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Gift Guide: For the New Paramour

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Dec 11, 2013 01:13 AM
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by Meredith Swinehart last modified Dec 10, 2013

When I was young, whenever I labored aloud over what to buy a boy I liked—for a birthday party, Valentine's Day, whatever—my mom would invariably suggest, "How about a nice pen?," and I would invariably wince. Gift giving in a new romance is the trickiest gift giving of all, and these days, when I'm in an amorous fog and trying to find a gift, I think a pen is as good a guess as any. At the beginning of a relationship, you want your gift to send a singular message—I like you—while avoiding myriad unintended ones. A gift too small might suggest you don't care much. Clothes could be misinterpreted as a hint to a dress differently. And a surprise from left field could leave the recipient wondering if you ever really listen to him or her. Et cetera. Our advice: Calm down and consider: Experiential gifts (such as tickets to a concert), handmade gifts (yes, made by you), and this roundup of finds (most good for men or women), all of which were given loving attention by the designers who created them.  0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} To make sure we've got everyone on your list covered, we're posting a new gift guide every weekday from now until Christmas. See all of the  Gift Guides  to date in our archive. Above: A nice pen, made of matte black aluminum designed and inset in a hard-covered notebook. Designed by Dietrich Lubs of Braun and IDEA International, the Dietrich x Düller Ballpoint Pen is $55 at neo-utility. Above L: Leopold Bros. Small-Batch American Gin , handcrafted, hand bottled, and hand numbered; $36.99 from K & L Wine Merchants. Above R: Morris Kitchen Preserved Lemon Syrup  for cocktails; $16 at Green Tree General Store.  Above: A token of esteem for the bespectacled man or woman, a  Cross-Stitched Handkerchief  from Japanese hanky boutique H Tokyo, available from Sweet Bella USA (email to request price).   Above: The l'Atelier d'Exercises Monthly Measure is a perpetual calendar that marks the day, month, and date, plus a metric ruler; $60 from Dry Goods in Brooklyn. Above: The Alwych All Weather Notebook , a Scottish design unchanged since the 1930s, is durable enough to take on adventures; $20 from the Walker Art Center Shop. Above: I've heard dissenting voices, but I think jewelry is always a smart bet. (Maybe just avoid rings.) Above L: The  Corter Copper Cuff  is hand made in Montana; $45 from Spartan in Austin, Texas. Above R: The  Turquoise Stone Cuff  is made of brass with a tiny turquoise stone; $74 from Spartan. Above: A Minnesota woolen mill dating from 1865 is back in business and making these scarves in collegiate-inspired designs.  Faribault Woolen Mills' Scarves  are shown here in heather gray/charcoal herringbone, and rust/silver stripe; $50 each at Canoe in Portland. Above: Okay, one for the big spenders: Tivoli Audio's  Radio Silenz Noise Canceling Headphones  are detailed with solid wood ear cups. The Wall Street Journal likened them to "an Eames lounger: classic, comfortable, and likely a solid choice for years to come." Available in black ash, walnut, and cherry; $159.99. More ideas? Check out our gifts choices for the  Design Studio Supporter,  the  Techie , and the  Scented Candle Fan .






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