By AoM Team - artofmanliness.com
Your groomsmen are your best buddies — guys who have been there for you through thick and thin. And on the most important day of your life, they’ll be there for you once again, standing by your side as you take the plunge. In return for their longtime friendship and for coming to support you in getting hitched, it’s tradition to bestow upon each of them a groomsmen gift.
A groomsmen gift should be something that fits into the classically masculine category — style, vices, hobbies (like golfing or letter writing), etc. It should also ideally be something your buddies will actually use; no guy needs another knickknack sitting in his desk drawers.
For this reason, while giving gifts that are personalized/engraved is a popular choice, as a general rule of thumb, it’s best not to get the item inscribed with “Groomsman” and/or your wedding date; it’s an important day for you, but let’s be honest here, nobody wants to use a money clip or Zippo lighter with your anniversary emblazoned on it. When personalizing your gift, go with just your groomsmen’s initials or names instead.
If you’ve been stumped as to what gifts to get for your groomsmen, below we highlight both classic and unique options, from a wide range of price options, that are sure to be winners.
A nice, simple leather wallet — as opposed to the cheap corner market variety — is more likely to replace the duct-tape version in your friend’s back pocket. And a metallic money clip (as well as some leather wallets) can be engraved with your buddies’ initials or a favorite quote.
While the tie clip fell out of standard wear during the last couple decades, today they’re making a comeback. Not only do they serve a functional purpose — keeping your tie in place — but they add an extra bit of style and interest to your tie. Your groomsmen will look dapper when they stand by your side all sporting matching tie clips. And our AoM tie bar will ever after remind them to stay “always manly.”
When John F. Kennedy got married in 1953, he presented each of his groomsmen with an engraved Brooks Brothers umbrella. While it’s not something you generally think of as a gift for men, it’s a classy and unique item that is also practical, especially for spring weddings or rainy locales. It’s hard to find a personalized umbrella (especially online) that isn’t just another tchotchke, so call around to nice men’s stores in your area and see what they can do. Another option is to get a nice wood-handled umbrella — like this one from Barney’s — and find someone to put a small engraved plaque on it.
For more on what makes for a quality man’s umbrella, check out this post.
For too many men, their EDC arsenal of a phone, wallet, keys, pocketknife, etc. get scattered about the house whenever they walk in the door. Rather than adding to that clutter, why not give them something to catch it all and keep it organized. Remember, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” It’s versatile too — it can contain your EDC, your watch collection, your suit accessories, and more.
A man can never have too many quality, handsome ties in his collection. To honor your brotherly fraternity, give your friends all the same pattern of an unofficial regimental tie— a style which was originally used (and still is) to denote membership in certain clubs, organizations, or associations. Or give them each a unique tie that suits their particular personalities and style.
While poker was once considered the game of outlaws, it’s made its way into the mainstream in the last decade, largely thanks to internet poker and ESPN broadcasting tournaments and events. A game with friends includes competition, gambling, danger (it still harkens to its crusty origins), and always a good amount of food, drink, and laughter. Give each of your groomsmen a nice set of chips, learn how to play, and rotate who hosts your newly-instituted monthly poker nights.
I can’t think of a better gift to bestow upon your groomsmen than an entire kit to help them start shaving like their grandpas. Our Art of Manliness box comes with a safety razor, mug, badger brush, and a puck of shaving soap. It also comes in a dang handsome wooden box. You could also consider getting them a straight razor.
As you know, every man should carry a pocketknife. But don’t get your buddy a chintzy gift store knife, emblazoned with your wedding date, so he’s reminded of your anniversary every time he takes it out of his pocket. Instead, give him something that’ll always remind him of what an upstanding, all-around man you think he is by gifting the Art of Manliness pocketknife.
Flint and Steel Fire-Starter Kit
Nothing’s more manly than building a fire without matches. So if your friends are outdoorsy and you want to find them something unique (read: seriously cool) give them this flint and steel fire starter kit. It’s got steel, a flint rock, char cloth, raw cotton, tinder, and instructions all packed in a nice tin. They’ll be starting fires like real mountain men in no time.
Well-shined shoes are essential to a professional appearance, but a surprising number of guys don’t own a shoeshine kit. Hook your friends up with a gift they’ll use throughout their lives.
Help your friend upgrade from a crummy Bic ballpoint pen to the luxury of the classic fountain variety. There are a ton of cheap and even disposable options, but go with something nice that will get years and years of use. When your friend writes his information on the back of his calling card for a lovely young lady, he’ll be doing it in style. It gives him a chance to work on his crummy handwriting, too!
Every man needs a Dopp kit. Get your groomsmen a gift they’ll use on all their travels. Tell them to pack it up and not to be a stranger once you’re a married man. Let them know your door is always open for a visit.
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