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men’s accessories

Gift Guides

Gifts for Men: 12 Must-Have Artifacts for the Man Cave Dweller

October 11, 2015

*Editor’s note: This list might look a little familiar, since we brought you Man Cave Must-Haves last year. Don’t worry, we updated it with some of our latest picks, so you’ll be sure to uncover the perfect artifact for your favorite man cave dweller this year, too!

Gifts for Men: Must-Haves for the Man Cave Dweller | UncommonGoods

Many years from now, when archaeologists of the distant future excavate the sites of  21st century man caves, they’ll get a glimpse into the daily life of today’s modern man. We want them to take a look at the artifacts they find and be amazed. But before future archaeologists can be amazed by their findings, it’s up to us to make sure those man caves are fully loaded with all of the coolest things. It’s also up to us to make sure that our modern-day men are totally blown away by the holiday gifts they get this year. Help the man cave dweller in your life create a truly impressive domain with these must-have goods.

Kinetic Gear Key Holder item 26826_zoom1

1. Does he retreat to his man cave when he’s gearing up for a big game or winding down from a long day? Either way, he’ll need a place to stash his keys.| Kinetic Gear Key Holder

 

 

Single Malts of Scotland Tasting Map | UncommonGoods

 

2. The first thing visitors to any man cave notice (aside from how the bar’s stocked) is the decor. Keep it as classy as it is manly with this Single Malts of Scotland Tasting Map.

Stoneware Nacho Plate | UncommonGoods

3. Ordering pizza is good, but a home-cooked meal is better. (Yes, nachos for dinner = totally acceptable when it comes to man cave dwelling!) | Stoneware Nacho Plate 

 

Chillsner | Beer chiller | UncommonGoods

4. The guy on your gift list is already cool, his beer should be too. | Chillsner 

Beer Opening Glass | UncommonGoods

5. Some things just go together. Like beer and man cave or bottle opener and pint glass. | Beer Opening Glass

Deep Sea Sand Art item 16016

6. What’s more tranquil than a cave? Watching sand slowly fall into beautiful, unrepeatable patterns while relaxing in a man cave.| Deep Sea Sand Art

Das Horn | UncommonGoods

7. It might not be a mastodon tusk, but we’re pretty sure your man cave dweller will appreciate it anyway. | Das Horn

 

BottleLoft item 26421

8. That mini-fridge can only hold so many six packs, but thanks to the BottleLoft, so many is a couple more than before.

Lune Light item 30362

9. The discovery of fire added the first light to the dark dude den. The Lune Light adds light, color, and extra cool.

 

Reclaimed Fire Hose Mat | UncommonGoods

10. Dudes need doormats too. This one is is full of rugged charm. | Reclaimed Fire Hose Mat

Mini Beer Pong | UncommonGoods

11. Traditionally, drinking games mean the winner gets bragging rights and the loser gets a hangover. This Mini Beer Pong set is complete with smaller cups, so game night means sampling a selection of brewskies without overdoing it. But the winner still gets bragging rights.

 

12. He might like to spend alone time dwelling in his cave, but he knows there’s a great big world beyond its walls. Help him celebrate his favorite places out there with City Skyline Wooden Routings.

 

More Gifts for Men | UncommonGoods

 

 

Design

TPC Sawgrass Golf Ball Cufflinks Tee’d Up for Tournament Time

May 9, 2013

With THE PLAYERS Championship underway we’re quietly and quite politely clapping in celebration of one the newest additions to our men’s accessories assortment, PGA TOUR licensed TPC Sawgrass Golf Ball Cufflinks.

These sterling silver cufflinks feature material reclaimed from actual golf balls collected from Sawgrass’ iconic 137 yard 17th hole. While a few pro balls are sure to find their way into the water surrounding the hole during the week-long tournament, the rest of the year the course, located in Ponte Vedra, Florida, is open to the public, helping to create quite a bounty of sunken ball treasure.

As you’ll see in the video below, these balls aren’t exactly easy to recover. It takes a little hunting and some scuba gear to get them back to the green.

Milan Micich, Designer and Sales Manager at Tokens and Icons feels that sterling silver is the perfect complement to these carefully recovered golf balls. “Sterling silver, like TPC Sawgrass itself, is a rich experience,” he said. “There is only one Sawgrass, only one 17th hole island green, designed by Pete and Alice Dye, themselves icons in golf course design. It’s on every weekend golfer’s bucket list, and if a diver is going to evade alligators to scoop mishit balls off of the lake bed, the balls deserve being set in sterling silver.” (After seeing Mr. Gator show his head in that video, we definitely agree!)

