Shopping for men on Valentine’s Day: What men really want

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Because men appreciate all things practical and functional, there’s a misconception that it’s impossible shopping for men. Guys are supposed to be basic. Precise. Easy. Homeboys will know what homeboys want. But if you’re a woman, and you want to buy your husband, boyfriend, brother or father a gift for Valentine’s Day, you may get carried away.

And no, he probably doesn’t want a turquoise tie for Valentine’s Day.

Whether he’s an astute businessman who spends most of his days brokering deals in the office, an enthusiastic foodie with an insatiable appetite (no pun intended) for the coolest new snack crazes, a trend-driven designer with a penchant for home decor, or a kid at heart, these choices are certain to satisfy even the most particular man.

When we say Valentine’s day in today’s context, it means the broad concept of love. It can be for your friend, family, pet, car, and a whole bunch of things that you are passionate about.

On February 14th, step up your gifting game by picking something out from the obvious gift guide for men. Whether he’s a sports fan, loves his liquor or needs to upgrade his gear, we’ve found some solid picks that go beyond the usual ties and tees. From tech toys to big ticket items, here’s what we’re giving the guys on our list this valentine’s Day:

1. Born to be wild

Be one with nature, and its animals, in any of Uganda’s national parks. Valentine’s Day is not the best time to go to the usual choices of Queen Elizabeth and company. Why not head over to Uganda’s most remote national park – Kidepo Valley-and really experience something new? Best to do this with Matoke Tours located at Plot 3680, Block 244 in Kansanga, Kampala-Uganda.

With great savanna landscapes and mountains rising up in the background, the remote Kidepo Valley National Park situated in the north eastern Uganda is a true gem of Uganda’s nature. There’s a reason Uganda is known as the Pearl of Africa.

Shopping for men on Valentine’s Day: What men really want

The park spans 1,442 km2 and ranges from 900 to 2.750m in altitude. Because of its remote location on the border with South Sudan, Kidepo Valley is possibly the only national park left on the whole continent where you can almost have the park to yourself (average of six visitors per day).

Shopping for men on Valentine’s Day: What men really want

Kidepo is also home to almost all of the animal species present in the Uganda National Parks system, including lion, giraffe, elephant, buffalo, hyenas, leopard, ostrich, cheetah and among many other wild animals.

2. Be cool. Look cool – Love at first sight!

Sick of shopping for the same old socks, smellies and aftershave? If you’re bored of your usual go-to Valentine’s gifts for him, he probably is too! Do something a bit different this year and surprise him with a new pair of designer sunglasses. Designer accessories are a fantastic gift for someone you love.

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want

D.K Opticals along Kampala road is your one stop shop for this decidedly necessary designer items when it comes to achieving a killer look. And protecting his sexy eyes of course.

3. The electronic friend

That would be the smartphone. The status symbol for today’s man would appear to be his cell phone.

The cell phone has taken an interesting path, from its origins as a “rich man’s toy” in the 1990s to its near ubiquitous use in emerging and developed economies today. But if the phone is now so common, why do so many believe it’s what catches people’s eyes first?

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip smartphone rumored to be launched on or before Valentine’s Day

Between Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Gmail and Yahoo chat, a man’s got to keep informed. Nokia and Samsung outlets along Kampala road will give you variety of options.

4. The other woman

But at least you’ll know how he’s spending his time.

If your Valentine’s Day gift recipient loves to stream movies and TV on their smartphone or their older 1080p TV, but wants something bigger for their living room, you can’t go wrong with a big 65-inch smart 4K or 8K TV.

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want

It would be best to speak with a salesperson to determine if you want to get a Sony, Logik, TCL, Samsung, Phillips or an LG. Whew!!! Get your partner something that they will enjoy long after February 14 is over.

5. Steppin’ Time

You really can tell all about a man by his shoes. Scuffed, unpolished, laced, slip-ins. Each one tells a story. So what are you going to write about?

Men work hard, be it fixing the car on the weekend, slogging it out at a desk job, or getting dinner on the table nightly. So you want a gift that not only shows how much you care but how much you appreciate his efforts—and we have the gifts for men (shoes) that do just that.

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want

But always remember, if you give a gift to a man that you are romantically interested in or care about; make your gift either 1 – useful or 2 – sentimental.

6. Heat the grill

An old chestnut goes; “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Make a man’s day with his very own barbecue grill. It even makes economic sense in these times especially after overspending during the Christmas holiday season.

Whether you’re showing off your BBQ skills or dedicating a meal to the BBQ lover in your life, a tasty, barbecue meal is a great way to show that special someone you care.

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want

When going a barbecue route, the most important thing is to create the right ambiance. When people think of barbecue, they often think of picnic tables outside, paper plates, and red jumbo cups. But just because you’re choosing to cook your meat on the grill, doesn’t mean you can’t create a romantic atmosphere.

Take your cues from the finest restaurants and cover your table with a beautiful tablecloth, your good china and silverware, and cloth napkins. Flowers can make a beautiful, aromatic centerpiece in the middle of your table, and don’t forget to finish it off with flickering candles and dimmed lights.

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want

Once you have created the right environment, you want to make the night special with the perfect grilled meal. While chicken or hamburgers may be your go to meats for the grill on ordinary days, take this holiday as a chance to increase your grilling repertoire and surprise your special someone.

Great choices for a Valentine’s Day dinner include steak (you can even try it with a balsamic glaze to give it a little Valentine’s day inspired color), lobster tails, or even lamb. You can make your entire menu grilled-themed, adding on some vegetables or fruit, such as pineapple.

