Columnist's Corner

Two Ears and a Tale says I see London, I see France, I get you some...

Don't know what to get your boyfriend, brother, or that oh-so-helpful UPS delivery guy? Underwear never fails. Most fellas will wear them till they've disintegrated, and while I'm all in favor of boys losing their drawers, I furnish the men in my life with fresh pairs annually. There's something sweetly subversive about Faconnable's floral-print boxer shorts ($35/pair from Nordstrom, 500 Pine, 628-2111), but if you simply must showcase masculinity down to the last stitch, J. Crew makes a spiffy line emblazoned with fishing lures, football players, dogs, motorcycles, and such (two pair/$25 from J. Crew, 600 Pine, 652-9788).

Treat the DJ in your life to an uplifting history lesson with the quadruple LP vinyl version of David Mancuso Presents the Loft (on Nuphonic/STUD!O K7), an 18-track collection brimming with underground dance classics—most long out of print—by Patti Labelle, Crown Heights Affair, War, Manu Dibango, and more ($40 from Beats International, 1560 E Olive Wy, 324-5121). Or encourage them to display the cover art of select treasures with The Record Album Frame ($12.95 from Restoration Hardware, 600 Pine, 652-4545).

When you spend all day pecking away at a laptop, the contemplative, methodical discipline of writing with an old-fashioned typewriter can prove very romantic. Occupied Seattle in Belltown gets a steady stream of vintage ones, like the sexy Olivetti Lettera 32 we perused ($35 from Occupied Seattle, 2323 Second, 448-9005). They also have fantastic furniture, including molded Eames school desks as pictured in the stunning Library of Congress exhibition catalog The Work of Charles and Ray Eames (published by Abrams, $49.50 in hardback from Restoration Hardware).

Try the beauty supply aisle for stocking stuffers. The close-cropped cutie on your list can affix everything—including those wiry gray strays—with Murray's Super Light Pomade and Hair Dressing ($2.50/3-ounce tin from Vain, 2222 Second, 441-3441). For those of us who spend hours at the gym (or at least the locker room), the soccer fans at Kiehl's offer Klaus Heidegger's All-Sport Every Day Shampoo with Chamomile ($11.95 for 8 fl. oz. from Zebra Club, 1901 First, 448-7452). Can you think of a nicer gift than an opportunity to lather up with a World Cup champion?

 
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