From stepped-up sweets to personalized mementos, take the stress out of Valentine’s Day shopping with these unique finds. Whether he’s an astute businessman who spends most of his days brokering deals in the office, an enthusiastic foodie with an insatiable appetite (no pun intended) for the coolest new snack crazes, a trend-driven designer with a penchant for home décor, or a kid at heart, these choices are certain to satisfy even the most discerning man. Looking for a gift that serves a dual purpose? Perhaps a set of palm reading coasters will strike his fancy. If he is a die-hard sports fanatic with an appreciation for history, he would certainly enjoy a vintage-inspired ball cap representing a now defunct (but once loved) 1930’s baseball team. And, for those men in your life who are a bit more traditional, we’ve rounded up some classics: a whimsical tie with a modern twist, a luxe shaving kit, and a practical, yet stylish magnetic bottle opener. Take the plunge and scroll through for gifts that are sure to please even the pickiest on your list
Air Plant Flying Jellyfish School
Love the look of this trio, but worried his lack of gardening skills renders this gift impossible? Good news: Air plants are notoriously easy to care for—they require only a bit of sunlight and a misting a few times per week, which means he can dip his toes into the art of horticulture. For an artful addition to his office or den, hang the plants, which come tucked inside three alphones sea urchins, in a cluster from the attached clear line using the included S hook. This unique trio not only looks great, but also serves as an instant conversation starter.
To Buy: $33; amazon.com.
STATE Nevin’s Backpack
So a briefcase isn’t really his style? For the rugged guy with a fashionable side, here’s a home for his laptop and lunch while he rides to work or a place to stash his carry-on travel essentials when he’s on the go. With a mixture of leather and wool panels, the bag is a big step up from the sporty pack he’s probably had for years. But he won’t have to sacrifice style for utility with this pick—inside he’ll find a padded laptop sleeve, multiple organizers, a key clip, an iPad pocket, a front stash, and two side pockets.
To Buy: $95; bloomingdales.com.
Americana Deluxe Wallet
For the guy who loves his slim cut chinos, here’s a compact wallet that won’t add bulk to his pockets. At just 2.25 inches by 2.75 inches, it’s small but still mighty enough for all of his needs, thanks to a double pocket design that means he can carry cash, cards, and even an extra key in one centralized spot. One side is constructed of soft brown Italian lambskin leather, while the other is a durable canvas blend in red, white, and blue. Double stitching and elasticity ensure he’ll have a handsome place to stash his cash for many years to come.
To Buy: $46; ahalife.com.
‘Luckiest Guy – That’s All’ Mug
There’s nothing wrong with reminding him what a good pair you two are—and, in particular, how grateful he should be to have you as his partner. This cheeky 16-ounce mug (another bonus: that’s two servings to help him wake up in the morning) will serve as a daily reminder that he’s pretty darn lucky to have you. And when he gets to the end, he’ll find a secret message (“That’s All.”) printed inside. Despite the comical text, the muted white color means that this piece can blend right into any kitchen (and your existing mug collection).
To Buy: $14; amazon.com.
Goo Goo Cluster Supreme
You could stop at the convenience store on the way home from work for a last-minute sweet treat for your valentine—or, you could show just how thoughtful you are by ordering some specialty candy ahead of time. These insanely delicious milk chocolate, caramel, marshmallow nougat, and pecan clusters originated in Nashville more than 70 years ago. The original version (still available for purchase) was made with peanuts, but the supreme means you get a pecan upgrade. Each box, complete with a charming vintage design, comes with 12 1.75-ounce goodies. (Here’s to hoping he shares!)
To Buy: $22 for 12; jet.com.
Maybe you met while backpacking through Europe… or OK maybe you just like to dream about the trips you want to take in the future? Let this gift, a scratch off map of the world, serve as a way to document the travels you’ve already taken together—and inspire future adventures. Bonus points for the gifter who has the forethought to have the poster framed before it’s presented on Valentine’s Day (just remember to choose a frame without the glass). Available in two sizes: standard (23 inches high and 32 inches wide) or large (33 inches high and 47 inches wide).
