Memorable Christmas gift for fashion maven girlfriend?
December 18, 2007 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Memorable Christmas gift for fashion maven girlfriend. Is a tennis bracelet tacky? Would a necklace be better?

So, I want to buy something lasting and memorable for my girlfriend this Christmas. I have a whole list of things that I know she would love, but nothing strikes me as being all that lasting and memorable.... at least nothing like jewelry.

My girlfriend is something of a fashion maven. She owns/runs a boutique for womens clothing. I am wondering, of you other mavens out there, if a tennis bracelet is a good idea? Is it too 80s? Can it be worn casually? Would a necklace be better?

To give you an idea her style is a Lucky Magazine, InStyle, Anthropologie (the store) sorta of thing. Is a diamond bracelet too Liz Taylor/Zsa Zsa Gabor for this style?
posted by blueplasticfish to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think of a diamond tennis bracelet as being a really impersonal, yuppie piece of jewelery and the only statement it makes is, "Look! I have a diamond tennis bracelet!!" But that's just me.

However: if you have the bux to blow on a (sorry) very overpriced bauble, you probably could get her a super nice Hermes scarf instead. They are always, always in style and could very likely become an heirloom piece for her. A diamond tennis bracelet...not so much.
posted by brain cloud at 2:37 PM on December 18, 2007

A classic diamond tennis bracelet is great - it can be worn with so many different things. I don't think of them as tacky or dated.

And if I do so say myself (I guess you have to just trust me), I'm a rather fashionable woman.
posted by KAS at 2:42 PM on December 18, 2007

They are kind of a classic, but really aren't "in". Personally, I get the image of older society lady when I think of tennis bracelets.

Perhaps a slightly more unique piece from say, Gorjana or another line that's actually represented in Lucky or another magazine she reads. Go to their websites and find something nice.
posted by cmgonzalez at 2:45 PM on December 18, 2007

what's your budget? if you want to give her a piece of jewelry (always, always appreciated!) there are a number of designers out there who create very beautiful, forward and unique pieces that, at the same time, aren't so trendy that they can't be worn for years to come.
posted by violetk at 2:54 PM on December 18, 2007

Yeah, if she's a Lucky-reading, Anthropologie-buying, boutique-owning woman, I suspect she might want something more current/unique than a diamond tennis bracelet (not that there's anything essentially wrong with a diamond tennis bracelet -- there just may be more immediately fashionable pieces she'd really lust over). The new Lucky actually has an amazing necklace in it that immediately sprang to mind when I read this (sorry, I can't find it at the site and my copy's at home, but I can post the description and page number later).
posted by scody at 2:58 PM on December 18, 2007

The sad truth is, the variance in how people respond to jewelry is so high that we can only vote for/against, not guess how your gf will respond. I personally would think of a tennis bracelet from my husband as generous and classic even though it's not my style. Perhaps you could get a place like Tiffany's to help you. You could choose two or three pieces and ask them to set them aside for a return visit where you bring your girlfriend. Tiffany's is useful because they have a range of modern and classic stuff, so you could make a daring choice or two and a classic one. Then bring the girlfriend in and let her choose from your choices. Voila - she gets a surprise, a fun trip, she's not stuck with something she hates, and it's still clear that you thoughtfully picked something out for her.
posted by synapse at 2:59 PM on December 18, 2007

A diamond tennis bracelet is the kind of thing that I would treasure and take out of my jewelry box every once in a while to admire, but I'd never have an occasion or outfit to wear it with.

Does she wear jewelry regularly? If so, what styles/metals does she wear? I have this mental image of her wearing chunky, arty baubles, not tennis-bracelety at all, but I could be completely wrong.

If you're just getting jewelry for the sake of it being a meaningful gift, reconsider getting something else off her list that you're more confident in. Someone once told me "all women want jewelry for Christmas, no matter what they say they want" - but it's really not true.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:01 PM on December 18, 2007

If she owns a fashion boutique, chances are she already orders accessories she likes and stocks them. Based on the style list you gave, she runs towards the trendy rather than classic. I think giving her a simple, elegant and classic piece would be the best plan. That said, I think you should go with an uberclassic pearl necklace.

