11 December 2021

Gifting: Outerwear & Aging Gracefully

An essay by Aleks Cvetkovic

Friend and journalist Aleks Cvetkovic shares his thoughts on gifting and the beauty of clothes that age gracefully.

There’s an art to giving a gift that will stay with the recipient over time, somehow. So often, gifts are only things that you experience for a few brief moments; that new bottle of expensive booze or box of chocolates invariably disappears over a night or two.

One of the reasons I love giving or receiving clothes is that they are the sort of object that can stay with you indefinitely – for as long as you enjoy wearing them. Of course, there’s also an art to choosing the right piece of clothing to give as a gift. For one, I always try to give pieces that will go on a journey with their wearer, substantial garments like jackets or coats that are robust enough to follow their new owner though life and which have enough substance in their fabrication to gracefully change in character over time. A good example is Stòffa’s signature peached cotton flight jacket. My own dark brown version was a gift to myself (I think this still counts) that I purchased close to seven years ago, now.

"A good example is Stòffa's signature flight jacket. My own dark brown version was a gift to myself that I purchased close to seven years ago, now."

In the time it’s been worn, it has changed substantially; the brushed cotton has grown even softer and more velvety, the jacket’s structure has relaxed, the pockets have broken in and it’s picked up more than a few red wine stains to boot. It tells a story and it’s full of memories – reminders of great evenings with friends spent wearing what has become an old, faithful companion.

In the right hands, outerwear pieces even have the potential to reach heirloom status, passing from one generation to another – I’ve lost count of the number of lovely pieces I’ve passed onto younger cousins or nephews over the years. Personally, I can think of few gifts with more potential to keep on giving, and few gifts with the potential to be as long-lasting.

Aleks Cvetkovic is freelance journalist and content strategist. He writes on men’s style for publications including FT How To Spend It, Monocle, British GQ and Robb Report, among others. He also hosts HandCut Radio, a critically acclaimed podcast that interviews key personalities in men’s style, media and luxury. He lives in north east London.

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