“This is a gift [you] can give to a guy that connects to his emotions of having played or wanting to play this famous course and try his luck at 17,” said Milan. “Golf is a place you’ll see men laugh, shout, bicker, cry (ok, whine) and hug all in the space of an afternoon and talk about it for a lifetime…especially should a few go into the drink.”

Design

Fit to be Tied: Bethany Shorb’s Designer Drive

July 16, 2012

Bethany Shorb photo by Achille Bianchi, © Achille Bianchi

Bethany Shorb may be the founder, CEO, and principal designer at Cyberoptix TieLab, the fashion-forward brand that’s sold ties to all 7 continents (yes, even Antartica!), but despite her role as the woman in charge, she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. Bethany still creates every single tie herself.

“To date, I’ve hand-screenprinted over 100,000 neckties, all by hand, with no automation, machines or even a press! I have to admit having quite a buff right arm to show for it,” she told us.

That’s an awful lot of ties since she launched her company in 2006, so how does she do it? She takes inspiration from everything around her, draws on her background in fine art, and has a little help from some, as she says, “studio bees,” who assist with shipping, customer service, website update, and keeping an ample supply of take out coming into the studio during busy times.

Bike Chain Tie photo by Luke Copping, © Luke Copping

This busy studio, a buzzing center producing artistic fashions admired all over the world, isn’t located in New York, Paris, or Milan. After receiving a BFA in sculpture, with a concurrent concentration in photography from Boston University (in the city where she was born) Bethany made the Motor City, Detroit, her home.

“I’ve been based in Detroit for thirteen years now,” she said. “I chose to move here to go to graduate school [receiving a MFA in sculpture, also with a concurrent concentration in photography, from Cranbrook Academy of Art ] and also chose to stay immediately after finishing. I realized there was vast opportunity here that diverged from the traditional New York gallery or art educator path. With the low overhead that basing a studio practice in Detroit affords, it also in turn enables one to take financial and aesthetic risks that one would not be able to take were money tight, student loans looming, distractions abound and space cramped. With access to a large amount of space, I was fortunate to be able to ramp up my production scale as soon as there was demand and in turn grow my business very quickly.”

Photographing and Screen Printing, Photos via Bethany Shorb

Bethany believes that customers are “tiring of disposable culture,” and finds that “increasingly people want to buy into a story, not just a product. They want to buy from real people making real things with real histories…” and Detroit doesn’t fall short when it comes to real people producing these memorable goods.

“Detroit’s makers provide that accessible story while also providing a product that fits the client’s needs,” Bethany explained. “Along with a great sense of community, Detroit is a wonderful home-base to make things.”

Perhaps Bethany’s love for Detroit will shine throughout her upcoming solo show at Metro-Detroit’s 323 East Gallery, which opens this October and uses reclaimed materials from the commodity that made Detroit famous. “Recently I’ve been exploring a series of screenprinted work on metal, paired with reclaimed automotive emblem text; and a series of sculptural pieces made from deployed airbag fabric,” she said.

Of course, the thriving art community in Bethany’s city isn’t her only source of inspiration. Her design ideas come from everything from current trends to the desire to reboot antiquated styles by giving them a modern flair.

Cyberoptix TieLab Studio in Detroit, Mich., Photos via Bethany Shorb

She described a few places where she finds those sparks for new designs: “While I can still sometimes get caught up with the immediacy of pop culture (running an internet-business means I’m plugged in, non-stop), I like to look toward objects and ideas not made in the last five minutes, including natural history, medical ephemera, and Victorian botanical drawings and architectural renderings. Some of my favorite days are spent in dusty museum cabinets of curiosities or looking back at retro-future projections of what people thought it may look like in a hyper-stylized year 2000.”

Once Bethany has a firm image of the design in her head, she doesn’t spend a great deal of time “ruminating on other versions.” Always thinking about how the vertical shape of the tie influences each pattern, she begins manipulating photos from her own camera or digitally assembling the pieces that will eventually be the basis for a unique illustration.

“Once I think it’s about done, I’m pretty old-school about printing it out on tabloid-sized paper and just holding up the finished design over a few different necktie sizes on a lightbox and then burning it right to screen once it’s the correct size, ” she said. “I’m not a fan of rulers.”

