Friday, November 24 2017 4:55

What Do Men Want?

Written by Mary Irene Dolan

How to Find the Perfect Gift for the Men in Your Life

Pretty. Shiny. Sparkly. Expensive. We’ve all heard the standard advice for what women want for the holidays. But what about men?

Men’s tastes may be simpler, with fewer stipulations than for women. But getting them something they’ll truly love? That takes thought. Especially when the women who love them may not share the same dedicated passion for fly fishing or craft beer.

Luckily our local boutiques, shops, drinkeries and salons offer possibilities tailored to guys’ many interests.

Awesome Apparel

If you want to go the traditional route and upgrade your guy’s wardrobe, keep a couple things in mind.

“First and foremost, know their size,” says Jaime Weisbrot, owner of West Chester’s Phineas Gage. You should already know their style and preferences, so staying within those boundaries makes it more likely they’ll wear your gift.

“You don’t want to go too far from their current style,” notes Jaime. “Also have an idea of what they already have, so they don’t end up with a closet full of the same color.” Most men will appreciate your carefully chosen wardrobe additions—especially ones they didn’t have to shop for themselves.

And remember, comfort is key! Unlike women, few men will wear something uncomfortable, even if it looks great or is the latest style. So ditch all those scratchy fabrics and stiff silhouettes—regardless of how much you like them—for something a bit cozier and more relaxed.

In fact, combining comfort and function is a sure winner. “Guys love technical and functional items,” says Jaime. What’s better than fleece-lined tailgating shorts? Fleece-lined tailgating shorts with a bottle opener in the leg, of course! “Those were a big hit this fall,” she notes.

Don’t forget to stock up on tried-and-true stocking stuffers while you’re at it—fpatterned socks, shaving and hair products, and more.


Active Enthusiasts

Is your giftee the outdoorsy type who craves adventure and nature hikes?

Local specialty shops like Trail Creek Outfitters in Kennett Square are perfect for those wilderness-loving men. And it may surprise you just how much equipment those adventures require. Clothing, footwear, accessories, backpacks, sleeping bags, camping gear—you’re bound to find something durable and useful that he doesn’t have yet.

For fly-fishers and hunters, Orvis’s Downingtown location expands your options further with fly rods and reels, fishing and hunting gear, a huge selection of outdoor apparel and much more.

Although everyday runners may not need as much gear as your hardcore camper or fisherman, Chester County Running Company—with locations in West Chester and Pottstown—has more than just the basics for your giftee. If you don’t know their size for clothing or their favorite brand of shoes, go for accessories like watches, monitors, sunglasses, belts and water bottles that are always useful.

And if he’s a diehard sports fanatic who watches the game more than he plays, Rally House Exton has merch—including jerseys, hats, tees, scarves, drinkware and flags—for every local team imaginable, from the major leagues to his alma mater.


Collectors & Hobbyists

Maybe his hobbies are more on the creative or cerebral side. Is he an art lover, rare book collector or amateur musician? Or all three?

Somerville Manning Gallery in Greenville, DE is the place to go for the Wyeth-philes and art history buffs on your list. Their collection includes artists spanning the late 19th to 21st centuries—with all three generations of Wyeths—and relating to the Brandywine’s cultural heritage and tradition.

For rare, antique and used books, maps and prints, look no further than Baldwin’s Book Barn in West Chester. Our tip: get to know more about your bookworm’s collection before you go—that way the booksellers can guide you in the right direction.

If he’s been talking about taking up guitar or wants to expand his musical expertise, Taylor’s Music Store in West Chester has everything from quality instruments and sheet music, to lessons for seasoned players and beginners alike. And maybe you’ll get serenaded!


Beer & Spirits Lovers

Have a craft beer aficionado on your list? According to Michele Mazza of Crowded Castle Brewing Company, you’re in luck. “Honestly, beer lovers are very easy to please,” she jokes. “The gift giver just needs to decide a price limit and choose accordingly.”

And the choices are surprisingly extensive. From beer brand apparel like t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats to on-the-go growlers and always-welcome gift cards, you can find something personal or versatile, depending on the guy.

If he’s hardcore and has a kegerator of his own, “a really cool, unique gift is a beer tap handle from his favorite brewery,” notes Michele. Crowded Castle has plenty of options, as do the countless other breweries in our area.

Hard liquor connoisseurs make it easy for gift-givers, too. Local distilleries like Manatawny Still Works in Pottstown offer similar options and more—with apparel, glassware, limited edition craft spirits and sampler packs. They even have DIY rum and whiskey-aging kits and barrels for fans looking for the next level.


Guy Grooming

Women aren’t alone in wanting to look their best. Even the most low maintenance guy can appreciate a little pampering now and then.

“Most men will quickly loosen up once they’re treated to an old-fashioned straight razor shave and hot towel pampering,” says Sherry Varone of The Ultimate Shave in Glen Mills. And for the hardworking men in your life, there’s really no more relaxing gift than the ultimate grooming experience.

Precision haircut, invigorating scalp massage, superior shave and aromatherapy treatment are just some of the services The Ultimate Shave offers. And the complimentary beverage from their bar and popcorn while watching the game are, as Sherry says, “an added bonus.”

Some salons like newly opened Blue Label Men’s Grooming in Phoenixville even offer customizable memberships. Check in with them to see when this option is available. That option allows your guy to pick the services he prefers and how often he wants them. Truly a gift that keeps on giving!

What men want is as diverse as their interests, but if you know him well enough, the perfect gift is closer than you think. Shop local!