How To Buy A Dude A Sweater He’ll Actually Like

The sweater may seem like a standard, almost impersonal gift. Done right, though, it’s the ideal present — it’s practical, attractive and will actually be used. That said, year after year of going with guy friends to return their hideous sweaters for other things has taught me a bit about how not to eff it up. Let’s learn from others’ mistakes:

  1. Avoid cardigans unless your guy has expressly made his interest in them clear either by mentioning that he is (or could be) a fan and/or he has previously worn one.
  2. Same goes for turtlenecks. The exact reasoning is still fairly mysterious, but turtle necks are a hard sell with dudes. (To be fair, this guy’s hot and he does kind of look like a jerk in that turtleneck.)
  3. Sweaters should hit an inch or two below the top of his pants. Dude’s not trying to wear a dress or a crop top, so keep length in mind while shopping.
  4. The half-zip sweater is almost universally acceptable to the gentlemen folk.

  5. Thick ribbing or excessive cables are generally to be avoided.
  6. Please, for the love of God, do not buy him a sweater with any sort of intense hardware or silly, army-like pockets. Totally unnecessary.
  7. Feel free to get a little creative with the collar. Something like this is cute without being too cute.
  8. Stop buying holiday-themed sweaters. Just stop.
  9. When choosing his size, be sure to consider whether or not it’s the type of sweater he’d wear another shirt under.
  10. Unless your boyfriend, dad, brother, or whatever has a strong love of the ironic, anything that makes you think “Bill Cosby” is a no-go. Even then, this is a good opportunity to show that you don’t support that filthy hipster perversion by getting him something more classic.