Tips of the Trade: Valentine’s Day Gifts for Women

1. Benbrooke Studded Leather Shoulder Bag by Michael Michael Kors: $250; NET-A-PORTER| 2. Shark Tooth Necklace: $37.13; Fashionologie| 3. Flight Stainless Steel Watch: $115; Fossil| 4. Vinum Extreme Pinot Noir Glasses by Riedel: $59.95 set of 2; Beverage Factory| 5. Stretch Silk Romper in Nude by La Fee Verte: $120; Nordstrom| 6. Slate Cheeseboard: $35; ABC Home| 7. Rose C’est Paris by Bettina Rheims: $44.34; Amazon.com| 8. Chain Black and Taupe Double Wrap: $29.14; Wanderlust + Co| 9. Cashmere Natural Soy Candle by Linnea’s Lights: $30; Candles Off Main

This round up of Valentine’s Day gifts is about as girly as it will get at the Vanguard Blog. It’s just not my style. However, on this notoriously romantic day, tradition steps in, and men should be men and women should be women. I’m all for the advances of the female role in relationships, but I think that there is something of value in letting him lead every once in a while. And if he is leading, why not start with a great gift? This roundup was particularly tricky because there was so much to keep in mind: seriousness of relationship, price, personality, and of course style… There are many ways to go wrong with a Valentine’s Day gift: it can mean too much or mean too little. So guys, here’s a little extra guidance when choosing the perfect gift:

1. Gifts are not necessary on Valentine’s Day, but if you want to make a BIG impression, don’t skip it.

2. One of the most popular gifts for this holiday is lingerie. This is a slippery slope, my friend: if you buy something very sexy (anything that has multiple straps and unusual bare areas) then you might risk making her feel uncomfortable. Women have body issues; hopefully you aren’t aware of them but it’s not worth the risk of highlighting them. If you purchase something too safe, then you are both stuck with ugly granny panties. Choose something like this teddie or romper (item 5) that is both flattering on most women yet still sexy.

3. The best types of presents are one that will involve an experience (i.e. wine glasses or a cheeseboard). If you go for this type of gift, do your homework where the food and drink are concerned. There is nothing sexier than a man with know-how and knowledge.

4. If you choose to get her an item of jewelry, don’t go the cheesy route. Go to your local downtown boutique and pick out an item that has personality. Or you can try one of these two items I picked out (2 and 8).

5. I know this may seem obvious but if you are just starting a relationship, don’t go for jewelry or lingerie. A scented candle is the most appropriate choice. This one from Linnea’s Lights is made from soy and comes in an amazing box with matches. It’s personal enough to be thoughtful but doesn’t over do it.

That’s all from me! Hope that 14th ends up being a great night for everyone. And if you are single? Knock back a few cocktails with your other single friends… or cool couples who know that there are plenty of days to go on dates.

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