Monday, 6 February 2012
The Knowledge: how to shop for your man
Wise buys for guys
It's difficult to shop for a man as they tend to buy everything they want themselves. If you haven't got much money, just buy the best pair of socks or the best shirt you can, rather than a cheap version of something expensive. A knitted tie is a key purchase - it's ageless, timeless and looks great dressed up or down. I love Ralph Lauren's ties. Cashmere sweaters suit everyone, as do shirts - you can never have enough shirts
The trends to befriend
If you want to buy an on-trend outfit for a man, go for a pale-blue button-down shirt with a knitted tie, chinos, a pair of loafers and a double-breasted knitted cardigan. Stripy tops or a chambray shirt are great if you want to be a little more adventurous, and navy is a particularly flattering colour. But stay clear of anything too fashiony. Don't buy any drop-crotch sweat pants from Rick Owens unless the man has specifically requested a pair. This season the braver man will try gladiator sandals - but they're not for everyone. Think about the man's profession and what he already has in his wardrobe, so your purchase is practical.
Comme des Garçons leather wallets look great come in lots of shades, so it's one area where a man can be a bit more colourful. Belts are also good to buy, as men don't often spend a lot of money on them. You could give them a really luxurious one.
No man is going to complain if you buy an expensive men's watch. A man wears a watch because he can't wear a Porsche on his wrist. It's the one thing that men feel OK to talk about sartorially. Beaded bracelets are great buys, too. Whenever I go to Italy, all the men are wearing them with their beautiful designer suits. They add a bit of irreverence to a classic outfit.
Appeal to his vanity
When it comes to presents for men the best things come in small packages. Tell them the gift will make them look younger and more handsome and they won't argue - most men are open to grooming. But you want products that looks good in the bathroom, too, such as Aesop or Ole Henriksen. Fragrances are difficult, as they smell different on different people, although I'd never turn down a Tom Ford scent - they are all amazing.
Toys for boys
Men love their gadgets. My favourite place to shop is japantrendshop.com , which sells a lot of things that you can only buy in Tokyo and Japan, but everything will work in Britain. Every man should have a toasted-sandwich maker, because most men can't cook particularly well. I went to Babington House just after Christmas and had the most amazing toasted cheese and tomato sandwich I've ever had, and my life mission is to recreate it.