Tie wearers know that material, pattern and the cut of neckwear goes a long way; indeed, perhaps more important is the knot. But what good is the perfectly done tie without a properly crisp collar to cinch it around? Dedicated to maintaining a gentleman’s good form in over 20 common collar styles, Swiss Stays ($8-$125) has given the sometimes frustrating behind-the-scenes champion of men’s formal fashion, collar stays, a shot of much needed one-size-fits-most juice.
Tie one on
You can never have enough ties. Taking the burden off of grandma, your girlfriend and your wallet, FreshNeck ($15+) offers a huge library of neckpieces (along with bowties, cufflinks, pocket squares and other assorted style items) for your perusal and rental. The service works because of some inherent laws of manhood.
007, Reporting for Duty
Bond, James Bond. Admit it; you read that with an accent. Was it Scottish? We ask because the upcoming Blu-ray release of Skyfall ($25) could cause you to reconsider your lilt. Under the direction of Sam Mendes, in what is certainly the most visually stunning of the franchise, Daniel Craig delivers a 007 that easily challenges Connery for the crown.
Ignore those cries for Yelp
Customer reviews make or break countless decisions — particularly when it comes to where to dine. But why take the word of all the world’s self-righteous social media whores when you could rely on expert advice? That’s the idea behind Where Chefs Eat: A Guide to Chefs’ Favourite Restaurants ($13).
Soup up for the Superbowl
Properly calibrating your TV and sound system is essential for getting the best picture and sound out of your gear — but few do it. Short of hiring a professional to take the work off of your plate, DIY solutions are grim: buying special discs and wading through various complex menus to get the job done. The THX Tune-Up App (Free, for now, $2 later) is a welcomed update to the process in a smartphone-dominated world.
It's what's underneath that counts
“Daily wear” is right; we’re not promoters of commando in the least. Mack Weldon socks, underwear and undershirts ($13-$32) hit the nail on the skivvies head. They’re simple, reasonably priced and comfortable as hell.
Bold, blue and brilliant
On-screen chemistry isn’t something to be overlooked (just ask Padme and Anakin). Luckily, Jake Gyllenhal and Michael Peña don’t suffer the same wooden fate. As LAPD Officers Taylor and Zavala, the two actors shine in a dark world, providing just the right amount of wit, raw humor and law enforcement street cred to make End…
Hop to it
Stan Hieronymus’s tome, For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops ($11), looks to be the required reading for a college course. An awesome college course, with pints, flights of adult beverages and a professor that’s eternally tipsy. This isn’t light reading. And that’s why it’s fantastic.
A future king?
Budweiser Black Crown isn’t another ploy from “the King of Beers” to rally the fratty faithful with higher alcohol content (though its 6% ABV is technically higher) or pointless packaging gimmicks (It turns red when you’re hammered!). Instead, it’s the result of a year-long skunky works initiative, dubbed “Project 12” in which the company asked…
What could you have possibly done to make the monkey so mad? Temple Run 2 (free), much like its predecessor, is insanely addictive and madly difficult. Yes, you’re still fleeing through a sparse, badly maintained network of paths, using your fingers to slide, leap, turn and tilt. These sorts of games have a definitively juvenile…
Objective? Learn about the real Bonds
Unless you hang around some pretty tough circles, the only MI6 you know comes from Ian Fleming and one Mr. Bond. The Art of Betrayal: The Secret History of MI6 ($21) by Gordon Corera delves into the real deal, detailing the subterfuge and sabotage that the British spy agency has engaged in with varied success…
A Locals Bar
We’d like to regale you with stories of the good old days, when men would go down to the local soapmaker’s shop to refill their scuttle with something fresh and handmade and honest. But we’ll do you one better: Get ye to New York’s Hudson Valley — or at least to the Hudson Made website…
Remember to flip the pages, not tap
We cling to our smartphones like Wesley Snipes to a tax attorney — but even the coolest apps are worthless when your battery bar’s hurting. A new line of National Geographic Recreation Atlases ($18), described as “part road atlas, part trail guide, part trip planner”, serve as a great old-school solution getting the most out of your next vacation.
Learn his methods, Watson
Psychology was the easy way to learn in college — sorry, psych majors — and Maria Konnikova’s Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes ($16) is the fun way to bone up your brain skills as an adult. In our age of lean diets and expensive gym memberships, we do often forget about that pink, fleshy master and commander of ourselves: our brains, that is. Ahem.
Serious Camp Solutions
Holding on to heritage for dear life while still being picky about efficiency, quality and practicality is taking the tough path — but produces the kind of results we dig. Bush Smarts, a New York-based builder, designer and sourcer of prime camp gear, has created a library of outdoor gear that eschews flash and gimmick…
What's Hawaiian for more water please?
