The Rake's Advent Calendar
The Rake's Editor Tom Chamberlin creates an advent calendar designed to dispense as much joy as possible through a broad selection of items.
Day 1 The scarf has hitherto languished in the wilderness as a grey or navy dullard, purely functional, rarely interesting. The last few years have seen people sign up to the possibilities of wearing something with a bit more flourish, and you should try it too. Day 2 When people get a special bottle of whiskey given to them at Christmas, the magic is removed when the only nice glassware they have to drink out of is customarily for wine or beer. A beautiful tumbler is as important a part of the ritual as the intoxicant itself. Day 3 We in the UK have yet to subscribe to the United States’s twisty bottle cap, and so our institutional brands such as Asprey will come up with beautifully made universal items like this bottle opener. The elegance lies in the simplicity and the practicality. Day 4 The totemic John Goldberger has written a book on the steel Patek Philippes he regards the most. It’s too much of an understatement to say that if one of the world’s greatest watch collectors finds them interesting, you will too. Day 5 A button down Oxford is an essential wardrobe item that is often overlooked. It’s versatility and sturdiness does make it a remarkably good go-to and usually you can’t live without it once you’ve got one. I would recommend light blue as it will be something you will want to wear both casually and formally. We designed this specifically with the old elegance of Agnelli and JFK. Day 6 Knitwear is an artform and made all the better for being a source of comfort and joy in the season of giving. This from Cifonelli is so striking in its design and a beautiful, cosy colour too. Day 7 For the cigar smoker with more time to make your way through your humidor, make sure you have something remarkable to rest the cigar in and to put the mountains of ash, this is a beautiful tray and is also good for non-smokers as a place to put anything from accessories to business cards. Day 8 Ever since the Tudor Black Bay Heritage came out, I have loved distressed leather, it is infinitely interesting and romantic, which is why I think it’s a great call for this design of suitcase, which has the DNA of the artist explorer or scholar. Day 9 The enduring appeal of a gift card is that it gives the receiver free rein to choose what they want. If they happen to have a penchant for classic menswear, TheRake.com offers a wide-ranging collection of attire, from only the very best artisans worldwide. The gift card will be unique as many of the brands are only sold through our platform. Day 10 The Rake is having a belt moment. That’s not to say we thought them infra dig, but that we liked the innovations of side adjusters and Ghurkha straps as a solution to our waistline presentation. But with trouser brands producing really terrific clothes at the moment, many with belt loops as standard, it is time to buy something that will go with all of them, and this is a perfect example. Day 11 There is no one in the world that this would not suit. Oatmeal fabrics have a habit of washing out fair-skinned folk but any blue shirt will counteract this. Either way, if you’re buying knitwear for someone else, this from New & Lingwood is foolproof and beautifully executed. Day 12 Bear with me on this one. I know that received wisdom is that slippers need to be velvet or cashmere, but there is something undeniably chic about leather slippers and so I’d urge a look at this limited edition pair from Stubbs & Wootton made from Horween football (of the American sort, not Her Majesty’s Association Football) leather. Day 13 The problem with buying pocket handkerchiefs, especially if you’re planning on buying for someone else, is that like the BBC, there is no shortage of choice. And you may feel that with such a saturated market, are you really going to get one that interests and is received well by your loved one? Rampley & Co clearly saw an opportunity here and created hankerchiefs with historic paintings and etchings printed onto them. I already own The Death of Major Peirson, and if I were to pick another, it would be this depicting Horace Vernet‘s The Lion Hunt. Day 14 There are precisely zero cigar smokers who would not be unreservedly thrilled to receive this cutter. As a cigar smoker, you can take my word for it, this is what you need to get them. Day 15 Travel in 2021 is something we should all feel optimistic about. However as we are all rediscovering the benefits of the staycation, this flask is a homage to the unpredictability of U.K. weather, and the essentials to see you through a weather turn. Never leave home without one. Day 16 An item that I have on my phone myself, a fun chicken-and-egg scenario. Day 17 The badger brush may seem antediluvian but believe it or not, men are putting more time into their morning routine than ever before, and shaving is by far the most delicate task, and requires requisite care and attention, so take it seriously.