It's not like it's the middle school lunch table anymore, but we all still know it — that friend is just cooler than you are. They go to more things and wear better stuff, and you know you're not just imagining it because of all their effortlessly artful Instagram photos. They already know all the awesome things you know about, because they told you in the first place. So you could go safe-and-boring with a gift card, or you can channel their cool-person confidence and take a risk on something a little more unique.
CARDBOARD BUCK TROPHY
The whole fake taxidermy and buck motif is maybe a little played out at this point. But this makes an excellent gift because 1) no person with a sense of humor wouldn't enjoy having one, and 2) no person can respectably purchase one for their own home now that they're sold at Urban Outfitters. And, not saying this is necessarily a good party idea, but has anyone tried spray-painting one of these? Maybe red or silver? Toss a can of spray paint into the gift bag and find out. No one is so cool they don't get giddy about spray-painting stuff. $30 • Wojo Works • 824 W. Sprague
Your cooler friend obviously has the panache to pull off the fashion trends that make you look like you're trying too hard. Case in point: vintage-style hats. Only the lucky few can pull it off without looking like they accidentally walked out of the house while playing dress-up. If shopping actual vintage sounds intimidating, go for vintage-inspired like a charming cloche or this violet fedora by Ducks in a Row. $42 • Artemis • 1021 W. First
BEARDBRAND BEARD OIL
If your cooler friend is of the hirsute male variety, chances are he's got some luscious facial hair (or at least he's confident he does, following Movember). Make sure he falls on the right side of hipster-or-homeless with product created by local beard guru Eric Bandholz for the "urban woodsman." The lightweight oil keeps beards conditioned, shiny and well-scented with three varieties: Tea Tree, Tree Ranger and Spiced Citrus. $25 • Weldon Barber • 2021 E. 29th and other locations
A lager? In a can? It seems to go against everything that defines the craft beer movement — except that now cans are in vogue (especially 16-oz. cans), and the recently expanded Airways Heights brewery puts out an impressive and enjoyable product. This is a perfect choice if you're not sure your friend is getting you anything, or even remembers your name, because you can always rip off the bow real quick and just play it cool, like, "Hey, uh, some beer for the thing." $8 • Total Wine & More • 9980 N. Newport Hwy., 13802 E. Indiana ♦