Founded on the basic ingredients of love and salmonella, culinary amateurism can be downright frightening. Yet hot sauce producer Adoboloco ($8+) has managed to pull it off, thriving without a Kraft-sized bankroll. This Hawaiian family unit has turned cuisine curiosity, which started as a simple family garden project and a love of spiciness, into a…
Almost as good as bringing Goose back
The tragic loss of Tony Scott will reverberate through Hollywood for years to come, but fans can at least delay letting go in the coming months with the release of Top Gun 3D ($20). Double dipping on the part of studios isn’t something we typically like to encourage, but Scott’s personal involvement overseeing the remastering…
How a stove suits up
Listen, we’ve all said some stupid things to impress people. The only difference is that we’ve never said anything that can be disproved (go ahead, see if there’s evidence on the internet proving our uncle wasn’t the inspiration for Weekend at Bernie’s). But you. You actually told a young lady that you’re an excellent cook,…
A road map to the map
That we take technology for granted is a fact we take for granted. Unlock that flashy smartphone, navigate your bloated American thumb to the map app, and millennia of man’s navigation efforts appear before your very eyes. On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks ($17) by Simon Garfield (author of…
An app for the dark night
Something needs to be done about our gadgets, because they’re getting to be too much. Toasters with wi-fi, espresso machines with built-in Instragram — every gadget today is trying to do everything for everyone, all while accomplishing absolutely nothing. It needs to stop. Out of the tangled wires and Bluetooth antennas, a hero, well, you…
F*** it Dude, let's go reading
Like The Dude from 1998?s The Big Lebowski, Jeff Bridges is a chill guy. He attributes much of his amiable nature to the teachings of his good friend and, most recently, co-author, Zen Roshi Bernie Glassman. The decidedly serene duo has paired up to pen The Dude and the Zen Master ($14), a collection of conversations that meanders through the intricacies of life in Hollywood — and life on the path to Enlightenment.
Time to print some rocks
Ah, those childhood days when you turned your parents’ kitchen table into your Revell model building station. But now you’ve got a job, and your own kids, who care more about their smartphones than about creating fine small-scale automotive replicas. Do yourself a favor and take back your inner maker with Papercruiser foldable PDF models ($3-$7).
Because MacGyver Wasn't Real
Perhaps you’re thinking that since the Mayan faux-pocalypse is a thing of the past, you won’t be needing to Bruce Willis yourself out of a life threatening situation any time soon. But it’s that kind of thinking that’ll get you in trouble, friend. The hard truth? It’s a dangerous world we live in, and even if you haven’t recited the Scout Motto for two decades, it’s a prime idea to Be Prepared at all times.
The pick of the little
So you managed to score that shiny new iPad Mini. Next step: a case. We’ve saved you hours of SafeSearch Googling by rounding up 30 of the best iPad Mini cases at a variety of price points to help get your new Cupertino buddy from birthday suit to warm and cozy. Whether you prioritize looks, function or insurance for your butterfingers, each of these iPad Mini cases has a forte — and a price. We’ve ordered our selections starting with the most affordable and will update this article as better entries come along. So peruse, hone in, and for god’s sake, cover your shame man.
A stitch in time
You’re proud of being the DIY captain for any problem: plumbing issues mean a wrench, not a phone, and AAA means anytime, anyplace, all-by-yourself. But despite solitary savvy, a blown-out button can cause just about any man to unravel. Tic Button Fasteners ($8) save you the indignity of button-less belly bulge and that call to…
Don't carbonize these ones
Wondermade Marshmallows ($8) shatter the conventional s’mores mold with their diverse line of flavored addiction cubes sugary treats. Boasting a perfect spongy consistency, these handcrafted marshmallows challenge the pallet with a bouquet of unique flavors like gingerbread, peppermint, s’mores (s’mores inception?), pumpkin pie, Guinness and bourbon. A smartly designed box accomplishes the sole mission of…
Sheltered no longer
It’s hard to comprehend, but there are people out there in this great land of ours who don’t have high-speed internet access. Some, by choice (like your grandfather, who asked you to explain what Facebook is) and others by lack of choice, hamstrung by providers that ignore less populated areas due to high installation and…
Beer is Coming
Chalk up another gimmick that we’re head over heels lusty after. In the beautiful marriage of fantasy, boobs, political intrigue and swordplay that is Game of Thrones, there’s a new player in town: brew. Ommegang’s Iron Throne Blonde Ale ($9), due out before the show’s season three debut on March 31st, is the first in…
Road trippers of the world, celebrate
It’s safe to go out on the streets again. No more following driving directions into a lake a la “The Office”. Google Maps for iOS 6 (free) is the same quality tool it’s ever been, with a new streamlined look and a deliciously intuitive UI in addition to search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation and street…
Drop subtle, or not so subtle hints of your inner taste and personality with Mid-Calf Socks ($60). Made in Italy from 30/1 Italian combed cotton with a perfect toe seaming — they’re a luxury your feet and style commentators are bound to appreciate. At $20 a pop, though, we’d suggest letting them loose only on special occasions. You’re upcoming Tough Mudder run doesn’t count.