Clothing gift ideas for men

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Well timed: An affordable, yet luxurious, watch works well as a Christmas gift for most men. | Photo by Fotolia

Buying for the men in our lives can be tricky.

This holiday season sighs of frustrated women ambling around crowded shopping malls will be heard from coast to coast: “He’s going to hate this; But I always buy dad a tie; What my hubby really wants is a flat screen TV – well that’s out.”

Fear not, clothing and accessories are a traditional staple that can please even the most challenging man on your list. Holiday trends in men’s clothing this year run the gambit from practical to luxurious and can be found in price points to fit any budget.

John Bourgeois, regional director of Macy’s By Appointment, cited black, gray or plaid as being this season’s go-to color scheme and preppy being the overall look. Must-haves include a bow tie, blazer, boots and scarf.

Can’t see your hubby in a bow tie? For those who fall on the less conservative side of fashion, Mike Gibbons, store manager at Threads Menswear Big & Tall in Orland Park, said three-length sweater shirts have been really popular.

“Many workplaces have gone business casual, so there’s a big trend in wearing sweaters and button-downs that can work with either dress pants or with jeans,” Gibbons said. “It’s a great look that looks (fresh) and casual, yet polished.”

When it comes to affordable luxury, Bourgeois said you can never go wrong giving a casual or dressy watch. There are myriad varieties to compliment any personal style. Winter luxury accessories include a cashmere scarf and leather gloves – “ones you can wear while using your smart phone ... very cool,” Bourgeois noted.

Gibbons offered most men’s love of sports as a fallback for deciding on a gift.

“When all else fails, even the most practical man will appreciate a Chicago team T-shirt or sweatshirt. T-shirts and sweatshirts always need to be replaced,” Gibbons recommended.

And then there are some gifts that just never go out of style. For instance, what man wouldn’t appreciate cologne or aftershave? Many lines now offer complimenting shampoos, conditioners and skin care items. Cozy pajamas or pajama bottoms are perfect for Christmas morning.

More information about Macy’s By Appointment, with south suburban stores in Orland Park, Calumet City and Joliet, is at (800) 343-0121.

More information about Threads Menswear Big & Tall, with stores in Orland Park and Chicago Ridge, is at