“I thought I’d put together a little men’s gift guide for that guy in your life that you dread buying presents for. We all have one.”

Men's gift guide: Madelaineblogs

A men’s gift guide for that (nightmare) guy in your life.

Do you have a guy in your life who just seems to have it all? The type of guy who, when they have a birthday coming up and are asked what they would like, give you the standard response you could have seen coming a mile off – “nothing”.

Ladies and gents, I’m with you.

Yes, Harry is that guy (my other half FYI). Unfortunately, it’s not just a fact of Harry saying he wants “nothing”, but he is also a super picky person to buy gifts for. And, he’s brutally honest about what he does/doesn’t like too, so your feelings definitely aren’t spared. Fab.

Harry’s birthday was last month. Spoiler: the gift giving this year was a complete success! Along with Christmas fast approaching (dare I say it), I thought I’d put together a little men’s gift guide for that guy in your life that you dread buying presents for. We all have one.

The back story…

Yes, Harry’s a slight nightmare to buy for. So, you can imagine how I felt when just two weekends before his birthday we popped to town and he surprised me with: “oh, I could really do with a new hoody” and “I need a jumper”. Need I remind you he’d previously said he wanted nothing? This was the perfect time to pipe up and state the obvious; “you know it’s your birthday soon” (hint hint). Let’s just say the hint went down like a lead balloon. Eurgh. You can then only begin to imagine how I felt when we were now just 3 days away from his birthday, I was still racking my brain for gift ideas, and Harry text me to say he was going to town as he needed new aftershave, converse and jeans. Are you kidding me?!

Frustrating? Just a little. Baffling? Completely.

Luckily on this occasion, I managed to talk some sense into him. Thank God.

Now it’s not all a disaster. Like I said, this year was a complete success. This is pretty unheard of. The secret? Buy something the person needs, but would

a) never think to get, or

b) wouldn’t want to buy themselves because of cost etc.

This is (almost) a fail-proof way of ensuring your efforts aren’t going to be wasted, and you’re giving them a surprise too. Sound good? I thought so.

Plus, I always think it’s a good idea to get one or two things as well which fit into the ‘playing it safe’ category – just to be on the safe side.

Here’s what I bought:

1. Paul Smith t-shirt

This was a very safe option. Paul Smith is Harry’s favourite brand, and anyone who knows him will know when you see him, he’ll more than likely be wearing a Paul Smith tee. Have a think about any brands which that guy in your life is a fan of, and opt for a clothing item they’re going to wear lots – like a t-shirt. You can never have enough, right?

2. Jack Wills sweat shorts

Again, this was one of my safe options. Harry lives in sweat shorts, so another pair is always handy. Plus, these Jack Wills ones were super soft and warm. Exactly what I was after. Does the guy in your life have an item of clothing they love to wear? Is this item getting a little old and tatty? Now’s the time to refresh their wardrobe.

3. Tommy Hilfiger holdall bag

This was a slightly riskier buy, but it was something I knew Harry needed – even if he didn’t quite realise it. Whenever we go away Harry’s go-to bag is the one he uses for rugby. Smelly, dirty and all-round gross. Let’s just say it’s definitely not the ideal bag to put your clean washing in for a weekend away! So I decided it was about time he had a nicer, smarter bag to use for these occasions. And, as nice holdall bags aren’t the cheapest, this is always a nice present to be able to give for a special occasion. Harry loved it, and has already used it several times!

4. Leather wash bag (with Harry’s initials stitched in)

This was more of a need, than want present. But again, it seemed to do the trick! Everyone needs a wash bag for nights away – to store your toothbrush, shaver, body wash or whatever the hell you want in it. And, as Harry always used to just chuck these items loose in his bag, this was definitely something I thought he could do with. I decided to get this personalised too, making it a bit more of a special gift.

5. Comedy tickets to Ed Byrne

Ok, so this present doesn’t actually fit into either category. But, as I really love to do things, I thought spending some time together at a comedy show would be a little different – and fun! This worked out well, as Ed Byrne was doing a tour at the time, and was at a local venue just 2 weeks after Harry’s birthday.

Doing an activity of some sort is always a great idea, whether that be going to a comedy show, theatre, or even having a mini break away (if you’re really wanting to splurge!) See if there’s anything happening locally around the time of that guy in your life’s birthday, and book an activity for you to do that may be a little different!

6. Lunch tasting menu at Adam’s restaurant

As massive foodies, this one was always going to go down well, and was just an extra surprise to spoil Harry on the day. And, as Adam’s is a Michelin star restaurant that we’ve never been to, I was pretty sure it would be a nice surprise at that!

If you’re also a foodie like me, take a look at some tasting menus and see what deals they have on. Despite the slightly more sophisticated setting of Adam’s than we’re used to, this was actually really reasonably priced at £39.50 per head. And as expected, it was delicious!

If none of those take your fancy, I’ve included a few more men’s gift guide ideas below (both ‘need’ and ‘want’ items) to help you out, or just get your ideas going to minimise your upcoming Christmas, or birthday, shopping stress.

A men’s gift guide: Other must-have or (might) need items:

  • A watch
  • A suitcase
  • An electric toothbrush
  • Cooking classes/rugby or football game/concert/driving experience etc (depending on that guy in your life’s interests, of course)
  • A scarf (with the possibility to have their initials stitched in)
  • Cuff links
  • Their favourite aftershave (or a new one if you know the types of smells they like!)
  • A wallet or card holder
  • Leather gloves
  • Socks!
  • A fancy tie
  • A Go Pro or camera (for the technology buffs out there)
  • New slippers
  • A briefcase
  • A coat
  • A must-need coffee machine
  • Tech gadgets. E.g. charging phone case
  • Headphones/speakers
  • A Fit bit or Apple watch

Happy shopping!


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