: Dressing in the Dark: Lessons in Men’s Style from the Movies by Marion Maneker. The book focuses on the timeless style from icons like Cary Grant and Steve McQueen to Marlon Brando and Jean-Paul Belmondo. (Amazon)

Like many people, I believe in the virtue of keeping my pants from falling down. Thankfully, my sister and her husband stepped in for my birthday this year with the gift of a brown leather Mission belt. (I have a feeling they first saw these belts on Shark Tank – they’re big fans!) Mission belts are functionally differentiated from the rest of the pack by marketing themselves as “no holes” belts, fitting around the waist by sliding the buckle through a series of teeth that adjust fit by 1/4-inch. The company should also be praised for living up to its name by micro-lending a dollar from the sale of each belt to fight hunger and poverty worldwide. (If you’re looking for the exact belt that my sister and brother-in-law got me, check out the mocha brown leather belt with a 40mm bronze buckle… only $39.95!

What’s the point of looking great if you’re not gonna smell great too? I recently discovered Every Man Jack, a great line of natural hygiene products that keep you smelling fresh and clean in all the places that matter without chemicals. I’d never considered myself to be someone who cared about whether a product is more natural than others, but every since my girlfriend first introduced me to Every Man Jack, I’ve incorporated it into my hygiene routine with tea tree thickening shampoo/conditioner and Cedarwood shower gel and Cedarwood deodorant.


Become a New You!

My girlfriend had the terrific idea of developing gift packages to ease someone closer to the style of #BAMFapproved movie and TV icons. Thanks to this brilliant suggestion from a brilliant woman, I did some brainstorming to research six “character bundles” from some of this blog’s most popular and trend-setting icons… so grab about 150 of your favorite dollars and get ready to shop!

(N.B. All prices as of December 16, 2016 and, naturally, subject to change.)

007: Sean Connery Edition

The Shirt: Iconic Alternatives has done the research and found the Mr. Fish X Sinclair Cocktail Cuff Shirt in Blue to be the perfect modern replication of Sean Connery’s standard pale blue dress shirts with their ever-so-distinctive turnback cuffs. ($130 from Mason & Sons)

The Booze: A bottle of Smirnoff 100-proof vodka – look for the blue label! – was shown since the beginning to be the perfect ingredient for a 007-approved vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred. ($18 at my local liquor store)

The Book: From Russia With Love was the definitive original Bond franchise adaptation of Ian Fleming’s work. A copy of Ian Fleming’s 1957 novel is the perfect stocking stuffer. ($8 on Amazon)

Total Package: $156

1) Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No. 2) Mr. Fish X 3) Smirnoff 100-proof 4) The original cover of From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming

1) Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No (post)
2) Mr. Fish X Sinclair Cocktail Cuff in Blue
3) Smirnoff 100-proof
4) The original cover of From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming

007: Daniel Craig Edition

The Shirt: Sunspel kept Daniel Craig looking cool and casual throughout Casino Royale, whether he was investigating a death in the Bahamas or causing mayhem in Venice. Iconic Alternatives again saves the day by finding options for both the short-sleeve and long-sleeve blue polos that he wore, but purists can still purchase the exact Sunspel “Riviera” polo in navy blue that Craig sported at The One&Only Ocean Club. ($125 from Sunspel)

The Booze: “Three measures of Gordon’s; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel.” Bond either didn’t realize or didn’t care that Kina Lillet had been off the market for two decades when he requested it for his signature Vesper martini in Casino Royale, but Lillet itself has thankfully not gone away. ($18 at my local liquor store)

The Book: Casino Royale set a gold standard for faithful modern adaptations of a more-than-half-a-century-old spy novel and Ian Fleming’s original 1953 book is still a thrilling read today. ($8.50 on Amazon)

Total Package: $151.50

1) Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (post) 2) Sunspel "Riviera" polo in navy blue 3) Lillet Blanc 4) An early cover for Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

1) Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale (post)
2) Sunspel “Riviera” polo in navy blue
3) Lillet Blanc
4) An early cover for Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Don Draper

The Shirt: Mad Men‘s mysterious protagonist always has a backup selection of crisp white dress shirts in his office drawer. All with French cuffs to sport gifts from mistresses and breast pockets for his faithful Lucky Strike cigarettes… less necessary if you don’t smoke, of course. ($92 from Brooks Brothers)

Plus: You’re Don Draper. Would you really not wear a tie? Stripes in solid, manly colors are always welcome. ($49.50 from Brooks Brothers)

The Booze: On her first day, Peggy is mocked by Joan for not knowing whether or not Don’s preferred Canadian Club whiskey is considered to be rye. (Hint: It’s not.) Don preferred his CC neat, on the rocks, or as the foundation for his go-to Old Fashioneds. ($16 from Canadian Club)

The Book: Don’s read it all, from Leon Uris’ Exodus to Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. However, the book that summed up a season (in addition to a state of mind) is Frank O’Hara’s 1957 poetry collection Meditations in an Emergency. ($13 on Amazon)

Total Package: $170.50 ($121 sans tie)

1) Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the pilot episode of Mad Men (link) 2) Brooks Brothers white shirt 3) Canadian Club 4) Meditations in an Emergency by Frank O'Hara as seen in Mad Men's second season

1) Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the pilot episode of Mad Men (post)
2) Brooks Brothers white shirt
3) Canadian Club
4) Meditations in an Emergency by Frank O’Hara, as seen in Mad Men‘s second season

Raylan Givens

The Top: Raylan’s trademark office look may have been a black suit, plaid shirt, and skinny tie, but few things made him feel quite as comfortable as his tried-and-true Levi’s denim trucker jacket with a flannel shirt and jeans. ($89.50 from Levi’s)

The Booze: Justified made the most of its setting by featuring a range of fantastic Kentucky bourbon whiskey from reliable everyday Jim Beam to the fabled Pappy Van Winkle. At the end of the workday, Raylan could often be found drowning his sorrows with a glass of Blanton’s single barrel bourbon. ($58 from my local liquor store)

The Book: Crime author extraordinaire Elmore Leonard first introduced readers to Raylan Givens (and his cowboy hat) in his 1993 novel Pronto. ($12 on Amazon)

Total Package: $159.50

1) Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens on Justified 2) Levi's medium stonewash denim trucker jacket 3) Blanton's single-barrel bourbon 4) Pronto, the 1993 novel written by Elmore Leonard that introduced the character of Raylan Givens

1) Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens on Justified
2) Levi’s medium stonewash denim trucker jacket
3) Blanton’s single-barrel bourbon
4) Pronto, the 1993 novel written by Elmore Leonard that introduced the character of Raylan Givens

Hank Moody

The Shirt: Black t-shirt. Easy enough, right? On Californication, David Duchovny made Moody look so stylish in such a simple shirt by wearing soft cotton jersey tees from designer James Perse. ($95 from James Perse)

Plus: Hank always let his rock side shine with a studded black leather bracelet. ($16 from Urban Wrist)

The Booze: Okay, so maybe you decided to save by going with a less expensive t-shirt brand; you’ll make up the cost when springing for the Scotch. Moody liked single malt, namely The Glenlivet 12-year-old whisky as seen in the first episode. ($40 at my local liquor store)

The Book: Charles Bukowski’s Women. If you don’t already know why, you will when you read it. ($10 on Amazon)

Total Package: $161 ($145 sans bracelet)

1) David Duchovny as Hank Moody on Californication 2) Black cotton James Perse t-shirt 3) The Glenlivet 12 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky 4) Women by Charles Bukowski

1) David Duchovny as Hank Moody on Californication
2) Black cotton James Perse t-shirt
3) The Glenlivet 12 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky
4) Women by Charles Bukowski

The Dude

The Shirt: You too can abide with The Dude’s signature tan and brown Cowichan sweater. The original will set you back a cool $239, so a more budget-friendly version is the 15% wool/85% acrylic replica. ($80 on Amazon)

The Booze: The Dude is rarely seen without a White Russian in his hand. Once you’ve scribbled off a 69-cent check to Ralph’s for the half-and-half, you can help complete the kit with a bottle of Kahlúa coffee liqueur. ($18 at my local liquor store)

Plus: Skip the books and grab some vinyl. Assuming you’re not in the mood for any Creedence tapes, celebrate Bob Dylan’s triumphant post-Self Portrait album, New Morning, which contributing “The Man in Me” to The Big Lebowski‘s eclectic soundtrack. ($29 on Amazon)

Total Package: $127

1) Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski in The Big Lebowski (post) 2) Kahlúa, an ingredient in... 3) a White Russian cocktail 4) New Morning by Bob Dylan

1) Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski in The Big Lebowski (post)
2) Kahlúa, an ingredient in…
3) …a White Russian cocktail
4) New Morning by Bob Dylan


Community Recommendations

I last made a Christmas List in 2014, and I heard some terrific feedback from guys who know what they’re talking about, so I’ve incorporated their input into this year’s list. Thanks, fellas!

  • The River War by Winston Churchill, recommended by M. Oleman: “A minor politician in Britain was arrested a few months ago for quoting it in public while giving a speech. Any tome that can get you arrested for reading it to a crowd is a must have.” (Amazon)
  • Will by G. Gordon Liddy, recommended by Craig Richards: “I have read it several times since high school and have never lost interest in it.” (Amazon)
  • Fossil Defender watch, also recommended by Craig Richards: “A watch I just purchased to replace my Hamilton Field Khaki was the Fossil Defender. I’m not about to say Fossil is better than Hamilton, but for the money it’s a decent beater watch for @ 120 bucks.” (Amazon)
  • Fisher AG-7 space pen, recommended by Teeritz: “As for Christmas gifts, I’d go with a pen. The Fisher AG-7 Space Pen can be picked up for reasonable money off Amazon. I bought four of the cheaper Cap-O-Matic models a couple of years ago to give to my kid’s teachers at the end of the year. Beats a bottle of wine, in my book.” (Amazon)
  • Kershaw Emerson knife, also recommended by Craig Richards: “Over the summer I purchased a Kershaw Emerson, which compares well with the S&W folders in price point and quality.” (Amazon)

Feel free to share some of your favorite holiday purchases – and gifts – in the comments section!

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