I get more questions from y’all about gift ideas for men than anything else! I understand. The men in your life can be difficult to shop for! I don’t know about you, but when it comes to Christmas gifts, in our family, we always seem to give a combination of things the person needs (like clothes), along with fun things that person might really enjoy. Do you do that too? When I put together my Holiday Gift Guide, I worked to assemble a list of suggestions with that in mind — especially when it came to the Gifts for Him section. I had Bob help me with ideas for that section, and I asked for his approval and advice on all of the fashion items. Throughout the Gifts for Him section, you’ll see items that say “*BOB’S PICK*” that designate ideas that he actually suggested. He’s always been my biggest Empty Nest Blessed cheerleader, but still, it was pretty adorable that he wanted to help me as much as he did. I’m so grateful for his input!
The collage above is clickable for more information and represents only a TINY portion of what’s in the Empty Nest Blessed Gifts for Him section of the Gift Guide!
Red Doublecloth Sports Shirt | Portable Charger with Built-in Cords | How to Stay Alive: The Ultimate Survival Guide by Bear Grylls | Flat Front Chinos | Bob’s Favorite Wireless In-Ear Headphones | Cognac Leather Belt | Phone Sanitizer/Charger | Black Lace-Up Sneaker | Cognac Dress Shoes | Throwback Electronic Football Game | Play by Play by Verne Lundquist | Cedar Shoe Trees | Soft Plaid Blazer | Bob’s Favorite Watch | Dad Bod Tee | Half-Zip Pullover
Let’s be real. Most men don’t like to shop. Typically, they have no idea what’s in style and look to their wives for advice. As I told you in my recent post on the Three Fall Trends that Surprised Me, I recently went to a men’s style seminar at Nordstrom. In it, the Nordstrom stylists ran down the three things that men need to do to bring them “into the current decade.” (As they put it!) Today, I’m going to share their advice, along with some other tips they shared.
1. Updated Blazers
If your man is still wearing three-button blazers, he is dating himself. The most updated blazers for men are going to be two-button, with double vents in the back. (Apparently, the single vent is so last decade. Who knew? Hahahaha!) Since most men no longer wear suits to the office, the blazer is becoming more and more important for workwear. If your man doesn’t own an updated basic navy blazer, that probably should be your first purchase. Better, yet, if you can find one that has a subtle windowpane plaid, you’ll really up his style game. One note: As you shop, you’ll see lots of blazers that say “Trim Fit” or “Slim Fit.” Don’t worry! Most men over fifty prefer a “classic” or “traditional” fit blazer, so that’s what I’ve linked to for you. Also, you don’t have to pay over $1000 for a beautiful blazer! Bob’s favorites are usually the ones by Peter Millar, and they’re under $600. (Which is still a lot of money, but you have to think about price per wear when it comes to something like this.) Bob and I had a hard time narrowing down the choices when it came to which one to include in the Holiday Gift Guide, but we landed on this one, which is the one Bob wants for Christmas this year! (It’s also about $100 cheaper than the others, so that’s awesome!)
2. Flat-Front Pants
Whelp, there’s not much we can say about this! Pleated-front pants look dated. There it is. I said it. Flat-front pants are slimming, no matter what size his tummy is. A few years ago, I convinced Bob to switch over by cajoling him into letting me order just one pair of flat-front chinos. When he wore them to the office for the first time, he immediately started fielding questions about what he was doing to lose weight. Hahahaha! MIssion accomplished! I ordered three more pairs for him that very day! Bob’s favorite brand is Bonobos, which you can find at Nordstrom, and also at Bonobos.com. (Bonobos offers free shipping, as you may remember from my Guide to Retailers Who Offer Free Shipping. So, yay!) In a nod to women’s fashion, some of the men’s slacks now feature a hint of lycra, making movement a lot more comfortable. (You’re welcome, fellas! We, women, are highly experienced in this arena, thanks to our long-standing relationship with a little something called the skinny jean.) 🙂
3. Cognac Shoes & Belt
I’m sure you’ve noticed that all the Millenials have dress shoes in cognac brown. They also have belts in cognac brown. (That’s the orangey-brown that is so big in women’s fashion right now too.) I love this color because somehow it just seems to make everything look more expensive! Hahahaha! I’ve also heard the color referred to as “whiskey,” “tan,” and just plain “brown,” but I think the French word “cognac” (pronounced “kohn-yak”) is so much more fun to say! (It also sounds terribly manly, which is a plus when you’re trying to convince your husband to make a style shift, amirite?) #strategic
Other Men’s Style Tips I Learned
- Make sure your man is wearing jeans that are the right size. If he hasn’t bought new jeans in the past few years, it might be worth trying some on, as fits have changed. #nodadjeans (Remember the huge hoopla when then-President Obama was caught wearing “Dad jeans?”) Your man doesn’t need to sport skinny jeans like he’s in a boy band or something (!), but more fitted jeans are going to be more flattering. Men over fifty should probably stick to medium or dark wash jeans, and leave the chambray and distressing to the Millennials. 🙂 Bob buys his straight-leg jeans at Banana Republic.
