If you’re like me, buying clothes for your man can be tough.  Especially for those of us that are Single and haven’t been dating him for that long (I mean, who’s ready to invest time in compiling his sizes when you still haven’t even met his mother?).  Well ladies, EK Hormeku, creator of Nothing Nice New York clothing line, is here with tips on how to make the task of shopping for your Boo a bit easier for us for Valentine’s Day and beyond!

S&LF:  Do men like women to buy them clothes and fashion accessories? 

EH:        Men like women to show how much they care. Buying clothes or fashion accessories that accentuate something you like about the man or that you feel he is in need of never hurts. It’s really about attention to detail, the sentiment behind it, and the moment it encapsulates.

S&LF:      Is it ever okay to buy him clothes that are out of his comfort zone?

EH:           A man shouldn’t have an issue being confident outside of his comfort zone. However, this should be something women tread lightly on. The disappointing but funny conversations women have with friends after receiving a “bad” gift is ten times worse for men. All gifts outside of his comfort zone should fall on the side of the man he is becoming and not just a gift you’d like him in.

S&LF:       When it comes to buying gifts for the men in our lives, women tend to go for the tie. Is that a good gift?

EH:            The tie is a good gift. However, this is standard and gets boring quickly. If you go the tie route, make sure you know which tie is appropriate for his shirts. Narrow ties, knit ties, bow ties, and ties with different materials look better on different collars. Spice it up. Add a monogram. If this is something you’ve done before or you aren’t sure he has received this gift from elsewhere, pocket squares and cufflinks go a long way. You can even purchase a money clip or wallet/leather good.

S&LF:      What’s one mistake women commonly make when shopping for their men?

EH:               I see a few. Trying to buy the most expensive thing is a huge mistake. Buying something that has no sense of him is another mistake. Other mistakes are choosing trendy instead of buying something classic. Sadly, some women buy items with no thought other than “any man would like this”. Even though he is a man, he is special. You are getting him a gift because he means something more than any other man. You know his favorite color, but do you know his measurements? You know his favorite sport, but do you know his favorite team and why? Those questions will get you closer to getting the job done, and well.

S&LF:     What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received from a girlfriend? (Side Note: Are you married?)

EH:   The worst gift I ever received from a girlfriend was realizing she was not a good girlfriend for me. No matter how amazing the gift is from the outside looking in, it doesn’t matter. To me, it’s more about the person and reason behind the gift than the gift itself. If I really wanted a material possession, I’d work to get it. Being a great girlfriend to a man is the best gift a man can receive. (Side note: No, I’m not married.)

S&LF:       Shopping for a significant other’s pants can be a bit tricky for women. Do you have any tips or suggestions?

EH:            Of course, it is tricky for women. It’s tricky for men. Many men don’t know their own measurements. The best way to get around this is seeking a professional. Know his ‘Ready To Wear’ sizes and his body structure. If you don’t know, make a day out of it. Set up an appointment to get his measurements taken.

S&LF:     What would be great fashion gifts for women to consider giving their men this Valentine’s Day?

EH:      Some great fashion gifts for men would be: a suit that will make him stand out, a pair of shoes versatile enough to wear anywhere, a watch fitting of his personality, or a staple accessory he could keep for the rest of his life. Some of these gifts can be customized or accompanied with a heartfelt letter. Presentation is everything and shows you put some thought into your gesture.

S&LF:     Buying a suit for a man is not a simple task.  Walk us through that process. 

EH:       The most important part of the suit buying process is creating a look that compliments the man. Once this is set, the rest of the process is fairly simple. Keep in mind the purpose of the suit. There are styles and materials specific to the season and occasion. Next, the fit should be exact. Some buyers go the bespoke route and get suits specifically made to their measurements. Others buy suits with standard measurements and tailor the piece to achieve a better look. Just remember to visualize the look, know your purpose, and get the right fit.

S&LF:     Should a man and a woman coordinate their fashion for special occasions?

EH:        Color coordination is excused in a few settings. Black tie events are excused. Themed costume parties are excused (if it’s done well and funny). Sporting events are excused. Other than that, I’d stay away from color coordination.

S&LF:      What are the top 3 stores to shop for your man if you are on a budget? And the top 3 stores if you want to splurge? 

EH:     Budgets and splurging are relative concepts. For most, I think the following are brands you can find a wide array of quality items in.

Budget:

1) Nothing Nice New York
2) J Crew
3) Uniqlo

Splurge:

1) Givenchy
2) Phillip Lim
3) Thom Browne

S&LF:    Do you recommend a woman shop online for her man?

EH:           Shopping online is convenient. I recommend she shop online if she knows his size or shops for something that doesn’t call for size (i.e. pocket squares, watch with a leather band, wallet, socks, shoes, etc.). I also recommend you shop on trusted and protected e-commerce sites, check on the return policy of items, and be sure of expected time of delivery.