Updated: May 27
No matter which part of the country your friends and family live, we have the ultimate gift guide for every climate.
The past year has been kicking our butts. And now, when all we want is to celebrate with friends and family, we’re unable to do so. This year has been rough on all of us, and it’s now time to bring a bit of joy to the people that matter to you.
By getting them the best gift! And even though you can’t offer it to them directly, it’ll brighten up their day! In this guide, we will give you the best wardrobe pieces to gift based on the location and climate of the 5 most populous cities in the country: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Phoenix. If you are looking for a gift for someone living in those cities or areas with similar climates, you won’t have to look further than this guide.
New York City
We couldn’t start anywhere else than the Big Apple. With how dynamic this city is, the person you know there will make great use of those capsule wardrobe items: Cashmere pieces and belts.
Despite being on the coast and at a relatively low latitude, NYC has a cold winter: the average in January is 0.5 °C (33 °F). In the summer, it is hot and muggy, and the average in July is 24.5 °C (76 °F). The climate is perpetually unstable, in fact all kinds of weather may occur: clear or overcast, windy or calm, cold or warm, even within the same week.
There is nothing better than a cashmere item, such as a sweater or a scarf to get you through the harsh New York weather during the colder months. We understand that even the word sounds expensive. And while it certainly doesn’t come cheap, it’d be a shame to think of it as some precious luxury only to be worn on special occasions. Take the cashmere sweater, for instance, a highly versatile garment that can and should play a central role in an everyday wardrobe.
What makes cashmere so exceptional?
It makes a great intermediate layer during winter. It can be worn over a T-shirt and under a blazer or coat without leaving you feeling as if you’ve been upholstered, as is so often the case with lesser cashmere sweaters. In charcoal grey, it’s sure to go with almost anything – although it works especially well with other grey tones. Warmth, comfort and sophistication all in one: the perfect gift!
If you’re not looking to spend that much, another great option is a belt. One of good quality is a thoughtful and long-lasting gift. But don't go limit yourself to buying a belt that is just functional, as pants should be altered if they're not fitting right without a belt. To help build a capsule wardrobe, choose a simple yet fashionable belt. A slim belt doesn't look like a corporate belt, and it can make a whole outfit look polished.
Going further west and south, in the Los Angeles area, the climate is pleasantly warm for most of the year: this is perhaps one of the finest climates in the world, even though it only applies to the coast and the surrounding areas. In winter, the maximum temperatures are very mild, around 18/20 °C (64/68 °F). In July, the average maximum temperature is 28 °C (82 °F) in downtown Los Angeles. With this close-to-perfect weather, a sweater is usually sufficient as an outer layer. The capsule items that are perfect for this area and climate are the crew-neck sweatshirt and white sneakers.
With this close-to-perfect weather that happens year-round, a sweater is usually sufficient as an outer layer. Cosy, classic and preppy, a crew neck sweatshirt is one of the few garments that’s just as much at home on the sofa as it is paired with an Oxford shirt and chinos at the weekend. Look for something that fits well in the shoulders and has a relatively slim cut. Grey, navy and black are fail-safe hues that’ll never go out of style. A crew-neck sweatshirt is a gift of comfort, style that will make anyone that receives it feel extremely special.
In the 1870s, casual shoes worn by vacationing and sports-playing Brits were known as “plimsolls.” These rubber-soled shoes crossed the Atlantic at the turn of the century and acquired the name “sneakers,” while classic Converse All Stars took off stateside after World War I. The market for sneakers continued to grow as school dress codes were relaxed across the country. The white sneaker “goes with pretty much every outfit that you could possibly think of.” (Yes, even that suit). They are a staple in any man’s wardrobe, as it can cover a lot of bases. So, if you’re not sure of the person’s fit for the sweater, a classic white sneaker is a great choice as well.
On the coast of Lake Michigan, Chicago, known as the "Windy City", has cold winters, with freezing periods due to outbreaks of cold air from the Canadian Arctic region, but also some milder periods. The average in January is -4.5 °C (24 °F), with snowfalls that amount to about one meter (3.3 ft) per year. Summers are warm to hot and humid, with the daily average in July being 23.5 °C (74.5 °F). Therefore, while the summer is enjoyable, the person you are surprising will need help to get through those harsh Chicago winter months. And to help them, there’s nothing better than those capsule pieces: overcoats and knitwear.
