Gifts must follow the “Want to own but won’t buy” rule

Q My nephew is in his last year of high school. I would love to give her a Christmas present that would help her transition into adulthood, and I would appreciate your thoughts on two choices. I was thinking of giving her a set of cufflinks or maybe a messenger bag that could double as a laptop holder. Does one of them seem better than the other?

AI love your two ideas for your nephew, but I prefer the cufflinks. The reason is not only obvious – my interest is in anything portable – but because I guess he’ll likely buy himself a carry bag (and might have a preference for a particular style and shape). My strong feeling has always been that the best gift is something that a person would really like to own, but not likely to purchase for themselves. The reason could be the expense, which he considers too luxurious or even too frivolous. Whatever the reason he might not buy it, he would still like to own it. Cufflinks correspond to this category.

If this is her first pair of cufflinks, you might want to go for something simple and classic like a regular silver bar. If you know he has a few sets already, then you might consider the more quirky silk knots that come in different colors. At the top end are gold designs; less conspicuous types are brushed silver or pewter; a fun set could look like small dogs or colorful enamel bumblebees. These are good because they help to tone down the dressiness of cufflinks. Of course, cufflinks are useless without the proper shirts; if you’re not sure if he has any, you can consider his other standard button-cuff shirts or buy him a shirt to wear with the ties.

The best French cuff shirts are made entirely of cotton; they can range from $ 20 for sale in a department store to several hundred for premium work clothes … probably not for your nephew. Of course, starting with a plain white broadcloth shirt your other choices include a blue oxford cloth or a blue and white stripe. While making a purchase that takes a man in a new direction can be thoughtful and fun, it’s probably wise to consider how dressy his other traditional cuff shirts are, to see what he likes to wear.

While I mentioned that the messenger bag might risk being a style he doesn’t prefer, that doesn’t mean he’s out of the question. If you know him well and think you can feel what he likes, this might be a good choice as well. A nice leather or higher quality bag can help it, as you said, to “transform” it from an elementary school backpack to a business briefcase (or at least a high-end satchel. ). However, unlike cufflinks, these are a very visible part of her look and hence, they mean that you can affect her appearance every day. Choose carefully.

If you or other readers are looking for gift ideas for other men, I can suggest some clothing gifts that fall under the “would like to own, but will not buy” category. Some of these are more suitable for a variety of older men rather than someone in their late teens. They vary for those in different fields of work and come in different price ranges. You might consider: a cashmere sweater, a silk scarf, an alligator wallet, a money clip or a thin key ring, a special tie, a tie clasp, shirt nails for evening wear, a real badger shaving brush, a quality umbrella, a top a ballpoint pen, a set of unique metal or enamel blazer buttons, a cozy terry or flannel plaid dress, a leather Dopp kit, a bomber jacket or a high-end polo shirt with something special in the design.

Keep a few personal notes in mind: If a man has Mediterranean coloring and doesn’t wear camel-colored clothes, don’t buy him accessories in earthy colors. Try to think outside the box, but take into account what matters to him. Knowing about his interests or hobbies is helpful, such as cooking, golfing, gardening, reading, fishing, etc. Better to give a thoughtful gift than a few less related.

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