Crush Date Night With Our Picks for the Top Dating and Relationship Products
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They say that money can’t buy happiness, and, frankly, the same applies for love. Owning the right products will not make anyone fall for you — at least, we hope not. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t add a little pizzazz to the package with some well-placed purchases — after all, a beautiful picture can certainly benefit from an elegant frame.
To help you put your best foot forward on your path to romantic happiness, AskMen has collected what we think represent the best products for your date-night look, the best drinks for your date-night libations, and, once you’ve settled down a little, the best gifts to present a significant other with. Welcome to the 2022 AskMen Dating Awards, dating and relationship products edition:
Best Date-Night Shirt
Charles Tyrwhitt Cutaway Collar Twill Shirt
A good date-night shirt is the foundation of your look. If your date is anything like most dates, you’ll be seated across from one another, and the thing covering your torso will take up a disproportionate amount of space in your date’s field of vision. You want something that’s nice but not distracting, sturdy without being bulky, breathable without being mesh. Enter our pick, Charles Tyrwhitt’s Cutaway Collar Twill, an elegant take on a classic that can stand on its own or pair well with an extra layer.
Finalists: Roots Herringbone Relaxed Shirt, Report Collection Long Sleeve 4-Way Sport Shirt
Check out the Charles Tyrwhitt Cutaway Collar Twill Shirt
Best Date-Night Pants
Flint and Tinder 365 Pant
When you go dressy with the shirt, it doesn’t hurt to err a little on the side of casual with the pants. That doesn’t mean jeans — denim has many roles in life, but wearing it on a first date is not one of them. You want something with a little stretchiness to it but that’s clearly not a sweatpant. Huckberry’s excellent 365 pants fit the bill perfectly here. You can wear your nice jeans on the second date.
Finalists: Devil Dog Chino Pant, Frank and Oak Slim Fit Corduroy Pant
Check out the Flint and Tinder 365 Pant
Best Date-Night Shoes
P448 Soho White Scored Shoe
There’s a famous adage that women can tell a lot about a man from his shoes, and while that may not apply to AskMen’s gay and queer readers, the point holds — the eyes may be the windows to the soul, but your shoes do tell a story about you. We love the P448 Sohos for the effortlessly casual air they give off; a touch of dressiness with the soul of a sneaker, perfect for coffee dates, bar meetups, and late-night walks in the park.
Finalists: Tropicfeel Sunset Almond White Sneaker, Vintage Foundry Co. Men’s James Loafer
Check out the P448 Soho White Scored Shoe
Best Date-Night Boot
Allen Edmonds Liverpool Chelsea Boot
Sadly, not all dates take place in lovely warm weather. When you need to look good but you also need to protect your ankles from the elements, the date-night boot enters the picture. For the guys going on a hiking date, you might want something a little more rugged, but if you’re in the city, this stylish Chelsea boot from Allen Edmonds is a great pick. The beautiful, smooth leather of the Chili colorway communicates a suave classiness that always goes down well.
Finalists: Dr. Martens 1460 Crazy Horse Leather Lace-Up, Vessi Men’s Weekend Chelsea
Check out the Allen Edmonds Liverpool Chelsea Boot
Best Date-Night Blazer
Joseph Abboud Modern Fit Coat
Most dates don’t require formal — or even business casual — attire. Show up to a dive bar or a movie theater in a full suit and you might get laughed at and/or labeled “Suit Guy” in a group chat later. But if you’re going to a nice bar, a navy blazer over some tan pants can give you a touch of class that will impress many a date. You’ll want something like this Joseph Abboud coat — uncomplicated and accessible, but well-fitting and well-made.
Finalists: Charles Tyrwhitt Proper Blazer, Michael Strahan Classic Fit Sport Coat
Check out the Joseph Abboud Modern Fit Coat
Best Date-Night Jacket
Nobis Maize Bomber Jacket
You’ve seen the movies where the hero puts his jacket over his date’s shoulders, right? It’s no secret that a good jacket is an important element of any date with an outdoor component. This one from Nobis more than fits the bill. It’s light yet warm, simple-looking yet full of lovely design details (like a thick zipper, magnetic-closure pockets and a hidden back vent if you want some air), and damn if it doesn’t look great. Your date may actually swoon when they see you wearing this.
