If you’ve ever perused a gift guide for a broad-strokes category like “mom,” “dad,” or “boyfriend” and thought, ‘Uhhhh, not the one I know!’ then you’ve surely realized that putting them together is an imperfect art form. There are simply too many variables at play to find thoughtful presents that will appeal to everyone, no matter their tastes, habits, and lifestyle. For instance: just about every dude-oriented gift guide ever created suggests some kind of cologne—but if I were to give a bottle of the latest eau de whatever to my brother or dad I’d probably be met with a confused stare and a “Thank you?”
So, even if most of us are quite happy to receive an expensive candle or a cozy new scarf, inevitably, that doesn’t apply to everyone. But does that mean we shouldn’t try? Of course not.
The best kind of gifts appeal to some kind of personality quirk—something you know about your giftee that can’t be gleaned simply by looking at the most general categories they fall into (Midwestern mom, tech-y 30-something dude, etc.) Maybe they have a marathon of “Chopped” on whenever you’re around; maybe they’ve just moved in with their significant other and are tearing their hair out trying to compromise on decor.
We put our heads together to identify a few of the real-life people we know that deserve extra-personal gifts this year—and hopefully you’ll notice a friend, family member, or colleague of your own in one of our, ahem, very specific types—shop them all in the slideshow below.
The Friend Who’s Always Losing Her Keys (And Wallet, and Bag…)
Aerolito Colors 4-Pack, $79; at The O
The Dude Who Gets Even More Excited About Turtleneck Season Than We Do
Merino Roll-Neck Jumper, $89; at COS
The Sporadic Hair-Washer Who Loves a Good Shelfie
Catbird x Lulu Organics Patchouli Rose Hair Powder, $10; at Catbird
The Neighborhood Patriot
Tuck Shop Co.
The Stylish Friend Who's Perpetually Late
Swatch Losange Watch, $160; at Swatch
The One for Whom ‘Tumblr Pink’ Is More Than an Aesthetic—It’s a Lifestyle
Littledrill Creative Disco Avocado, $21; at Spring
The Die-Hard Pen-and-Paper List-Maker
Mi Goals Get Shit Done Notebook, $5.99; at Nylon
The Mom with a 'Food Network' Habit
Williams Sweatpants, $130; at Kith
The Newly Cohabitating Cousin
The Aesthetically Enlightened Pothead
Balance Pipe, $65; at Tetra
The Very Fancy NBA Fan
The Elder Statesman x NBA Warriors Cashmere Sweater, $1,620; at Barneys New York
Barneys New York
The New Parent with a Sense of Humor (Mostly at the Expense of Their Kid)
Junk Food Clothing
The New-Age-y Sophisticate with a Penchant for Crystals
Otherwild x Coming Soon The Future Is Female Mug, $15; at Coming Soon
The Coworker Who’s Always Complaining About Their Blah Desk Decor
OK Vase Set, $19.99; at Target