As I’ve mentioned, I’m in charge of buying presents this year for my boyfriend Will and my brother Camden (you can read more about my family’s new gift giving system here) and I’ve noticed that I gravitate toward similar gifts for guys every year. I feel like my wishlist changes drastically every year (every week, who are we kidding) but my favorite guy gifts stay pretty constant from year to year. Maybe the boy you’re buying for is a style icon in his own right but the guys in my life (and the ones I had in mind while writing this guide!) just want to look good without having to work too hard at it. Here are 10 of my go-to gifts ideas for this kind of guy:

design darling 10 favorite gift ideas for guys

1. Sunglasses. An unlikely top choice but here’s what I’ve noticed: most guys don’t think to buy sunglasses for themselves, then wear them every day once you’ve gifted them a pair. Pro tip: every guy looks good in these and these.

2. A watch. Whether your budget is $100 or 100 times that, giving a guy a watch is always a good idea — and a pretty rewarding one, since you’ll probably never see him take it off. Will wears this one and this one and my brother Grayson wears this one but I think this beauty would make a gorgeous upgrade for either of them.

3. A half-zip sweater. Even if you’ve never seen your boyfriend/brother/dad in a sweater, everyone needs to keep warm through the winter and every guy looks great in a half-zip sweater. This isn’t the time to get cute with a chunky fair isle or a slim cardigan that’s outside their comfort zone. With a half-zip, they won’t have to ask how to style it and whether they throw it on over a dress shirt in a chilly office or over a t-shirt on the weekend, it’s an easy way to make them look and feel put-together. You’ll find my favorites here, here, and here.

4. Tickets. To see his favorite band, his favorite team, his favorite play — you name it, he’ll love it and you both can make a day (or night) of it. I’ve taken my dad to a Red Sox game and bought Will tickets to country concerts and I’m pretty sure this is as close as it gets to fail-proof gift giving.

5. A new wallet. Because if he’s anything like my brother, his current one is falling apart at the seams and he’ll put off picking out a new one until he loses his first credit card. Figure out whether he’s a bifold or card case kind of guy and go from there. I found some really affordable options here, here, and here and some more splurge-worthy ones here, here, and here.

6. Outerwear. A Barbour jacket is the ultimate outerwear investment, but I think most guys (depending on where they live and work) also need a camel or gray dress coat, a fleece jacket, a rain jacket, and a quilted vest.

7. Boots. My dad and brothers swear by the 8″ bean boots (more sizes available in this similar style) and I love when Will wears these desert boots. I know the boys in my life can be particularly picky about their footwear so here are a few more options if you’re in the same boat as I am: leather desert boots, leather dress boots, and western boots (our friend Paul’s newest venture!).

8. Luggage. Start small with a leather dopp kit or go big with an old-fashioned trunk or luxe leather duffel bag.

9. A needlepoint belt. Bonus points if you make it yourself obviously, but these make pretty good back-up plans.

10. An adventure! Whether they’re more of a thrill seeker (I’ve done bungee jumping with my dad and hang gliding and sky diving with Grayson!) or they’d love learning a new skill (Will and I took this class in New York!), gifting an experience is pretty much as good as it gets in my book. Here’s a list of 35 experiential gifts to get you started!

Guy gifts galore:


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  1. Men are so difficult to shop for! This is a great list though, I found it very helpful! Thanks for sharing!
    And your macaroon post just made me think twice about attempting macaroons on my own in my kitchen for the first time! 🙂 Maybe we will try out that class!