A friend phoned me last week as she pulled into the shopping centre car park to ask my advice for a gift for her man. This is not the first time it’s happened to me. It’s true, I love gifts; giving and receiving.
My Mum owned a beautiful gift store where I worked for many years, so perhaps my love of gifting was learned from her, or it may be that I know my guy so well that I feel I have a tiny insight into what blokes dig.
The budget is sometimes lean, sometimes flush but the key is to be prepared. If you are organized well ahead of time you have time to save, order online or have something customized. You need not spend a fortune, it’s often the very inexpensive or free things that are most treasured. If you plan well, though, you might be able to splash out. Tucking away a measly $5 each week is enough to surprise him with something really lovely once his birthday spins around for another year.
We all have so much ‘stuff’ these days, and let’s face it, if your Mister needs a new shirt he just goes and buys it so gifting can get tricky. And you know he’s never going to throw that crusty, old wallet away so don’t bother.
I’m just going to come right out and say it. Blokes love ‘kit’. They love a bit of gear. If he has a hobby, the hard work is done for you. You just have to listen (I know it’s sometimes easy to switch off) because they are dropping hints all the time without even knowing.
Whether he's your brother, lover or friend, here are my top ten awesome gift ideas for men to inspire you.
1. Cool cameras
There are some seriously cool cameras for Mr Adventure.
It takes 5MP stills and HD video. Features built-in WiFi for use with their app on your smart phone. Mounting accessories available. Widely available in Australia both online and in stores like Rebel Sports.
NEW! Waterproof video and still camera. It’s small and there are loads of accessories available to clip them to handlebars, helmets and boards.
2. Super Dooper Pen
|Meisterstuck Classique Ball Point $540|
"zzz...zzzzz" I hear you snore. Quality makes a real impact gifting for businessy blokes. A Mont Blanc pen poking out of his business shirt oozes sophistication and a Mont Blanc pen is an enduring piece he will treasure forever. Perfect for a very special gift occasion.
|Large Shell kit-holder $84.95|
3. Man bags and cases
Dudes need cool bags for everything from their lap tops and tablets to luggage for travel and the gym.
Moleskine have a range of ‘shells’ to house most anything. They call their Large Shell “The kit-holder for the contemporary nomad”. Indeed. A very cool and handy case for keeping all his cords and adapters in one location for travel.
And try Crumpler bags for backpacks, messenger bags, luggage and camera bags. They are funky, sturdy and come with a lifetime warranty (yep!). An Australian company, great range, superior quality, design and workmanship.
4. Noise Cancelling Headphones
|QuietComfort® 3 |
Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones
For the traveler or commuter, noise cancelling headphones are a life changer. A flick of a switch either dulls noise around you so you can rest in silence or play your music with no interfering noise. They now also come with an Apple devices cord with a remote and microphone so you can take phone calls and control your music. These are no ordinary headphones and will be particularly appreciated by frequent flyers.
|Polli Cuff Links $49.95|
For special occasions, if not every other day at the office, he will wear a French cuff and needs to own at least one set of cufflinks. From inexpensive to customized, find them at menswear stores, department stores, etsy and online. I love this wooden set from Polli.
|Leatherman Squirt $79.95|
Blokes love pocket knives. Some pocket knives are hobby specific – mountain bikes, hunting, etc. I hear you say “He’s already got one”. Yes, he wants more. Leatherman tools are top quality and there is an amazing range. Readily available online and in outdoor stores like Anaconda and BCF.
7. Commuting Beverage Kit
|Joco Glass Coffee Cups $24.95|
Whether he rides, drives, walks or flies to work, eco friendly beverage gear will be appreciated. Stainless steel water bottles (SIGG Traveller $31.90) are a fantastic, take-anywhere gift.
For the supreme coffee snob, may I suggest glass commuter mugs with silicone, splash proof lid and thermal sleeve. Get one for yourself too, they’re really lovely to drink from and the glass does not alter the taste of the coffee…ok…I’m a coffee snob.
|Geneva Sound System $299|
8. Travel Speakers
Portable bluetooth speakers are everywhere right now. My hot tip is the Geneva Sound System Model XS. I’m not going to get technical on you. All you need to know is that it’s small, is in it's own protective case, has a good battery life and crystal clear sound. Super for the travelling man as it has a clock display. He can use it in the shed, in a hotel room and camping, connecting with his smart phone, tablet or other bluetooth enabled device to access his own music or the radio. Super cool.
|Maglite from $29.95|
Not just for the outdoors type, though there are many torches and lanterns for those dudes. A decent head lamp is essential for getting splinters out of your kids' feet (this happened in our house tonight...true). I am also a huge fan of the whopping Maglite under the bed for times when Mr Sensible is away should there be a power outage or to investigate when our labrador decides it's appropriate to bark at possums at 2am and scare the b'jinkers out of me. Readily available at outdoor, department and hardware stores and online.
10. Get creative!
Do something sentimental – picture, special drawing, poem. “I can’t draw”, I hear you say. Waa waa. That may be true but can you write? Sing? Cook? Gifts needn’t always cost money. A slideshow of pictures of you together for the last year with a song he loves, a picnic at a location he doesn’t have to select nor prepare for with a few of his favourite treats, time….give him some 100% self indulgent free time. Young Dads will particularly appreciate the gift of time.
Have you got any great gift ideas? I'd love to hear from you.