You know the feeling — you get your girlfriend what you think is a perfect gift for her birthday or your anniversary and watching her open it suddenly becomes the relationship equivalent to the Cold War. She doesn’t like it but is pretending to, you’re going along with it just wondering when the inevitable argument is going to erupt. It’s a sweet moment turned into a stalemate of tension and you’re not sure what went wrong. This year, let’s skip it all — shall we?
If your girlfriend or partner’s birthday is coming up and the gift giver anxiety is starting to swell, it’s time to start researching. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Your research ends here because we’ve got 15 fantastic gift options below recommended by a female writer who knows her stuff. I’ve given gifts, received gifts and even faked a “No, I love it!” a few times and I’m here to help you avoid the classic relationship-existential-crisis question “Does he even know me at all?!” Listen to my advice and she’ll surely love the present or at least love you for trying.
I’m including a few different options in different categories including activewear, skin & beauty, food & drink, tech gifts and clothing & accessories. Think about your girlfriend’s interests — what does she enjoy the most or spend her time doing? No matter who she is, there’s something on this list she’ll love.
Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Pocket Legging
If your girlfriend is a regular at the yoga studio, in the gym or on the running trail, she’ll love these leggings from Girlfriend Collective. They’re a workout apparel line that makes all of their pieces out of recycled water bottles. They’re cute, have one of the widest size ranges in the game from XXS to 6XL and are high quality. These leggings are squat-proof, ultra-high rise for keeping everything tucked during downward dog and come with those extremely handy side pockets, making it the perfect gift for your girlfriend. There are four different colors available, so start studying her wardrobe more carefully to see if any patterns emerge.
The Exercise Dress From Outdoor Voices
While it might seem a little weird, this exercise dress from Outdoor Voices is the trendiest thing in the women’s activewear space right now for a reason. You throw on one thing and you’re done – it won’t slide around and it’s flattering to a variety of body types. It’s made with OV’s super breathable LightSpeed fabric and it includes built-in shorts and a phone pocket.
It comes in a variety of colors and patterns so whether your girlfriend likes to hike, run, play tennis or hit the gym she’ll stand out in the crowd.
If your girlfriend likes versatility with her workouts and trying the new studio in the neighborhood, ClassPass is a great option. With a variety of different plans available each month, you can book class at studios all over town with membership credits that apply to all of them. The choices range from spinning to boxing, running, pilates, yoga and barre. She’ll love the gift of options and appreciate the ability to fit them in her schedule.
Skin & Beauty
Drunk Elephant The Littles Kit
Drunk Elephant is an all-natural bio-compatible skincare line that makes great products for skin that’s easily irritated or users who want to switch to more natural products that actually work. They pride themselves on making all of their products without “The Suspicious 6” which includes essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes and SLS. This kit, The Littles, will give you a taste of all of their products in one so your girlfriend can try out a bunch of what they have to offer and invest in the bigger containers of the products she actually likes.
The kit includes a cleanser, moisturizer, a few different serums for day and night and a great eye cream. They all go on easy and after a few weeks she’ll notice a difference in her skin’ tone, brightness and feel.
True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil
When it comes to expensive skincare that your girlfriend may never buy for herself, this moisturizer is probably at the top of her list. True Botanicals is a super high-quality skincare company that makes products that rival La Mer and similar brands while using natural ingredients. This is their best-selling moisturizer for a reason — it’s clinically proven to increase hydration levels in your skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines (These are things women care about immensely).
It’s got a lovely natural scent she’ll love carrying around all day that’s made up of jasmine, neroli and rose. She’ll feel pampered and luxurious — and she’ll have you to thank for it.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser + Futuredew
Glossier is a massively popular and high-quality skincare line that completed its series D funding in 2019 with a valuation of $1.2 billion. So yeah, chicks dig it, and your girlfriend will too. This Milky Jelly Cleanser is one of their best-selling products for its ability to remove makeup without drying skin out. The dewiness with Futuredew is all about the latest in skincare goals — a look that’s shiny and glossy without looking too oily. Get her this duo and her morning routine will thank you.
Food & Drink
Four-Piece Cocktail Kit Set From The Cocktail Box Co.
