Readers, this post comes from our contributing author, Big B. He's has impeccable taste (whether he's talking about the hottest/sexiest boots for women or the most flattering pants for men), strong opinions on all things fashion-related, and he's also a devoted husband (of 10 years!!) and the dad of two adorable kiddos. If you missed his first Gift Guide for men, check it out here.
Also, a reminder of Big B's tenets of choosing gifts for men: "We are simple creatures, we are not complicated, trying to buy us elaborate or complicated gifts rarely works. Trying to buy us clothing that is out of our personality range rarely works. Most of us enjoy tradition, simplicity, experience, and quality."
And with that…here's Big B…
If your man happens to like clothing (raises hand), it’s always fun to get some quality pieces:
Coats – $150 – $400
Bonobos Pants – $80 – $200
We could all use some pants that fit right and you will like the way they fit him. They cost a little more than your average pair of Dockers (and please don’t let him wear Dockers) but they also offer a really cool discount for public service folks, i.e. teachers, police officers, fire fighters, etc.
Dress Shirts – $99 – $250
Footwear – $120 – $300
Because high quality shoes never go out of style. For dress shoes try Sander's, for Loafer’s / Boat Shoes go with the Oak Street Bootmakers, for boots, Clarks' Desert Boots are classic, and for casual footwear, try Toms (If you don’t know why by now read up on their website).
Timepieces (unless he’s one of those guys who refuses to wear one)
Timex has some really cool ones for $50 – $150, the T-Series Racing Chronograph (shown in pic above), Camper, and Dress Expansion are all great. Tissot and Hamilton are good entry level watches with medium price points ($350 – $1000), Tag Heuer is also excellent but prices start to climb.
If you’re ready for family heirloom status the following will do but they cost appropriately, so only buy these from authorized dealers as fakes are everywhere online: Breitling, Bell and Ross, or Patek Philippe.
A few ideas for experience-based gifts your man will love…
Photography Class - $50-$300 – A lot of us have become amateur photogs as of late due to the DSLR revolution. That doesn’t mean we’re all that good at it. Most areas have local photographers who teach quick courses to go over lighting basics, etc.
A weekend together in a cabin – $300 and up – especially for the skier / snowboarder. A weekend of the slopes during the day and cozy by the fire at night is always welcomed!
Sporting Event Tickets – $40-$250 per ticket for most professional events. Most of us love going to games and we can go together!
A day of brewery or winery touring – most are free, just plan and present as a gift certificate – For the Hopinista (translation – man who likes beer) or Franzia Nut (I keed, I keed). Plan a whole day together, a gift with minimal cost and maximum time together.
Concert Tickets – $50/ticket and up – would be fantastic for the musically inclined. There are few things in life better than seeing your favorite band live, especially with an arm around your significant other.
Racing/Performance Driving School – Whether he's a NASCAR fan or an exotic car nut there is nothing cooler than getting the opportunity to flog a fast, expensive car around. There are many to choose from including Skip Barber, Bondurant, Dale Jarret (for the NASCAR fan), etc. Here's some examples of different packages from the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving and an example from World Class Driving: Bondurant Grand Prix SuperKart Course (1 day) – $399, Bondurant Intro to Racing (1 day) – $1,375 or Grand Prix Road Racing (3 days) – $4,250 | (4 days) – $4,795 – both can be found here , or World Class Driving –$1695 (add $300 if you want to go with) they come to almost every state and he gets to take a spin in 5 different exotics, i.e. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mazerati, etc.
Last but certainly not least:
I was tempted to rank the gifts in the list but decided that would be based completely on my opinion. I do know without a doubt however, that the #1 gift for any husband is you! That’s right, you! So, put the kiddos to bed, tie a bow around yourself and get cozy together. Like I said, we’re men, we’re simple creatures, don’t over think it this year.