I find shopping for men logical but impossible. If a friend is into beers, I don’t want to be just another person who buys a six pack of something Belgian sounding and stick a bow on it. I want to give something practical and useful, something that doesn’t merely collect dust while on display.
The husband is the very self sufficient type and usually tells me very politically correct things like “all I need for Christmas/birthday/anniversary is you”. It’s a generous sentiment but not helpful when I’m trying to express my shallow desire to buy him something material to sum up my love. Anyway, in keeping with my quest to purchase and invest in quality products, here are a few ideas I thought might be useful for the times you need to buy for a significant man in your life.
The quality jumper
Buying clothes for guys is not an original idea I’ll admit, and the number of tshirts my husband has received for either birthdays or Christmas from his family is more than I can count on all my fingers and toes. Instead of just buying another hoodie or another tshirt, what about a timeless investment piece made out of great material, like a cashmere jumper? I bought this one for the husband one Christmas. He’s never had so many people come up to him and rub his shoulder purring like a cat, because the softness of this particular cashmere is out.of.this.world!
Even if the man in your life isn’t really into clothes, don’t worry, he’ll appreciate having something really nice when the situation calls for it.
Classic men’s grooming
Most guys need to shave and even if they choose fashionable stubble like Aragorn from Lord of the Rings, face fuzz still needs to be maintained one way or another. I won’t deny the convenience of things like electric shavers and disposable razors, but how about a solidly built safety razor as a gift – as beautifully vintage as a cut throat, but with longevity unmatched by the average Gillette.
I’ve heard rave reviews from guys who have made the switch to safety razors, praising weight and structure of the handle, sharpness of the blades, and overall a better shaving experience. I bought this one for the husband’s birthday from Men’s Biz, an Australian store that stocks everything to do with good male grooming. They also offer sample packs of blades (so you can find the best blade for your bristles), sample packs of selected shaving lathers, and a host of skincare and other accessories.
A durable wallet
Unlike women with their revolving wardrobe of clutches, purses, hand bags etc, men tend to own one wallet and stick with it for the term of its natural life. In my school days that usually meant a polyester thing with wide bands of velcro, which over the years would get so dirty with use that any original pattern or colours on the material would be muddied to a generic brown. Consider, however, getting a really nice leather or canvas one for a significant birthday (perhaps an 18th or 21st. Start them off young, right?) Leather is always stiff when bought new, and will take a few weeks of dedicated use for the material to soften but once broken in, you’ll have a durable and water resistant friend for life. Don’t forget to consider little details that the recipient may not actively remember – does he need a separate coin pouch, a zipped section for notes, a clear window pane to display a driver licence or ID card? Bellroy has a wonderful selection of really practical wallets that just scream quality and come in a variety of different forms.
I’d love to hear your picks for meaningful presents to give to the men who mean something to you in your life.