250x250Hardly anyone looks forward to wrapping their Christmas presents, and of that few that do get some odd perverse enjoyment from this, very few people are actually any good at it. In fact because of this fact the sale of decorated gift bags have sky rocketing in the last five years. Now as you all know by now we at Clothes Make The Man get great enjoyment out of making your life easier and so to finish off our essential guide to all things Christmassy we have sort the wrapping advice of an EXPERT. Yes, none other then QVC Presenter and all round Crafting Genius, yes and I don’t use that word freely, Stephanie Weightman ! Let me leave you in very skilled hands;

Wrapping Presents (Lo Res)

 

 

For more information on Stephanie or tips on Crafting go to Crafting.co.uk

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250x250As we hurtle closer to the big day, there is always, that male relative who is especially hard to buy for, why ? Because he has everything !!!!! You ask him every year, what do you want for Christmas ? Or you think you have the perfect gift idea, until you see him with it already ! Arghhhhhhhh how infuriating it is year in year out, well no longer, hear me, no longer. We at Clothes make the man hear and feel your pain and so we got our thinking cap on because, well we are those men who have everything and we can empathise, because, well me know how hard we are to buy for, so here are some ideas, folks.

 

 

What better gift idea for the man who has everything other then SOCKS ! No not just any old sock the finest Cashmere socks from Patherella from the finest of Sock e-tailers. Richmondsocks.com

What better gift idea for the man who has everything other then SOCKS ! No not just any old sock the finest Cashmere socks from Patherella from the finest of Sock e-tailers. Richmondsocks.com

 

Like us all the Man who has everything DOES have down time and like us all is partial to a spot of LEGO. Hey, this isn't building a car or a house, oh no this is Architecture LEGO that has taken some of the finest examples of Modern Architecture and transported it to the world of the brick. See the Guggenheim Museum here, but you can also acquire the Sydney Opera House, The Empire State Building and  Burj Khalifa.

Like us all the Man who has everything DOES have down time and like us all is partial to a spot of LEGO. Hey, this isn’t building a car or a house, oh no this is Architecture LEGO that has taken some of the finest examples of Modern Architecture and transported it to the world of the brick. See the Guggenheim Museum here, but you can also acquire the Sydney Opera House, The Empire State Building and Burj Khalifa.

 

 

Mere mortal trainers like what we wear just don't cut the mustard. Check these bag boys out from Gucci, no less.

Mere mortal trainers like what we wear just don’t cut the mustard. Check these bag boys out from Gucci, no less.

 

The Man who has everything, finally will have when he unwraps this beauty from Parda come Christmas Morn.

The Man who has everything, finally will have when he unwraps this beauty from Prada come Christmas Morn.

 

Of Course, Smythsons of Bond St, personalised Stationery, an ideal gift, when one is stuck for what to get for that bligher !

Of Course, Smythson of Bond St, personalised Stationery, an ideal gift, when one is stuck for what to get for that bligher !

 

If you wish to share the same Tailor as 007 himself. Seek out the service of Designer extraordinaire Mr Tom Ford. Yes, you will have to dig deep into those perfectly bespoke pockets, but it'll be worth it, trust me.

If you wish to share the same Tailor as 007 himself. Seek out the service of Designer extraordinaire Mr Tom Ford. Yes, you will have to dig deep into those perfectly bespoke pockets, but it’ll be worth it, trust me.

 

You can't buy the man who has everything a simple off the shelf scent ! He can't be smelling the same as us plebs. Invest in a signature fragrance for him. Boutique fragrance house Miller Harris offer this service where they will literally create your own scent, specifically for you from your instructions and personally preferences.

You can’t buy the man who has everything a simple off the shelf scent ! He can’t be smelling the same as us plebs. Invest in a signature fragrance for him. Boutique fragrance house Miller Harris offer this service where they will literally create your own scent, specifically for you from your instructions and personally preferences.

 

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X-boxes, i-Pads, Playstations and Nintendos are all good and well and don’t get me wrong they have their place in gifting. But you won’t find them in this Gift guide, NO, we’ve decided to take it back and look at gifts that Santa himself would relish taking down the chimney. So if your stuck for something to buy for the lil tikes in your life, then here you go, plus we’ve selected gifts that, you know, you might even have some fun and enjoy yourself with.

 

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom we’re going to the moon in this Cardboard Rocket by Cardboardtoys.com. OK maybe don’t leave it outside over night, not in this weather.

 

The Force will be strong in you if you go for some of the great clothes for kids of a younger age group from sotinylondon.com With images as diverse and iconic as Stone Roses, Star Wars, The Rolling Stones and Batman amongst others, have your offspring looking the coolest in the playground.

 

You can’t beat a board game after a spot of Roast dinner and before a turkey and stuffing sandwich and what better board game the the daddy of them all Monopoly. But this is no ordinary Monopoly, ohhh no, this is Monopoly Millionaire. Your playing with the big boys now.