Finalists: Flint and Tinder Flannel-lined Waxed Trucker Jacket, Frank and Oak Skyline Reversible Bomber
Check out the Nobis Maize Bomber Jacket
Best Date-Night Socks
Calvin Klein Flat Knit Logo Dress Socks
The original idea for AskMen occurred in the late ’90s, when our co-founders saw a man in a café wearing a suit paired with white socks, and wondered why no one had told him that was a fashion faux pas. A quarter-century later, the AskMen mission — to help men be their best selves, from what’s in their heads to what’s on their feet — lives on. Suit or no suit, on date night, don’t wear white socks. Instead, wear a pair of dress socks. These classic socks from Calvin Klein are our top pick, with a few color options so you can mix and match depending on your outfit.
Finalists: John Lobb Cabled Cashmere-Blend Socks, Bonobos Supersoft Dress Socks
Check out the Calvin Klein Flat Knit Logo Dress Socks
Best Date-Night Watch
MVMT Legacy Slim
In a date-night watch, you want a few things — something that can tell time, sure, but also something that looks nice, something that’ll impress without intimidating, and something that’ll convey that you’re a man of style and substance. Think more “sleek” and less “bells and whistles,” and definitely not so big it starts to feel like you’re toting around a grandfather clock on your wrist — that’s just gauche. The MVMT Legacy Slim’s clean face and leather strap is a classic combo in an affordable package. That’s the ticket.
Finalists: Orvin ORC3, Skagen Jorn SKW6546
Check out the MVMT Legacy Slim
Best Date-Night Breath Freshener
Snow Arctic Frost Teeth Whitening Mouthwash
If you’ve got even a remote shot at having a goodnight kiss — or several — you want to have breath that smells nice, or at least, not terrible. And if you don’t have a shot at a goodnight kiss, unless your date’s a video-call, you probably still want to have good breath. Enter the Arctic Frost mouthwash by Snow, which will whiten your teeth while it freshens your breath with an icy, minty flavor.
Finalists: Extra Smooth Mint Gum, Ice Breakers Duo Raspberry Breath Mints
Check out the Snow Arctic Frost Teeth Whitening Mouthwash
Best Date-Night Deodorant
Raw Sugar Beach Rose & Aloe Deodorant
The last thing you want from a date-night deodorant is an overpowering, harsh chemical scent. Here, you want something special and elusive, an olfactory treat for when your date gets close enough to smell you. That’s what Raw Sugar delivers — all natural ingredients, environmentally friendly packaging, and tons of pleasant, unique scents that won’t get you mistaken for a frat boy, even if you are one.
Finalists: Dr. Squatch Wood Barrel Bourbon Deodorant, Native Deodorant
Check out the Raw Sugar Beach Rose and Aloe Deodorant
Best Date-Night Hair Styling Product
Kevin Murphy Touchable Wax Spray
Too many guys overdo it in the hair product department, slopping on gunk that turns their locks into something brittle and glossy. If things are going well, your date may want to run their fingers through your hair at some point — so you want a product that offers a flexible hold, rather than super-gluing your strands in place. Kevin Murphy’s world-class hair products are your friend here; its Touchable Wax Spray will keep your look intact without seeming like it’s there at all — hence the “Touchable” in the name. (Plus, it smells delicious.)
Finalists: American Crew Men’s Hair Paste, Scotch Porter Twist and Curl Cream
Check out Kevin Murphy Touchable Wax Spray
Best Date-Night Shaving Tool
Philips Norelco Shaver 7700
If you want to put your best face forward, for a lot of guys that means a clean shave. And sure, you could settle for any old razor, but why not opt for the best? There’s a reason the Philips Norelco 7700 took home the Best Electric Razor award in this year’s AskMen Grooming Awards — it offers an ultra-smooth, high-precision, water-proof shave that simply can’t be beat.
Finalists: Gillette Heated Razor, Freedom FlexSeries Electric Shaver
Check out the Philips Norelco Shaver 7700
Best Date-Night Beard Styler
King C. Gillette Style Master
Maybe what you’re looking for isn’t a baby-smooth face, but rather a distinguished and expertly styled crop of facial hair. If you don’t have the time or the money to get it done at a barber shop, the King C. Gillette Style Master is your lifesaver. With three interchangeable combs, you can easily customize your look, and it’s water-proof, so no worries about getting it wet while you work.
