13 Christmas Gifts for the Style Obsessive

Jonathan Adler Backgammon Set, £395Jonathan Adler Backgammon Set

At a time where it feels like we’re going back to the dark ages, why not use those looming circuit-breaker lockdowns to get really good at one of the world’s oldest games: backgammon. According to historians, backgammon originated in the Middle East around 5,000 years ago, but designer Jonathan Adler has brought it bang up-to-date with his signature style, splashing the board with an eye-popping array of colours. It’s proof that nothing is too classic for a remix every few millennia.

Available at Jonathan Adler.

Billy Ruffian Malvern Brogues, £160

Billy Ruffian Malvern Brogues

Is there a more timeless shoe than the not-so-humble brogue? Unlikely. It’s a classical sartorial staple and deserves a place in any wardrobe. The hand-crafted (and well-priced) Malvern from Billy Ruffian shows why, with a flexible Derby design, antiqued russet colouring and plenty of ornate tooled leather. Timelessness personified in a pair of shoes, these brogues are for life, not just for Christmas.

Available at Billy Ruffian Shoes.

Anglo-Italian Selvedge Jeans, £240

Anglo Italian Selvedge Jeans

Spending the past six months in track bottoms has probably meant you’re now keen to slip into something that’s on the smarter side of slouchy while working from home – and for that, a pair of crisp new jeans is just the ticket. Cut from 13oz Japanese selvedge denim with a flattering mid-rise waist and tapered leg, these black jeans will look just as slick with a blazer and loafers as they will with a chunky rollneck and slip-on house shoes – which, let’s face it, is far more likely as my go-to outfit over the next few months.

Available at Anglo Italian.

Frédéric Malle: The First Twenty Years by Rizzoli, £57.50

Frédéric Malle: The First Twenty Years by Rizzoli

Twenty years ago, Frédéric Malle established his eponymous perfume house – the key twist being that each fragrance would be a collaboration between Malle and another respected nose. Now Malle is releasing a book looking back on the past two decades, which is not only frankly indispensable for any fragrance geeks out there, but also beautifully presented in graphic-novel form.

More details at Frédéric Malle.

Lavair ‘Creator’ Trainers, £175

Lavair ‘Creator’ Trainers

Founded in 2019, British sneaker-maker Lavair launched itself into an incredibly crowded market – and still managed to stand out. Its USP? Rather than riff on existing silhouettes, it went for a selection of shapes that feel truly fresh, crafted them from luxurious fabrics and embellished them in ways that feel both eye-catching and distinctly wearable. Case in point, the ‘Creator’ model, its chunky white sole complemented by sporty black, grey and blue detailing. It’s basically ‘go-faster stripes’ in shoe form.

Available at Lavair.

John Smedley ‘Giftson’ Jumper, £195

John Smedley

Christmas jumpers don’t need flashing lights and comedy slogans to be festive. Take this fine Merino Wool roll neck from luxury sweater-maker John Smedley, which features an elegant winter scene in sleek shades of grey, black and white.

Available at John Smedley.

Bella Freud x Globe-Trotter Trunks, from £495 to £625

Bella Freud x Globe-Trotter trunks

If nothing else, this period of lockdown has probably made you acutely aware of just how much stuff you have in your house. Organise your sartorial stuff in style by packing it away in these new boxes from Bella Freud’s first-ever collaboration with luxury luggage-crafter Globe-Trotter, covered in the designer’s signature graphics.

Available at Bella Freud.

Ettinger ‘Capra’ Leather Glasses Case, £165

Ettinger ‘Capra’ Leather Glasses Case

Those who sport spectacles probably won’t think twice about dropping a decent chunk of money on glasses they’ll wear daily – but what about the case? Rather than settle for whatever comes free from your optician, go for something that’s truly worthy of your frames. Ettinger’s leather ‘Capra’ zip case is as sturdy as it is luxurious, with a suede interior and cushioned pad to keep everything in place when traveling.

Available at Ettinger.

The Reference Library for Rowing Blazers ‘Eddie’ Sunglasses, £490

The Reference Library for Rowing Blazers ‘Eddie’ Sunglasses

British opticals-maker The Reference Library has teamed up with American modern-prep label Rowing Blazers. The result is one of the most exciting lines of sunglasses we’ve ever seen. Featuring mid-century shapes reimagined for now, my favourite has to be the Eddie – a rounded-yet-angular 1950s ‘Library’ frame remixed in light blue acetate with pale green lenses.

Available at Rowing Blazers.

Jo Malone London ‘Glowing Embers’ Townhouse Candle, £90

Jo Malone London ‘Glowing Embers’ Townhouse Candle

While other companies settle for open plan offices in concrete towers, Jo Malone London’s HQ is housed in a glorious, white Georgian building in Marylebone. Known as the ‘Townhouse’, this space has inspired the scent brand’s latest collection of candles, all poured into bisque ceramic containers with architectural detailing. They’re all exceptional, but, for winter, I’d recommend the smoky and deeply-warming vibe of Glowing Embers.

Available at Jo Malone.

Novel Mart ‘Barolo’ Hoodie, from £35 to £50

A Novel Mart ‘Barolo’ Hoodie

There isn’t a long, dark winter evening that’s not improved by sipping a glass of red wine while kicking back in front of a roaring log fire. Whether you’re a pinot noir or Chateauneuf de Pape kinda guy, the new edit of wine-centric merch from A Novel Mart has you covered whatever your bottle preference. You can choose from a selection of graphic shirts, hoodies and caps – but it feels like you’d be rather missing a trick if you don’t opt for the burgundy colour.

Available at Novel Mart.

John Lobb ‘William 75’ Shoes, £1,995

John Lobb ‘William 75’ Shoes

At the close of every year since 1996, storied shoemaker John Lobb has released a limited-run style known as the St Crépin, designed to showcase the very pinnacle of the company’s skill and craftsmanship. This year, this tradition coincides with the 75th anniversary of the brand’s William model – cut from one piece of leather with seamless back construction, hand-sewn toe cap and a single blind hand-stitch inside its quarter seam, as well as signature double buckles. This version is available in five colour options (some with an antique wash method developed by the team at the Northampton workshop) and there will only be 750 produced in total (with each individually numbered) – so if you want a pair, I suggest you step on it.

Available at John Lobb.

Edward Green ‘Connemara’ Boots, £1,265

Edward Green 'Connemara' boots

A hiking boot that’s evolved for life in the city, the sleek, lowline silhouette of Edward Green’s Connemara is not only handsome but practical. With a padded ankle collar, storm welt and grooved, rubber ‘Ridgeway’ sole, it’s got all the features to keep you moving come rain or snow.

Available at Edward Green.

About the author

Nick Carvell

A lifelong fan of double denim (even triple on occasion), Nick started his career as Social Media Editor of before working as Associate Style Editor at British GQ then Editor of The Jackal. He is now a freelance menswear editor – as well as Oracle Time’s Style Editor-at-Large – writing from lockdown at his kitchen table in South London.