For at least the next decade or so, it will continue to get cold in certain parts of the world — “winter,” this phenomenon is called — and traditionally people cover themselves in layers of varying kinds of fibrous materials to keep warm. This worked perfectly for many thousands of years. But then the iPhone was invented, and suddenly capacitive touchscreens were everywhere — and they don’t work with fingers that are wrapped in thick shields of wool, which means Instagram doesn’t work with gloves and that is just not acceptable. (An exception: The new Nokia Lumia 920, so if your friend has one of those, you can stop here. Also it doesn’t have Instagram. Anywho.) So you need special gloves.
The first generation of smartphone-friendly gloves could be real, real gross but now they look positively normal. So, these $24 SmartWool liner gloves are perfectly black and boring, as is this gray variant. No one has to know you’re using special dork gloves! They’ll just be AMAZED you can use your phone with your gloves on and they can’t. (Or they probably won’t notice at all, but you will notice as you mentally note the various shades of blue their fingers turn with each passing second they spend on that very important e-mail.) These polka-dot gloves should be sufficiently quirky for people requiring quirky gloves. I’m also pretty into these royal-blue gloves with black tips, although they very much scream “NERD MITTS.” But maybe that’s OK.
If you’re skeptical, you shouldn’t be! These things actually work. The gloves made with slightly thinner materials are more precise for obvious reasons — almost good enough to type with (oh, if only Siri like, worked) but most certainly good enough to read Twitter or flip through Instagram with. Which is all you (or the recipient of this fine gift) needs. I mean, you wouldn’t want to be walk somewhere without anything else to do while you’re doing that. That just sounds awful.