To Buy: From $26; uncommongoods.com.
Plaid Flannel Neck/Back Aromatherapy Wrap
With everything he does on the job, at home, and beyond, your partner works hard. So he deserves some R&R on Valentine’s Day (and after, too). This year, give him this cozy aromatherapy wrap to make sure he takes time out to throw up his feet and relax every once and a while. Inside, the 100-percent cotton flannel wrap holds 12 fragrant herbs (peppermint, spearmint, rosemary, lemon grass, and more) and flax that warms in the microwave in just three minutes to deliver the ultimate in relaxation.
To Buy: $100; ahalife.com.
MiniPresso GR Espresso Maker
Does he need a little extra coaxing to get out of bed in the morning and then a latte with a double shot of espresso to actually stay awake at his desk before 10? How about a travel mug that doesn’t just keep his morning jolt warm… it actually brews a quality espresso in transit. All he needs to do is fill the top with fresh grounds, the body with piping hot water, and then press the button to brew espresso straight into the included mini mug. Maybe dinner can be on him next time, thanks to all the money he’s saved by not frequenting the coffee shop next door.
To Buy: $60; amazon.com.
Sega Genesis Wireless Classic Game Console
If you had some (ok, a lot) of trouble getting your hands on the throwback Nintendo NES he wanted for Christmas, make it up to him with another nostalgic game system: Sega Genesis. This version is wireless, so those hours with Sonic the Hedgehog will be a little more seamless than they used to be. (Plus, we bet he has a much larger TV to play on these days, too.) The console come pre-loaded with 80 different games he’ll remember from days gone by. If he’s still hanging onto some of his favorites, those old cartridges will work just as well.
To Buy: $80, amazon.com.
Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain
If 2016 left him feeling seriously blue, brighten his spirits with this blast from the past. This album, which includes some of standouts like “Purple Rain,” “I Would Die For You,” “When Doves Cry,” and “The Beautiful Ones,” features the original packaging from when it was first released during the summer of 1984. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl and mastered from the original analog tapes, the sound quality is top-notch, too. He might opt to display this true classic treasure in a prominent spot on his shelf, even if he doesn’t own a record player. (Just don’t be surprised when that’s the next thing he asks for!)
To Buy: $23, amazon.com.
Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera
For the man who doesn’t go anywhere—not even the beach—without his iPhone, lest he miss the perfect opportunity for an Instagram shot. Though the smartphone camera will generally suffice, this small but mighty gadget will take his photo skills up a notch. An array of special modes—party, landscape, macro, kids, and more—automatically adjust the camera’s settings to ensure it captures the best a high-quality picture. Plus, he can enjoy his images right away, thanks to a built-in printer that works just like the Polaroid he used to own. The vintage look only adds to this camera’s appeal.
To Buy: $180; bestbuy.com.
Vanilla Nougat Caramel Bar
Whether you’re looking for a little something extra to present with the gift you got him or the two of you prefer small gestures over grand ones on Valentine’s Day, this decadent chocolate bar is sure to hit the spot. The 3.5-ounce bar features layers of silky caramel salted with fleur de sel, nougat flavored with vanilla bean and studded with lightly toasted almonds, and coated in rich, creamy 66 percent dark chocolate. The Wisconsin-based company also offers a coconut and salted caramel bar or a kitchen sink bar. Hopefully he’ll share. (Or maybe you should get one for yourself, too.)
To Buy: $9, mouth.com.
How to Stay Alive in the Woods
So you can count on him to fix the WiFi when the signal dies or climb up on the ladder to change the lightbulb up in that vaulted ceiling in your living room, but would he be able to survive in the wilderness? Two years of Boy Scouts probably won’t cut it. Give the guy who always wants to have all the answers a fun and instructional book that’ll teach him how to live life a little more like Bear Grylls. The 320-page tome includes practical advice for “roughing it,” including how to build a shelter, what kind of plants you can (and can’t) eat, how to signal for help, and more.
