expert-approved gifts

Trend Forecasters on Men’s Gifts to Buy Before They Sell Out

Photo: Courtesy of the vendors

Last week, we heard from trend forecasters at WGSN and Fashion Snoops about the items that will make the most popular women’s gifts this holiday season. But that wasn’t our first dive into predicting hot holiday gifts: We started checking in with forecasters back in 2016 ahead of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday crush. Since then, we’ve only gotten more specific — what kids’ toys might sell out, what tech junkies will be buying in droves, and of course, items for men that will likely be the most popular holiday gifts. To find out which men’s gifts to snap up this year before they sell out, we spoke to Sidney Morgan-Petro, a senior retail editor at WGSN; Mitchell Kass, the founder and creative director of trend forecasting agency Trend Council; Lindsey Smecker, a trend researcher and market strategist at ESP Trend Lab; and Hannah Polskin, director of TOBE agency. Read on for all the clothes, accessories, gadgets, and more that they suggest buying for that in-the-know man in your life — while you still can.

New ‘smart’ stuff

The guy who’s into fitness (or just into tracking his steps) might already have a Fitbit, but there’s no better time than the holidays to gift the latest iteration of a beloved item. Kass told us that he predicts the Fitbit Charge 3 will be popular this year because it’s the most advanced version of the device. “Anyone into fitness and technology will want this item,” he says. The new Fitbit boasts all of the fitness-tracking benefits of past devices, but with some smartphone-adjacent capabilities, including the ability to receive notifications from apps and, if you use an Android phone, to send quick responses. The Charge 3 also includes new goal-based exercise modes for activities including running, biking, swimming, and yoga.

As smart living starts to move beyond appliances and into everyday objects, Kass says we’re starting to see “smarter” versions of our old standbys, like this temperature-control coffee mug from Ember, which he thinks will be very gifted this year. “This is an office item and has a lot going for it as it combines something as basic as a mug with heat technology,” he says. “Anyone who hates drinking lukewarm coffee would appreciate this.” This sleek cup (which comes with a saucer that charges it) can be set to the recipient’s preferred drink temperature (between 120–145°F) and will keep the beverage at that temperature for one hour, if unplugged, or all day if the charger is plugged in.

According to Morgan-Petro, “smart” clothing made of fabrics with properties that help cool your body and soothe muscles will be another popular gift this year. She names Lahgo, the new men’s line from Lunya (which makes bathrobes and pajamas we’ve written about before), as an example of a brand that’s doing well in the category. Lunya’s and Lahgo’s Restore pieces are made with “celliant polyester,” which a brand rep tells us is the key to the “restorative” feeling of the clothing. According to the rep, the clothes are made with mineral-infused fibers that convert body heat into “infrared energy” that helps regulate body temperature and soothe muscles.

Cozy luxuries

Smecker told us that “in a world where we are able to stream, shop, and order takeout from the comfort of our couches, there is a greater desire to stay at home and embrace cozy luxuries.” The cozy luxury that she thinks guys will want this year is an extra-plush robe, like Brooklinen’s or Pottery Barn’s (the latter, made with fuzzy faux fur, is similar to another item — the men’s teddy coat — that appears further down this list). Thicker than your average terry bathrobe, the plush styles that Smecker says are popular right now are extra-thick, making them even more suited for lounging. She elaborates: “We have all heard of FOMO, but get ready for a new wave of missing out: JOMO — or the joy of missing out.”

For something truly luxurious (and cozy), Morgan-Pietro points to this slipper-shoe hybrid from a recent UGG and Heron Preston collaboration. They fit a trend that she says WGSN has dubbed “two-mile wear” (likely inspired by the Japanese concept of “one-mile wear”), which refers to shoes and clothing that one would wear within a two-mile radius of your home. Slippers that you can wear around your neighborhood are a particularly hot two-mile wear item, according to Morgan-Petro, who says, “UGG and Heron Preston is a slipper collab that is very cool for men.”