One great way to make your barbecue Valentine’s Day dinner extra special is to take the heat of the grill and turn it into the theme for the night. You can heat it up by making red the dominant color of your décor, inviting your partner to work with you at the grill, and by adding a little heat and spice to your meal (just be careful not to overdo it!). Let the heat of the grill – and the night – turn this Valentine’s Day into an evening you’ll never forget.

7. The other electronic friend

If your bae is a technology enthusiast, a laptop or a tablet is not a bad suggestion for the Valentine gift you are going to give him. Not only does it mean expressing love like other romantic gifts, it can also make him more moved because you “hit” his hobby.

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want

A laptop or a tablet is a tricky item to purchase and the operation needs to be carried out delicately. Kampala Road is strewn with shops that sell laptops, including a Samsung outlet. However, if you don’t fancy the trek, you can stick to the Game Shopping Mall in Lugogo.

8. Shaving set

Whether you like your man scruffy, clean-shaven, or somewhere in-between, the most important thing is to give him the proper tools for care and maintenance. This Valentine’s Day, consider a practical grooming kit; it’s the gift that keeps on giving to both you and your significant other.

You’re not just giving the man in your life a luxury gift… You’re giving him an experience. An experience he’ll look forward to instead of dreading.

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want

Traditional wet shaving is a ritual that relaxes his mind, soul and body. It’s his own time. A time carved out just for him.

Your gift will make him feel masculine. Confident. Worthy. Rejuvenated. Refreshed. A gift that truly keeps on giving long after Valentine’s Day. Help the worries of his world to melt away… if only for a few moments each day.

9. Suit up!

Nothing says ‘I’ve got my game on’ like a man in a suit. But the things that have to happen to see them in one! Weddings, funerals… you get the drift. Give a man a hint that he needs to put on a suit this Valentine’s Day.

Just because your man isn’t a business executive and doesn’t wear suits every single day doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have one in his closet. On the contrary, all men need at least one decent suit for special occasions when they have to look their best. And if your man isn’t keen on getting a suit on his own, you need to step up and encourage him.

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want

Take him to an experienced tailor and get him a custom-made suit that’s going to be fit him just right and make him feel special every time he wears it. Having such a suit is extremely important for a man, as it boosts his confidence, makes him feel better and helps him look amazing in whatever he does.

Read Also: Looking good man style

10. Tie a tie

Once your man has the perfect suit and perfect shoes, all he needs is a tie, and he’s ready for everything from a romantic dinner to a night in the opera. Most guys don’t love wearing ties, and they find them strangling, but once he gets the hang of it and realizes how amazing this look is, he’s going to love it as much as you do.

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want

Ties come in different shapes and sizes too, and your man might start by wearing a simple bow tie just to learn how to manage such a piece around his neck. If he’s a fan of the outdoors, he might prefer a bolo tie, and if he’s a sophisticated person who likes keeping things under control, a classic seven-fold tie. Alternatively, he can always experiment with skinny ties and those popular four-in-hand neckties that look good on any man and significantly enhance his personal style.

11. Cologne

There’s nothing better and irresistible than a great smelling sensual guy.

A man’s fragrance is a very personal thing, and that’s precisely why the person who should be picking it out for him is you (his wife/girlfriend/bedfellow). After all, it’s you that he’s trying to attract, right?

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want
A good-scented cologne can leave a lasting impression on everyone a man encounters.

Because you’ll be snuggling up close to your partner, you’ll want to pick a scent that will appeal to his senses, as well as your own preferences.

12. Fashionable Men’s Watches

Watches are often used as a statement piece for men. Much like women with jewelry, men choose to wear a watch that matches their lifestyle.

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want

While those living a more active lifestyle may prefer a waterproof, digital sports watch, men headed to the office or out to meetings all day may appreciate a designer, luxury watch. Choose between digital, automatic, and possibly a skeleton model if your man appreciates a watch’s intricacies.

13. Boxer shorts and Underwear for him

Think of February 14th as the red carpet of date nights. Celebrate Valentine’s Day by getting your valentine a naughty gift that will make him feel super excited.

The world’s been divided into two categories of men really; Ones who wear boxers and the ones who wear briefs.

We will not be talking about the ones who don’t wear anything, Junkie!

Clearly, the men’s inner wear range has undergone an iconic change and has emerged into being more of a fashion statement.

Shopping for men on Valentine's Day - What men really want

Every man began with diapers, evolved to briefs and, some years later transformed to boxer shorts. A majority of men made this ‘manly’ transformation to boxer shorts in junior year, especially because they saw a fairly good looking woman admire the banana split through a man’s boxers in a movie (no pun intended).

According to a survey conducted by most females, no matter how attractive a man is from the outside, whilst getting intimate with your woman, if she finds you smelling of a dead rat down there, or wearing filthy underpants that also make your package look super unattractive, the probability of she running away without looking back is going to be high.

Turn up the romance this Valentine’s Day by shopping for him comfortable and captivating men’s underwear styles like boxer shorts, briefs, boxer briefs and trunks underwear.

Read Also: Shopping for women on Valentine’s Day: What women really want

Shopping for men on Valentine’s Day: What men really want

Do you have any other men’s Valentine’s Day gift ideas for a boyfriend, fiancé or husband to add on our range of Valentine’s Day gifts list? Comment below with your suggestion… Impress and Spoil him this Valentine’s Day!