 

Go all Retro on them and go for some Swedish Hasbeen shoes.

 

What kid wouldn’t want to wake up on Christmas Morn and have the Millennium Falcon in LEGO to play with and if you wanted to “help” build it, I’m sure it would be appreciated and maybe even play with it on your own at some point, even.

 

What boy or girl, no matter their age, could resist this Multi play Table from Tesco.com games from table football to pool and ping pong !!!!

 

Anyone for Quidditch ? Of course in the Gryffindor stripe ! This was one of the recommendations from Harrods themselves !

 

The hot toy for this Yuletide is a bit of a retro throw back in Furby, it was annoying in the 1990’s and if anything they are even more so now, but with more technological advances !!!

 

They’ll be rockin around the Christmas Tree when they see this great Rocking Horse pendant by Ted Baker

 

Yee-ha Cowboy jump on the back of Jnr Bobbin from Joules

 

ZZZzzzzzzzzz

This coming Friday,  yes Friday 14th December is the most popular date for Office Christmas parties, this year. You and your colleagues from offices and places of work up and down the land will be coming, or should I say thrown, together to celebrate the Yuletide season. The Office Christmas party is up there with a UN Peace Conference or a Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, for being a potential volatile environment. Ken in Accounts getting into a fight with Bill from Marketing or Peter from Head Office being caught in the disabled toilets with Karen from HR or Susan from from the Kendal office being in tears because Nigel from I.T. who were smooching to Wham’s Last Christmas, had gone in for a snog and Susan has just got engaged to Paul and sees Nigel as just a friend. Ohhhh Office Christmas Do’s can be great fun, honest, but there are a couple of golden rules that you need to adhere to, to stop that FEAR when you awake on Saturday morning-ish.

Do: Enjoy yourself, get to know your colleagues a little better, but not too much better, if you know what I mean, cough, First aid cupboard.

Don’t be the talk of the office on Monday

Don’t: Goes without saying Don’t drink and drive, book a cab beforehand.

Do:  Treat people as you would like to be treated, remember that one, not always easy but in the long run it’s the best way.

Don’t: Be the talk of the Office on Monday Morning leave that to someone else.

Do: Be fun, til the season to be jolly.

Don’t: photocopy your bits and bobs (Or at least don’t get caught)

Don’t: Sit in the corner and sulk, It’s a party, have fun.

Do: Dance, it’s Christmas ! In the words of Noddy Holder of Slade.

Ohhhh I’ll see you in court !

Don’t: Bring a dodgy friend that may get into a fight or decide to dance on the desks.

Do: Be cordial to that person that does your head in. It is Christmas so try to put on your happy face on, if just for one night.

Don’t: Decide it’s a great time to tell your co-workers what you really think. How you are sick of him/her not pulling their weight. Speaking of weight, do not mention how he/she could do with losing a few pounds, NO !.

Do: Keep the conversation upbeat and casual, til the season to be jolly, after all.

Don’t: Get into office politics, it’s easy to fall into this trap. Work is common ground so inevitably the conversation will be work based. Try not to talk about Sandra’s boyfriend or the fact that she’s going through her third divorce.

I can feel that hangover from here

Do: Dress well, if your office is a suited one, still dress smart but wear a decent pair of jeans, don’t end up looking like Jeremy Clarkson, think more Gary Barlow or Ryan Gosling.

Don’t: Wear a novelty Christmas Clothing, it might be a party but you do want to keep your dignity and want people to see you as professional come Monday.

Do: Talk to your boss. If it’s at your boss’s house, thank him or her for having you, it’s polite.

Don’t: Decide it’s a good time to talk about a raise or Christmas bonus. Maybe bonuses were cut this year, if you are deeply upset by this, maybe you should give it a miss, yeah.

The Ideal Outfit for your Office Party

 

This Black velvet jacket by Ted Baker is not only festive and bang on trend but will have you feeling like 007 when you enter the room and play, go for it wear it with a pocket square, if someone dares, take the mick, put them in there place with a witty put down like, “Did we get dressed in the dark again” or “What are you wearing to the party tonight ?”

 

Keep it simple and this shirt from Mark & Spencer will have you looking $1000,000 even though it costs just a faction of that. Team this black shirt with the black velvet jacket for a sophisticated look. Plus it won’t show the sweat from a boogie on the dance floor or if you spill a drink down yourself. These things happen !

 

Now yes its an Office party and you want to keep an air of professionalism, but it is a party with these jeans from Albam not only are you giving a casual element to this look but you are putting it out there, “Yep I know how to dress.”

 

Finish the look with these little beauties from Grenson @ MrPorter.com. Please trust me don’t ruin this perfect outfit with novelty socks or tie, keep it simply and trust me if you go with this outfit for your your office party, you will have a great time and if you following the golden rules. I just think that promotion AND rise might just be in the bag.

