Mad Men Themed Gifts for a man
December 19, 2009 10:05 PM   Subscribe

Ideas for a Mad Men/early 60s themed gift for an early 20s man?

Seeking gift ideas related to Mad Men for my boyfriend, who is in his early 20s. He loves Mad Men, the early 60s, wears cardigans and Oxford shoes. He doesn't have the show, despite having watched it for almost 3 years, so I was thinking:

-Season 1 of Mad Men
-a skinny tie

? Anything else along the same lines? He smokes, so I was thinking about throwing in a pack of cigarettes. However, I know nothing about such things--are Lucky Strikes even still around?

Also, Mad Men themed/60s alcohol ideas? He is a seasoned drinker.

Thank you in advance!
posted by Dukat to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
A nice crystal decanter set?
posted by null terminated at 10:15 PM on December 19, 2009

this site seems to be selling Lucky Strike. But I wouldn't encourage that habit.

You could get him an IBM Selectric typewriter.

What character does he most take after? Don? Kinsey? Sterling? Pete? (I guess most guys think of themselves as Don, but realistically)
posted by delmoi at 10:35 PM on December 19, 2009

Good liquor. Don seems to prefer brown, which I assume is bourbon. Others seem to have gin around, which I hate, and can't recommend.
posted by sanka at 10:35 PM on December 19, 2009

I haven't seen Mad Men, but it comes strongly recommended and just hasn't yet come up in my Netflix queue. Anyway, I was Googling around to determine whether scotch or bourbon was the beverage of choice for the Titular Men, and came across this cocktail guide from the AMC Mad Men site and this blog post called "'Mad Men' Drink With Accuracy". Either would give you a good start at stocking a Mad Men bar, which looks like it would be a pretty servicable bar in any context.
posted by tellumo at 10:39 PM on December 19, 2009

Best answer: The ultimate ironic gift for someone who likes Mad Men would be this chip and dip set

You could get a Kodak Carousel slide projector from this scene in the first season. (you would want to find a cheaper used one, of course!)
posted by delmoi at 10:40 PM on December 19, 2009 [3 favorites]

A safety razor? Apparently it's coming back into favor nowadays as people think they work better and are cheaper than modern disposables, and it's what they would have used back then. It will make your boyfriend feel simultaneously vintage AND ahead of the curve.
posted by amethysts at 10:48 PM on December 19, 2009

Best answer: zippo and a pack of lucky strikes. zippo and a flask would also be good.
posted by nadawi at 11:06 PM on December 19, 2009

Best answer: Lucky's to my knowledge are still being Sold.

If you go with the safety razor, you should think about adding a Shaving Brush so he can get the full effect. On a similar note If he does his hair, pomade (American Crew is used on the show).

Things Men of the era carried on them were Handkerchiefs (two for every day; one for himself, one to offer to others), A trusty refillable lighter, A good flask (you'd have to fill it with either Scotch or Bourbon before giving it), and a good hat.

If he has all that hes just a Gray Suit and a ruined liver away from being Don Draper.
posted by JustAGuy at 11:13 PM on December 19, 2009

Best answer: a big-ass crystal ashtray.

for razors, i don't know if it's come up in the show, but my sense of the early 60s is that electric razors were kind of the hip gadget in that department.

tie tacks and bars were de rigeur.

maybe a signet ring
posted by rhizome at 11:16 PM on December 19, 2009

Best answer: Since he smokes, you could get him a Zippo lighter. A classic and lots of WWII Veterans continued to use them into the 60's. You could always get him something from Brooks Brothers, or get him a vintage narrow tie. In that era, my Dad was all about the martini, so you could get him a cocktail shaker or martini glasses if he cares for that kind of thing.
posted by gudrun at 11:33 PM on December 19, 2009

The characters seem to drink a lot of Bloody Marys, so how 'bout a set of glasses and the ingredients (including the celery :-) )
posted by ragtimepiano at 12:53 AM on December 20, 2009

