What Guys Want: Birthday Edition

By Julia Asphar

Next weekend, my boyfriend is celebrating his 20th birthday, and I am not organized in the slightest. Halloween is one of the biggest college holidays around, and now on top of planning costumes and parties, I must make sure that I organize the best weekend for one of the most important people in my life. Lots of pressure for a girl that just wanted to dress up as a cat and eat Halloween candy with her friends.

Why are boys so hard to shop for?

Firstly, men don’t give us a lot to work with. If you google “gifts for boyfriend” the first articles to come up consist of lists of the most stereotypical guy gifts out there. No I don’t want to buy “my guy” a custom monogrammed whiskey glass, nor would I ever buy a make-your-own tofu kit, and I definitely am not going to buy him scotch infused toothpicks. Yes, those are all real, and yes, they are trending.

I broke down my shopping into themes to make it easier. Laid-back, sporty, fratty, romantic… within those categories, it becomes easier to pick out things that they would like.

For the laid-back dude:

Socks, underwear, and joggers. Can’t go wrong. Anything lounge related guys weirdly appreciate. My boyfriend loves fuzzy wool socks for his Bean Boots, so I’ll be sure to include some extra pairs in his gift basket.

Super easy and defiantly on the cheaper side. Sweatpants, fleece PJs, soft T-shirts are gifts his mom no longer buys him, yet he won’t buy himself.


Courtesy of Dayton Daily News


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Courtesy of J-Crew 


For Mr. Sporty:

Tickets and jerseys. Both may vary on the pricing, but you can definitely find some steals. Gifts like these are so easy and can be bought in a snap. This is the gift he definitely would have bought himself plus if you get tickets, you get to join in on the fun. Hats, Tees, phone cases…I know I will be splurging on lots of Cleveland apparel over the next years- plus he’ll always love and rep it, and it’s a gift that he’ll never grow out of. Go, Tribe!

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Courtesy of Fanaticsoutlet.com | Mike Napoli Cleveland Jersey




For the guy who thinks he’s 21 every year:

This is the boy-man who loves the “Fratagonia” trend. Although you can’t paint him a cooler for his bday, he would definitely appreciate a party themed gift. Visors, Hawaiian shirts (check out the thrift shop in Hamilton), graphic tees, or posters for his room. Band posters are underrated and there are some amazing graphic prints out there for even the most obscure bands.

If you want to spend the cash on one big gift vs a bunch of little ones: Lulu shorts, a pair of sick Vans sneakers, or a Patagonia sweatshirt are all solid gifts that he will love. 

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Courtesy of Julia Asphar


For the couple that doesn’t want to spend lots of $$$:

Yeah, upcoming birthdays are intimidating in college because we want to give our friends the world but can only afford half a cup of instant ramen. The good thing is, there is so much DIY and cheap finds available: Balloons, donuts, a morning cup of Starbucks, a drive to Canes (omg yum), stickers, homemade cards…

There are unlimited good deeds to do for them on their special day. It really is the thought that counts. This summer, I was away in Vermont for a few months and my genius boyfriend sent me adorable custom Redbubble stickers. So creative and easy! But really, I hate splurging- I bought him a can of $5 silly string from CVS and he was beyond impressed.

Courtesy of Julia Asphar