Valentine’s Day can be a loaded holiday, regardless of how long you’ve been with someone. Our advice is to leave the big gifts for birthdays and other more significant holidays; for February 14th (a Wednesday this year, by the way), stay simple and give something that shows you’re always thinking of your partner or friend or your mom (whether yours or your kid’s). Below, a handful of picks from women in different types of relationships, plus one husband and wife couple. Find where you fit in, and shop away.
For Your First Valentine’s Day
Lynna, Product Manager
Matt & Nat Vignelli Backpack: I’ve been looking for a more sophisticated backpack and I love this design! Plus, the brand is vegan and sustainable.
A two-person session at the HigherDOSE infrared sauna: This is New York-specific, but I do CrossFit and my boyfriend has an active job so both our bodies would benefit from this. Sweating in a 157-degree sauna with your significant other would be a great bonding experience.
Cocoa V chocolates: I’m dairy-free so I don’t get to enjoy a lot of fancy chocolates, but Cocoa V’s are all vegan and look beautiful.
For Your Partner of 1-4 Years
Melanie, Clinical Research Coordinator; Doctoral Student
Mark & Graham Monogrammed Robe: A customized gift is a reminder he’s put a little extra thought into it.
Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack: Because nothing keeps things more exciting than a romantic getaway — this is a travel necessity.
MVMT Santa Monica Watch: Buying jewelry can be a loaded event, so a pretty, everyday watch is a functional reminder without the…commitment.
For Your Partner of 5+ Years
Ember Connected Mug: I’m buying this so I can have one but masquerade it as a gift. He drinks coffee all day, every day, and likes it really hot — he can control temp perfectly now.
Paper Source Passport Holder: Going on a trip abroad together is incredible — this would make a great Valentine’s gift or a nice surprise just before the trip.
Rebecca Minkoff Cosmetic Pouch: Makeup is a standard part of life, and keeping it all in one place can be tough. This one is simple and really helpful.
If You’re Married
Emily and Zach, Brooklyn
Umbra Accessory Holder: A modern, not-too-feminine catch-all for the jewelry of Valentines Days past and future.
Rica Lavender Rose Bath Set: Nothing screams “traditional Valentine” like roses and lavender, but this beautiful, made-in-Brooklyn bath set lasts longer, looks pretty in my bathroom, and is perfect for a little self-care time– which makes it a really thoughtful gift.
Robin Mollicone Chelsea Brooch: I’m a collector of Robin Mollicone jewelry; everything is handmade and has that one-of-a-kind feel– my husband knows this is an easy gift for any holiday. Her pieces make all my t-shirts and jeans feel elevated and fashion-y.
Monocle Scent One: Hinoki: My go to year-round scent. My wife tells me she loves it, so I will continue to wear this — until I hear otherwise.
Sonos Playbar: With a toddler, most date nights consist of movie nights at home and I’ve wanted to upgrade our sound system for some time. This is a generous gift, but we’ll both use it.
Minnetonka Hardsole Slipper: My goal is peak comfort level at home and these slippers are great for the winter.
Umbra Poise Tiered Accessory Holder: $25
Rica Lavender Rose Bath Set: $60
Robin Mollicone Chelsea Brooch: $310
Monocle Scent One: Hinoki: $200
Sonos Playbar: $699
Minnetonka Men’s Pile Lined Hardsole Slipper: $36+
For Your Long-Distance Partner
Echo Show: We both love tech, and we video chat a lot. It’s a cool interface and I really like all the other Alexa features.
Paperchase Writing Set: There’s something really special about sending and receiving actual letters. Plus, if he wants to get mail from me this is a good way to encourage it…
Away The Carry-On: We usually only see each other for a long weekend at a time, so I never need to pack much. But I’d love a new carry-on.
For Your BFF
Geneva, Campaign Manager
Tile Key Finder: If your friends are anything like my friends, they will appreciate all of the time they’ll get back from not upheaving their apartments in search of their keys.
Brooklinen Sheets: For your friend who needs a little… help getting back out there.
A Plant: So they can be reminded of what a great friend you are every day, or at least every 1-2 weeks when they water it.
Corkcicle Canteen: Grab your pal, pour in a bottle of wine and have yourselves a nice little afternoon.
For Your Mom
Abby, Interior Designer
Kate Shepard Napkins: I love setting a beautiful table for my kids and me — it sets a good tone when you sit down for dinner, hopefully encouraging everyone to linger a while.
New York Breakfast Tea: I like to drink loose tea in a pot on weekends and this is one of my favorites. Hints of vanilla and caramel but not sweet and amazing with milk. A completely different direction than my weekday brew.
Board Games: Give me a new game and teach me how to play. Getting to spend time with my teenage boys is a luxury these days. Anything that brings us together doing something is the always the best.
More Buying Guides…For Everyone Else
From tech to watches to style to beer, find the best advice around right here. Read the Story