Shopping for men is notoriously difficult. There's the husband who has already purchased everything he desires. The boyfriend with erratic preferences. The son who went completely off the rails and failed to send you his Christmas wish list. The father who swears that if you believe him, he'd be perfectly content with nothing at all, as if that were a choice.
But it's not all doom and gloom. Guys who appreciate sneakers and watches, men who like toying with smart tech, men who prefer roughing it outdoors or relaxing around the house—here's a list of the greatest gift ideas for them. Finding the ideal gift for a forthcoming birthday, anniversary, or holiday suddenly becomes a lot less difficult.
1. Something Leather
Men love the smell of leather. It's almost an aphrodisiac. Have you noticed his billfold is getting a little ratty? Quality men's wallets are the perfect leather gift that won't break the bank. Go for something rugged and functional. Some men may prefer a slimmer wallet since they tend to carry them in their back pocket.
Other leather goods that men will find appealing include driving gloves, leather jewelry (e.g., bracelets and necklaces), coasters, coin holders, key chains, and belts. If you want to go big, get him a comfy leather Arts and Crafts style chair.
2. Something for the Kitchen
Yes, grilling is stereotypically male, and many men enjoy cooking outdoors. But why settle for typical? Get your man something he can use all year in the kitchen. Start with a high-quality chef's knife. Few things in the kitchen are more satisfying than a razor-sharp knife slicing through a tomato.
Tickle the taste buds with a variety pack of artisan spices. Does he have a dish specialty? Buy him top-end ingredients for the next meal.
Tounge-in-cheek "kiss the cook" aprons are well and good, but your chef may appreciate a high-quality chef's coat instead. Many aprons are designed to fit women and may not be comfortable for the male gender. Try to find one specifically tailored to him.
3. Something Liquid
Does your guy enjoy collecting beverages? If so, you've got a lot of products to choose from. Stick with his niche when picking a gift. If he's into Scotch, then stick with that. Do you know where to start? Try asking your local shop owner for some suggestions. There are also a few whiskey clubs online that will send periodic samples of high-end products that might be a longer-lasting option.
If he's more of a beer guy, many stores offer "make-your-own" six-packs. You could get him a sampling of ones he's never tried before.
You don't have to stick with bottled gifts either. Many guys love gadgets. That new innovative cork puller could be the ticket.
4. Something that Smells Good
Despite the popular image, guys like to smell good and don't mind grooming. In fact, many men make a ritual out of daily washing and grooming and love to use high-quality tools and products. Has your man been using disposable razors forever? Try getting him a classy single-edge reusable razor. To go with it, including a shaving soap and boar bristle brush will really complete the gift.
Does he have a favorite scent? Get him an expensive soap or shower gel in that flavor to use. In addition, a new set of plush towels will make his grooming experience memorable.
5. Something Personal
While the best gifts are inherently personal in nature, your guy could have some interesting hobbies you can tap into for ideas. Does he read a certain genre of books? Is he an avid biker? Getting him something nice that relates to his hobbies is a sure-fire winner. Remember though: most men value something practical and useful over something solely decorative.
Finding that perfect gift for a man doesn't have to be difficult or stressful. Start by using what you know about them and go from there.