The secret to buying for boys – the foolproof formula to get the right gift every time

Boys are the most difficult people to buy gifts for, despite constantly claiming they’re dead easy.

“I’m easy to buy for! Socks, aftershave – jobs a good ‘un”, but there are only so many Primark multipacks and Lynx Africa sets you can buy for your brother or uncle before gifts start becoming predictable.

Throughout June, July and August I’ve got Father’s Day, my dad and Jake’s birthday – which happen to be the same day – and my brother’s birthday.

It can be really difficult to buy for boys based on the fact that whatever they’re in to, they’re really in to.

Let’s take my boyfriend Jake for example. Being a mechanic and general car enthusiast, he tends to ask for ‘car stuff’. Yet, the year I bought him leopard print fluffy hanging dice for his Skoda Fabia, he refused to put them in. Car parts as gifts is road I will not venture down under any circumstances. There is no way I could get him a gift he’ll enjoy without a) asking a million probing questions, and b) totally giving my game away and probably still getting it wrong. I’ll have the dice back for my Mitsubishi.

Sisters, mums, daughters and girlfriends – I’ve got you. There is a simple formula to help you. It’s something that you can refer back to that makes present buying a piece of cake. Let me share my secret.

There is a saying that when buying kids gifts, you should get them ‘something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read’. And it’s not too different for lads.

When buying for boys, I try to separate gifts into categories, baring in mind the five senses. Here’s my formula to buying for boys.

Something to wear

Men can spend longer in the mirror getting ready than us girls most of the time. Something to wear is usually my go-to for gifts. It’s a gift that will always get it’s use, and it therefore worth the money. The men in my life have expensive taste, such as Fred Perry or Pretty Green, so making sure it’s going to get it’s cost-per-wear is important to me.


  • Clothing
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Slippers
  • Accessories – watches/hats
  • Aftershave
  • Skincare
  • Hair products

Alongside clothes, I also place aftershave in this category, since you wear aftershave.

Something to watch

Everyone loves a movie night. You could get them the last film you saw at the cinema on DVD, or better yet, tickets to the one they’ve had their eye on.


  • Cinema tickets
  • Theatre tickets
  • Cinema membership
  • Netflix subscription
  • DVDs
  • Amazon Firestick
  • Sports tickets

Something to eat/drink

My favourite, because play your cards right and you’ll get to share the gift.


  • Sweet/chocolate hamper (for movie night)
  • A voucher for a restaurant
  • Bottle of their favourite alcohol
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Deliveroo voucher (or similar)
  • Savoury hamper (chutneys and cheeses)

Something to listen to/play

This category is the most varied, as it can relate to music or gaming alike. My Dad collects CD’s and has them in alphabetical and date-release order, making it very easy for me to sneak into the cupboard and see what he has and what he wants without even having to ask.


  • CD/Vinyl
  • Apple Music/Spotify subscription
  • Bluetooth Speaker
  • Festival Tickets
  • xBox/PlayStation game
  • xBox Live subscription
  • Headphones
  • Controller charging dock

Keeping these four categories in mind always helps me put together the best gifts. There are items with varied prices in each category, so hopefully there will be something to meet everyone’s budget.


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1 Comment

  1. dad
    July 5, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    Spot on beff

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