Tis the season for self-gifting: Take advantage of holiday prices on these 8 items

Yes, the holidays are about giving to others – but that doesn’t mean you can’t also take advantage of the offers.

How do you give a gift?

Do you start looking for inspiration months before the holidays and building a meticulous list?

Or are you a gonzo married, flash shops, Amazon and gift guides at the last minute?

Whatever your style, one of the very best things about Christmas shopping is the time-honored tradition of self-gifting.

Be honest: Who hasn’t picked up a selection or two for themselves in the middle of shopping for friends and loved ones?

Some of my friends admit it, but guilty, like the holidays are about selfless generosity. I reject that. I argue for Holidays are actually one of the best times to shop for yourself. What is my justification?

First, it is effective: you are already browsing and is likely to come across a product, service or experience without any dedicated effort.

Secondly the holiday shopping months offer the biggest offers and discounts of the year on lots of things that are not only perfect gifts, but that we wear or use in our own lives. When you zoom out and get past the idea that you’re ‘supposed’ to shop for other people, you realize it makes sense to spend, finding a few deals for yourself along the way.

Self-gifts should be about the functional goods and services that will make a huge improvement in your life, especially if they are a bit of an investment because they will be the cheapest they are all year.

1. Upgrade your underwear

Underwear is a very personal item and can get expensive, making it perfect for self-gifting. Besides, what guy wants to ask his mom for underwear for Christmas?

Underwear is the most important part of your wardrobe that most people never see, which means it’s easy to neglect. But that doesn’t mean you have to.

Comfortable, durable underwear that still retains its fabric elasticity equals all-day comfort because it won’t cling, scratch or sag like a pair past its prime.

Quality drawers also provide the confidence you get from knowing your intimate regions are well represented, sartorially speaking, if your date (or relationship!) is going well.

Let’s get real: How many pairs of tired, frayed, overstretched knickers that should only be kept for emergency wash day do you currently have in your daily rotation? If the answer is more than one, it’s time to cull the herd and upgrade.

However, upgrading can be painful. Unless you’re a cleanliness freak – or have one $800 laundry folding robot – you need 10+ pairs to see you through a typical week of work, gym and sleep. The number increases if you practice the 2-a-day rule: a fresh pair in the morning and a fresh pair after a workout. Upgrading your entire inventory will be expensive.

On Black Friday and the holiday months, underwear might be one of the last things you think about buying, but it’s a missed opportunity – you can find premium brands at heavy discounts.

2. The deepest discount on nicer brands that rarely go on sale

Some brands – ahem Gap, J.Crew – build their entire P&L around deep sales all year, but plenty of love-to-have brands only offer one sale a year. And that sale will most likely happen during Black Friday and the holidays.

Brands like Schott, Tanner Goods, Corridor, Taylor Stitch and many mom-and-pop style brands are offering their best sales during Black Friday…why would you does not add to cart if you haven’t seen something in a while?

Although it is possible to get some items from some brands with bigger discounts than during the holidays, it is usually relegated to sales, which means the chance to get something in size and color you want is a tense roll of the dice.

3. Hobbies you love

If you’re anything like me, you have a hard time spending money on hobbies you actually love. Sure, paying $100 for work pants, sure. I understand paying the extra $5 for the healthier brand. Paying $500 for a course that will advance my skills or career, wise investment.

But when it comes to those things, I love to make just because i love making themit’s always such a nightmare, should I or shouldn’t I.

For me, I love composing music in my down time. I do it sporadically and I have no interest in pursuing it beyond that. While I enjoy it – $500 for a new legato string library… that’s a tough sell.

However, Black Friday and the holidays are when you’re most likely to find these hobby items on sale, whether it’s sports equipment, music equipment, beer brewing equipment, or basket weaving equipment. with sighadult responsibility, it’s hard to justify the cost the rest of the year, and many of these things are just too expensive to ask for as gifts.

If you’re ever going to buy it, Black Friday is the day to do it. Consider this permission to invest in something you enjoy.

