Monday, December 3, 2012

Gift Guide: Men Shopping for Women

Today's post is actually not intended for all of you who read this blog regularly.  Crazy, I know.  However, I hope you'll keep reading in the event that you'll consider sharing it or forwarding it to the men in your life who struggle with Christmas shopping.

I help a lot of male friends and coworkers select gifts for their wives, girlfriends, moms, and sisters and I generally follow the same guidelines that I'll be sharing now.  From what I hear, the presents I pick are generally a hit, so here are some suggestions in my first ever gift guide for men:

Gift guide for men - 1

The cardinal rule of shopping for women (unless you are an expert) is to avoid things that require you to know a size.  Luckily, there are tons of options when it comes to accessories!  If the woman you're buying for is known to wear bright jewelry, a classic but bold piece like ones above tend to be universally appealing.  You don't have to spend a fortune, but should be suspicious of anything less than $40.  The piece should feel fairly heavy when you pick it up - if it's really light, it's probably plastic. 

Most women will also have use for a classic clutch purse.  Unless you/she has an aversion to it, real leather is the way to go, and if possible you should sneak into the closet and see what she already has.  If black leather or metallic seems too basic, a pop of color is also popular.  You should expect to spend $70-150 on a quality piece.

Gift guide for men - 2

Another popular option is the "forever watch" - classic gold or silver face with leather or metal strap that will never go out of style.  If you're willing to spend $150-250, you can get a designer watch like a Michael Kors of Kate Spade that many women drool over on Pinterest.  While there are many similar styles out there, beware of lookalike "fashion watches" that are under $50 and unlikely to last. 

If she doesn't already have one, a great large, leather tote bag is usually a welcome gift.  They're great for weekend trips, or as an everyday bag for work, and you can find some great options for around $50-150.  Stores like TJ Maxx will have a good selection at affordable prices, as will some larger department stores.  Beware of PVC bags with shiny finishes, and hardware that looks and feels like coated plastic.

Finally, there is no shame in giving a well-selected gift card... unless it's for your wife or girlfriend and she did not specifically ask for it.  However, if you're shopping for a sister, other relative or friend, money to spend at her favorite store is always welcome.  Above are some suggestions for 20-30 something women that are unlikely to go unspent. 

Hopefully this was helpful, and will keep some women from unwrapping a Britney Spears perfume gift set or an at-home cotton candy machine (unless that's her favorite thing).  Does anyone else have any suggestions for the men shopping with good intentions?


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