What Men Want

As Christmas draws ever closer, the million dollar question of what to buy your loved ones nags more and more in the back of your mind, especially when it comes to the men close to you. As the days grow even shorter, you panic and opt for socks for your Dad and a scarf for your boyfriend or brother: in other words, the same bland gifts as last year.

But doesn’t it play on your conscience? Us men are often overlooked in terms of Christmas gifts. A gift for a man can easily be on trend, on budget and something they may actually wear and use. Some may be beyond help. My parents, for example, now receive a comprehensive email in late November with links to websites with sizes and colours clearly stated in bold. However, there is still hope for others who want to come up with an original idea that will shower Christmas joy on their lucky gentleman.

Firstly we look to fragrance: perfume for women is a huge seller over the Christmas period and a great stocking filler. Cologne for men is exactly the same: not only is it an easy option, but also a very personal one. Obviously you could go for whatever cologne the man in question usually wears, but trying something new shows originality. For me this Christmas it’s all about the new Marc Jacobs Bang fragrance, a winner at the GQ style 2011 grooming awards. You can pick up a set which contains 50ml Eau de Toilette Spray, 75ml Hair & Body Wash & 75ml After Shave Balm for £42.

With the metrosexual movement growing ever stronger, grooming is a good option for a gift, and if you don’t want to shell out on high end cologne then Soap and Glory’s Male Varnish set, featuring Soap’er Man Hair & Body Wash, Eau Man body spray, A Man’s Got to Dew facial moisture balm, The Clean of England shower gel and A Shave to Love shave gel for just £16 is a cheaper option, but still provides hours of indulgence.

Clothing for men is another excellent option for a gift this Christmas as there are so many good quality, on trend items on offer. A trend that can be found throughout the high street is big, chunky knitwear which is usually patterned: the perfect winter warmer. You really cannot go wrong with one of these knits and as I have said, they are everywhere: Topman have some cool designs, and prices range from around £25-£40.

If there is one key item of footwear a man should have this winter, it’s the boot, so if you want to give a gift for a man that puts a fashion foot forward, then boots are the way to go. As with knitwear, you can find different designs of boots everywhere. Some standout stores include All Saints, which offers a range from around £100-£200: quite expensive, but excellent quality and top design. For a cheaper, but in my opinion just as fashionable, range visit River Island (whose footwear has really excelled recently), where you can pick up a pair from between £40 and £80 (4).

One more quirky option that I love this season is the long-john. Designer Paul Smith does some great ones for £34, but so do Topman for a more humble £14. So try them out for a cheap but fun alternative to pyjamas that’s bang on trend. If all else fails and socks are your only option, go for some Jack Wills ones: men don’t mind a scarf or socks as long as they are good quality and not navy.

There is so much on offer in terms of menswear and gifts this Christmas: all you need is a bit of thought and a short wander down the high street and you’re sure to find a worthy gift that’ll leave your conscience clear for the New Year.


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