Guys are the worst to shop for. You might think it’d be women, what with their stores’ inconsistent sizing and multitude of options, but they’ve got an embarrassment of riches to choose from. Just ask what they want – and if they have no idea, you’ll never go wrong with some flowers, a home cooked meal, and something small and heart felt.
But guys. Man. In addition to us being difficult, there’s just not as much out there! Luckily, we’ve done some digging. I call this list “What do get the man who has everything, but…”
What to get the man who has everything, but can’t remember what he did last Tuesday.
I love my Google calendar – but nine times out of ten, I don’t remember to put stuff in it. Which makes it pretty useless to keep track of things that happened in the past. What to do?
The Standard Memorandum is perfect – it’s almost pocket sized (and, more appropriately, perfectly briefcase sized), and it has all the right touches. Each page is a week, and gives you just enough room to jot down some notes about your day and plan out your next week. Plus, you’ll look a lot more sophisticated whipping this out to make a date than you will your smartphone.
What to get the man who has everything, but wishes he could be just a little bit more stylish.
Everyone knows that guy – the one who puts a lot of energy into being a perfectionist in every part of his life, but just can’t seem to get his act together when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. Maybe it’s the fact that he doesn’t have time after going to the gym five days a week, or that he spends too much time perfecting his cup of coffee – dressing nicely just hasn’t been on his mind. Help him add some color to his life:
Yeah, those are pretty crazy. But you know what? If his pants fit, it’ll be a nice way to signal that he puts a little bit of thought into what he wears every day. I get it though – not everybody works in a place where fun socks are acceptable. May I suggest then, a splash of color in the form of a pocket square?
Handmade in Rock Hill, SC, I’ve mentioned the Cordial Churchman before as an exemplary purveyor of neckwear. They also sell fantastic pocket squares. For your guy who dresses a little bit more conservatively (whether by choice or by workplace custom), a cotton pocket square can add a little bit of color, a touch of texture and pattern, and a little bit of brightness to an otherwise plain (no judgement intended) outfit. The key here is that you want something that’ll be there if you look for it, but won’t necessarily draw the eye by itself. Also check out The Knottery and Hugh and Crye.
What to get the man who has everything, but still wears the same outfit every weekend (a ratty t-shirt and jeans)
For the record: dressing up is not for everyone or for every occasion. There will always be a time and a place for a ratty t-shirt. But laziness is no excuse not to look good, especially when you can just throw on an oxford. They’re about as casual as a button down shirt comes (and leave them untucked for extra casualness), and – hand to God – an oxford cloth shirt (especially these) are just as comfortable as anything you can find at the bottom of your hamper. Bonus: they look better with wrinkles than without!
What to get the man who has everything, but rotates through the same three ties.
A knit tie (I know, curveball).
I’ve extolled the virtues of knit ties, oh, a couple of times in the past – and especially The Knottery. There’s a reason why: knit ties are pretty freaking versatile. And what’s more – they’re different. Unlike bow ties, which make a pretty profound statement, the knit tie is a subtle kind of statement. It’s there for those who notice, but people won’t be stopping you in your office to say “nice tie” all day (though you will be wearing a nice tie). Even better, it goes just as well under a sweater and is does with a suit, so you have a tie that really punches above its weight class.
What to get the man who has everything, but keeps it all in the hamper.
Not cool, dude – though this is more of a “do as I say, not as I do” moment.
The one thing I absolutely will not disrespect are my suits (and sport coats) (and blazers) (and overcoats). Look, shirts you can iron. Pants are a little more difficult to get noticeable creases out of, but with a little elbow grease you are fine. Don’t mess around with jackets. First, they’re a pain in the ass to care for at home. Sure, you can invest in a steamer. You can put them in the bathroom when you shower. But you’re going to have a hard time getting creases out. Second, the wrong type of hanger will permanently ruin jackets. As we’ve mentioned before, jacket construction is a fine art – these things aren’t just thrown together. A crappy hanger that doesn’t support the construction can irrevocably change the way the jacket sits – and never for the better. It’s always a good idea to have some nice wooden hangers on hand, and these are pretty killer.
What to get the man who has everything,but refuses to treat himself.
A gift card. No, I know what you’re going to say. It’s thoughtless. It’s tacky. I can’t deny those things – getting someone a gift card is somewhat less thoughtful than actually going and picking something out for someone. But you know what? I know what I want far better than anyone else – to me, a gift card is a license to treat myself. That’s a pretty big deal. So, how do you demonstrate that your gift card isn’t just an excuse to not spend time on someone? Three steps: 1. Don’t ask them where they shop. 2. Figure out where they shop yourself. 3. Buy them enough to get an item there. The whole point is that you need to demonstrate you gave some thought to the idea – by figuring out where they shop as subtly as you can, you’re demonstrating you put some work into it.
What to get the man who has everything. Seriously, everything.
If you ever meet anyone who has everything, buy a bottle of scotch, pour a couple of glasses, and open your ears. They have a lot to teach you. (Also, as an aside, much of this list contains items from companies that make most, if not all, of their products in the US. This is one of those times when the only provenance that matters is if it’s from Scotland).