Ask most men about their experience with gift shopping for the woman (or women) in their lives and you’ll likely hear colourful “war” stories about last-minute mad dashes to the shops and countless hours lost wandering through store aisles. As a man myself, I can attest that gift shopping for women can be a daunting task at the best of times. Most women, after all, are seasoned shoppers and as such can easily see through gifts bought without much forethought or consideration.
It’s little wonder then that so many men leave their holiday shopping to the last minute. The pressure can often lead to that other “P” word, procrastination. Here’s some free advice, however, that all men should take to heart (borrowed somewhat from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem The Psalm of Life): Get an early start and be the hero in the strife for the woman in your life!
The key is to get an early start and aim to raise the bar on your gift giving technique by putting together an entire look for her. Granted, shopping for coordinated items from head to toe probably means stepping out beyond your usual go-to purchase of a cashmere scarf or fine leather handbag. A fully coordinated outfit, however, put together with careful thought and effort, will show her how much you truly care.
There are other benefits that come from giving an entire outfit that all women appreciate. Your special lady is guaranteed to feel “all set” for an evening out at a favourite restaurant when she doesn’t have to think about how to pull the whole look together. After all, you will have done this for her with a necklace, cardigan or jacket, dress or carefully selected top and pants, hose and shoes all chosen to stylishly coordinate.
Not sure where to begin? Time to dive into her closet. Pay attention to size labels for a variety of her more frequently worn garments (sizes can vary by designer – there are no absolutes). Most importantly, pay attention to her personal style. Is your wife or girlfriend trendy or traditional? Artsy or conservative? Don’t be afraid to covertly ask her close friends for advice, since other women in her life will likely have insights you do not (such as what kind of neckline she prefers).
Lastly, being a hero in the strife can sometimes mean putting aside your manly pride. Approach the sales assistant at her favourite fashion retailer for advice and guidance. Don’t be afraid to take garments off the rack for a closer look. Ask for help. Some stores even offer personal shopping services. You need only to provide direction, make some final selections, and of course, pay the bill.
In the end, the effort will be more than worth it as you give the woman in your life an unexpected outfit put together with thought and caring. A hero in the strife indeed!
By: Mark Gould | Milli