We all go through the “I don’t know what to buy for him” syndrome. We use common phrases to describe the challenge…”He is just so hard to buy for”, “He doesn’t want or need anything” and so on and so forth…Ultimately we give in and buy him gifts that require little thought and that we know are safe…in other words, doesn’t every man just need another blue stripe shirt?
If you haven’t figured it out yet, this week’s column is for all of The Gift Of Style readers who have no idea what to buy their man for the holidays. This presents an amazing opportunity, not a challenge! The holidays provide you with the perfect time to sneak a bit of style into your guy’s wardrobe. If you trust me, you will up his style IQ…experiment and maybe buy a few items from the list…you will be amazed how just a few new pieces will do the trick. Here are a few of my favorite ideas, stores…
Get you man into a patterned shirt. A micro-check or a small tight plaid will do the trick and should be a fairly easy sell, even if your guy is the quintessential solid blue and white shirt man. My go to for both has been J. Crew this season. Their washed micro-checks come in several colors and the plaids are preppy chic and masculine. Right now they are on sale for $49.50.
Pick up a shawl-collared cardigan…maybe my favorite fall trend. They look rich yet cozy, are rugged yet refined and are perfect over a shirt or layered over a tee shirt. You can find them almost anywhere, but my recommendation is to buy the one at yes…J. Crew. Your guy probably has some version of a zip cardigan in his closet so this should be a painless update.
If he really is just a tee shirt guy and there is nothing you can do about it, don’t despair…I have the perfect fashionable tee shirt for you. Scoop’s private label brand for men is great! The tee shirts are beyond soft and the colors are modern, stylish and can update the most mundane of wardrobes. Layer them and mix the colors for a subtle new look!! Their e-commerce site is being rebuilt so you will have to go to their UES, Meat Packing District or Soho stores to find them.
Every man needs a great pair of sunglasses, so update his with my favorite shades from Persol. Persol has been around since the early 1900’s and is the ultimate classic. Their famous tortoise shell aviator is cool and beyond stylish…oh and did I mention it folds up into a nice tight little package so they fit nicely into any pocket. Here is the best part…they look amazing on women too, so you can borrow them! You can find them online at Frames Direct for about $225.
If you think his work wardrobe could use a little facelift, buy him a tie bar. They really up the style quotient and add polish to the perfect suit-shirt-tie combo. I also love them for a corporate casual environment, as a special detail to finish the jacket-shirt-tie-denim pant look. Paul Stuart has some simple, classic styles for about $69.50. Brooks Brothers also has some great options, but they are not available online. Oh…one more thing…stick with silver as it looks more youthful and modern.
Now this one may be a bit more challenging…narrow his tie! I am still a fan of the thick knot classic, but your man should have at least one modern version. Try a 3” version in a wool fabric. I love the idea of classic suit fabrics used as ties and they look especially “Mad Men”. Again, J. Crew does this very well. I also love the Band of Outsiders ties available on eLuxury.
A little style can really go a long way, so try a few of these ideas and I promise, your man will at least appreciate the effort… If you follow my guidelines, not only will you have a stress free shopping experience (in my world it should always be a lot of fun) but you will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment at doing what you once thought was impossible…giving the elusive gift of style!!!!