 

 

If you’re feeling a little more Bah Humbug than I wish it could be Christmas Everyday and want to partake in a soup-son of  the Christmas Spirit – we don’t condone drinking too much Christmas Spirit, everything in moderation please. Well, we’ve gathered together our collective knowledge at Clothes-make-the-man of Christmas Markets and rather then you waste your time going to some dank, miserable half hearted affair where Santa stinks of a cocktail of moth balls and Vodka and the Christmas Products on sale amount to a knitted Nativity scene and toilet roll Snowmen, we’ve got a selection of the best around.

Yes Manchester, although the holder of the crown for traditional Shopping mecca of the North of the UK; Manchester also has a rip roaring Christmas Market thats up there with pretty much the best around. It’s been running a Germany Style Christmas Market since 1999 and although starting off in very modest terms taking up St Ann’s Square over the years it has continued to grow in both size and popularity. Only last weekend it had a recording breaking 85,000 attendees in the Albert Square market alone and the stalls, entertainment and general Christmassness stretches pretty much throughout the City Centre now taking in not only Albert Square but the new Spinfields Shopping area (with an ice rink), St Anne’s Square through to the Triangle past Harvey Nichols and Selfridges and then right up Market St and into the revamped Piccadilly Gardens, phew. Traders from as far away as Lapland and Transylvania have come to the city to run more than 300 stalls, selling everything from Traditional Continental Christmas Decorations and food tasting to Madchester Memorabilia and it runs right up to 23rd December.

Edinburgh next, yes moving up a little further North of the border, explore Edinburgh’s renowned German Christmas Market for unusual gift ideas such as handmade decorations and unique craft items. Warm up with a mug of Glühwein, red wine that is heated with cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, citrus and sugar and try some traditional German fare including biscuits, sweets and venison burgers. Right up until Christmas Eve Edinburgh has events occurring including the Great Santa Run on the 9th down West Princes Street Gardens to the Ethical Christmas Fair from 8th on Castle Street.

On to the Capital of the UK, London, where you’re rather spoilt for choice, but we’re concentrating mainly on the Southbank’s Christmas Market. Firstly, whatever you do DON’T Drive in, take Public transport, with Waterloo, Blackfriars, Embankment, even Covent Garden tube stations all very accessible to it and countless bus routes don’t bring the car ! This market is still the new kid on the block when it comes to Christmas Markets, but what it lacks in age it more then makes up for in attracting crowds. It stretches along the South bank of the Thames from Borough Market down at London Bridge right the way along to past the London Eye and along to the Houses of Parliament. 80 authentically decorated wooden chalets will sell you a whole host of Christmassy products all offered in a magical winter atmosphere.

Now, we couldn’t do Christmas Markets without mentioning Winter WonderlandThink if Disney were to do a Christmas theme park, independent of its own Theme parks of course, then that’s Winter Wonderland. Housed within Hyde Park so close to Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge, Victoria and Marble Arch tube stations. This Christmas Wonderland not only includes a Christmas Market, not a great one, please tell me who would want to buy a wooden tie or a CND symbol wind chime ???? but it does have a Yuletide themed Fairground, a Zippo Circus, an ICE AGE 4(the film) Ice rink and An Ice Kingdom (the clue is in the name). Plus I have a couple of pieces of advice which are specifically for Winter Wonderland, but can equally be for all the other locations. I have to say firstly, Winter Wonderland is brilliant ! but –

1) Either go early, i.e. 10am when it opens or 7pm ish (it closes at 10pm), it is even more magical in the dark I have to say & the mulled wine seems to go down better than 10 in the morning. Now the reason for this pearl of wisdom is, IT GETS HORRENDOUSLY busy, every day of the week.

2) Go to a cash machine before you get there, although they have introduced more cash machines within the park this year, still go to go beforehand, trust me.

3) Its lovely to taste festive cuisines from around the world, well mainly Germany, but if your hungry you don’t wanna be queuing for the best part of 45 minutes for essentially a hot dog and charged, lets just say, inflated prices. There are literally hundreds of restaurants near to Hyde Park, The Worsley(one of the best Restaurants in London) is near Green Park Station, to Ask, La Tasca, Pizza Express, McDonalds (even) and lots of pubs near to Victoria Station. Ohh and by the way its here until the last day of Christmas 6th January.

Last, but by no means least is the Daddy or even Grandaddy of Christmas Markets, Bath. Located in the heart of the City close to the Roman Baths and the famous Pump rooms(good idea for a spot of Christmas lunch or afternoon tea, how civilised). The market consists of over 140 individual wooden chalet style stalls, each one offering quality products and brilliant gift ideas. From handmade crafts, unique jewellery pieces and decorations, to locally produced food and drink, you will find it easy to find that special ingredient for the most memorable and treasured gifts. However, get your skates on if your fancy a bit of Bath as their Christmas market only runs til 9th December(I have no idea why).