It’s been a few years since Etiquetteer attempted to recommend Perfect Propriety in holiday gifts, but the time has come to make a few deft suggestions.
A gentleman needs to keep things pointing in the right direction, not least his collar, and the folks at Würkin Stiffs have come up with a way to do so involving magnets. They also involve "airport-friendly metal alloy," so there should be no need to fiddle with your collar before approaching the Security Theatre of the airport.
We’ve all heard that a man has two handkerchiefs: “one to show and one to blow.” How would it be if that “one to show” had another purpose that mere display? Across the pond, Pocket and Fold have created a line of pocket squares made of microfiber, ideal for polishing eyeglasses and the screens of personal devices. 15£.
Yimps are blazing the trail for the comeback of men’s short shorts with a vintage flair,” and Etiquetteer couldn’t think of anything more Perfectly Proper, especially for the beachgoer in your life. $43-48.50.
Since the hostess aprons of the 1950s, things have only gotten worse for the middle class hostess, who has even less help in the kitchen than before. Indeed, so often the whole party ends up in the kitchen rather than anyplace else. To help retain some Perfectly Proper glamor, Etiquetteer recommends the Bombshell Apron from Jessie Steele, which would be gorgeous over a short-sleeved white blouse and velvet hostess pants. $35.
Speaking of aprons, there’s no reason not to design one of your own at Zazzle.
Big scarves are in this year, but scarves have always been Perfectly Proper. Fraser Knitwear offers some stunning wool scarves. Prices vary.
Your favorite traveler may enjoy the new Geography bow tie from Beau Ties Ltd., long Etiquetteer's preferred vendor. Beau Ties Ltd. has a colorful and Perfectly Proper selection of other new designs, too.
Amy Alkon is an etiquette writer who takes no prisoners, and her Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck answers the cries of many. Paperback, $10.80. Read Etiquetteer's review here.
For the literate gardener in your life, Etiquetteer highly recommends Henry Beston’s magically evocative little book about growing herbs, Herbs and the Earth. $16.95.
For the young man who needs Perfect Propriety, Etiquetteer suggests Becoming the Perfect Gentleman, by Zach Falconer-Barfield and Nic Wing. Paperback $18.95.
Fans of the British monarchy may also enjoy a little-known Christmas story, here beautifully realized by Jacob Gariepy at Dapper and Dreamy, A Christmas with Queen Mary. paperback, $10.00.
Dapper and Dreamy cards, illustrated by Jacob Gariepy, include not only traditional Christmas themes, but also the wardrobe of Jacqueline Kennedy, White House windows, and the brides of Downton Abbey. Prices vary; $10 minimum order required.
Crane, of course, remains the most deluxe Perfectly Proper American stationer. Boxed note cards make a Perfectly Proper gift, especially for children in whom you wish to inculcate the practice of handwritten gratitude. Prices vary.
For those who know that "high tea" really means it's high time for a big feed, consider these teakettle notecards from Mercantile for invitations. $16 for a pack of five. They have many other delightful cards, too.
Alfred Lane has been producing some fine solid colognes for men. A great stocking stuffer, and much easier to tote about day to day than a bottle cologne. Choose from Bravado or Brio ($17.95) and limited-edition Enigma ($29.95). Alfred Lane's Vanguard is available at Fine and Dandy.
While Etiquetteer can't ever be said to be a fan of gift certificates - they sometimes give the impression that one has given up - Etiquetteer does know that ladies like to be pampered. (So do some gentlemen.) Consider a gift certificate to a spa or salon in your community for a day of beauty, massage, or a special beauty treatment. The resulting good feelings can only enhance the Perfect Propriety in the world.
For the stylish card player in your life, Misc. Goods offers stylishly redesigned decks of playing cards. Choose black, red, ivory, green, or blue. $15.
Etiquetteer has always had a weakness for paper lanterns, once so indispensible to the al fresco entertainments of the upper classes. Blue Q offers some charming - and some not quite Perfectly Proper - versions. $9.99 each
For those who don’t want an app for everything, Thinkgeek offers a 50-Year Calendar Keyring that Etiquetteer finds charming.
For those you know you like a bit of honey in their tea - or who don't yet know that it's not Perfectly Proper to have a jar on the table - one can find a lovely ceramic honey pot at Sur le Table. $9.56.
Repeal Day at the Gibson House Museum is coming soon! Get your tickets for Friday, December 4. Hotcha!