Not that I’m biased at all, but I genuinely think that us ladies are so much easier to buy for than guys. Not only are there so many amazing gift guides out there for woman (*cough* I even made my own one here *cough* #ShamelessPlugsAreAllowedAtChristmas) that makes shopping a piece of cake, but there’s also just so many pieces of beautiful makeup, or a fragrance, or a candle that just looks so dreamy that any girl would be over the moon with.
But I always find myself having to really sit and think when it comes to buying for my boyfriend Ryan Gosling the men in my life. Of course there are the standard items that work a treat, but generally you’ve already used those ideas last christmas (… and the Christmas before that). So bearing in mind that so many of you asked if I was going to be doing a Men’s gift guide this year – clearly the struggle is real for all of us – I dedicated a good amount of time to thinking of the perfect gift ideas for the guys – I know, spending hours thinking about shopping, I surely deserve some kind of Blue Peter badge for that, right? – and came to the conclusion that the best option for me was to head into town, back to Debenhams – you know, that really amazing Department store that I fangirl over far too much – as I just know that when it comes to the perfect set of gifts that all men will love, I’m always going to find some winners there.
The huge perk of buying your favourite males clothing is that if they have quite, how can I put this, questionable fashion sense, it’s a great way of helping them out in the style stakes. It also just works really well because everybody wears clothes – at least I hope they do – so it’s practical and something that they’ll really get their use out of. Here are my top picks for amazing clothing options from the designers at Debenhams.
A scarf. You just cannot go wrong with a scarf. Practical, a necessity in our UK winter, and just something that can instantly make an outfit look more chic (not that most men will really appreciate looking more chic, but their girlfriend, daughter, Mum, significant other etc. probably will). My favourite has to be this gorgeous, classic J by Jasper Conran grey checked scarf.
I also absolutely love these knits from J by Jasper Conran which come in all the colours in the world and just look so classic and put together. On it’s own and over the top of a shirt, it’s the perfect go to sweater that you really can’t go wrong with.
OK, the next pick is one for the guys (and the girls in a way, hear me out on this one…) One of the first things I look at on a man is his shoes. I genuinely think – in a completely superficial way – that it says a lot about a man. So if your guy’s shoes are…. not quite to your taste, then I think a good pair of smart shoes are such a perfect pick. I adore these Red Herring Brogue boots especially (and I have to say, the fiance does actually wear these a lot [insert thumbs up emoji here]) otherwise they would be at the top of my list for his gifts this year!
Finally for clothing, a good pair of gloves. Guys like to be all “macho macho” but they’re the first ones that want to steal your gloves on a freezing cold, winter’s evening. A pair of classic leather or suede/shearling gloves will not only keep him warm (and moan-free) but also happy as they look so stylish.
If trying to completely overhaul the man in your life’s wardrobe lend a helping hand in the fashion department isn’t your main priority, then an amazing quality accessory would be a fabulous idea. Here are some of my favourite picks which I really had to resist buying all of for my fiance/Dad/brother etc.
I feel like a wallet might be slightly creeping towards the more cliche/standard side of gifts but I had to include it as not only did Debenhams have beautifully well made ones, but they also have amazing sets which immediately struck my eye. A wallet really is one of those fail safe items, they’re going to use it everyday, it’ll last them a long time (providing you buy a great quality ones like the above, of course) and this nifty little set also includes a fab black belt to go alongside it. Useful, practical and chic.
Watches. For me, watches are such a personal thing that I do think are really tough to buy as a gift unless you know the exact one that somebody likes. However, when I saw this Red Herring brown analogue watch I immediately wrestled/karate chopped everyone out the way grabbed one as it had my brother’s name written all over it. A beautiful classic brown strap with a really modern navy front, I know he will love this. But if brown and blue aren’t doing it for you, there are so many other options to go for. Yep, I really wasn’t joking when I said Debenhams was your one stop shop was I?
Last but most definitely not least, a bag. I have to say, this is definitely one of my favourite options (… and not just because Men’s bags make for perfect travel bags too). There’s something about a Man’s bag that’s always very simplistic, very minimalistic, but always looks chic; and it’s safe to say that this runs true for the Debenhams options too. Not only was I blown away by the beautiful leather/suede materials, but also by the incredible range of shapes and styles. My fiance’s biggest bug bear is that men’s clothing in general is just so much more limited than women’s, so I was really pleased to see so many options. My personal favourite (that I intend to buy for – and then subsequently steal from – him) is the beautiful leather satchel [insert heart eye’d emoji’s here].