Her aversion to rulers certainly hasn’t stunted the quality of her work, and we’re thrilled to offer several Bethany’s latest creations. When asked which of these designs is her personal favorite, she was a little indecisive, but answered with two options that happen to be on our favorites list as well.

Beer! Hops Tie. Photo by Bethany Shorb

“I’m definitely guilty of being seduced by the new, so probably my most recent design, [the Bike Chain Tie] is my current favorite,” said Bethany. “I’m also particularly drawn to the more pattern-based designs, ones that look like a traditional necktie motif, but have a little something extra hidden within the pattern that you might not realize is there until up close to the wearer. The Beer design is a near second – ties proclaiming one’s affinity for the tasty beverage are not always the most elegant, so I enjoy being able to put a different spin on the often less-than-classy beer tie.”

Finally, after giving us a look into her creative and technical process and providing a little prompt to those who aren’t quite sure which stylish tie to purchase first, Bethany also left us with a bit of advice on seeking an education in art and aspiring to build a business in art, design, or even another seemingly unrelated field.

“I like to think that my schooling in art taught me how to design and see in a holistic manner, rather than the simple mastery of a particular craft, technique or tool,” she said. “I firmly believe a quality art education can be applied to any discipline.” She went on to explain, “I’m completely self-taught in screen printing aside from one messy afternoon session on my friend’s kitchen table.” Evidence that learning the basics, and keeping an open mind when looking at the big picture, can go a long way.

Maker Stories

Don’t Knock on Wood–Wear It!

December 26, 2011

Looking for a new look for the new year? Why not try a style that incorporates reclaimed wood into modern fashion? David Steinrueck’s creative ties are a clever way to celebrate living against the grain.

David took a moment to tell us about his design inspiration, finding salvaged wood in the San Francisco area, and how to wear a wood tie with any outfit.

Q: How did you get the idea to create ties made out of wood?

I started Wood Thumb with my brother Chris in January of 2011. We wanted to prove that with a little bit of community support and minimal funding, a craft can be turned into a thriving company. The wood tie was designed to allow unconventional people to stand out from the crowd and make a bold statement to the world.

Q: Why reclaimed wood? Is it difficult to get the type of wood used to make the ties?

We use reclaimed materials in part due to our belief in zero waste products and also because of the incredibly beautiful wood we were able find in salvage yards around our area. We are lucky enough to live in an area of the country where we can track down an abundance of old redwood that we are able to use in our process. By using reclaimed wood, we offer every customer a unique product, each with its own special past life.

Q: How do you recommend wearing a wood tie? Casual with jeans? As part of the formal look with a suit?

There are many ways to rock a wood tie:
The Tech Slacker – Wears her tie to the office with a t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of New Balance shoes.
The Urban-Eco – Wears his tie with a worn collared shirt, khakis and hiking boots or sandals.
Center of the Club – Wears his tie with a bright collared shirt, a blazer, dark shades, and dress shoes. Bottle service.
The Mission – Wears her tie with 1950s collared shirt, skinny jeans, and sneakers.

Q: Did you expect such a great response to your unique design?

The very first tie we made was received with excitement from everyone we showed. We have grown our production from 50 ties/week to 500 ties/week and we are still not able to keep up with our current demand. Nonetheless, I am still astounded every day that so many people are enjoying the work and craft that we put into each tie.


Thanks, David! We love the suggestions on how to rock a wood tie! We’d love to hear more ways to jazz up outfits with offbeat accessories. What’s your favorite uncommon statement piece?

The Uncommon Life

Comments of the Week

October 29, 2011

This week our community voting app is popping with comments with staying power that won’t soon be erased!

As a matter of fact, CMT popped in to share an up vote for the colorful Pop the Dots Calendar.

Glad you love the calendar, CMT! If you want to see it enter our assortment, make sure to tell your friends to vote.

CMT found the perfect product, but Sharri’s still searching for one that will stand up to her high standards.

We figure she must really want to know who’s interested in the Titanium Multi-Tool Collar Stays to ask seven times over.

We think the the stays would make a great gift for fashion-forward on-the-go types, but Akiko and Karen answered the question for us.

Another potential product, the Deletus Eraser, generated a mini Q&A session as well.

While Josie can’t compute who would want to backspace the old-fashioned way, Susan and Tea hope this delete key sticks.

Thanks for the feedback, voters. We love to see this kind of friendly discussion in our voting app, and we can’t wait to see what you have to say about our next batch of fresh goods!