Oh sure, it has more to do with rampant consumerism than old-fashioned romance, but the way we look at it, there’s nothing wrong with getting nice new stuff. Unfortunately, Valentine’s Day gifts are synonymous with schmaltz and tat. (FYI, we don’t want a neon sign to go above the headboard that says #blessed.)
So, for the avoidance of doubt, we’ve compiled a list of Valentine’s Day gift ideas that no man alive will gag at. From stylish threads to essential tech, if you really want a way to his heart, tie one of these up in ribbon and make him panic that you’ve outdone him again.
A Nice Pack Of Trunks
If watching him strut around in a pair of grubby old sausage skins is making you question your relationship, use Valentine’s Day as the perfect excuse to take matters into your own hands. By kitting him out with some respectable underwear from a trusted name like Calvin Klein, you tick the gift box and get to burn those old ones at the same time.
An Upgrade On His Basic Tee
An assortment of plain tees is one of the fundamental building blocks of a man’s wardrobe, and this particular one from Scandinavian brand Arket is a prime reason why. For added interest, the uber-cool cotton basic is finished with a chest pocket. Granted, no one in their right mind would ever put anything in a T-shirt pocket, but it looks good, right?
A (Manly) Scented Candle
Scented candles aren’t just for girls. In fact, this earthy offering from Molton Brown (a brand he’ll no doubt be acquainted with), was designed with him in mind. Incorporating a combination of manly notes including pine and leather, it’s the sort of burner that even a hairy-chested lumberjack could get on board with.
A Welcome Addition To His Bookshelf
These days it’s not unlikely for a sneaker obsession to take up most of a man’s pay packet. To support his habit, but maybe not condone it, wrap up this best-selling memoir that tells the story of how Nike co-founder Phil Knight turned the company into one of the world’s most successful brands.
A Small Detail That Will Upgrade Any Suit
There’s only one man whose sleeves should flap around à la Gandalf (and that’s Gandalf). Help keep your fella’s together at his next formal gathering with a tasteful pair of cufflinks. Few do such details as well as Sir Paul Smith, so trust in the British designer’s stylish multistripe set, which are guaranteed to put his look one step ahead of the sartorial competition.
The Athlete’s Grooming Kit
Gone are the days when a bit of soap and a splash of Old Spice constituted ‘grooming’. These days it wouldn’t be weird for your man to own almost as many products as you. To save schlepping all your products to the gym Aesop has compiled all the essentials into one handy kit, including a body cleanser, shampoo and hydrator.
He’s gotten away with his ragged pair of earbuds for ages. If the thought of splashing out on a Beats or Bose pair is intimidating, look no further than the Plattan 2 Bluetooth from Urbanears. With a crisp, full spectrum sound and 30+ hours of wireless playtime they also feature the essential built-in mic and a collapsible design so he can take them wherever he goes. All for the right price.
A Wardrobe Staple Jumper
Guys can be just as tricky to buy clothes for as they claim women are, which is why both tend to shy away altogether. However, if you stick to the basics, it’s impossible to go wrong. They don’t get much more classic than a simple, block-colour, crew neck sweatshirt. No matter how fussy he is, there’s no way a staple piece like this will end up abandoned at the back of the wardrobe.
Something For His Wrist
If your other half has a habit of showing up late for social gatherings with excuses like “sorry, I didn’t realise the time”, “my watch is broken”, or “I’m not actually late, time is an ephemeral concept, which has no real bearing on reality”, it’s probably wise to buy him a watch. Kill two birds with one stone by simultaneously shutting him up and sorting his Valentine’s gift with this classic example from Tissot.
A Full-Body Massage
Chances are you’re as sick of hearing about “delayed onset muscle soreness” as he is with feeling it. The fix is a foam roller, which soothes his muscles and your ears simultaneously by breaking up achy knots after a workout. Just make sure you’ve got earphones on while he’s at it.
A Trendy Pair Of Trousers
The smallest details in a man’s outfit can make a profound difference, so it pays to be clued up. Don’t just buy him bog-standard legwear – gift him one of 2019’s biggest trends that is sure to spill over into 2020: wide leg chino trousers. Pair with a cable knit jumper and he’ll look straight out of the catwalk. Girlfriend points for you, style points for him.
A Cool AF Cologne
Oud fragrances are among the most sought-after scents in the world; the only downside is that they are also some of the most expensive. Thankfully, premium retailer Hugo Boss has distilled the musky note into its new The Scent Private Accord – resulting in a gift that’s heavy on the nose but light on the bank balance.
A Getaway Holdall
It’s a well-known fact that as men grow older they come to learn the true value of high-quality holdalls. From around the age of 20 upwards, what was once little more than a necessity becomes the main event. So, though you may think that £20+ is a lot to pay for something that simply transports other things, trust us, the guy in your life will almost certainly appreciate it.
An #InstaPhoto Camera
Looking to take your ‘Gram game to the next level but aren’t exactly Annie Leibovitz? The answer is simple: buy your significant other a professional-grade camera and let him do all the legwork. He’ll have a new gadget to keep him entertained, while you’ll have a 24/7 personal photographer and a grid to die for.
A Standout Pair Of Shades
Some guys are perfectly capable of picking out their own sunglasses. Others, however, wait until they’re on holiday and snap up the first pair of Fay-Bans they see. Don’t take the risk, ensure he’s properly armed for the summer months with a stylish and timeless pair of sunglasses from a classic name like Persol.
A Premium Ballpoint Pen
It’s no good for a man to rock up to a business meeting in a suit so sharp its lapels could cut glass, only to produce a chewed-up old biro to take notes with. For the man who takes his business seriously, a smart pen is an absolute must. We’re particularly fond of this premium ballpoint from Ted Baker, which comes in its own presentation box.
A Leather Biker Jacket
We’d go as far to say there isn’t a man alive whose look can’t be enhanced with the addition of a men’s leather jacket. For a timeless outerwear staple that channels James Dean circa 1995 and will (as morbid as it sounds) most likely outlive you both, opt for a biker style like this (unreasonably affordable one) by Topman.
A Skin Saver
Whether it’s heavy winds or a heavy weekend, your man’s face has to put up with a lot. Soften it up and make kissing a tad less scratchy with a quality, specially-formulated moisturiser. Kiehl’s hydrating Facial Fuel is packed with everything needed to show his skin some love this February.
A Gamer’s Pride And Joy
The biggest thing in gaming since Nintendo 64, there isn’t a guy out there who hasn’t thought about a) trying Fortnite or b) how many hours left of work he has so he can go home and play Fortnite. This Double Helix Switch bundle will give you serious girlfriend brownie points (though you might want to include some terms and conditions).
A Razor That Looks Good On His Bathroom Shelf
Not all razors are created equal. Gift him one that’s both useful and aesthetically pleasing as it’s likely the grooming gear that’s most in-use – and thus most-seen laying about. This combined razor and trimmer from Philips will not only look good but also reduce clutter (making more room for your stuff, of course).