An overcoat is a classic. It’s versatile and if it’s bought well, it’s something that could be handed down to children and even their children after them. Wool is the obvious choice fabric-wise, as is camel in terms of colour. Perfect with tailoring, but also ideal for dressing casual outfits up, the overcoat is a cornerstone of any good outerwear selection. Make sure to check this blog post to learn everything you need to know about the overcoat. Do not shy away from quality for this item, it will make the world of a difference, especially when it needs to face the harsh Chicago winter.
A quality overcoat is an investment piece. If you’re not looking to invest this much into a gift, we have the perfect alternate option: knitwear. It’s an inevitable layering option when the temperatures drop, and it will be a great gift. Choose something cozy, in a neutral color, like camel, cream, beige, gray, or black. Having both a cardigan and a crew-neck sweater or pullover will allow for multiple outfit combinations, so keep that in mind for next year. If a hoodie is more their speed, upgrade your basic cotton sweatshirt to a merino or cashmere hoodie. Only one or two pieces of knitwear is needed, maximum. Go check out this post so that you can learn all there is to know about Knitwear.
Houston is located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) away from the sea. The average temperature ranges from 12.5 °C (54 °F) in January to 29 °C (84 °F) in July, when highs are around 34/35 °C (93/95 °F). The humidity levels skyrocket during the summer, making it hard to spend much time outside during those months. With this type of weather, the perfect gifts are versatile and light items, such as button-up shirts and ties so that they can keep it smart but cool without the blazer.
Even if the person you’re buying a gift doesn’t wear button-up shirts to work, they should still have a few button-ups. Wear a white shirt buttoned up all the way under a leather jacket and a pair of jeans, and they’ve got a cool, casual look. Buy a black, a white, a navy blue, and a light blue for their capsule wardrobe.
Moreover, the holidays offer the perfect occasion to try out different patterns, fabrics and textures. Flannels are perfect for Houston winters. Make sure to check out this guide to learn everything about them, and how to make them the perfect gift. Whether they prefer Oxford shirts, button-down shirts, or flannels, make sure they fit perfectly.
Ties are a wonderful functional accessory, with which you can really change an outfit. Whether you need to dress up your outfit, or add a bit of color or pattern, a tie will be absolutely perfect for that. Ideally, a wardrobe should have a few in different colours and patterns, but always favour quality over quantity. Don’t hesitate to gift a couple of ties with different colors and patterns, your person will love them! Additionally, tie clips are a great way to personalize an outfit. They represent professionalism and class in such a small package, so do not hesitate to add some to the gifts you’re sending!
In Phoenix, winter is mild, with cold nights but spring-like days, around 18/20 °C (64/68 °F). During the summer, however, summer can be scorchingly hot. Temperatures reach around 26/27 °C (79/81 °F) at night and 40/42 °C (104/108 °F) during the day! The capsule items that are presented in this section are perfect for casual but great-looking outfits that are loose enough around the body to be worn in warmer weather.
Not all social settings require a full suit, but casualwear doesn’t always cut it. It’s not always easy to find items and outfits that are perfect for situations in the middle. For those, an unstructured blazer is the way to go. The person that receives such an item as a gift will always be thankful that they don’t have to think about whether they’re under or overdressed. Wearing a tailored jacket with casual legwear is a big no no as the angular lines up top can look jarring in contrast to the laid-back look going on downstairs. The relaxed styling of an unstructured blazer maintains the balance without straying too far into either casual or formal territory. So don’t hesitate, and give a blazer. It will never miss.
Black Oxford Shoes
It’s simple. If one wants to dress up alook, one goes for something black: a Chelsea boot, an Oxford, a brogue, or another type of dress shoe. For every conceivable formal occasion, a pair of well-made Oxford shoes is a man’s best friend. You never know when you're going to have to dress up a little bit more, and the right shoe makes the difference with an outfit. Gifting a pair of those shoes is simple, and will make all the difference in their outfits. When they’ll look at their fit, they’ll be thanking you.
The Bottom Line
What do they need for the holidays? This guide will make you never have to ask this question again. Wherever they live and whatever climate they face, we’ve laid out items at different price points that will be perfect for them. NYC, Houston, Chicago, warm, cold, humid, you’ll have an answer to everything. With those gifts, you’ll make both your and their holidays even more special, and God knows it’s needed after such a year.
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