The Gentleman’s Guide to Gifts for Her

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, gentlemen all over the Western world can sit back and relax, content in the knowledge they’ve already picked out the perfect gift for their lady.

For those who haven’t gotten around to finding that bon cadeau, follow these 10 commandments and look like you’ve been planning for months. It’ll be a gentleman’s secret.

Measure up

There’s no feeling quite like finding exactly the right dress or piece of jewelry for your lady, unless you count the realization you have no idea what you’re doing. Know not one, but all of her measurements. And I mean all of them:

  • Basics, in cm and in: bust, hips, waist, leg inseam, height, weight
  • Clothing, in number (2, 4, etc.) and alphanumeric (S, M, etc.): tops/shirts, dresses, jeans/pants, blazers and jackets
  • Sexy details: band size, cup size, her preferred bra type (push up, full, demi, etc.) and panty (thong, boyleg, etc.)
  • Accessories: shoes, boots and — for you lucky chaps willing to take the plunge — rings

How do you get this information? Well, a gentleman will ask, and ask directly. It won’t ruin any surprises if you ask for all of them.

Give in to details

Is she always fashionably late? Does she laugh at your corny jokes? Will she get you two in trouble every time you’re together?

Every lady is different, and it’s those small details that make us men love them. The old adage states “It’s the thought that counts,” and it doesn’t mean give a macaroni necklace. It means give her a gift that speaks to the unique personality that keeps you enchanted.

She knows what she needs

There’s cute, and then there’s practical. Some gifts that keep on giving are the ones she uses straight away. Pay attention and find out what aspects of her life could be made easier through the perfect gift instead of a total frivolity.

What do you mean?

A rule every gentleman should live by is “The truth shall set you free.” If you give a gift, be sure you are being honest about what it really means. Let that corset and matching garters set say “You’re a goddess,” not “Meet you in the bedroom.”

Remember me

However, a subtext a gentleman can always get away with is the subtle reminder. Try getting your lady something she can wear daily — a simple necklace or a daily carry-all — that will remind her of you every time she has it with her. Or brags to her friends about it.

Presentation is everything

Please, please avoid the same gift wrapping you used for Christmas. How a gift looks is almost as important as what it is; add a flourish to how you give it to her and your lady will love it more than ever. And on Valentine’s Day, take this rule even further — a gentleman is always well-groomed and looking sharp.

It’s personal

Much like being aware of her finer details, a gentleman must also try to know and understand his lady’s “big picture.” If she’s wild and free-spirited, feel free to go for that punky studded leather belt or concert tickets to her favourite artist. But don’t give a modest lady leopard-print panties, lest she think you’ve got her figured out completely wrong.

The build up

Nothing sets the mood for receiving a gift than… setting the mood. Build up the tension with vague texts, off-hand hints and cap it off with a date night. People tend to project their memories of when they got a gift onto it, so really amp up the excitement, romance and sweetness so she won’t soon forget what a gentleman you are.

For sale

Be sure you know the difference between spoiling a lady that deserves it — and trying to buy her affections. If you find yourself doing the latter, try to find a gift that enhances and strengthens your relationship until you can get to the former.

Modern love

It’s antiquated thinking that gentlemen must be the ones always working to win a lady’s affections. Relationships are a two-way street. At minimum, a gentleman should expect reciprocity four times a year — his birthday, the holidays, your anniversary and Valentine’s Day. If your lady doesn’t tend to you despite you taking time out for her, you might want to consider moving on.

As a corollary, the best gifts are the ones that make her feel special and you enjoy giving.

Someone told me years ago that a gentleman may be in a lot of relationships over the course of his life, and she in hers. But should you always attempt to make the time she spent with you special, she’ll think back on it as the happiest moments of her life. And that’s a good enough reason, isn’t it?

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