Whether you’re just starting to date or been living with your guy for years, getting him something for a gift occasion ALWAYS seems to be challenging. At the end of the day, they’re much pickier than we are (yes, I said it) which makes the already limited inventory of ideas much smaller by default. Also, whenever I look at these online gift guides for men, they all seem so repeated and blah TBH – there’s not a lot of personality behind the suggestions, and some of them just seem like filler ideas that aren’t even useful. Like as if our guy really has time to make his own craft beer after working a 9 hour day…
So I asked my boyfriend Thomas to help me narrow done some truly thoughtful, affordable gift ideas he’s either received, used, & loved or would appreciate receiving down the road. We got VERY specific with these, down to the brand & type, because that’s what makes the difference between a roundup vs a curated guide of gift ideas. BTW many of these gifts can be ordered today & arrive in time for Valentine’s Day. But if you’re simply looking for ideas for an upcoming birthday or anniversary, these would make for fantastic gifts on those occasions as well!
Ba-la-la-la-la-la-BOMBA. If you haven’t heard (or yet seen on subway/bus ads), these socks are all the rage and the reason is pretty straight-forward – it’s love at first wear. I’m a huge fan of them myself and can proudly say I’ve converted Thomas into a Bombas boy too! Backstory: Thomas used to be a very loyal customer to a competitor’s sock (rhymes with “Mumumelon”) but he couldn’t justify the price for one pair if he were to get more for himself (all of his pairs have been Christmas presents.) They were great for running and comfortable to wear, but then came the day when he lost one of the socks from the pair – dun dun… After hearing him complain of blisters on his feet from all the other socks he’d wear, I suggested he try the Bombas Performance Running Socks and see how they worked for him. I’ll admit he was reluctant to even try them, but I saw the look on his face when he first put them on (that comfort can’t be tamed!) I just knew it was a matter of time before he’d be grabbing them over any other pair he owns, which happened almost instantly.
Needless to say I had to get him a few more pairs because the first two he started with ended up in the wash every other day! The hints caught on when he’d express (out loud) that he couldn’t find his Bombas socks, which he knew were in the laundry already… So I got him a six-pack ensuring he has enough pairs that he can wear to the office, around the house, and pretty much anywhere else on top of the gym. All I can say is if your guy needs new socks, try Bombas – he’ll love them (& so will you!)
Chef’s Knife + Knife Sharpener
Cooking is one of our favorite things to do as a couple. And if your guy is handy in the kitchen, then you can rightfully assume his assortment of knives are his crowning glory. Yet, many of us (women too) aren’t studying to be culinary artists & our tools are reflective of such. Not to say they’re bad to use, but I’m sure they could be better where it matters (aka knives.) No one needs to lose a finger over an unreliable knife. Whether your guy is a magician in the kitchen or just getting his feet wet in the culinary world, make sure he has the right chef’s knife to guarantee his excitement to cook again. There’s nothing like that clean cut, am I right?
While you’re at it, a knife is only as good as its owner who cares for it. I got Thomas this knife sharpener and the look of excitement on his face when he opened it will forever be engrained in my memory. Super easy to use and is labeled for both serrated and coarse knives. Ohhh and if they lack a place to store them safely, here’s a standing wood knife block & great in-drawer knife block that will keep them free from roaming around with sharp tips pointed upward 😱
Mack Weldon Cotton Tee
Has his favorite tee seen better days? We’ve all been there. Heartsick at the thought of parting with the perfect shirt (you know the one… 10-years old, 100-times-washed) but knowing that finding its replacement is long overdue. Enter: Mack Weldon Pima Crew Neck Tee. It feels soft and familiar, a rare find in a new basic. Breathable and tag-less, this t-shirt is guaranteed cozy from the office to the bedroom. (You, also, are guaranteed going to steal it… so think of it as a gift for both of you). Easy to care for and expertly cut, this cotton gem is flattering on every figure (including yours) and is a dream come laundry day. No bunched hems, shrinkage, or color transfer here. Just his (and your) new favorite tee.
P.S. Their undies are great too. A quick cult favorite of the 20-something-man, and a new “discovery” that you can take credit for for years to come 🙂
Whiskey Ice Cube Tray
I found a whiskey ice cube tray on a whim while scouting the aisles of Homegoods and thought it was so nifty. Thomas enjoys a glass of whiskey on the rocks over beer most occasions, so what better treat than to have an ice cube meant for such a beverage. They’re dishwasher safe (huge plus) and affordable enough for you to justify getting more than one. It’s a small gift, but a thoughtful one for the whiskey lover in your life.