Another item that you really can’t go wrong with – p.s I am not being sponsored to say “can’t go wrong with” 20 million times, I just made a really conscious effort to pick things that would work for the vast majority – are fragrances. Whether the man in your life uses it every day, or on special occasions, I’m always blown away by how much a spritz of fragrance can completely change your mood and make you feel more “put together”. After much searching, spritzing and “ooh-ing and ahh-ing” I finally decided on my favourite male scents that I think would work for everyone.
One thing I learnt from my mass spritzing session – much to the delight of everybody around me – is the Men’s section of Fragrances is Debenhams is not only huge, but pretty much rivals the ladies which I was really pleasantly surprised to see. It also means that there really is something for everybody and my first pick for the guy that likes a fresh, citrusy, fruity scent is Davidoff Cool water. I used the ladies version of this when I was in secondary school (a long time ago) so this was so nostalgic for me, but it really is gorgeous. So fresh and clean and one of my top picks. The Montblanc Emblem intense gift set also comes high up on my “need a gift for an awkward man and I’ve left it to last minute, help a girl out Debenhams list” because not only does it consist of an eau de toilette, shower gel and shaving balm, but it also smells incredible. Woody, oriental and spicy, this is seriously sexy, one for your other half rather than your Dad in my opinion but equally gorgeous all the same. And then we have Prada Luna Rossa, a scent which totally took me surprise and taught me to never judge a book by it’s cover (or an aftershave by it’s packaging). With a very sleek and stylish bottle, I was so pleasantly surprised to discover the herby, fresh lavender based scent that lies inside. A really quite stunning scent with the bottle to match. And finally, we have Jasper Conran Nightshade which I have to say is not only highly underrated, but also one of my all time favourite Men’s scents. I’m a huge fan of Floriental fragrances and the musky, cedar wood base definitely amps up that warm, sexy feel.
It’s taken a long time for a higher majority of Men to really embrace skincare but I definitely think we’re starting to see this transition now. Pretty much all of my girlfriends are forever commenting that their boyfriends like to steal their lotions and potions so I think a lovely skincare set – packaged in very masculine packaging of course – is such a fab option. Plus, it saves them slathering your really expensive face cream all over their whole bodies. Been there, done that, given the hardcore evils… 😉
Clinique Skincare in general is always absolutely outstanding, but I have to say that for me, they’ve really paved the way for other brands to delve into men’s skincare. Their packaging is always very sleek and masculine but mainly just minimalistic. But it’s the skincare itself which always comes up trumps. My fiance is now a huge fan – he is also the person that previously used carex soap all over his face – so I honestly couldn’t recommend them enough. Clarins are another brand that do men’s skincare so well and their starter kit for Men really couldn’t be any more perfect for a man just getting into skincare (or one that you’re trying to “gently push” into skincare). Finally for skincare, are some slightly more “out there” choices in the form of some body oils and candles from Elemis. Now, I know these are very much female associated products but what I love about Elemis is that nearly all of their pampering products are extremely unisex. The scents are very gender neutral, spa like scents that I think guys would definitely appreciate after a hard day at work. (Plus, let’s be totally honest, that candle is really a present for you isn’t it? Yes, yes it is!).
The Something special – Gift experiences
My final option is something a little different, a little special and I have to say, are always some of my favourite gifts to buy for people. As much as I love products – jeez, I write a whole bloomin’ blog about them – it’s experiences that are most special to me which is why I love the Gift Experiences section at Debenhams.
What I love about this particular section is that there really is something for everyone. Indulgent, spa treatments for the pamper lover? Tick. Activity days for the adventurer? Tick. Racing car driving sessions for the undercover Lewis Hamilton’s? Yep, it’s got that too. What I love is that I found so many options for the younger guys in my life – obviously referring to boyfriend, fiance etc. and not that I’m a secret player [insert cry laughter emoji here] – but at least 3 older gentlemen picked out some gift experiences for themselves whilst I was there too.
And that brings me to the end of my gift guide, I had so much fun walking/dashing around like a kid in a sweet shop, trying to find the perfect gifts. But before I left, I couldn’t resist sneakily purchasing the gorgeous Red Herring Brown and blue watch for one of my brother’s Christmas presents. Luckily he doesn’t read my blog – brother of the year award he will not be winning – so I’m looking forward to surprising him with this on Christmas day.
I really hope this has helped for those of you lacking in inspiration for what to buy the men in your life. I would love to know if you have any idea’s for mens gifts if you’ve been super organised and purchased already? Or if there’s anything from this post that you’ll be clicking through and ordering?I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂
As always, thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!
Post in collaboration with Debenhams but all thoughts, photographs and love of stealing my man’s clothes, my own.