4. New styles you’re curious about but not quite into

For me, one of the biggest bottlenecks in developing my personal style is not wanting to pay too much for something I won’t end up wearing. But the answer can’t just be buying styles, you’re sure, otherwise you’ll just buy and wear the same thing forever.

Regardless of where you come down on specific trends, the reality is, over a long enough timeline, fit, patterns, colors and combinations come and go. The Primer philosophy is two-fold: Anchor your style in a more lasting aesthetic; and pay sensibly for things you experiment with. There will rarely be a better time than Black Friday to pay less than you would for better quality clothing.

5. Big ticket items

Even with brands that offer relatively consistent sales throughout the year, you almost always run into the dreaded fine print: “blackouts.”

Bigger ticket items like leather jackets, nice denim (and even not-so-nice denim), wool dress pants and others are often excluded from a regular weekend sale.

But on Black Friday, most retailers offer straight cuts in-store or site-wide. This means that if you have a favorite pair of more expensive chinos that rarely go on sale, Black Friday weekend is the sensible time to get that second color you’ve been needing.

6. Correct running shoes

Do you have the right sports shoes for your biomechanics and fitness application?

Unless your answer is something like, “I’m a heel-striker with moderate pronation who does best in a medium-supportive shoe,” probably not.

Improper shoe fit, outerwear and poor shoe construction are a leading cause of running injuries. The same is the case with cross-training and fitness applications. How many times have you seen a guy on the treadmill in Chuck Taylors? His knees won’t thank him at 50.

Fortunately, the science of shoe fitting and building materials has come a long way. Most shoes have a maximum lifespan of around 500 miles, which is easy to log even if you’re not a dedicated runner. And any sign of excessive wear – or joint pain – means it’s time to trade them in.

So for this pair, invest time and money in a pair of running shoes that are best for your body and activity.

Most dedicated running shops have the equipment to perform gait analysis, determine if yours is neutral, pronating or supinating, and recommend the right type of trainer for your biomechanics.

They can also break down the different levels of shoes and looking at dedicated running shoe brands like Brooks, Mizuno, New Balance and Asics will add little to the price but a lot to the quality. The trick to saving on running shoes is that…they’re all kinds of ugly anyway. Buy what works for your bodythough that model is a few seasons old, on Black Friday clearance, and looks like something Steve Jobs wore to work.

Click here to find a running store near you.

7. Find out your ancestry (and more)

23 and me pioneered home gene testing kits and in the process gained a lot of buzz – so much so that there is a subgenre of Youtube videos of people revealing their parentage.

Apart from the (potentially) surprising and absolutely interesting insight into your heritage, jumping into the in-depth Health & Wellness package opens up a whole host of useful information.

23andMe offers 10+ reports on genetic health risks (like Parkinson’s), if you’re a carrier of conditions (like hereditary hearing loss), and “fun reports,” like your biological tendency toward unbrow-ism.

It’s the perfect balance between insight and practicality – you have a conversation for the holiday meal and data you can use to plan your healthcare for decades to come.

It’s so reliably on sale during Black Friday and the holidays that you’d be crazy to buy it at any other time of year.

8. Store sweaters

banana republic sweater with shawl collar
This Banana Republic Shawl Collar Sweater was on sale last Black Friday (similar)

You have no doubt received many sweaters over the years as Christmas presents.

You might have assumed it was because Aunt Dorothy or your college sweetheart or whoever was trying to upgrade your closet or improve your style.

But that is not the real reason.

In the run up to the holidays, shirts is reduced more than at any other time during the year. You can easily find well-made knitwear for under $50, and if you’re a diligent DIYer, while you’re out doing your holiday shopping spree, you can even find cashmere jerseys at the lowest you will see them. Retailers are banking on last-minute shoppers snapping up a sweater in a stressed panic—it’s a safe and modest gift for every member of the family.

So don’t feel guilty when none of the 5 jerseys in your bag are for anyone but you. Know that you are getting the best offer of the year.

What are your favorite DIY gifts for Christmas? How will you TYS (Treat Yo Self) this year?

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