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Boy Oh Boy: Gifts for Guys

Rivaling as-yet-unexplained mysteries such as crop circles and the exact contents of Hormel Spam is another age-old conundrum that plagues us, especially at this time of year: why are guys so &*%^@&*%! hard to shop for?

We may not have an answer to the question, but can offer the following suggestions for the gaps in your guys’ gift lists.

When you can’t be there to help, the How-Tie ($18) from the Curiosity Shoppe will remind him exactly what he needs to do.

Fans of super-soft tees and polos will find the perfect fit among the custom knit options ($29-$60) at Marine Layer, whose online fit finder tool and free shipping and returns makes it easy to size up the right style.

A relatively affordable option he’ll wear throughout the year comes in the form of the newly launched line of updated, casual khaki pants from Dockers. Available in nine colors and priced between $30 and $50 a pair, the styles range from a slim tailored fit to relaxed and come in different textures and patterns.

When your guy needs an affordable outerwear piece that will work all year, the Chateau Flight Twill Jacket by Hot Air at Moxsie doubles as a heavy shirt or light jacket and offers plenty of pockets for stowing wallets, iPods and other must-haves.

Now available at The Brooklyn Circus, ruggedly unique Farm Tactics rucksacks (call for pricing, 415-359-1999) constructed by hand of recycled military materials are ideal for urban guys on the go.

For a hands-on gift with speed demon-appeal, look no further than a pair of fingerless Steam Trunk riding gloves ($120) from Five and Diamond.

Stocking stuffers he’ll use again and again await in Pacific Shaving’s inexpensive Nick Stick and shaving oils ($5.95 and up). Shop online or pick up yours from one of the local stores that carry this San Francisco brand’s products.

Another stocking stuffer idea for the sneaker heads in your life? Colorful laces ($10) by Huf.

The oft-appreciated gift of a new wallet takes on dapper functionality in the Hobo from Nice Collective ($190), whose zippered edges keep items secure.

If he’s into hats, top him off with an Upper Playground cap ($45 and up) featuring art from some of the best street-inspired artists around.

Even the most manly men will enjoy the dude-friendly pampering at Barber Lounge, where old school services range from a classic hot towel shave ($35) to the deluxe barber cut ($40).

Send him to and from the gym in retro-inspired style without spending a fortune with the Nylon Pack Cloth Gym Bag ($17) from American Apparel.

The geeky and proud of it will appreciate the Casio databank calculator watch ($72). Available at Inner Richmond shop and art gallery Park Life, the time-teller with built-in calendar, stopwatch, memo functionality and eight-digit calculator is much more than a watch.

For the man that appreciates something sexy underneath it all, the undies (various prices) at Castro shop Injeanious range from functional to scandalous.