In a long distance relationship? Maybe your girlfriend travels a lot? Regardless, give her something fun to do on the plane to come see you with these cute travel cocktail kits. They’ve got everything she needs to create a tasty drink on the plane with the addition of a small bottle of alcohol purchased onboard. The kit includes TSA-safe materials for an Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule, Gin & Tonic and Champagne Cocktail so she can pick her favorite from a variety of choices. Make her time in the sky a little more joyous or buy this kit for both of you and book an upcoming trip to use them on. She’ll love the ingenuity of it and the excuse to enjoy a beverage on a long voyage.
Nostalgia Six-Cup Stainless Steel Electric Fondue Pot
What’s more fun than a night of melted chocolate? Seriously, this fondue pot is super fun and a great cooking experience for you to share as you dip fruits, vegetables, bread, meats and more into this delectable gadget. Make date night at home extra special with a fondue experience out of this durable, high-quality pot. It’s got temperature control for keeping your cheese, chocolate or other food at an ideal temperature, six color-coded forks in case you invite other couples to join and notches on the lid to hold it all in place.
Delish: Eat Like Every Day’s the Weekend
Life is meant to be savored, and Delish.com speaks to that value heavily for people who aren’t necessarily chefs but want to always eat something delicious. They’ve got easy recipes that are fun to make any night of the week that will help you girl feel accomplished after cooking something amazing for herself. This book includes more than 275 recipes for things like chicken-fried cauliflower, a quesadilla cake or cookie dough cheesecake. If your girl is a foodie, grab her this — and hopefully you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of her (not very laborious) labor.
Apple AirPods Pro
Does your girlfriend workout, have headphones in all day at work or just generally love pods with high-quality sound? The Apple AirPods Pro are definitely worth the investment and will serve her well no matter what her lifestyle is. They’ve got powerful noise cancelling capabilities, a transparency mode that mixes noise in with her music or headphone noise (so she can still hear your sweet nothings on the conference call) and three different sizes for silicone tips that will fit in her ears. They’re sweat and water resistant so working out isn’t an issue and they’ve got an adaptive EQ that automatically tunes the music to the shape of her ear. They’re pretty cool, and definitely a step up from the regular AirPods. Make the switch for her and maybe for yourself too.
If your girlfriend loves to journal or takes a bunch of notes at work, this tablet could be a perfect step-up gadget for her. The reMarkable is a digital tablet that looks and feels just like paper and can store all of your work on one device. It’s got days of battery life and unlimited pages to work on so she’ll never run out of space or lose that quick note she made randomly four days ago. She’ll be able to stay focused and enjoy the perks of writing on paper without the risk of losing her work. Hello acts of service! This device is a perfect display of your love through trying to make her life easier. Go for it. They’ve got their first tablet available and the next one is being released soon if her birthday is in a bit and you’d rather wait.
Courant Catch: 3 Charging Tray
Does your girlfriend have a lot of gadgets? Is her nightstand a mess of cords that get tangled all the time? Simplify things with this beautifully designed wireless charging tray she can use to keep everything in one place and charged at the same time. Courant’s Catch 3 supports fast charging and is made with high-quality Italian leather so it’s beautiful and high performing at the same time. It comes in a bunch of different colors but I would personally recommend the Bone, Dusty Rose or Pacific Blue (pictured below).
Clothing & Accessories
Criss-Crossed Upsized Jeans
This criss-crossed jeans look out in front is super trendy right now (trust us) and she’ll love that you picked up on that and thought to give these to her. They go great with just about any type of top and can be dressed up or down with sneakers or heels depending on the occasion. Revolve also has free shipping and returns on all purchases so she can switch them out if the size isn’t quite right.
These are also from Revolve, and are perfect for making her feel special and a little sexy on her birthday. They’re made with suede leather so they’re very soft and the slip-on style makes them easy to throw on with an outfit. Black goes with everything so it’s a safe bet, and they’re available in half sizes in case you’re not totally sure what her shoe size is. Also, the heel measures approximately 4 inches high, so she most likely won’t tower over you in them.
This beautiful, fancy-ish dress from Reformation is the perfect thing to make her feel special and beautiful on her big day. It’s a mini-length dress so if she tends to wear things that show off a little leg this will be perfect. It’s got a sweetheart neckline for showing off some jewelry, a nice ruffled hem and is fitted throughout so it’ll compliment her figure nicely. It comes in a few different colors and designs but my personal favorite is this Georgette floral pattern.