No, sickos, the jewelry kind. It's ok my head went there too.
posted by spec80 at 3:05 PM on December 18, 2007

I think the key question to ask yourself here is does she wear bracelets? If not then no. If yes then maybe. I like to read InStyle and I like to browse Anthropologie and in my late twenties so take my opinion with that bit of info, I think the tennis bracelet is little bit dated personally, for a classic nice piece of jewelry I would go for pearl earrings, studs are very classic but a nice pair of drop pearl earrings would be more modern and still very versatile YMMV, as with all fashion gifts be sure to save the receipt (just in case).
posted by estronaut at 3:05 PM on December 18, 2007

Tennis bracelets are kind of 'older woman'-ish. Most of the women I know who wear them regularly are 35+. I like them, personally, but it is hard to trace where the smaller diamonds in them came from, which can be a moral dilemma. Also, the rule of thumb on bracelets is, don't buy a bracelet for a woman who doesn't wear them. But if she does...

and she is very stylish, may I recommend:
David Yurman - his stuff is very recognizable. Other stylish women will surely look at her wrist and exclaim - is that a DAVID YURMAN? Then she gets to say yes, and that her boyfriend bought it, and then the other women go home and seethe about not being married to someone who buys them David Yurman jewelry. This is a good thing for you.

Hermes. Their cuff is becoming an iconic fashion piece, and their enamel bangles are pretty fabu as well. And of course, add a matching scarf.

If she wants something more off the beaten path, New Orleans jewelry designer Mignon Faget's bracelets are gorgeous, and you can feel good about contributing to the local economy in NO. I like the Marcellino Cuff, myself. Mignon is a 'people who really know fashion know who she is' sort of designer.

Good luck! This is a fun problem to have.
posted by kristin at 3:08 PM on December 18, 2007

Go to Anthropologie and look at the costume jewelry they carry. This will give you a sense of what sort of thing you might look for. Then, try to find similar styles in fine metals or by designers or independent artists. Giving Tree Jewelry is great for higher end stuff, or you could try Etsy for one-of-a-kind pieces. My personal favorite artist is Jeanine Payer, available at Giving Tree but a lot of boutiques carry her work as well.
posted by TrixieRamble at 3:10 PM on December 18, 2007

I agree with those above who say that the diamond tennis bracelet would be nice but not something she could wear a lot right now.

Equivalently nice and probably more useful would be a nice pair of diamond solitaire earrings. I can think of at least 10 outfits in my closet that I could wear those with, versus about 2 for the bracelet.

If you buy her a very artsy piece, she will either like it or not like it, but either way, it probably won't grow with her over time.
I think a classic is the way to go, but a very versatile and still young classic that she can wear now as a boutique owner and later as a congresswoman (always a possibility).

Diamond earrings can be dressed up or down much more easily than a tennis bracelet, and they don't get knocked around as much.
posted by rmless at 3:17 PM on December 18, 2007

Equivalently nice and probably more useful would be a nice pair of diamond solitaire earrings.

I agree with this, too -- diamond studs are much more useful and flexible, fashion-wise, on a daily basis.
posted by scody at 3:22 PM on December 18, 2007

3rd a pair of diamond solitaire earrings. Also 2nding Jeanine Payer's jewelry -- it's up-to-date but not trendy, and the quotes make it extra meaningful.

If you're looking to score style points, a disc necklace from Me & Ro is a hip piece that can be worn with lots of things and layered with other necklaces.
posted by junkbox at 3:23 PM on December 18, 2007

If you want lasting and memorable, don't buy her anything fashionable.

A simple solitaire necklace is timeless and you can't go far wrong with that.
posted by missmagenta at 3:39 PM on December 18, 2007

I was also going to suggest diamond solitaire earrings if she doesn't have them. Can be worn with almost anything.

What about a necklace that has one diamond now and can be added to for special occasions? I know a lady who had one of those and thought it was neat -- hers was a bracelet, but if you do it with necklace, you could get nice diamonds.
posted by dpx.mfx at 3:50 PM on December 18, 2007

Seconding TrixieRamble re: checking out Anthropologie and Etsy....if she likes Anthropologie, chances are she likes unique jewelry. While it is very difficult to choose something for someone for fear he or she won't like it, I think it's worth it to take that chance. My boyfriend just gave me (for Christmas) a coral, shell and pearl necklace from Etsy...(actually, specifically from Stonehouse Studio) and it meant so much to me that he researched and considered what I'd like (and I love it, by the way). While something "classic" like pearls or diamond earrings are safe, they are pretty obviously so. I would've thought my boyfriend just grabbed something expensive instead of thinking about me while he purchased something.
posted by quentiniii at 4:09 PM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

I don't know what your budget is, but I think these following options from Ross Simons, which I've used before and generally does really lovely work, are beautiful and very distinctive -- not alot of people have anything like it and they would be lovely to wear for a special occasion or, depending on what she does for a living, possibly to work or going as well:

Diamond scroll bracelet: $876

Diamond floral bracelet: $876

Diamond link bracelet: $1036

Other options here.