Finalists: The Beard Club PT45 Trimmer, ConairMan Beard & Mustache Trimmer
Check out the King C. Gillette Style Master
Best Date-Night Manscaping Tool
Meridian Trimmer Plus
Remember the last time someone went out with someone and their date said, “Wow, you don’t have nearly enough body hair”? We don’t, either. There’s nothing wrong with going all-natural, but in a world where your date might be paying special attention to their body hair before meeting up with you, a little manscaping is a gesture that won’t go unappreciated. The Meridian Trimmer Plus is more than up to the task; it packs five different comb-length options and an LED light to help you keep an eye on the area you’re trimming. (Also, it’s waterproof, should you plan to get the shave done in the shower to save on time.)
Finalists: RED Precision Blade Cordless Trimmer, baKblade 2.0
Check out the Meridian Trimmer Plus
Best Date-Night Aftershave
Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm
While you might think of it as a watery substance you splash on your face, today’s aftershaves are often a creamier product, like our favorite in this category, the Post Shave Balm from Nivea, which goes on smooth and painless and soothes any cuts, nicks or raw patches like magic.
Finalists: L’Occitane Cap Cédrat After-Shave Cream Gel, Dollar Shave Club Post Shave Dew
Check out Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm
Best Date-Night Cologne
Azzaro Most Wanted Parfum
There’s a reason AskMen named Azzaro Most Wanted a top cuffing season scent last year. This parfum is addictively delicious without being overpowering. It conveys both strength and sensuality, with a strong, manly musk at the base and notes of soft, soothing vanilla layered over it. It’s such an addictive scent it just might have your date leaning in close to get another whiff.
Finalists: diptyque Eau Rihla Eau de Parfum, Parfums de Marly Haltane
Check out Azzaro Most Wanted Parfum
Best Date-Night Candle
Aerangis Aging Spirits Candle
You’ve heard the phrase “candlelit dinner” before, right? We may be in an age of high-tech lighting options, but sometimes the most romantic approach is a small touch of fire. Thankfully, modern candles are hardly medieval concoctions; they’re expertly crafted to burn perfectly and to give off incredibly pleasing scents. The aromatically delicious Aging Spirits candle from Aerangis will delight your nostrils with a sweet scent that calls to mind maple candy and bourbon.
Finalists: Aesop Aganice Aromatique Candle, Paddywax Apothecary Tobacco & Patchouli Candle
Check out Aerangis Aging Spirits Candle
Best Date-Night Mood Lighting
Globe Electric Smart Color Changing RGB Tunable White Bulb
If your lighting ambitions go beyond candlelight, you might be in the mood for some mood lighting. It’s no secret that lighting can dramatically change the vibe of a situation; warm light and cool light communicate vastly different energies, and colorful lights can go well beyond that. Enter Globe Suite’s smart bulbs, which enable you to take total control of your lighting environment via a mobile app. You can choose the warmth, intensity, brightness, color and even set the bulb to rotate through themed patterns like “Jungle,” “Ocean” or “Volcano.”
Finalists: BioLite AlpenGlow 500, X-Cheng Sunset Projection Lamp
Check out the Globe Electric Smart Color Changing RGB Tunable White Bulb
Best Date-Night Beer
1664 Kronenbourg Blanc
If there’s one way to alienate a date, it’s handing them an IPA. The bitter-heavy beer trend is on the downslope these days, and there’s a good chance your date will thank you for steering towards something a bit less cantankerous. Like the effortlessly drinkable 1664 Kronenbourg Blanc, for example, a delicious French wheat beer with a subtle fruity essence that stands apart from its peers.
Finalists: Blue Moon Belgian White Wheat Craft Beer, New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale
Check out 1664 Kronenbourg Blanc
Best Date-Night Wine
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
While red wine is often a good choice — particularly during the colder months — white has the advantage of not being a stain risk, either for your clothes, your furniture, or your teeth and lips. This New Zealand white is a delicious tipple that has been recognized by both Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirits. It could easily become your go-to white, date night or not.
