How to Buy Christmas Presents

November 27, 2013 BY PERMANENT STYLE

northern_winter-896910Written by Simon Crompton

OK, this isn’t the first column you’ve read on how to buy that special present. But this one isn’t a list of brands, bristling with hyperlinks. This is a philosophical recommendation.

Buy quality. Buy the best that your money can afford, and if you can’t afford the best, scale down your present rather than scaling up your budget. You can buy the best-performing fountain pen in the world for £150. All you need is a gold nib (be aware it might be plated in something else, and not look gold) and an ebonite feed. The nib will ensure that the recipient has all the pleasures of a fountain pen – a smooth script that adapts to your personal handwriting. No steel nib will do that; no rollerball will come close; and a more expensive pen will merely add precious woods or metals elsewhere.

If £150 is too much, even for that special present, buy simple gold jewelry – just in a high carat. If it’s a man, seek out the best tie (likely under £100). Or beautiful writing paper, the best money can buy. Buy a hardback or special edition of a book, rather than just the paperback that’s in every corner store. Anyone should be able to afford that.

At Christmas, there is more reason than ever not to sacrifice quality. Because two people stand to benefit – the recipient, and you, who will be thanked for years to come. Have a Happy Holiday.

Simon Crompton is a London based, freelance menswear journalist. His personal blog, Permanent Style, can be found here.