A man’s guide to buying risk-free Christmas presents
Christmas shopping for your other half is a fine balancing act between predictability and surprise. The tiniest thing can make all the difference between a delighted “oh, you shouldn’t have” and a shell-shocked “oh, you really shouldn’t have.” Sidestep this festive fretting with our tips and tricks.
Small packages, big expectations
Jewellery has long been the go-to Christmas gift, and in terms of making an impact it’s difficult to beat. If the gift is a surprise, avoid pieces with potentially tricky sizing unless you can ’borrow’ a sample from the jewellery box. Rings and bracelets are a good example of things that are better bought in concert.
A white gold diamond pendant, like this Dinny Hall Solitaire Pendant is a tried-and-tested perfect gift. It can be dressed up or down, and will bring a brilliant accent to an office outfit or some extra sparkle to a special occasion. If your other half usually wears pendants just below the collarbone, a 40cm/16” chain is a good choice. If they sit a bit lower you might want to consider a 45cm/18” chain.
Alternatively, pearl earrings are a fantastic example of timeless style. These cultured white pearls on 18ct yellow gold posts provide a tasteful finishing touch to any look. Just remember to check whether you’re looking for studs (for pierced ears), or whether she prefers clip earrings. Try to get an idea of the size of earrings she normally wears, too: if she prefers smaller earrings, buying pearls three times the size she’d normally wear probably isn’t ideal.
All wrapped up
Scarves are a great Christmas gift, and something you can never own too many of once the weather turns chilly. If you’re confident in the recipient’s style, try a bold print like this Lauren by Ralph Lauren Renee Silk Square - ideal for someone with equestrian interests and a love for striking colours
If florals are more her thing, this Fat Face scarf has a subtly muted flower print, ideal for slipping into an autumn/winter outfit.
If you’re having doubts about the style, you could consider letting the material do the talking. This John Lewis scarf is made of luxurious 5 gauge cashmere, with a textured wave knit
The understated colours and pattern provide a lot of versatility when she’s choosing what to wear it with, too.
A slipper-y suggestion
The best Christmas presents are often the ones you can get instant use from, and on a cold December morning slippers are unbeatable. Slippers are easier to estimate the size for than shoes, with a bit more wiggle room and a more casual fit than those worn out of the house.
Slippers come in a couple of varieties. First are the slip-ons, like these Radley Shearling Lined Slippers (with iconic Radley Dog appliqué detail), which have open heels and are intended for pottering about the house in.
Second, slipper boots, which come to above the ankles for a more enclosed feel. These Peppa boots from John Lewis offer a nice blend of style, function and all-round cosiness.
The wild card
Purses and handbags tend to be too much of a personal choice to recommend for a gift, but a card holder makes a handy, stylish alternative. They can be slipped into bags or pockets, perfect for carrying the daily essentials like ID, credit cards or access cards for work. Radley’s Goldington holder or Mulberry’s Leather ID Purse would both make wise choices.
Lastly, you could just ask what they want… but where’s the fun in that?