Finalists: Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio
Check out Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
Best Date-Night Liquor
Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky
When it comes to a date-night liquor, don’t overcomplicate things. You want something sippable and nice but not unreasonably expensive — you may not see this person again, after all. While you can pour different liquors into lots of beverages for a great mixed drink, whiskey is the classic go-to for liquor that can be enjoyed neat, and Maker’s is a delicious, sweet-spot bourbon: It’s widely available, broadly palatable and worth savoring on its own, but it’s not family-heirloom material.
Finalists: Hendrick’s Gin, Casamigos Blanco
Check out Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky
Best Date-Night Hard Seltzer
White Claw Black Cherry
Whether or not you’ve been paying close attention to the hard seltzer trend in recent years, there’s a reason White Claw has become a household name over that span, and the Black Cherry may be their flagship flavor. Low in sugar, carbs and calories, with a delicious cherry taste, this could be a great refreshing nightcap beverage as you and your date come down from a hectic night out.
Finalists: Topo Chico Strawberry Guava, Vizzy Pineapple Mango
Check out White Claw Black Cherry Hard Seltzer
Best Date-Night Cocktail
Bulleit Crafted Cocktail Old Fashioned
Whether you’re having someone back to your place or going on a picnic date and want something with a little kick, a pre-made cocktail is a great option for all of us who aren’t bartenders. Bulleit whiskey’s been part of many a cocktail over the years, but their new pre-made cocktails are a delight. At 75 proof (37.5% ABV), they’re booze-forward but they don’t lose any of the complexity of flavor you’d expect from a good old-fashioned.
Finalists: Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock and Rye, Onda Sparkling Tequila Blood Orange
Check out the Bulleit Crafted Cocktail Old Fashioned
Best Date-Night Non-Alcoholic Beer
Heineken Non-Alcoholic 0.0 Lager
Thankfully, people who abstain from alcohol are no longer on the outside looking in, as the past few years have seen an explosion in non-alcoholic beverage options. If you, your date or both of you are looking to crack a brewski without experiencing the effects of alcohol, you can’t go wrong with Heineken’s fully alcohol-free lager.
Finalists: Guinness Zero Non-Alcoholic Beer, Athletic Lite Non-Alcoholic Brew
Check out the Heineken Non-Alcoholic 0.0 Lager
Best Engagement Ring
Blue Nile Petite Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring
This might just be the biggest moment of your life thus far, so no sweat. Just get down on one knee and pop this bad boy out. Presuming you’ve done at least a little due diligence and aren’t, say, proposing to a shy person on the Jumbotron at a baseball game, your love and dedication will shine through in the form of the Blue Nile Petite Cathedral, a sly but chic twist on an everlastingly classic look.
Finalists: Allurez Solitaire Two-Tone Engagement Ring, Zany & Shy Lynn Ring
Check out the Blue Nile Petite Cathedral Solitaire Engagement Ring
Best Wedding Ring
Nak Armstrong Wrap Ring
Gold? Silver? Diamonds galore? How about none of the above? Blow all the other married couples out of the water with this impossibly gorgeous rose gold band from Nak Armstrong, which elegantly balances complexity with simplicity, style with substance, and softness with control.
Finalists: Gabriel & Co Soren Wedding Band, Or & Elle Éternité Ring
Check out the Nak Armstrong Wrap Ring
Best Cubic Zirconia Ring
Sterling Forever Turquoise Marquise Band
There are rules that say you’re supposed to spend X amount of your annual salary on an engagement ring, but that is basically just diamond-industry propaganda. If you want the exciting moment and the nice pictures but you simply don’t have a diamond budget (which is the case for a lot of guys), there’s no harm in going the cubic zirconia route — provided you don’t try to lie about the ring to your partner. Sterling Forever has a gorgeous selection of options here, but we love this band featuring a little turquoise for a unique pop of color.