I would not necessarily get the run of the mill stone-stone-stone-stone-stone-stone tennis bracelet if you think your gf has the really modern style that you suggest -- she may love it but there seems like there would be a good chance that she would prefer something more distinctive and individual. And if these are out of your price range, I think a pendant would be really lovely and something she could wear anywhere. Anyway, good luck, and let us know what you do and what she thinks!
posted by onlyconnect at 4:16 PM on December 18, 2007

I think the tennis bracelet is nice but a bit "been there, done that." Personally I'd be a very happy camper on Christmas morning if I received anything from Pomellato. Particularly, any ring from their "Baby" and "Nudo" collections.
posted by idest at 4:51 PM on December 18, 2007

I wholeheartedly agree with the bangle ideas. They're more durable and less 80s than a link style diamond bracelet. Plus, they have the added advantage of being more wearable. My mother only wears her "tennis" bracelets for fancy dress occasions, where as her platinum bangles are worn every day.

I love this bracelet from Tiffany (which they also offer in a white gold/sterling silver option.)

Just Google "diamond bangle" and you'll get some good options.

Also, Nthing Etsy.
posted by santojulieta at 6:57 PM on December 18, 2007

Do you already know for sure that she's ok with diamonds? Some people have very strong feelings about the diamond industry. I wouldn't accept a gift of diamond jewelry, even from my loving boyfriend, so it's something you might want to consider before spending a lot of money.

A handmade gift from Etsy is a great idea, though, and from what you've told us it sounds like just the sort of thing that might appeal to her.
posted by emmastory at 6:31 AM on December 19, 2007

Might be good to avoid diamonds and go for something handmade and more interesting like Figs and Ginger, or Anomaly.

I also love the Intaglio Collection from Heartlet. (You need to dig through the Flash site to get to the collection.)
posted by anthropoid at 9:48 AM on December 19, 2007

Meant to write that I second avoiding diamonds...
posted by anthropoid at 9:49 AM on December 19, 2007

Given that she likes Anthropologie and Lucky, I'd recommend against a tennis bracelet or pearl necklace. They're too old and traditional.

The clothes-pin fashion blog regularly features unique high quality jewelry that has the organic/sculptural style popular right now.
posted by bumpybear at 11:47 PM on December 19, 2007

"Memorable" and "classic" rarely go hand-in-hand.

You want something unique and a tennis bracelet is definitely not that. Choose a designer necklace instead. Odds are that she'll wear it more. Even better, some jewelers allow you to design your own jewelry.

Try Boucheron.
posted by brynna at 5:36 PM on December 23, 2007

My ex bought me a diamond necklace. apparently he spent a very long time picking it out with help from the people who worked there. so i know he thought it fit my style and i was really, really, happy with the gesture. but (and obviously i never told him this,) I didn't really like it. like, at all. to this day ive never worn it.

it's not his fault. it wouldnt be your fault either if you didnt do a very good job. style is just really personal and can sometimes be hard to predict. my current boyfriend sees all the jewelry i have and wear, yet i would die of shock if he ever gave me a piece of jewelry that was as good as one i picked myself. don't feel bad- you just aren't a girl! of course you dont have a girly sense of style.

that said, i still think it's a nice gesture. what i would reccommend is still giving her something tangible (like, flowers or some other safe gift.) then maybe in a wrapped box or something, put a picture of a piece of jewelry. then when she opens it you can explain, i want to get you the perfect piece, but i didnt want to get you the wrong thing, so i'm taking you shopping for it. right now!" :)

i know it takes out the suprise to an extent (which is why other small little gifts would be nice) but ultimately, if you want to give her something she really loves, she will probably need to be the one to pick it. or, if you are friends with one of her friends, enlist their help.
posted by lblair at 11:45 AM on November 26, 2008

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