- Every man needs at least one French blue dress shirt in his wardrobe.
- Men should leave their sports shirts untucked for casual outings.
- Men need a “tweener” shoe in their shoe wardrobes. (This is a shoe that is somewhere between an athletic sneaker and a dress shoe.) This is the one that Bob owns in both black and cognac. (It’s in the Gifts for Him section of the gift guide.)
- Cedar shoe trees will help keep his shoes keep their shape and smelling fresh! (My young adult sons were thrilled when I gave them cedar shoe trees last Christmas — honestly, I think it made them feel kinda grown up and adulty, which was so cute! Also, they would never have bought them for themselves, which is always the mark of a good gift.
- The newest look in sweaters for men is the quarter- or half-zip pullover. The one in this post is a cashmere/cotton blend, so it’s suitable for the office. I’ve got a couple of casual options in the Gifts for Him section of the gift guide.
More Great Men’s Gift Ideas
Books – The two books I’m recommending this year are super-manly and really unique.
- Play by Play by Verne Lundquist is full of fun stories from his over-50-year career in sports broadcasting. From Tonya Harding’s attack on Nancy Kerrigan to the 2005 Masters Tournament when Tiger Woods sunk a dramatic chip-in birdie on the 16th hole (and much more!) this book is ideal for the sports lover on your list. Bob and I had an opportunity to have dinner with Verne and his wife, Nancy, this summer when we were all cruising Alaska (see fun photo in that post), and he regaled us for hours with story after story. (I’m pretty sure it ranks as one of the best days of Bob’s life, just sayin’.) Verne is a great story-teller, and his book reads just like he talks!
- How to Stay Alive: The Ultimate Survival Guide by Bear Grylls is the most fun and manly read ev-ah. Bear shares all of his survivalist tips for life, from making a fire and building a shelter to avoiding blisters.
- Is a watch a tech item? Not sure, but I’m lumping it in with the other tech items! The watch in my gift guide is Bob’s favorite. He loves it because it can go casual or dressy.
- The portable charger I’m recommending is fantastic because it’s got both the charging cord (that you use to charge the battery) and the charger cord (that you use to charge your device) built right into it. It’s ideal for the guy who needs to carry a backup battery (that’s pretty much every guy) but who doesn’t like messing with a bunch of cords (also every guy!).
- When I saw this Phone Sanitizer/Charger, I knew it needed a spot on the gift guide! It uses UV light to sanitize anything that will fit inside, so you can get creative and just start sanitizing the mess out of all of your belongings! Hahahaha! It would be perfect right by the bed at night — so that your guy wakes up with both a charged and a sanitized phone. (Genius, amirite?) Fun fact — it comes in 9 different colors, including a sweet pink one that I put on the Gifts for Her guide.
- The most important features when it comes to wireless in-ear headphones are that they actually stay put in your ears and that they have fantastic sound quality. These deliver on both fronts (and Bob’s tried plenty, lemme tell ya’).
- Only give this Dad Bod tee to your guy if he has a great sense of humor! 🙂
- This throwback electronic football game was super-popular on last year’s gift guide, so I had to bring it back for another year! I gave it to Bob last Christmas, and he got so excited, because it’s exactly the game he spent hours playing as a teenager. I think every male in our family played with it on Christmas afternoon!
What’s up for you this weekend? Bob and I are staying home and watching football! I feel like I’ve been a little off all week thanks to last weekend’s time change, so I’m looking forward to getting back on track in the sleep department. Have a great weekend with your peeps!
Next week I’m so excited to introduce you to the coolest empty nester-owned company I’ve seen in a long time. I love them so much that I’m not only writing a post about them, but I’m also doing a Facebook Live with the two ladies who run it on Tuesday! On Wednesday, I’ve got a post about workwear for all of you office working gals who have been asking for one, and on Friday, I’ll highlight another section of my Holiday Gift Guide for you. Which one would you like me to do? Leave me a comment and let me know, okay?
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