Finalists: Petite Princess Cut Engagement Band, Pavoi Gold Twisted Rope Eternity Band
Check out the Sterling Forever Turquoise Marquise Band
Best Anniversary Gift Jewelry
Pdpaola Bond Necklace
Jewelry can make a beautiful gift, and spending a lot can convey how much someone means to you, but beautiful, expensive jewelry that also has some symbolism to it? That’s the real deal. Inject a little bit of romance back into things with the Pdpaola Bond necklace — your little way of telling your partner you’ve still got them on lock.
Finalists: Octavia Elizabeth Nesting Gem Bracelet, Made by Mary Pearl Choker Necklace
Check out the Pdpaola Bond Necklace
Best Anniversary Gift Flowers
Venus et Fleur Ela Marble Vase
There’s nothing wrong with getting flowers for an anniversary, but when you’re celebrating your relationship’s longevity, getting something that’ll wilt and wither within days might not send the right signal. Thankfully, advances in flower technology in recent years allow for real rose blossoms to stay fresh and beautiful for much longer than they can naturally. A number of different brands are operating in this space; we’re partial to Venus et Fleur’s offering, which pairs two long-lasting roses with an elegant white marble vase.
Finalists: The Million Roses Classic White Dome Box, Eternal Roses Empire White Gift Box
Check out the Venus et Fleur Ela Marble Vase
Best Anniversary Gift Experience
Oftentimes the best gift isn’t an object, it’s an experience. Tinggly understands this all too well — it’s a service premised on the idea that we should “give stories, not stuff.” So whether you’re sending your partner on a solo trip to relax or booking a couples experience that you can cherish together, a Tinggly box might just be the best gift you can give.
Finalists: Getaway Cabin Rental, Luxury Lifestyle Vacations
Best Romantic Anniversary Gift
Anniversary Memory Collection Art by Claire and Jon Osbourne
Nothing’s more romantic than remembering all the good times you’ve had together. Bring them to life here with a piece of custom wall art that incorporates the beautiful memories you’ve made together in a winning minimalist package.
Finalists: Custom Starry Maps Print, Love Poems by Pablo Neruda
Check out the Anniversary Memory Collection Art by Claire and Jon Osbourne
Best Elegant Anniversary Gift
Hudson’s Bay Sterling Stripe Cashmere Wrap
Sometimes a few years into a relationship, your partner needs to be reminded that you think they’re a bit of a movie star and that the years haven’t made things boring or humdrum. A gift of an elegant, chic, expensive accessory is a great way to convey that you’re still in love with them — like this cashmere scarf from Hudson’s Bay, which channels rustic cabin vibes through a ’40s film noir femme fatale lens.
Finalists: Montblanc Meisterstück Cufflinks, MVMT Profile Watch
Check out the Hudson’s Bay Sterling Stripe Cashmere Wrap
Best Fun Anniversary Gift
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera
What were we saying about experiences being the best gifts? Sure, memories are nice — but as they say, “Take a picture, it’ll last longer.” And while high-tech DSLRs or multi-megapixel phone cameras have their place, the Fujifilm Instax line of cameras, which print physical copies of the photos after you take them, have a romantic charm that can’t be denied.
Finalists: A Tale of Two Titties Coloring Book, Where Should We Begin Card Game
Check out the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera
Best Sensual Anniversary Gift
Tabu Golden Hour Kit
Want a gift that rekindles the spark of the sexy in your relationship without going all-out XXX? You want a sensual gift — something that’s arousing and maybe even erotic but not quite X-rated. Something steamy, something right on the precipice of sex. Enter Tabu’s Golden Hour Kit, which packs a vibrator and some lube but with the goal of sexual health and restoration rather than pure pleasure. Classy much?
Finalists: HighOnLove Dark Chocolate Body Paint, JimmyJane Massage Candle
Check out the Tabu Golden Hour Kit
Best Sexy Anniversary Gift
Upko F*ck Me Leather Handcuffs
OK, but sometimes you want a gift that rekindles the spark of sexy in a purely sexual, raunchy way. With their gold letters and crystal detailing, Upko’s black leather handcuffs perfectly straddle the line between upscale and downright nasty, and that’s a fun place to be if either you or your partner likes to be cuffed and then… cuffed backward.
Finalists: Zalo Queen Swarovski Vibrator, fleur du mal Lily Embroidery Cupped Bodysuit
Check out the Upko F*ck Me Leather Handcuffs
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