Why is it so hard to buy men gifts? And what do they REALLY want?

Those might be the billion-dollar questions right there. Men are notoriously difficult to find gifts for. The answer, while, I admit, somewhat of a sweeping generalization, is twofold.

First, I think many men can be uncomfortable with the idea of receiving gifts. They view themselves as the givers, the providers. I am not saying that mindset is right (or wrong, for that matter), but it’s a perspective into the why. Couple that mentality with difficulty articulating what they want, and you’ve got a perfect storm for a hard-to-gift guy.

Second, and possibly the key reason for this challenging dynamic – when a man is passionate about something, be it a hobby, an experience, or even technology, they tend to dive deep, research it and buy it for themselves!! Fantastic for them; they get exactly what they want. But bad for us. We gift-givers are left confused, scrambling, and feeling clueless. 

What’s the Perfect Gift for Men?

A favorite gift will be something they’ll use every day and would never think to get for themselves. It’s not a go big or go home proposition. Trust me; I’ve fallen prey to that many times. I’ve saved and splurged on the latest iPad or Big Bertha driver (or most recently, it was a kit to make nitro-brew coffee at home). And guess what? All of the above are still sitting in their respective boxes at said person’s home. I’m 1000% sure. If any of those gadgets are what they truly wanted, they’d have already gotten them for themselves. 

Clothes Check all of the Gift Giving Boxes for Men, Literally

In some cases, getting clothes as a gift for your man might feel like a cop-out, especially if he’s not into fashion. But, that’s precisely why clothes, or accessories, fit the bill. They’re used every day, AND they’d probably never think to get them for themselves. The bonus is that, as the women in their life, you’ll like what you see!

Men’s Fashion meets Function.

The best part of men’s fashion these days is that comfort and performance are at the forefront of designs. Jackets, pants, shirts, shoes, even belts are being made in traditional silhouettes but with ease in mind. That means your guy can look like he’s going to the office (or on a zoom call or even date night) but feel like he’s wearing his most comfortable tracksuit. It’s a win/win all around.

Even before the worldwide pandemic and stay at home orders that brought the “comfort is key” mantra to the forefront of our minds, my friends at Ticknors Men’s Clothier were carrying these fashion-meets-function types of men’s clothes. 

Athletic Clothes for Work? Or Work Clothes that Feel Athletic?

Many athletic brands are jumping on the athleisure bandwagon. And while I love stylish athletic clothes, they’re still supposed to be worn to exercise. 

The pieces I prefer, and that offer most men the best of both worlds solution, are those designed as stylish clothing and add in the comfort element to the fabrics. It allows the fabric to look like a rich material, such as a tweed, but avoid the stiffness and itchiness that typically accompanies tweed. It’s that intersection of looking good and feeling good that makes guys want to wear these pieces over and over again. And that is exactly what I find at Ticknors Men’s Clothier.

Why Ticknors?

This endorsement comes from the heart. I’ve been shopping at Ticknors with my male clients for years, and all with rave reviews. It is my go-to spot for men’s clothes for quite a few reasons.

  1. There’s something for every guy. Ticknors doesn’t have just one style of men’s clothing. They have clothing that can fit your style. Their clothes can work for someone that’s preppy, colorful, older, younger, sporty, conservative –  you name it and they can outfit it.
  2. Excellent customer service. Yea, I know, all stores talk about customer service, but Ticknors really delivers. They spend time getting to know their clients so they not only look good but they feel good too. And during this crazy year, they’re making gift-giving simple with in-store or curbside pickup as well as,  home delivery, gift wrapping, etc
  3. In house tailoring. When you purchase your clothes at Ticknors, they’ll do the tailoring for you!Making sure clothes fit is the most crucial element in looking put together for both men and women. The topic probably deserves its own post.  But until then, just know, the in-house tailoring Ticknor’s provides is an essential service.
  4. On-trend AND wearable. The product selection is current and modern, but not so trendy that you’ll feel foolish wearing it. And probably my favorite part of all, most all of the pieces are COMFORTABLE to wear.
  5. All price points. At Ticknors you can get a $300 suit or a $3000 custom suit, and everything in between. Jeans, shirts, sweaters, blazers – you can find them at both attainable and aspirational prices. All quality made and tailored, just right.
  6. Virtual shopping. Ticknors has always provided shopping appointments in order to effectively meet their client’s needs. And now they’re offering zoom/facetime/hangouts/etc video personal shopping/styling due to Covid.

