It’s so exciting to get graduation notices in the mail and attend parties celebrating the recent (or soon-to-be) graduate. But, the expected gift – and it is expected unless the announcement of invitation specifically states “no gifts” - is a hard one for many to come up with.
So, we asked every StyleBlueprint market to offer up ideas for graduates. Hopefully this creates a go-to list for the current graduation season upon us. We’ve included lots of options at many price points.
An aside before we get started: We think straight up cash or gift cards are always appropriate. If you know the family is struggling to send their child to college, then give cash. It’s what they really need, more than any nicely monogrammed anything.
Heidi has three suggestions available online or in Louisville at Cartwheels:
The Forgetful Gentleman Letterpress Correspondence System, $75:
Brilliant idea, really, for any man, but a graduate is a perfect target for this. It is a series of 12 cards and envelopes (3 Thank You, 3 Happy Birthday, 2 Thinking of You, 2 Blank Correspondence Cards, 1 Congratulations and 1 Love You). Four of the envelopes are PRE-STAMPED with forever stamps. Then there is access to a personal event reminder system with customizable email and text message reminders. Available online: click here.
Custom Needlepoint Monogrammed Paper Journal, $40:
Every girl needs a journal, and this one is that much more special with her initial in needlepoint on the cover. The cover design comes in many different colors. You can also give her one to needlepoint herself during the long and nerve-filled drive to college (if she’s the crafty sort). Available online: click here.
“Oh The Places You’ll Go” Journal, $10:
I believe I received five copies of this Dr. Seuss classic for my graduation. This gift incorporates all the wisdom of the book plus your own journal entries. The best of both worlds for the graduate.
Katherine, in Atlanta, shares her go-to items:
For the high school grad, a set of tumblers with the college logo of their school of choice. Set of 4, $54. Tervis Tumblers has many to choose from, click here:
A nice dopp kit is a great way to take on the next stage of life. These are from BD Jeffries for $135: click here.
Elizabeth, in Nashville, suggests these items:
Personalized stationery for high school or college grads. A reminder that a handwritten note will always be the best received one! Local stationery lines in each market add an extra flair to your gift and are always more special. But, as this is suggestion is for SB readers everywhere, I’m highlighting American Stationary as a favorite online option: click here.
A nod to your hometown, state or country: I love those items that make you think of home. I’ve seen lamp shades, pillows and t-shirts. All are great. Here are some pillows that could be added to to the co-ed’s bedding as a constant reminder of home, no matter if they’ve chosen to go to college in a different city, state or country. Prices start at $149. To order, click here.
Liza, in Nashville, suggests these items:
Tool Box with basic tools: great for high school or college grads when the parent’s tool shed is no longer easily available. A practical gift, yes, but it’s amazing how many times you need to tighten a screw or use a hammer to hang a picture. You can easily go to your local hardware store and load up a tool box with your personal favorite brands. Pictured below is an idea for a girl which ensures that if a guy borrows the kit, she’ll get it back. $89: click here.
A nice mid-size suitcase: Whether coming home for the weekend from college or embarking on a post-college life, a good suitcase will be used with gratitude. Gather friends and family and perhaps a whole set could be purchased. If looking for just one, I like the Eagle Creek Tarmac 22″ ($285): click here, and the Hartmann 22″ Mobile Expandable Traveler (leather option on sale right now for $230 from $545 price): click here.
Lauren and Lindsey, in Memphis, likes these for the graduates in their life:
Amanda Change Pouch by Tory Burch provides a perfect solution for all the necessities…student id, drivers license, credit cards and more. $95: click here.
Dopp kits (yes, we are showing two today on StyleBlueprint!) are great because they are necessary, classic and seem to be part of our definition of the “man on his own.” This one is from J. Crew and is a great price, $58: click here.
This pretty paper weekly desk planner will beautify and personalize an office cube, home to many a college grad! $54: click here.
Amy, in Nashville, says she likes:
Monogrammed shower caddies from Karen Bone Embroidery. ($28, including monogram.) Great for freshman girls living in a dorm – roomy interior holds all the essentials for back-n-forth trips to the shower, and drainage holes and a water resistant lining are a bonus: click here.
Also, for guys or gals, the Crunch Can laundry baskets from The Container Store ($20) are great. Made by Umbra, these baskets are collapsible for easy storage under a bed or in a closet when not in use. These could be personalized with a monogram, as well: click here.
Other gift ideas for him:
A gift card to J. Crew or your favorite local men’s store, telling him to go buy a pair or two of “nice” shorts. If they want to go to fraternity functions, but not look like they tried too hard, these shorts paired with a polo or button down are just the ticket. If he’s graduating from college, it’s time for him to probably give his wardrobe an overhaul. These from J Crew are $59.50: click here.
A cotton bow-tie. It’s far harder to spill your food or drink on a bow tie, thus ensuring more promise that it may last through the college years and post-college years. Otis James has award winning style with just a handful of new options. $110: click here.
If I (Liza) did not include the following, my husband would never forgive me. His favorite graduation gift from high school was a shower radio. He used it all through college and we still, to this day, have that same shower radio that I now get to enjoy daily, as well! This one from Sony has 158 reviews which average a full 5 stars, and it’s just $40: click here.
Gift ideas for him or her:
- Monogrammed Egyptian Cotton Towels.
- Nice sheets.
- Pewter picture frame (of course, monogrammed if you prefer!).
- Gift card to the closest organizational store to the dorm (for high school grad).
- Magazine subscription to remember someone from home is thinking about them all year long.
- Have a friend in the city where the graduate is going? Pay for dinner and ask your friend to take your graduate for a nice meal 6-8 weeks into the school year. Have your friend present the graduate with a note from you. It’s just about this time that a “hug” from home could go a long way.
We’d love to know your ideas for perfect graduation gifts! Please comment below as this is a category we ALL need more help with!
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