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Buying clothing as a gift

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My wife's family has the March birthday tradition. We all get together and exchange presents... Her father is very hard to shop for so we usually get him some sort of gift card. Well now he wants gift cards to clothing stores. I think the man is color blind or just likes looking like crap so my wife and I are hesitant to supply him with a gift card to go buy more ugly clothes...so the thought of buying him a dress shirt came to our mind. He needs to wear a suit everyday and has mostly navy or grey suits. What would be the best color shirt for someone that isn't stylish, trendy and looks funny when dressed up? Should we get him a shirt and tie? Or should we just give in to his habit and give him a gift card to a department store?
post #2 of 9
The worst clothing I own is the stuff that I don't wear. Make sure that whatever you buy him is far enough inside his 'safe' clothing zone that he'll get use out of it. Nobody needs more stylish hangers.
post #3 of 9
Uh, white? Or conservative blue? My own father is incredibly stingy when it comes to clothes. I've safely bought him a couple of nicer shirts from somewhat moderately priced, conservatively styled places (Brooks, Paul Stuart), and he wears them. He still wears the damn Haggar shirts, though. Ties are more difficult, because generally men who approach clothing this way wear a tie as a necessity, not an accessory. They just don't care - so they wear white and blue shirts to make it difficult to screw up. If you want to stay in the safe zone, buy a white shirt. If you want to encourage different habits, try a brighter/richer tie (I'm guessing he wears what Tom Wolfe called "pizza grenade" ties)... But don't be surprised if he won't wear the tie. Maybe try a dark ancient madder tie, or a basic, dark repp tie, something that won't look lke he' trying too hard... I realize, I'm thinking of what my dad would consider, you'll have to judge on this guy. A lot of people prefer steadiness and unobtrusiveness over put-togetherness, which is fine, I think.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
He is a big fan of quantity over quality. When he first got the job and needed shirts and ties he went to Goodwill and bought like 50 of the ugliest ties you can think of...mostly rejects from the 70s. My wife and I threw out a bunch of them when he wasn't home Hmm. Maybe a white or light blue or something would be the most appropriate. Something that doesn't have button down collars or short sleeves...I thought about maybe a pink shirt to go with one of his grey suits but I don't think he would EVER wear it. The other idea is a sport shirt for weekends and after work. I would just have to cut the top button off because he INSISTS on buttoning up shirts all the way. I kinda think that he would get more use out of a dress shirt since he has to wear them 5 days a week and sport shirts only on weekends.
post #5 of 9
i hate buying clothes for family. too much psychology involved. that's why ties and cufflinks are such popular gifts. why not get him a 'gift certificate' for a shirt from Janzten? that way he gets to decide on the color and details, but you're relatively assured of a decent quality shirt. (unless he decides to go with some of their 'new style' details... ) or, break from the box and give him a book, roetzel or flusser or the like. /andrew
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hmm. Book on Style...maybe with a gift certificate somewhere...good ideas.
post #7 of 9
Take the man shopping. Pre-arrange a visit with a store or a tailor. If possible, conceal the cost.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Take the man shopping.  Pre-arrange a visit with a store or a tailor.  If possible, conceal the cost.
If you want to spend a fair amount, I think this is an excellent suggestion. He would be getting advice from someone other than his family and who is somewhat of an "expert." They can steer him into looks that he might not have previously considered, teach him what to look for quality wise, etc. If he sees how good he looks and the reaction that he gets from others he may "see the light" and start caring a little more about his clothing. You may even spawn a Style Animal. Ok, maybe not that far, he may however get a nice sweater and couple of shirts out of the experience... A.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Maybe another birthday before I take him shopping...don't quite have the funds for that adventure just yet. That is an excellent suggestion that I think will have to come into play next year.
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