Selecting a Valentine's gift for a boyfriend or husband is a delicate operation at the best of times. If you have left it late and you are buying for a tall man, it can be even trickier.
If you are looking for the romantic idea of a lifetime that will clinch that engagement ring or set the clock on your marriage back to the honeymoon days, please don't rely on my advice alone! However, if you are looking for some inspiration related to clothing, read on! It's not too late to order some great gifts, but don't delay.
Firstly, think quality not quantity. This is a chance to show someone is special and that you've thought about them, so don't just buy something they need anyway. Secondly, love should be in the air, so think more personal, elegant items rather than, say, a new pair of steel capped work boots. Thirdly, most tall men I've met may be sensitive but they are mainly practical; think carefully before buying knick-knacks or overly sentimental items (ok, so maybe I'm just hoping my own beloved will read this!).
Soft, luxurious underwear is an obvious idea (and will undoubtedly get your partner in a Valentine's mood). But this is no time for three-pack nylon briefs bought off Amazon. You need to show that some thought has gone into this. Think about boxers or boxer briefs in crisp cotton or even silk. Bath robes and lounge pants in patterned cotton can also bring a touch of class to a well-used bedroom item.
- Mansilk boxer shorts, available from His Room, were apparently voted the #1 boxer by Rolling Stone Magazine and are repeat winners of the prestigious Undies Award for favorite woven boxer! Also available from Mary Green.
- King's Underwear is all made in the US using highest quality European cotton and all items come in sizes up to XXL.
- Majestic is a well known Canadian brand for robes, pajamas and underwear, including silk and cotton boxers. Items are available from various US outlets including Nordstrom, Von Maur and Rochester Big & Tall.
- Other brands to look out for are the British Sunspel with a range of cotton boxers in smart patterns and the Swiss mark Zimmerli which has high-priced underwear in a range of materials.
- Savile Row Company currently have a sale on sleepwear in various styles.
Beyond underwear, other accessories such as ties and belts are items are always useful and finding big or tall sizes makes them a special treat for tall men. I have usually bought ties from normal stores but often find they are irritatingly short. Even if the tall man in your life does not normally use a long tie, you can be sure he will appreciate it when he gets one! With a longer tie, he may even appreciate a tie-pin to secure the extra length!
A decent belt is a long term investment and is one detail that finishes off a smart outfit. For travelling, my favorite is a double sided belt that I can wear with smart and casual outfits without having to pack a spare. Various styles are available from Allen Edmonds and Jos. A Bank.
Another option is a gift card for a store you know he will be able to find his size. It's a sensible choice if he likes to choose clothes himself but make sure you get some other little gift as well because buying just a gift card can look like you haven't bothered to think of something personal.
Long inseam jeans are typically tough to find for tall men, so consider a gift card from Buckle or Sheplers for jeans up to 38 inseam. For a good all-round choice with a reasonable selection for tall men, Amazon or Zappos are a good option or, if you want to go a bit upmarket, Nordstrom or LL Bean (tall and slim options). Otherwise, for some outdoor gear and a good big and tall range, think about Eddie Bauer or REI. See this article for more details.
Hopefully that will give you some ideas to get a fitting gift (literally!). But don't relax quite yet - before the big day remember to think about your tall man's favourite food and music to set the scene for Valentine's day. I find going out for a meal around Valentine's day is a disaster, much better to eat at home where you can set the scene and you don't have four other couples trying to be romantic on tables squashed within footsie-playing distance so the restaurant can cash in on romance.
And one last thought . . . having seen to your partner's underwear and accessories, don't forget your own. Men being men, they may appreciate this as much as any gift! Enjoy the day!
Gift Shopping for Tall Men in Europe
When it comes to traditional quality items in natural fabrics, shoppers in Europe are spoilt for choice (at a price!). Of the suppliers mentioned above, Sunspel, TM Lewin and Savile Row Company are based in the UK and will ship cost effectively within Europe. TM Lewin in particular has a good range of accessories as well as long ties. For an even more luxurious selection of boxer shorts (up to size XXL) and nightwear, try Derek Rose of London.