How to Choose a Gift for a Man

Will Welch and Jonathan Wilde, Allure magazine

It's not that guys are tough to buy for-throw a shiny gadget at us and we'll be entertained for hours. But sometimes you want to give a gift that's more personal than whatever happens to be on his Amazon Wish List.

Upgrade. A lot of guys don't like to splurge on themselves. Treat him to a luxe version of something he wears all the time, like a hand-crafted Billykirk belt or a cashmere beanie from Steven Alan. Whenever he puts on his impossibly soft hat, he'll think of you, and that's never a bad thing.

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Choose an experience.
Your man likes Scotch? Take him to a Scotch-tasting session. He yells himself hoarse watching his team on TV? Get him two tickets to a game-the good seats. And here's the key part: Go with him. He will appreciate that you're taking part in the things he loves.

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Dig deep.
Yes, men can tell when a gift came from a halfhearted browse through the mall. Instead, go for a deep dive at the nearest flea market. While there will be some junky stuff in the mix, there will be more things with great patina that remind you of your guy than you could ever fit in the car home.Think vintage sports equipment, belt buckles, desk clocks, old college pennants, weird found photos and Polardoids, incredible old trunks and briefcases, and strange postcards from places that mean something to you. Bonus: Regale him with the story of the witchy old loon who sold you the '40s-era football while he unwraps it.

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Plan an abduction. Take him on a trip you've got all planned out. It doesn't have to be ten days in the Maldives. A night or two in the country will do. Show him you've been lovingly researching this thing for a while: Book dinner reservations in advance (at a place described as "rockin'," not "cute"); find the bar that does good cocktails; have three ideas for lazy ways to spend the afternoon, and let him pick ("in bed" should be one of them).

-Welch and Wilde are senior editors at

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