to give and get {for guys}

I have 10 solid years of buying (a.k.a. madly hunting for) gifts for the men in my life.  Between Zach, his two brothers, my two brothers, not to mention our dads - that adds up to a lot of gifts!  At the beginning, I was not very intrigued while shopping in the men's department and settled for less than inspiring gifts (sorry guys!).  However, since getting married and understanding the male psyche a little better - gift buying has become much more interesting.  Here are my favorite gifts:

Quirky, retro, and best of all - so soft!  They feel like you've worn them for years.  They have loads of styles, and although I spring for the OSU tees - they have plenty of other cities and states represented.  (Plus, this Friday all tees are $10 to $20 on sale....I'm definitely picking up a couple.)

A Watch, $20 and up
Zach recommended I add this to the ultimate guy list.  I'd splurge on a great brand - like Swiss Army and view it as a heirloom gift.  Zach bought his after a big promotion and wears it everyday to work.  He also has some simple Timex watches that are classic, sporty designs too. The best finds for watches under $100 are the great field watches and vintage styles at Urban Outfitters.

Although I usually end up taking pictures most of the time, I think Zach would totally dig having a small Polaroid-type camera.  He's heading to India in the spring, and this would be such a cool way to record the trip! 

The Mustache, $12 and $8
Sweet.  Add a mustache to anything and it works for guys (at least in my experience).  Last year, I bought these glasses for Zach, but I love the fingerstaches for a stocking stuffer and mustache mug this year. 

I've seen my husband and brothers eat breakfast enough to know that they love the sweet and salty combo of chocolate, syrup, and bacon.  I think this mix would be perfect for any bachelor who wants to recreate the flavor sensation at home.

Finally, I figured out how to successfully buy clothes for Zach.  My secret is this - find one store whose clothes fit perfectly and buy all gifts there.  For his "athletic" build (broad shoulders and trim waist) that store is J. Crew.  Luckily their men's sale items are fantastically marked down and I only shop in bulk with additional % off and free shipping promo codes.  My favorites include: cotton-cashmere v-neck sweaters, long sleeve henleys, flannel shirts, and secret wash shirts (especially the gingham ones). 

For an even cheaper clothing item - last year we discovered these awesome Hanes waffle tees with a Christmas gift card.  They look like a J.Crew shirt, but only cost about $10 at Kohl's.  And I know some of you are the die-hard Kohl's shoppers with all those coupons, so you can probably buy it for like 35 cents!

Soccer Pants, $30-45
A couple years ago, Zach and I went to Soccer House in my hometown to pick up a pair of warmup pants for my brother, Ryan's, Christmas present.  Once there we both ended up buying a pair as well since they were a great deal.  (You can see mine in this post.)  Zach wears these all the time, and I'll probably pick another pair for him this year ('s a secret!).

These shows are amazing if you haven't seen them. I show Planet Earth to my biology classes, and guys and girls love it.  It's an investment, but after 4 years of teaching I've probably seen all the episodes 20 times each and I'm still not sick of it.  This was a great gift for my dad several years ago.  If you're looking for a wow episode - try Shallow Seas, Jungles, or Deep Ocean (my favorites).  Added bonus: David Attenborough's British accent and dry humor throughout the narration.

Last but not least - if you're still at a loss, gear your man up for winter with a pair of cashmere-lined leather gloves, a big umbrella, and galoshes (Mad Men style!). 

I really hope this little guide gets you going in the right direction! 

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