Canvas Weekender Bag
When asking Thomas of some gift ideas for this blog post, he mentioned how much he loves his canvas weekender bag from Hudson Sutler that he’s had for years. Apparently it’s becoming a gift thing now for guys to receive on Bachelor weekends. Why canvas over leather though? Thomas said canvas is easier to pack and more lightweight, which I can see from his point of view. Most guys don’t want something fancy to take with them on a weekend away, just something that fits two days of clothes and easy to carry.
Depending on your guy, this gift can go above $150 if you wanted something embroidered or the next level up in terms of quality. However, here’s a very nice canvas weekender bag that’s exactly $150 (+ tax) if you want to see just how much he uses it before investing in something more. I’m also a fan of this $129 waxed weekender duffle which is slightly longer, perfect if your guy tends to be an over-packer.
Smathers & Branson Embroidered Key Fob
If your man is anything like mine, his keys are still dangling from the silver ring that his property manager, his mom, or the Home Depot gave him. Spruce up his every day with a needlepoint fob from Smathers & Branson. Whether he is a lax bro, an expert on the slopes, or a lover of Bulldogs, their 136 patterns make it easy to find one that shows him just how well you know him. Want to make it extra personal? Customize a monogrammed fob for, get this – the. same. price. BOOM!
Outerwear Rain Shell
Sometimes the best gift is the one that he would use all the time but would never think to buy for himself. I know men can handle anything and everything, because they’re men, but everyone can fall victim to a spontaneous downpour and naturally find themselves unprepared. Help him help himself with a lightweight, durable rain shell he can literally stuff into his work backpack and put on in an instant over his existing outerwear/clothing. And if you’re guy is loyal to one brand (like most are), I’ve found a handful of rain shells from all the top contenders that will help enforce the wearing of it.
DEWALT Cordless Drill Kit
Now this is a gift Thomas bought himself & he’s very proud of owning. He’s mounted many things with his DEWALT drill, including our tv, which has been a penny saver of an activity. I truly thought this was a super smart gift idea but figured it would be way out of the $150 & below range. Yet I went online to see just how expensive it was and was SHOCKED to find it was WAY below the max price tag to qualify in this roundup. This cordless drill kit comes in a couple options of included drill bits, depending on what will get the most use per project, that hit under $150. Thomas started with the 45 pc Screw Bit Set Kit (drill included) and ended up buying a separate 21 pc Drill Bit Set when it came to mounting our tv. Personally, I’ve found the Screw Bit Set to be the most used one in terms of hanging things in the apartment. For heavier projects that need support anchors, the Drill Bit Set is a better option.
On (Cloud) Sneakers
If you’ve heard of these at all, it was most likely in the last year. Maybe you saw them pop up in an ad, maybe you noticed them on the tread next to you. The important part is: you noticed them. An under-the-radar favorite of all of my marathoner friends, On is everything. Founded in Switzerland in 2010, On was engineered for one thing: to be the best running shoe. The styling has become chicer in recent years, no doubt due to their growing popularity, but the zero-gravity insoles and the structural genius remain the same. So if your man walks, runs, jumps, or squats, he should be doing it in On. Unless he is a serious runner, the ‘Cloud’ provides everything he needs for everyday, HIIT, and moderate runs. For the serious runner, I recommend the ‘Cloudswift’. Get him a pair, get yourself a pair, and thank me later.
Travel Bluetooth Transmitter
In the age of Airpods, there is nothing more infuriating than sitting down on a plane only to realize that your 2020 self forgot to pack wired headphones (because, let’s face it, who has those anymore???). Men love watching airline-curated content. I don’t understand it, and I can’t explain it, but they do. So save him the headache of missing the big game or a new movie in-flight and give him this ultra-portable bluetooth transmitter. He can plug it in to any headphone jack, and he (and his beloved AirPods) are good to go.
Kiehl’s Gift Set
I’ll never understand men’s obsession with Kiehl’s (& only Kiehl’s) facial products but it’s a real thing. They refuse to try anything else, as well as refuse to buy it for themselves (eye roll emoji.) That’s where you come in lady! Get him the gift of happy skin with a Kiehl’s Gift Set, only you two will know how he got his masculine radiance. There’s an assortment products per gift set that tailor to your man’s needs – from skin type to beard maintenance.