21 Of Our Favourite Things
The MR PORTER team is dreaming of some lovely clothes and collectibles this holiday season.
As inevitable as dry turkey, and about as popular as a drunk uncle, the Unwanted Christmas Gift is a yearly fixture of the holiday season. Usually the calling card of an eccentric aunt, or a hapless new partner, the neglected present can take many forms. The “hilarious” onesie, a One Direction CD, a basket of lavender bath soaps: the only thing worse than the item itself is working out how on earth to get rid of it. Boxing Day has become synonymous with boxing up crap for sale on eBay.
From our Style Director to our Editor-in-Chief, we asked seven members of the MR PORTER team for the three Christmas presents they covet the most this year. Although you might not be buying us anything (but please do feel free) – these picks might serve as some failsafe inspiration for those you really do want to treat, and help avoid any unwanted surprises.
01“I love this Christophe Lemaire oversized shawl collar coat. Even though I’ll probably be wearing it when I’m walking to the pub, I can feel as if I’m wandering down a Paris boulevard.”
02“I’d love to receive some sturdy shoes this year for the traditional Boxing Day hike. Constructed by hand, this pair also has a rubber sole, so I’m more likely to remain upright on icy terrain.”
03“These are perfect for those slouchy Christmas evenings in front of the fire when you’ve eaten too much. Warm, comfy (and with a lot of give) – they are also ‘on trend’ should I decide to venture out in them.”
01“I’m a firm fan of our fine watch range – which continues to broaden. This is my favourite of the new Junghans watches. A simple chronograph, it has an understated, classic design, meaning it will stay on my wrist for many years to come.”
02“Revo makes simply the best radios on the market. Beautifully considered in its design, this one boasts some innovative tech additions, including Bluetooth so you can access your personal collection of music, all housed in an American walnut cabinet.”
03“I’m hoping to get a new iPad for Christmas, so I’ll need something to protect it. I find some of the cases on the market too cumbersome, but this leather Mulberry one is sleek and sophisticated, and I love the light brown leather.”
01“Christmas came early when the Buying Team announced that we’d be carrying William Lockie’s cashmere crew-neck sweaters, and forest green comes in handy when you want to be that vaguely jolly, vaguely pathetic guy who camouflages himself by the mistletoe.”02“Like the Honey Badger, Old Man Winter doesn’t give a ‘F’ about the days you’ve got a big meeting. That’s why I like to have a proper dress boot that will get me through slush and still create the same vibe as a dress shoe when you wear it with a suit.”03“My five-year-old daughter and I like to karaoke the duet on ‘You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile’ from Annie, and this new Foreo Issa toothbrush is the Mac Daddy Warbucks when it comes to dental hygiene.”
1.“This piece has a classic Jil Sander style, with a rich shade of dark green which I find very pleasing. I can see this going with a white T shirt and a pair of stone-washed jeans for Christmas afternoons down the pub.”
2.“Christmas isn’t Christmas without getting some socks, and these are the ultimate luxury for weekend dog walking. I can already see the bright red cashmere peeping above my Hunter wellies…”
3.“Christmas presents should be things that you wouldn’t normally buy for yourself, and while resetting my automatic watches every so often isn’t the greatest hardship in my life, this case, which keeps them ticking, will resolve that small issue for me.”
01“Bath time feels nicer when a candle is on the go and as the nights draw in, warm metal tones such as brass and copper make your home feel cosy and cave-like. This one, by Tom Dixon, is both beautifully presented and heavenly scented.”
02“Something destined for immediate use on Christmas Day, this cashmere blanket is the perfect partner for snuggling up on the sofa post-lunch and watching that fine piece of modern cinema, Elf. Sure it’s an unreasonable and entirely lavish request – but you never know your luck.”03“The quilted lining, the suitably fashion shade of jet black – this is a serious suitcase indeed. It’s the kind of gift (and price tag) from the lady you love that will ensure a happy face on Christmas morning, and it will be put to loving use for years – just like you (hopefully).”
01“Pens – remember them? Christmas is a time for keeping in touch with friends and family. In this digital age, I remain a steadfast advocate of handwritten notes – and this beautiful Montblanc platinum fountain pen will add a stylish flourish to the seasonal greetings.”
02“A sad fact about which I am insufferably smug: I am unbeaten at family Scrabble in several (*coughs* four) years. So, I would be delighted to receive this retro set complete with vintage-style board, wooden tiles and racks. It would take my family wistfully back to a time when they could actually beat me.”
03“Earlier this year the photography experts behind Sonic Editions and The Impossible Cool travelled to Venice to sift through an enormous forgotten photography archive. They uncovered previously unseen black-and-white photographs of the likes of Sir Sean Connery, Mr Paul Newman and Mses Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren. And now we’re selling them. Sounds like a pretty good Christmas present to me.”
01“I had the immense good fortune to visit Mr Francesco Maglia’s workshop in Milan earlier this year. He is one of the last practitioners of a dying art, pushed to the brink of extinction by cheap competition and a refusal to compromise. You’d better buy one of his umbrellas: this sort of thing won’t be around forever.”
02“Every day during winter I curse my lack of gloves, and yet still I refuse to divest any of my own income and do anything about it. I’ve no idea why. Maybe it’s a psychological barrier: gloves are still, in my head, the sort of thing that my mum buys for me. On a not unrelated note, Mum, if you’re reading this…”
03_“Here’s a question I get asked a lot: what do you buy for the man who has everything? The answer I give is always the same: are you sure he has everything? Does he have a cast-iron nutcracker shaped like a torture device? Well, then.”
Illustrations by Mr Joe McKendry