You’ve got a dilemma. A special guy in your life, be it your brother or your BF, has a hard time shopping for himself. He knows what he likes (T-shirts), he knows what he doesn’t like (anything he can’t pronounce), and has a hard time stepping out of that Bro Code uniform – even though you know he’ll look better than ever as soon as he dons that shawl-collar sweater you’ve had your eye on.
Note: don’t ever describe your guy’s new sweater as a “shawl collar.” Just “sweater” will do.
As the holidays roll in, fashion-backwards guys are dreading the clothing gifts they didn’t ask for but will inevitably receive.
Avoid heavy sighs and forced grins come gift-giving day by selecting one of these all-guys-will-love-it-no-matter-what clothing gifts.
3 Clothing Items Guys Can’t Help But Love
- Jackets. In wintery months, there’s nothing worse than layering sweatshirt upon hoodie to try to beat the chill. A wind-cutting, water-resistant, weather-conquering coat is welcomed and beloved by all – and can look great.
What to look for: Something quilted or down-insulated, but not overly-puffy: this isn’t 2002. If you’re worried about styling, check out the cuts and features of the jackets in outdoor clothing stores for guidance. Stick to darker, neutral tones: gray, dark brown, and navy.
- Sweaters. Not any sweater. The perfect sweater. The problem with sweaters is that if the dude doesn’t already wear them, he’s going to be a tough sell. “I’m not really a sweater kind of guy,” he’ll say. Be gentle yet persuasive. Encourage him to try it on and wear it to a social event. If enough people say he looks good, he may be retrospectively excited about such an unconventional fashion addition.
What to look for: For a sweater-newbie, something as close to a long sleeve shirt as possible: finely knit, not scratchy wool, no buttons, no interesting collars, no garish prints. For the occasional sweater wearer, take it to the next level and try out that shawl collar I’m so hooked on.
- Jeans. As long as you keep the styling in his wheelhouse, he’s not really going to notice the difference between the unfortunately baggy pair he loves and the new, slightly-slimmer-legged ones you love.
What to look for: A neutral, un-flashy wash, and a cut that shows him off best.
Keep in mind you’re not trying to transform your brother/boyfriend/guyfriend/whathaveyou. You already like him the way he is. But a couple of nudges into more fashion-friendly territory may spark something deep within – a narcissistic, “I love looking good” fire. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Guest contributor Emma Stover is the Martyred Saint of Makeovers and lover of all things denim. She recently cut down her collection of jeans from 17 pairs to 10. It was tough.