25 unique gift ideas for the impossible to buy for guy
Our men's style expert set out to prove to his wife he's not hard to shop for at all!
My wife played a big part in the initial idea for this article, because as she puts it, I am "the hardest person to buy a gift for." Her reasoning lies in the fact that if there's something I am eyeing, I simply buy it for myself before she has a chance to scoop it as a gift. She also says my taste is specific that she finds it difficult to gauge whether I'd like one thing or….hate it! My advice to her and to anyone looking to buy something for a hard to figure out guy (or gal for that matter) is to stick to something that checks one or more of the following boxes:
- Usefulness. Since we were kids, we've been almost programmed to think that holiday gifts have to be superfluous 'toys', when in reality, it's the useful stuff that really keeps on giving.
- Uniqueness. Sometimes a simpler, more modern design applied to an everyday, taken for granted tool or accessory, can be a game changer, and makes a great gift.
- Unexpected. Think outside the holiday box; sometimes gifts that may be the last thing your guy would ever buy for himself could end up being his newest favourite thing.
This makes scents
The cool thing about these Japanese incense sticks that they come in the form of matches. No need to scramble for a lighter, just light a match, lay it on the tray, included, and enjoy. I highly recommend the sandalwood and Japanese cypress scents.
Hibi Herb Fragrance , $12-32, Deadstock.ca
About a year ago I was going through one umbrella a month, and couldn't believe there wasn't a better designed and durable option. After a Google search in modern umbrella options I came across this Knirps umbrella, and haven't looked back since. It's reversible design means it won't break if inverted by wind, and the aluminum shaft and fibreglass ribs also contribute to its durability. The c-shaped handle works great as a bag carrier, and did I mention it stands on its own? The guy in your life will thank you every time it rains.
Knirps Umbrella, $35.99, Bestbuy.ca
For the java Joe
A great gift for the coffee aficionado, this Hario hand coffee grinder will add a new level of freshness to your guy's morning java. He can adjust the level of "fineness" to optimize the grind for everything from a pourover to a stovetop percolator. He'll have you to thank for that extra flavour in his (and your) espresso!
Hario Ceramic Coffee Grinder, $43.49, Well.ca
Mr. Appointment Guy
It's hard to believe this Stendig calendar was designed in 1966 by Massimo Vignelli. The timeless nature of this classic makes for a great addition to any office. Part calendar, part art piece, it's the ideal gift for the planner in your life.
Stendig Calendar, $79.95, Studiopazo.ca
Keep him cozy
Fashion pieces are always hard to get for a guy because style and taste can be extremely personal. Yet, this comfy fleece zip-up is a no-brainer. Available in a number of colours, this will soon become your giftee's favourite layering piece.
Uniqlo Yarn Fleece Full Zip Jacket, $29.99, Uniqlo.com
The splurge gift for the man on your list that happens to have long hair The Dyson supersonic takes the hair dryer into the future, featuring a computer chip controlled digital motor that measures the airflow temperature and prevents your hair from excessive heat damage. 'Air amplifying' technology dries hair faster and the new matte black colourway gets my thumbs up.
Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer, $499, Bestbuy.ca
Keep their drink warm
For that guy in your life that spends a ton of time at their office or desk consider this Ember bluetooth app-controlled ceramic mug. He can keep his tea or coffee at optimal temperature via the app, while the saucer acts as the charger for the mug. Genius.
Ember Ceramic Mug, $105, Urbanoutfitters.com
How about giving your guy the gift of a closet hanger upgrade? The Ikea bumerang hanger in white was always a nice choice, but the addition of these very smart shoulder shapers makes for a very useful (and slick combo) option for those looking to keep his coats, suits and shirts looking their best, avoiding that annoying 'hanger-shoulder' crease.
The Sneaker Guy's must-have
A great option for that sneaker lover in your life is this Jason Markk starter set. It comes with a shoe cleaner, cloth wipe, cleaning bristle brush, and REPEL which is an amazing stain and water repellant. Once your guy starts making his kicks sparkle, it won't be long till you can sneak some of yours into his cleaning queue.
Jason Markk Starter Kit, $44.99, Footlocker.ca
Few things are more frustrating than constantly having to replace your smartphone charger cable due to it fraying at the plug point and generally just falling apart. This syncwire lightning cable will be the gift he uses everyday, and lucky for him, it's 10 times stronger than the ones he's used to.
Syncwire Lightning Cable, $14.99, Amazon.ca
Sore no more
Recovery is the focus these days in exercise. This Trigger Point roller helps apply pressure to myofascial trigger points while increasing blood flow, thus helping with next-day soreness following a game or workout. Even if the guy on your list isn't a gym rat, but rather a desk jockey, he will also appreciate the benefits.
