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Gifts from other family members (and friends)


Distinguished Member
Mar 26, 2011
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Just caught up on the end of the following thread... Should you let your wife or girlfriend buy your clothes? by Perdogg ...and it didn't quite contain the answers I was hoping for. I have grown children who are always wondering what to get me for (insert next fast approaching gift-able holiday here) and are becoming aware of my new found and still developing desire for better clothing. How do I prevent them from wasting their valuable and hard earned dosh on something I will most likely not like or wear? It's not that I'm ungrateful but my idea of a perfect gift from my kids are for them to open their wallets to show me the money they saved by not buying me anything! I realize this is an age old problem but it would seem to be more acute among members of SF than most other folks. In a moment of inspiration, I preemptively suggested that I greatly admired the collection of linen pocket squares currently available at the local BB retailer. At $20 US/each, I figure that I'm saving them money while receiving something I'll take more pleasure in than if they spent 10 times that amount. In a flash of brill, I told them that to avoid selecting the same item, one should select only the solids while the other could go only for the prints. This plan, should they take a hankering (heh) to it, should tide me over for a bit. Then what? People mean well but they don't understand and I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings. At this point in my life, I'm trying to shed most of my accumulation of stuff rather than add to it and I see this clothing thing as getting way out of hand unless I can nip it in the bud very early. Suggestions/advice/proven methods are appreciated.


Distinguished Member
May 25, 2009
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I would ask them for gift cards from staple shops such as BB or RL.

If they insist on buying you a specific item, ask them to come along with you so you can pick sizes, choose something to your tastes.

Mention that fit is key and buying blind will bring up all sorts of problems.


Well-Known Member
Oct 30, 2010
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The only thing I can think to suggest is to observe, over time, who of your family and friends has, in your opinion, the best fashion sense, or at least an appreciation of aesthetics,colour theory and so on, or whose own clothing selection best matches your own preferences. Once you've ascertained who you feel are best qualified to choose things you will like then be selective and only drop hints with those people. The others will, unfortunately, have to fend for themselves and buy you books, dvds, coffee mugs or whatever. I have relatives who have proven in the past they will probably not choose something I'll like, if they ask me for hints I lead them down the graphic novel/video game route, but I have others who have demonstrated good taste and fantastic sense of colour coordination and for whom I'd quite happily, on request, drop hints on pocket squares, ties and the rest. I don't like to suggest what people should get unless they ask though, but that tends to depend on the situation.


Stupid ass member
Spamminator Moderator
Aug 17, 2007
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This is an age-old problem with no good solution. This past Christmas I created an Amazon.com wish list with items at many price points. Amazon lets you link items even from other places. I broadcast this list to many people who are typically responsible for getting me bad gifts. But some people can't be helped. I received very little from the list, and instead received some things that were more expensive but crappier replacements for things I had explicitly stated I wanted. Example: Sis-in-law said she could not bring herself to spend the $40-75 on Hanger Project hangers I had asked for, and instead bought an ugly valet that I'll never use and feel guilty about tossing. And this doesn't just extend to clothes. In general, I am trying to winnow down all the stuff I own to just the most elegant and most useful essentials. I don't need any Christmas-themed tea towels, thank you. People know I like to cook so they get me things like garlic choppers. It's all just stuff I have to throw away, yard sale, or unload somehow. Use the wishlists, and encourage people not to buy you anything, you have what you need, and then just hope for the best.

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