Enter Ravelry, a knitter's best friend. I ran a search through their pattern database for hats for men and found Irina Dmitrieva's Bend Hat. The cables on the hat make it nice and stretchy (Husband's friend has a big head...) and make it interesting but not girly and not boring. On Ravelry, I called it "Twisted" in description of the cables.
After he received it, there were many hints to my husband and I that the recipient's wife was coveting his hat, but given the choice, she wanted one in pink.
I can take a hint. I didn't mind knitting the hat and I like this family, so I stash dove and came up with leftover pink yarn from the owl pillow I knit my niece. I held the yarn double to get the right thickness and knit up a pink one:
And not having a better name for it, I've called it "Mrs. Twisted."