Wardrobe Basics + Comfort = The Perfect Men’s Gift.

Jeans and Slacks

Look for jeans and slacks that have 2-5% elastane. When added to cotton or poly, it provides just the right amount of stretch and structure. The bonus is that pants with this fabrication are machine washable too! Click here for a link to this jean.

Shirts

Goodbye, to the days of stiff, starched collared shirts. Button up shirts with 5-8% spandex give the comfort of a four-way stretch but have a buttoned-up appearance. This type of shirt looks great with a sport coat or sweater. However, it’s typically too casual to pair with a tie. All of these shirts are linked: Berry, orchid, Azur

Toppers

 

A topper (sport coat or sweater) works as an outfit finisher. A knit jacket is a hybrid that fills a blazer’s role but has a sweater’s soft feel.  Click here for a link to the grey sweater /topper.

If your guy is a three-piece suit kind of man struggling with the more casual approach, this topper will let him feel polished but not overdressed. And conversely, if your man is more laid back and comfy all of the time, a soft topper won’t feel as restricting as a traditional sport coat.

Shoes

Wingtips, Chukka, and Chelsea boots now have all day, sneaker-like comfort in highly styled footwear. These shoes look great with jeans or slacks, even a suit. 

A Curated Collection At Ticknors

This week I’m partnering with Ticknors Men’s Clothier. Linking up entire outfits from Ticknors that are both comfortable and stylish—then, depending on your guy and your budget, you can find a single item or a whole outfit that suits him.

Looks I LOVE for Men’s Gifts.

Leather Jacket

Every wardrobe needs a leather jacket – both guys and gals. And this one is REVERSIBLE! Lightweight, supple leather on one side, and windbreaker material on the other. I like the contrasting zipper to add interest. Click here for a link to this jacket. And it’s paired with a button-up shirt with lots of stretch for comfort and style.

Dress shirt with pizzaz

A “dress shirt” that secretly moves with you, so it’s uber comfortable. The contrasting buttons add some pizazz. This shirt is great for guys that typically hate getting dressed up. The pants also look like a dress chino, however, they have secret too.  It’s a stretch, breathable, non-wrinkle fabric in a classic shape – they’re almost too good to be true. Click here for a link to this shirt. It comes in multiple colors too.

Sweater/jacket

If his sweater and blazer had a baby, this would be it. It looks fab over a stretchy dress shirt. But would also look good over a tee. Add jeans that have some elastane and the whole outfit is relaxed feeling but put together looking. This outfit is not online yet. Click this link to make a virtual appointment with a person in-store to view and purchase.

Modern Cardigan

Not your grandpa’s cardigan! This is a cool, hip, easy outfit for a guy of any age. Cardigan + tee + jeans + fashion sneakers. I also like how the whole outfit is all tonal grey. It’s simple, yet interesting. Click here for a link to this sweater.

Knit henley

I can’t decide if the hero of this outfit is the knit henley or the pocket square. Really, every detail of this one speaks to me. It’s harmonious, interesting, and very wearable. Click for a link to the knit henley here, the sport coat here. The pocket square is not on-line but click here for a virtual appointment, an in-store salesperson can locate it for you.

Pocket square

Another example of a pocket square making the outfit. It’s a nice, easy ensemble – a long-sleeved tee, jeans, and a sportcoat. However, the addition of the pocket square brings it all to life. This look is not on-line, but make a virtual appointment and ask a style advisor to find it for you.

Follow along on Instagram

Oh yea, follow me this week on my Instagram stories – I’ll be shopping at Ticknors, asking all of the questions, and showing you some of my favorite pieces.

This post is sponsored by Ticknors Men’s Clothier. But just because this is a “sponsored post” I want you to know, I never endorse or recommend something I don’t authentically believe in. Collabs and sponsored posts help me continue to bring these weekly pieces of the internet to you, but all styling, designs, recommendations, and opinions are 100% my own.

Affiliate Links

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Header photo: knit jacket, white tee

All photos courtesy of Ticknors.

 

Author

Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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