Whatever you do decide to give him, before you do it you should make and enjoy a manhattan with him and wear whatever period clothes/accessories you would be willing/have available to wear at the time.
I know Lucky Strike is still around.
Some men of that time never went anywhere without a handkerchief (and still don't). Since I haven't seen it either (the show) that may not be the style of a person being shown, but a gentleman that can offer a handkerchief when needed is really a hero (especially when it is discreet!)
Have fun!
posted by bebrave! at 1:50 AM on December 20, 2009

Best answer: How about a hip flask with a built-in cigarette case?
posted by essexjan at 2:22 AM on December 20, 2009

some awesome glasses like the ones Don had in his office?
posted by munichmaiden at 4:30 AM on December 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Decanter idea. A classy crystal or cut glass decanter would look awesome filled with a tasty liqour (pretty sure Don drinks Rye Whiskey). Check vintage shops in your area, this is a great shop in Columbus, OH I can personally recommend.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 6:10 AM on December 20, 2009

Does he have a martini set (shaker + glasses)? Lowballs are another good choice.

The handkerchief is a great idea. I carry one in my pocket always (though I don't wear a suit, so I don't get the dapper effect of a pocket square), and people are always impressed when I pull it out after some appropriate mess.

A safety razor is, IMO, a great gift for any guy, but not really of the era- until '65 (beyond the latest season), the blades were carbon steel instead of stainless, and you don't want that.
posted by mkultra at 6:19 AM on December 20, 2009

Not a fedora.
posted by hermitosis at 6:44 AM on December 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A nice bar set (shaker, cocktail pitcher/stirrer, a few highballs, and a tray) paired with a nice bottle of liquor will go a long way, and remind him of what a good gifter you are every day around 5 o'clock (or earlier, if you're Don).
posted by CharlesV42 at 6:51 AM on December 20, 2009

A safety razor? Apparently it's coming back into favor nowadays as people think they work better and are cheaper than modern disposables, and it's what they would have used back then. It will make your boyfriend feel simultaneously vintage AND ahead of the curve.

Seconding the safety razor, despite what mkultra says. Mr. WanKenobi is a big Mad Men fan and hasn't noticed at all the difference between blade types. The safety razor I bought him (along with a stand, brush, burma shave mug and soap) set me back about a hundred dollars, but is easily one of the best gifts I've ever gotten him. He'd resigned himself to a beard because he used to get irritated by a normal razor, and he loves his new set-up.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:07 AM on December 20, 2009

Don Draper's sunglasses are pretty cool:
posted by digsrus at 9:24 AM on December 20, 2009

Response by poster: Wow--thanks for all the great ideas!!! He already does have a safety razor (it makes him feel more like Don Draper, I think).

delmoi--loved your comment on the chip and dip set!

I'm leaning toward either a flask (he has one. . . but it could be replaced) and especially toward the Zippo lighter. I like all the bar set and drink suggestions too. It's going to be difficult to pick now! All your suggestions have been helpful!

Thank you again!
posted by Dukat at 9:39 AM on December 20, 2009

i'm quite fond of this zippo. while it is a recreation of 1930s zippo - if i remember correctly, it was the model that frank sinatra used (hard to find a cite since frank's face was put on a zippo).
posted by nadawi at 10:10 AM on December 20, 2009

What does your BF drink? Scotch? How about some scotch rocks? They chill drinks without diluting it down.
posted by cazoo at 10:32 AM on December 20, 2009

posted by Sys Rq at 11:40 AM on December 20, 2009

What about this ashtray from Don Draper's desk? We have one, and they're pretty a pretty common find at antique stores. I think ours ran us like $5 or so.

I'm also in favor of the decanter set, along with a nice whiskey. You mentioned he has a safety razor. Does he also have a badger bristle shaving brush? I bought one for my husband a couple years ago, and he is a huge fan. It works much better than shaving cream or gel.
posted by lexicakes at 7:48 PM on December 20, 2009

Vaughn Meader's Kennedy impersonations.
posted by brujita at 9:50 PM on December 20, 2009

It's very late, but I thought I'd post for posterity: AMC posted a Mad Men gift list on the show's blog. There are some ideas in the comments too.
posted by tellumo at 9:26 PM on December 23, 2009

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