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Ask Avery: Valentine’s Day gift guide

blog by Avery Hartmans  • 

Dear Avery,
I’ve been dating my girlfriend for about a year and Valentine’s Day is coming up. What do I get her? I refuse to buy her lingerie.

Quite frankly, buying lingerie for a woman is tacky. Purchasing a present for someone that’s really meant for you implies a total lack of taste. Your girl deserves better, especially after putting up with you for a year.

But you don’t owe her a super pricey present, either. It’s not her birthday or her major religious holiday—it’s just Valentine’s Day: a totally made-up, girly-girl holiday.

So celebrate in full force — heart-shaped candy, glitter and all — but don’t empty your bank account. All she really wants is you, anyway.

Let’s be clear: there’s a difference between buying lingerie for a woman and buying functional pajamas for a woman. PJs that she’ll actually wear — even when you’re not around — are a way better gift than something lacy and see-through.

A simple, menswear-inspired nightshirt is just the ticket. It’s comfy, it’s cute and there’s something kind of sexy about it. Just try to tell me it wouldn’t be adorable with a pair of gray knee socks and tousled bed-head. You and your lady friend will both be happy.

J.Crew, $68

There’s not a woman on earth who wouldn’t be delighted by flowers and chocolate. I don’t care how much of a feminist she is, how many fish and bicycle similes she quotes, she’s going to be pleased by a big bouquet and an even bigger box of chocolates.

But don’t give in to tacky marketing ploys. If you’re going to go for the traditional route, keep it simple and avoid ugly heart-shaped boxes and pink carnations.

A simple bouquet of tulips or wildflowers and a big box of dark chocolate would be my first choice — if anyone wanted to know.

Ghirardelli, $16.95
Westcott Florist, $34.95

It doesn’t matter if she’s the most ladylike girl you know or a better athlete than you are, she wants to smell nice at all times.

But perfume is one of the more personal purchases a girl can make — after all, it’s the first thing people smell when she walks into a room and the last thing they’ll smell when she leaves.

So before you head to the cosmetics counter, do some research. Peek into her make-up bag or check out what’s on her dresser for a hint as to what her signature scent might be.

She’ll be happy to receive a new bottle and even happier that you took the time to find out what she likes.

Vera Wang Princess, $75

Forget taking her out to dinner: breakfast in bed is one of the most romantic gestures you can make.

Who doesn’t like waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and maple syrup-covered chocolate chip pancakes?

Not only will she be impressed that you have the culinary skills to accomplish such a feat, but the fact that you had to wake up extra early to create this masterpiece will impress her to no end.

mix”>Williams-Sonoma, $10.95 and syrup”>$16.95

If all else fails, take the easy way out and buy her something sparkly.

Sure, it’s a little impersonal and yeah, it only takes about five minutes to run into Anthropologie and pick out something gorgeous, but you’re almost guaranteed to make her happy.

But since it’s Valentine’s Day, go the extra mile. Pick out something in pink or red tones and choose a piece that has that “wow” factor.

V-Day is a special occasion, so you need the necklace to match.

Anthropologie, $68

TAGGED: ask avery, chocolate, flowers, gift guide, valentine's day

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