Trigger Point GRID X Roller, $44.97, Sportchek.ca
I love gifts that help with health and well being because in the end health is wealth! Weighted blankets are said to help people fall asleep quicker and sleep more deeply, allowing for optimal, restorative sleep Time magazine named this one of the best inventions of 2018.
Gravity Weighted Blanket, $279, Chapters.indigo.ca
Looking for the perfect gift for that film lover on your wishlist? He's gonna love this 100 Essential Films scratch-off chart. Each film is represented by a movie ticket and once he sees a film (hopefully with you!) he can scratch off the ticket to reveal a hand drawn mini-poster. Interactive wall art at its best!
We all know a pop culture vulture, and lover '90s sitcoms, like Seinfeld. Give him a little nostalgic fun with this Festivus Seinfeld celebration kit. It comes with the Festivus pole which plays soundbites from the legendary episode, magnets and some "Human Fund" donation cards. This would be the stocking stuffer or work Kris Kringle gift that would be loved by all.
Festivus/Seinfeld Celebration Kit, $11.55, Indigo.ca
For the G.I. Joe
Check out these Yoga Joes - the classic green army men executing classic yoga poses while getting in touch with their inner peace. These would be great for desk decoration or for your guys' man cave. A definite "double-take" conversation starter, they're available in different colours or classic green.
Yoga Joes, $40.00, Countyshirts.com
A great option for the runner or outdoorsman on your list, these Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 Shield running shoes are as comfortable as they are slick, and the water-repellant upper means they will stand up to more of winter's elements. With the short days, the reflective details help with visibility and safety.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 Shield, $165, Nike.com
Most of us want to drink more water throughout the day, so why not gift the promise of hydration with one of these BKR glass water bottles. It's something he will use every day so make it a good looking one — the matte black is a definite winner.
BKR Glass Water Bottle, $55, TheBay.com
If your giftee is a clean freak and techie guy, this phonesoap smartphone sanitizer could be the perfect present. This little gadget safely kills 99.99 percent of germs by utilizing bacteria-zapping UV rays.
Phonesoap Smartphone Sanitizer, $151.29, Amazon.ca
Work hard play hard
This Aedelhard gift set is a unique one - underwear, a tie and a first-aid kit? You might say this one covers a lot of bases! The Modern Gent essentials kit comes with a 2UNDR boxer briefs featuring a sonic-welded waistband for seamless fit and feel (comfort) , a personal first-aid kit and Aedelhard's knit ties which are handmade in Lake Como italy.
Modern Gent Essentials Gift set, $75, Aedelhard.com
A real champ
What guy wouldn't want a robe that feels like his favourite hoodie? This boxing-inspired robe from Canadian brand Reigning Champ will make your guy feel like, well, Champion of the world... or the living room at least! Available in different colours, I'd suggest the classic heather grey.
Reigning Champ Embroidered Hooded Robe, $180, Reigningchamp.com
Why not consider a wine subscription for that connoisseur on your list? Wine Collective offers a bunch of different options, delivering anywhere from 2 to 6 bottles a month to the recipient's doorstep. You can subscribe for as many months as you want and cancel anytime. Not bad eh?
Wine Collective subscription, $62.24/month, winecollective.ca
For the future rockstar
Has the guy on your list ever thought about learning to play an instrument? Check out this Jamstik smart guitar, which allows you to learn to play guitar wirelessly (via the app included). At just over 16 inches long, it is portable, and even though it has real strings it doesn't ring out like a traditional guitar. You can plug earphones into the device, making it the perfect silent travel companion on a flight or to bring to the cottage.
Jamstik Smart Guitar , $350, Brookstone.com
Many times, it's the unassuming gift which ends up being the most cherished. Why not give the bookworm on your list a major bookmark upgrade with this beautiful Tom Dixon Quill bookmark. The stunning piece is made from digitally etched sheet brass, and is as intricate as it is beautiful.
Tom Dixon Bookworm Quill, $24, Grshop.com
For a wrinkle-free Dapper Dan
A gift for the guy who wears dress pants and button shirts on the regular. The Cirrus No. 2 Hand steamer is compact enough to bring on a business trip, yet powerful enough to be your at-home steamer. It also doesn't hurt that it looks as good as it works; in case you haven't taken note, matte black is a major colour trend this season.
Cirrus No. 2 Steamer, $159, Average.is
The gift of chill
Here's something for the guy who burns the candle at both ends. These Orbits eye stones are the perfect gift for that tireless workaholic who just never seems to get enough sleep. Made from Finnish bedrock (apparently more than 2 billion years old!), he only needs to chill these little guys in the fridge, then rest them on or under those puffy eyes for instant relief.
Orbits Eye Stones, $26.80, Uncommongoods.com