Gifting for your girl is a serious challenge. It starts with all the competing demands placed on your gift(s): it needs to demonstrate care and consideration, make her feel special, engage her, and fit within your budget. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that your gifting needs change at each phase of the relationship. What you buy six months in probably isn’t what you get your wife of 5 years. Early on, you want to dazzle. Later on, you want to avoid stagnation.
Stores and brands don’t make it easy, either. They flood you with options, most of them pushing some kind of deal that benefits them. Perfume, silly luxury items, and on and on – the tidal wave of choice ends up diluting the process of making a good decision. And suddenly: you’re running out of time.
Part of Primer’s mission is helping you make more decisive, optimal decisions. We’re big fans of psychologist Barry Schwartz’s work on the Paradox of Choice so we’re trying something a little different: bringing you a last-minute Girlfriend Gift Guide that intentionally limits the number of decisions you have to make.
It works like this: pick a category that fits your girl’s interests, then pick a price level that fits your budget. It’s a dead simple way to choose. For example: Is she in to travel & adventure? And you’re looking to spend about $75? We’ve got you covered.
Depending on your budget and the seriousness of your relationship, you can mix and match categories and price levels. In select cases, we’ve suggested a Go Big option in the event you need a little shock & awe. And rest assured, we’ve canvassed the internet for quality, highly-reviewed items we know she’ll love (and, in several cases, are buying our girls!)
So don’t delay! For many non-Amazon retailers the cutoff for free, guaranteed delivery is today or tomorrow.
For the Trendspotter & Trendmaker
J Crew Oversized Wool Scarf – $39 (w/ 40% off code HOLIDAY)
Winter is coming. Or it’s here, actually. Grab the perfect accessory for keeping out cold winds in always-elegant black and white.
Rent The Runway Gift Certificate – $75+ ($25 off w/ code FIRSTRTR25P)
Rent The Runway allows her to rent ultra-premium high fashion brands at affordable rates. While stock in the range of $300 – 2000 retail and rentals ranging between $40 and $300, Rent the Runway has everything from fun to formal. Most rentals, however, fall around $75. Perfect if you have a few events coming up in 2017. Make your own gift certificate or consider giving her Stylepass, a subscription service that gives her a rental a month for $65 (3 month minimum)
Lulu Frost Necklace – $188+ (Free 2-day shipping on orders over $200)
Blending modern and antique design & materials, designer Lisa Salzer has been making waves since her launch of Lulu Frost in 2004. Worn by Beyonce, Michelle Obama, and Taylor Swift, a Lulu Frost piece is guaranteed to impress.
For the Bohemian Traveler
Hearkening back to the golden age of air travel, this zip-enclosed, canvas lined passport carrier is elegant and understated. Also available in spearmint for a different look.
For weekend adventures close to home, this classic picnic set brings both class and function to the endeavor. Take it to the next level by including a note that the first springtime spread will be prepared by you.
Away Travel: The Carry-On – $225 + $35 Expedited Shipping
Indestructible, well-engineered, and rolls with a built-in phone/laptop/device charger. It makes you wonder – why isn’t all luggage made this way? We notice they’re sold out of many colors right now, but that’s OK – the “Sand” shade is our favorite anyway.
Iceland, St John’s USVI, and Puerto Rico all come highly recommended by friends of Primer as remarkable, relationship-altering spontaneous getaways. Check out last minute deal sites like Expedia and Priceline and then wrap up the tickets in big box weighed down with something soft. She’ll freak.
For the Gourmet Kitchen Experimenter
Often overlooked, a quality Mandoline opens up a range of shapes and textures when it comes to fruit and vegetable prep. Be careful, though, they’re seriously sharp! Put it to good use and maybe even use it to make the actual ratatouille from the movie of the same name.
Exotic Salts Sampler + The Flavor Bible – $30 + $23
Unlock a whole new world of flavor and improvisation in the kitchen with a set of exotic salts and a guide to using them. Mix and match these as add-ons if you can’t take this tri-platform flavor attack all at once. Up the ante by throwing in a collection of peppercorns (note, these may arrive after X-mas!)
The KitchenAid stand mixer: classic, revered, super visual. Guaranteed to be a hit, with the possible side benefit of new baked goods in the house.
GO BIG: Cooking Class Experience for Two – $200+
Combine two relationship-building experiences into one and sign both of you up for a local cooking class. It’s a great way to share new skills, tastes, and demonstrate your bona-fides as an engaged gentleman who’s not afraid to try new stuff. Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma have great classes across the US, but you might also find a local option that’s just as good or better.
Admit it: She Gets to the Gym More Than You
Give her workout recovery & injury prevention a boost with this not-too-hard, not-too-soft entry level roller that’s perfect for travel or throwing in a bag for the gym.
JBL Flip – $89
Portable, durable, and equipped with Bluetooth for pairing with a smartphone, the Flip enables her to bring workout jams anywhere, and share with a group. Pick a color she’ll like and enjoy the praise when it rolls in.
Fitbit 2 – $130
2,000 near-perfect reviews on Amazon can’t be wrong. Fitbit has made serious upgrades to their gen 2 fitness and activity tracker that includes a heart monitor, among many other features. Serous fitness tech.
GO BIG: Unlimited Yoga for Two – $160+
Nothing’s better than a long brunch after a Saturday morning yoga class wakes up your body and centers your mind. Pick up two unlimited class cards at her favorite yoga studio and commit to going together at least twice a week. Throw in a stlyish Yeti mat for increased shock & awe.
For the Decorator and Home Spaces Designer
Hanging Glass Planter – $20 (+ small plant)
Place an air plant or succulent in this fanciful container for a welcome bit of green in the winter season. Fits nearly anywhere – bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen. Double up & include contrasting succulents to increase the effect.
SAIC Tea for One + In the Company of Women – ($13 + $27)
Give her many afternoons of design-centric inspiration with a tea set and good reading. The CB2 tea set nests neatly within itself. Author Grace Bonney’s New York Times bestseller profiles a diverse set of makers, designers, and entrepreneurs & is highly reviewed on Amazon.
Etsy Handmade Furniture – $150+
Etsy is home to some serious makers using custom-fabricated, vintage, and found materials to make one-of-a-kind furniture with remarkable design flair. Handmade, unique, and fun to shop for together, creating your own Etsy gift certificate specifically for the design bug in your life is an excellent way to go.