Q. My fiancé needs some good, different ideas for groomsmen gifts. How much should he spend, and where should he go?
A. First of all, I’m glad you asked. If we left most men up to their own devices, they’d buy their groomsmen matching Trail Blazers jerseys or monogrammed toenail clippers. (Actually, wait—those are really good ideas. Men seem to forget how to groom themselves.) But the point is, like most wedding-related decisions, gifts for the groomsmen should be thoughtful, personal and ref lective of the couple’s style.
Your fiancé would be wise to start by talking to a gift expert, such as Heather Upton, manager of Nick and Nora’s Classic Interiors in Eugene. “In general, men’s gifts are the hardest category,” Upton said. “With weddings, you need to remember the sentimental factor and give something they can have and hold onto, and think about every time they use it or wear it.”
Upton favors neckties in silk or from Burberry as a great gift that can be worn in the wedding and beyond; or anything that can be monogrammed or engraved to make more personal, such as cuff links, fancy pens or classic silver horseshoe keychains. Nick and Nora’s supplies all these, but if you’re shopping closer to
Portland, try Relish, in the Pearl District, or Canoe in downtown Portland. Craig Olson, owner of Canoe, thinks men especially appreciate gifts they can actually use (See? Monogrammed toe clippers ain’t so bad.). “It’s good to step outside the usual and find something really unique that feels like some thought was put into it,” Olson said. He also says prices tend to stay in the $20 to $50 range, and that most people don’t spend more than
$100 on groomsmen gifts.
Olson recommends Danish money clips or German Kaweco Sport Pens as two unique items in his shop that fall into the useful and reasonably priced category. He also suggests a trip to Brooks Brothers for great men’s personal accessories, and he agrees that personally engraving such items is a fantastic idea. “Once it’s been personalized it reminds him where he got it and recalls the event, and he knows more thought went into it. He knows you took the extra step and didn’t just pick it off the shelf.”