To Buy: $18; amazon.com.
Bamboo Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
Sitting in an open office day after day can start to wear on you. But a few unique, personal touches can help his space to feel a little cozier and a little less like a spot he simply occupies from nine to five (and probably even beyond). This 100-percent bamboo keyboard and mouse duo will differentiate his desk from the others in the room. And big bonus: Neither the mouse nor the keyboard requires a cord (they’re both wireless up to 35 feet), so his desk will stay neater, too. Compatible with most tablets, smartphones, and computers.
To Buy: $99; westelm.com.
Snacks Every Month
For the guy in your life who wants to expand his options beyond the usual potato chips and pretzels, this convenient snack-of-the-month subscription may just cure his midnight snacking doldrums. Each month includes an assortment of five salty, sweet, chewy, and crunchy offerings. A rotating assortment of snacks (truffle popcorn, peppermint salt-water taffy, and Korean barbecue beef jerky, for example) is sent out on a monthly basis. Once you choose the frequency of your gift (three, six, or 12 months), you’ll receive an order confirmation that includes a welcome certificate to print and present to (or forward to) the lucky recipient.
To buy: $60 per month for three months, mouth.com.
Prowling Foxes Tie
This whimsical tie—a hipper twist on your father’s old classics—will delight any modern man. He can pair it with a light blue button-down shirt and navy suit for an office-friendly look, or wear it dressed down with a casual chambray shirt and khakis. No matter his staple style, this is one tie he’s sure to reach for again and again. The microfiber fabric (stain-resistant!) and an affordable price tag only add to this accessory’s appeal. As an added bonus, it can be converted into a clip-on if your guy needs a quick grab-and-go option.
To buy: $25, ties.com.
Bevel: The Essentials
This kit, which is full of hydrating grooming essentials, is designed to give him his best shave yet. The priming oil is infused with lavender and olive oil to soften coarse hair and prep it for shaving. Aloe vera-rich shave cream works into a thick lather to protect sensitive skin from his razor blade—especially helpful when he’s rushing through his morning routine, because he hit the snooze button one too many times! And, finally, the alcohol-free restoring balm guarantees he’ll complete his regimen with a soothing, fresh finish. The trio is designed to last for one month.
To buy: $35, getbevel.com.
I Love Your Face Jelly Bean Chocolate Cube Letters
What better way to say “I Love You” than with these edible, made-to-order chocolates? This charming box of twelve individual candies—spelling outa cheeky phrase (“I love your face”)—contains different fruit-flavored and solid chocolate cubes. Though the treat lasts for up to six months, we can’t guarantee your guy won’t gobble them all up immediately. Those in warmer climates needn’t worry about these delicious treats melting in transit—a two-day shipping option, complete with ice packs and insulated mailers, ensures the treat will arrive intact. (Note: Because each item is made to order, buyers should allow three to seven days for production.)
To buy: $27, whatcandysays.etsy.com.
Despite its relatively inexpensive price tag, this rustic tobacco and vanilla scented candle pulls out all the stops. In addition to the present-but-not-overpowering scent, this hand-poured soy wax candle is wrapped in handcrafted leather embossed with the name of the candle. Each nine-ounce amber glass jar also comes with a black metal lid, should he want to safely transport it into another room (or pack it in his overnight bag to enjoy on his next camping trip). Plus, this candle boasts an impressive burn time of over 40 hours. Remind him to save the leather sleeve—discounted replacement jars (sans leather strip) are available for purchase.
To buy: $23, brandiron.etsy.com.
Magnetic Bottle Opener
How often do you hear, “where’s the bottle opener?” Put an end to the constant hunt with a clever version of that well-used bar tool. This one, which is made from reclaimed oak bourbon whiskey barrels, features three powerful magnets so it can find a permanent home on the refrigerator (mountable hardware is included for those who’d prefer to hang it on the wall). No matter where he chooses to hang it, the powerful magnet will catch up to 30 bottle caps, so any strays don’t end up on the floor. Other styles and finishes, including walnut, are also available.
