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April 29, 2010 5:04 AM   Subscribe

Can you suggest a good "must have" gift for a woman in her early 30s? She's fairly girly, is a teacher, has a dog, and is really awesome.

I'm a bit out of touch with what women my age are into these days, as I'm finishing up a doctoral degree, surrounded by guys and college kids, and don't go out that much. Is there some "it" thing for women right now? A couple years ago, I think those bags/purses that you could design yourself were pretty popular, and they made for a good gift, especially the nicer high quality ones. Is there something similar that seems trendy right now? An accessory, cosmetic/beauty product, gadget, clothing item/brand that's very in? Thanks.
posted by bluefly to Shopping (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Jo Malone perfume is a nice gift. If you're US-based it wouldn't be a common gift either. It's not that common even in the UK.

Around Christmas time and Valentines Day their shops have to bat customers away with shitty sticks such is the demand from husbands/boyfriends/friends trying to buy gifts.

Pomegranate Noir is a popular and unusual scent.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:19 AM on April 29, 2010

This depends on the woman.

Is she a gadget-girl, on the go, with and iphone in hand? Solar charger and an iPhone purse that matches her style might be the ticket.

Is she bling-blingy? statement necklace [fashion speak for "bold"] trend is still going strong, my fave: peacock feathers.

Speaking of feathers, feathered headbands are also all the rage and come in all styles, so if you've ever seen her with a regular hairbands, she might like a fancier one. This is the over 30 version of glitter hair accessories, much classier and still fun.
posted by dabitch at 5:28 AM on April 29, 2010

Pandora bracelet?

I personally thought charm bracelets went out with those snap-on glowstick bracelets, but the girls in my office LOVE them. You buy the bracelet plain and gradually add charms.

I think they definitely fall into the same demographic as the photo-handbags you mentioned! I don't know what your budget is (these things and the charms are pretty expensive!) but a bracelet + one or two charms to start her off might be a really nice gift.
posted by citands at 5:33 AM on April 29, 2010

Best answer: If she's bubble-bathy or fragrancey, something from either Philosophy or Lush would work nicely. They're both high quality brands, and well-liked without being overly trendy.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:46 AM on April 29, 2010

How much money are we talking?

Sephora gift card is easy and fun.

Pandora strikes me as appealing to the same women who like the Vera Bradley bags, but I could be wrong.
posted by n'muakolo at 6:01 AM on April 29, 2010

Pandora strikes me as appealing to the same women who like the Vera Bradley bags, but I could be wrong. And by this I mean, quite feminine, and sort of traditional, sort of preppy women. I picture this woman baking a lot. And wearing pink. Does this describe your friend? If so, you could be on the money with a pandora bracelet and some charms. (Troll Beads are another company - the original I think - for these sorts of bracelets.)
posted by n'muakolo at 6:09 AM on April 29, 2010

I'm a thirties woman, and though I've never gone for designer brands or statement jewelry, my partner bought me a Tiffany Key pendant that I adore. There are lots of styles and price points.
posted by kimdog at 6:16 AM on April 29, 2010

Response by poster: And by this I mean, quite feminine, and sort of traditional, sort of preppy women. I picture this woman baking a lot. And wearing pink.

My friend is not this preppy or traditional. She might carry a Vera Bradley bag, but she'd be rocking some cool aviator sunglasses along with it. As for price, I'm considering $150 or less and buying a couple of cheaper items and putting them together would be fun. But some friends and I might go in on the gift together, so more expensive suggestions are also welcome. Keep them coming.
posted by bluefly at 6:32 AM on April 29, 2010

Response by poster: Also, thanks for the suggestions so far, they're great! I had never heard the term "statement necklace" before, and I appreciate the specific brand names of cosmetics and perfumes, as I don't use the fancy ones myself!
posted by bluefly at 6:33 AM on April 29, 2010

Best answer: Depending on how much time you have you might want to check out Gilt.com for something a bit high end. It's insanely addictive, but I recently bought a friend a Kate Spade bag for 60% off it's retail price. It was a huge hit. They run the gamut from designer (McQueen, Wang, etc) clothing and accessories to perfume and jewelry with total random things thrown in as well. It's an invite site. If you can't be bothered to go through whatever process they have on their site drop me a memail and I'll send you an invitation.
posted by FlamingBore at 7:08 AM on April 29, 2010

posted by brainwane at 7:14 AM on April 29, 2010

Gift card to Sephora.
posted by anniecat at 7:32 AM on April 29, 2010

Don't get her something just because it's 'in'!

If you were based over here I'd suggest Cath Kidston. My laptop bag was from there, it's good quality, and lovely. They can be quite girly. A make-up bag or overnight bag would be pretty cool - they also do dog beds.

Perfume is a very personal thing, but a scented candle would work. Jo Malone are well known for them.
posted by mippy at 9:33 AM on April 29, 2010

Another suggestion is a really nice blanket or, if it doesn't seem too personal, some really nice pyjamas, slippers and maybe bath stuff to go with them. If she's a teacher, she'll want to relax.
posted by mippy at 9:34 AM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

My friends and I, who are in that age group, frequently get each other gifts from Bon Bon Oiseau, which has handmade jewelry, key fobs, and suchlike.
posted by *s at 11:27 AM on April 29, 2010

Depending on how personal the gift is supposed to be, some higher-end stationery items might be welcome. I recently put together some gift bags of such. People especially seemed to like the Moleskine journals in spring colors. (I feel kind of pretentious carrying around Moleskine items, but they are awfully nice and the new colors are sexy.)
posted by BibiRose at 4:34 PM on April 29, 2010

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