Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Luxury Lover’s Guide to Giving Gifts

There are so many possibilities for giving gifts, particularly luxury gifts, but it’s not just about splashing the cash - a Diptyque candle, Fortnum and Mason choccies, Cashmere gloves – these are all luxurious.  If you want to bend the plastic more then you need to think carefully as it’s very easy to give the wrong thing.  So here’s  a little guide to help.
There’s an art to giving luxury gifts, with the first rule being never buy what you love, always for the other person.  And don’t spend until you’re sure.
Tips to buying luxury gifts:
Watches:  If she/he already owns a valuable or special watch and doesn’t chop and change then don’t choose a watch.  If she’s a collector (or he, for that matter) the choose a brand you know that they love.  Many fashion brands now have watches in their accessories collection.

Bags:  The bag of the moment?  Fine.  The waitlisted bag?  Even better.  Something you know that she covets?  Perfect.  A designer much admired?  You’re unlikely to go wrong.  A ‘best guess’?  Forget it.  Bags are incredibly personal accessories carried over and over again.  Arm candy is hard to choose for someone else unless you have inside information.

Michael Kors Grayson Bowling BagPink Tourmaline and Gold Necklace Pure Cashmere Stole
Toscana Shearling GiletLilypad Silver and Pearl EarringsPure Cashmere Throw

Wallets:  Unless she/he has recently splashed out on a new on then a wallet or purse from a coveted brand can be a perfect gift.  Make sure you know the colours they like and go for a shape already used over and over again.  Some wallets can cost almost as much as handbags – you don’t want to get this wrong.

Cashmere Wraps, Throws and Stoles:  I don’t think you can go very wrong with this unless you get the colour or pattern wrong.  Stay safe with plain luxurious cashmere or animal print (for her) if you’re sure she likes it.  Good quality cashmere is pure luxury – don’t go for cheap and cheerful, it’s absolutely not the same thing. Wrap in crisp acid free tissue, package beautifully and you’ll make someone very happy.

Clothing:  This is a risky business unless you absolutely know you’ve got it right.  Designers seem to take delight in having different sizing, so one size 10 is another’s 12.  If you want to give clothing take her shopping with you.  Dresses and jeans will always be the hardest to fit.  Knitwear the easiest.

Jewellery:  Most women adore being given jewellery.  Make sure you know her style – does she go for modern statement jewels or beautiful classics?  Don’t take risks.  Diamonds pretty much always work.  Pearls, as long as they’re not too classic (if she’s not), likewise.  Anything else is as with clothing, everyone has a jewellery style so stick to hers.
  Russian Wedding Ring with White DiamondsMichael Michael Kors Trifold Wallet Oscar de la Renta Gold Plated Lunar Earrings
DKNY Gold Plated Stainless Steel WatchDuffy Draped Cashmere Waterfall Cardigan Lilia Nash Green Sapphire and 18ct Gold Hoop Earrings
Lingerie:  I haven’t included anything here yet, but if you’re a male buying for a female watch out.  Even on websites that offer loads of advice and help you spend a small fortune you will almost certainly end up buying something that you would love her to wear, that would suit the shop assistant (!) or that you hope you can persuade her into. 

If you know exactly what she loves then go for it, otherwise take her with you, or be prepared for stormy weather when you proffer a bright orange sequin encrusted Victoria’s Secret plunge padded push-up bra and sexy knickers to exchange for her everyday M&S. If you get the size wrong you’re probably for it.

Nightwear:  As for lingerie unless it’s a cashmere robe in which case yes please.

Sizing in General:  Never guess.  Take a sneak peak at her wardrobe and make sure you get it right.  Get a size 14 for someone who’s a size 10 (or vice versa) and you’ll probably be out the door.

Kitchen Stuff:  Don’t go there
Home Accessories:  Unless you know it’s what she wants these can be very impersonal