Stumped about what men really want for the holidays?
Here's a hint, from Chassie Post, trend spotter and lifestyle editor for The Gilt Groupe: The best gifts are often ones people wouldn't buy for themselves, but would love to have, anyhow.
On "The Early Show" Wednesday, Post spotlighted numerous possibilities - many of them ones that probably wouldn't have occurred to you.
For each gift, Post had a "splurge" and a "steal," so there's definitely something for everybody.
(The following descriptions were provided, at least in part, with information provided by the manufacturer and retailers)
Believe it or not, the biggest seller for men in the home category is scented CANDLES! Who knew?!! Totally shocking, if you ask me, but if you think about it, anything that helps men create that perfect ambiance (and makes their houses smell good) would probably be pretty popular!
When buying candles for your man -- no pink or lavenders-colored ones, or fruity scents. Men want a masculine-looking candle with a dark and brooding scent, like the Modern Alchemy Ember & Eros candle.
Or keep the scent light and clean like the Molton-Brown Toko-Yuzu candle. Molton-Brown is the official hand soap of Buckingham Palace, so if it's good enough for the royal family, it's good enough for your man! And with an 80- hour burn time, you've got yourself a winner.
Bath & Body Works (14.5 Oz), 2 for $20, BathAndBodyWorks.com
Really Good Sheets
Who knew your guy knew about thread count? But guess what? HE DOES!!!! Sheets are the third most sought-after item by guys on our site. And they want good ones. Given how much a decent mattress can cost, it's understandable that you might want to avoid spending a third as much again on linens. But, then you buy a nice set and you realize it's well worth it. And, we should note, this is true regardless of whether you typically sleep with company or alone.
Your sheets should be made of 100 percent cotton. Go with long staple cotton, either Egyptian (grown near the Nile) or Pim a (named after the Pima Indians who helped develop it in the early 1900s in Southwestern America).
Avoid poly-cotton blends at all costs. Ditto silk which, though shiny, is also a little gauche.
As far as patterns -- and this should go completely without saying -- The time for sheets with cartoon characters on them is over. Black is a little American Psycho. Choose instead a simple white, gray or ivory.
As for thread count, it has somehow become the key indicator of quality over the past two decades, but in our opinion, it's mostly malarkey. Anything over 400 is likely a double ply, which means the thread count is actually half what is advertised. Look for sheets in the 300 to 400 range.
Frette Hotel Classic Sheet Set, $248, Gilt.com.
Fieldcrest Luxury 600 Thread Count Sheet Set, $59, Target.com
Yes, shocking, we know, but left to their own devices when purchasing items for the home, cashmere throws are the fourth most popular item bought by men on our site.
So, there is a good chance that your man will reward you big-time if you gift him with one of these -- super soft, always a classic and great for getting comfy on the couch on game days.
Look for masculine colors like browns, grays, reds, army greens and stripe detail. Or if your man is a constant traveler, give him the comforts of home in a cashmere travel set -- comes with pillow, eye mask and blanket
Cozy Cashmere Throw Blanket, $149, DonnaKaranHome.com
Tartan Wool throws, $69, Blankets.com
Every guy wants the newest piece of technology, and this year, there are some really great choices out there. On top of everybody's list is the Apple iPad. This gadget is the new super toy and has all the bells and whistles to satisfy anybody's tech hunger. But if you can't drop the $500 for the latest and greatest, Barnes & Noble is offering its "Nook" for $149. With this eReader, you have access to millions of books, newspapers and magazines.
Apple iPad, starting at $499, Apple.com
Barnes & Noble Nook, starting at $149, Barnes&Noble.com
Old-school, over-ear headphones are making a huge comeback. Very retro in style, your guy can get a full on stereo experience wherever he goes. The amazingly awesome newest Bose noise-cancelling headphones are the ones everyone is talking about that can be used with no music to keep out noise (perfect for airplanes!) or with music to keep out interfering ambient noise. These are the headphones that the pro musicians wear. If you are sitting next to a rock star on a plane, then he is definitely wearing them! Also, Bose has a new pair of in-ear headphones designed specifically for use with the iPhones and iPads.
Urbanears Plattan Headphones, $40-$60, UrbanEars.com
A Good Watch
You can spend a fortune on a really great timepiece, but you really don't have to. We have two classically cool watches that will add style to any wardrobe. Our splurge is the Vintage Field Army Watch from J. Crew. Presenting the watch of the hour: a new white-faced version of their popular military watch (also created with legendary American watchmaker Timex). Based on an iconic 1940s military style from the Timex archives (and only available at J. Crew), they gave it a new, subtly distressed off-white dial face, Arabic numerals and an olive-toned watch strap. Like their military version, this piece is built for the trenches: It has a quartz analog movement and is water resistant to 50 meters. A timeless blend of functional design and modern crafting, you won't find this anywhere else. (It's already the preferred everyday watch for our troops).
And for our steal: New from Swatch is a collection of watches for men with contemporary good looks, a modern feeling size, and available in a host of colors. This is the "New Gent" Rebel collection, and they look quite good. The watches are in plastic with silicon straps and feature day/date Swiss quartz movements. The New Gent Rebel watches currently come in 10 color choices.
J. Crew Vintage Field Army Watch, $150, JCrew.com
"New Gent" Rebel Watches, $65, Swatch.com
A beautiful set of cufflinks does more than keep your sleeve together -- it fastens you to the past and the future, as well!
Since the introduction of the buttoned-barrel cuff at the beginning of the 20th Century, cufflinks have lost their, well, essential-ness, and have become mere accessories, eye candy for wrists.
When properly chosen though, cufflinks-are gentlemanly bling. And it's bling you can pass on to the next generations.
Even if you only break them out for weddings and wakes, a pair is still worth it. If you're thinking long term -- and you should always be thinking long term -- avoid flashy statement links and choose classic cufflinks that will stand the test of time. Choose a precious metal -- gold is nice, silver is more versatile As far as size goes, a rule of thumb, no pun intended, is that a cufflink should be no larger and no smaller than your thumbnail. Beyond or below that, you get into the realm of "trendy."
Brooks Brothers Cuff Links, starting at $95, BrooksBrothers.com
Avery Coonley House Cufflinks, design adapted from Frank Lloyd Wright, $29.95, MomaStore.com
Before you fill your man's kitchen with high-tech gadgets, make sure you get him the one thing you really need. As any cowboy or Boy Scout will tell you, one good 10-inch cast iron pan can be far more useful than an elaborate set of gleaming, bonded-metal cookware designed to be admired more than used. Buy one of these and it will soon become the workhorse of your kitchen. Forged in an iron foundry, skillets are tough and versatile: They can go in the oven, on the grill and, of course, they're at home on the range.
Even better, skillets are reasonably priced. A good new, 10-inch pan from Lodge Cast Iron Cookware, the undisputed king of the cast-iron genre since 1986, runs between $40 and $70.
No need to splurge!
Lodge Cast Iron Cookware, $32.95, WilliamsSonoma.com
A new car!
Gift like the celebs (but for less) this season! Why not follow Usher's lead (he gave Justin Beiber a pretty swanky car to celebrate his 16th birthday) and give the gift of wheels? You can buy a brand new Volkswagen Jetta today on Gilt.com. At 12:00 EST, stating today and for the next three days, Gilt will sell one new Jetta, which retails for $15,995, for just $5,995! First come, first serve, so get there quick!
Volkswagen of America's Jetta, $5,995, Gilt.com