To buy: $50, woodthumbusa.etsy.com.
The only thing that could possibly make hammock lounging even more comfortable? A table to hang right alongside it. This sturdy barn wood table comes with rope, so it can be suspended from a tree limb, beam, or ceiling. If you’re looking for a natural wood element indoors, try replacing a traditional end table or nightstand with one or two of these. A coated finish guarantees it’ll stand the test of time—whether you choose to hang it indoors or out. Note: Due to the nature of barn wood, each table has its own distinct characteristics.
To buy: $62, grindstonedesign.etsy.com.
Pocket Boom Box
Now he can jam out wherever he is—tailgating, camping, or simply lounging in the backyard. This pocket-sized speaker, which provides more sound than a standard cell phone, is made from recycled mint tins and ensures a range of tunes is always on queue. Accommodates any device with a headphone jack. Each speaker comes with a 9-volt battery (it’s easily replaceable once the power runs out) as well as an auxiliary cord. Choose from a wide range of designs to suit any interest. Note: Because each product is made to order, please allow up to one week for production time.
To buy: $75, rarebirdoakland.etsy.com.
Kikkerland Portable BBQ Suitcase
Whether his specialty is cheeseburgers or ribs, this portable grill will get the job done—no matter where he’s spending the day. The suitcase opens to reveal a fully functioning charcoal grill with enough room to cook for two—perfect for an impromptu picnic date in the park, an intimate tailgating session, or even in lieu of a larger standalone barbecue for apartment dwellers with small balconies. Pair this suitcase with a cookbook from his favorite grill master or a set of portable grilling tools. It locks and closes securely to tuck away in even the smallest nook of your garage or pantry.
To buy: $76, amazon.com.
DrinkTanks Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Beer Growler
Not your average growler, this vessel holds 64 ounces (more than five cans of beers) of cold liquid—and keeps it ice cold for more than 24 hours. A sturdy double-barreled chamber and dual bail cap makes sure his brew of choice (or soda, for that matter!) doesn’t leak or spill. As an added bonus, the clever construction also helps prevent condensation—even if he’s hiking, spending a day at the beach, or playing ball out on the field. Alternately, this growler also keeps hot drinks hot, so he can use it to tote his favorite freshly roasted coffee, tea, or even soup.
To buy: $69, amazon.com.
Folding USB Rechargeable Book Light
It may look just like an ordinary book, but this little gadget is anything but. The cover flips open 360 degrees to become a hanging pendant lamp. Or lay it flat to use it as a table lamp instead. The rechargeable soft LED light, which can remain powered on for up to eight hours, turns on when the book opens and shuts off when it’s flipped closed. The book’s spine also features a micro USB port to power up electronic devices and mobile phones. At just 12 ounces and 8.5 inches long, it tucks right into his briefcase for easy transport, too.
To buy: $39, amazon.com.
Sugarfina Single Malt Scotch Cordials
These bite-size indulgences have a dark chocolate shell and a liquid center filled with real Scotch that will transport him to the farthest isles. More unexpected ingredients, like cornflakes, almond, and hazelnut pieces, add a delectable twist to these non-traditional cordials. Place a box on his pillow or slip one into his briefcase for an unexpected surprise. If you’re having dinner in this Valentine’s Day, save them for after dinner and crumble several onto a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The candies last for up to nine months, but we’re willing to bet they won’t last the week.
To buy: $8.50, saksfifthavenue.com.
Two of a Kind Yours and Mine Highball Set
Good things come in pairs, indeed! The perfect addition to a cozy date night at home (or to simply house your morning orange juice), these high-quality glasses will put an end to him questioning “Is this your glass or mine?” The elegantly etched glasses are even dishwasher-safe, so there won’t be any debates over whose turn it is to do the dishes, either. Each glass holds a generous 16 ounces, and come pre-boxed in Kate Spade’s signature witty and colorful packaging, so no gift-wrapping is necessary. The company’s free shipping policy is the icing on the cake.
To buy: $45, amazon.com.
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