The other day, I was helping my guy friend pick out a vday/anniversary gift for his girlfriend. He wanted to get her something nice and special…. “like a dress or something pretty and useful like that.” It’s a nice thought, but you’d think that after 7 years, he’d have learnt the basic gift picking rule for girls.

Thou shalt not buy her items of clothing unless otherwise specified and you have been equipped with a picture, color and size.

It never occurred to him that she wouldn’t like what he picked out for her, but then she’d have to tell him she likes it anyway, and then be forced to wear it out in public so she won’t hurt his feelings before banishing it to the back of her closet. This is probably where I should come in, but did I mention that I’ve never met her before and therefore have no idea what her style is? After steering him safely away from the clothing section, we ended up back on the first floor of Neimans. I suggested skincare that she usually uses (he did say useful!) or some pretty accessories like a scarf, cute ear muffs or a simple clutch. Unfortunately they’d already cleaned out the winter stuff and all that was left that was pretty and useful were sunglasses. Against my better judgment, he bought her a pair of oversized Marc by MJ shades. I did my best to point him towards the most classic pair that looks like it would be versatile (I really have no experience picking shades for anyone else but myself, you really got to try it on!), but I’m sure it will be better then what he would’ve picked up since they “all look the same.” I told him to keep the receipt.

vday-coach

Wanting to get your girlfriend something useful is all very well and good, but useful is a refill for her skincare routine or a gift certificate to Bloomies. Useful is not pretty or romantic. Cute little trinklets and jewelry were invented to be pretty, not useful. But I definitely don’t mind a cute trinklet like the Coach keychains above. They’d look pretty carrying my keys or dangling around on my bag! And if your girlfriend doesn’t like what you picked out, at least it is a relatively small thing and it wouldn’t take up too much wardrobe space. Besides, it’s the thought that counts. The whole idea is just to get her a little something to show her your love and so that later on she can be reminded of the moment, no? (The above keychains have been arranged from being really lovey dovey to just cute depending on taste.)

If you really want to strive for useful, I think a classic bag like the hobo style Coach above (right) or a simple clutch (above left and right), can’t go too wrong either.

vday-tiffany

HG reminded me of another good place for Vday gift on her blog– Tiffany’s. How could I forget? They even sort it out for you on their website according to the level of your relationship! I am loving their soft pink accessories. The simple pink heart would make a lovely phone chain. The beaded pink bracelet would be a cute compliment to an outfit. I wish I’d seen this pink ring before, because my friend was looking for a ‘promise ring’ the other month and I think this one would’ve been perfect! And I love the design of this necklace, it’s pretty and elegant but not too typical Tiffany’s.

If you want to be even more thoughtful in your gift giving? Buy a gorgeous jewelry box and put the trinklet/jewelry inside. I guarantee you that she’ll love it. I suggested this to three guy friends last year and all their girlfriends loved it. I should’ve gotten commission for that. If you’re in Hong Kong, they sell some very exquisite and beautiful jewelry boxes in the Lane Crawford home store in Pacific Place that looks like it belongs to royalty back in the days.

Ladies, feel free to forward this to your significant other as a hint hint 😉

Image Source: Coach and Tiffany

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