Gentlemen, Start Your Shopping Engines!

Psst! Hey, guys. It’s me – Richard.  The holidays are here, and I know you’re a little nervous about the shopping. I’ve been there. You’d like to buy something nice for your girlfriend, wife, sister, mother, cousin, co-worker, or whomever in your life, but you feel like you don’t know the first thing about what a woman might want as a gift. Honestly, I’m no expert either. None of us are. If we were, we’d be living on a planet alongside unicorns, fairies, and wish-granting genies. But, as one of the few males in a real-world, retail office occupied mostly by stylish women, and as a boyfriend/son/brother myself, I feel like I’ve picked up a few ideas that might stave off  a lot of stress this season. So, relax, stop breathing into that brown paper bag, and just hear me out for a few minutes.

Continue reading for helpful holiday shopping hints.

  • First thing’s first: Pay attention to the lady in question! You still have some time before you need to present a present, so there’s no reason to make any hasty choices just yet. Over the next several days, or even couple of weeks, make a concerted effort to notice the things that she notices. Did she recently visit ModCloth.com and make mention of the beautiful, black, polka-dot-collared Fifties Sitcom Dress that just recently hit the site, or one of the various colors of Unicorn Princess Heels by Jeffrey Campbell that she’s been coveting for a while now? Maybe she even took a more direct approach and shared her ModCloth Wishlist with you? Bingo! She just gave you a ton of great, easy ideas. Now, all you have to do is remember where you put your credit card. This method is your best bet for no-fail gift giving.
  • What can you do, though, if she hasn’t dropped any specific hints? Well, figure out her style, then shop accordingly. Maybe you’ve noticed that she seems to beam with beauty every time she wears blue. In that case, simply type the word ‘blue’ into our search bar and see what pops up. If she’s a dressier gal, she’s likely go gaga over the shimmery Sapphire Siren Dress, and if she tends toward the rustic, she’s likely to love the Lancaster Dress. Likewise, if she tends to saunter through town in stylish cowgirl boots, you may want search ‘western’ to find the Star of the Rodeo Bag. Or, maybe you’ve noticed that she can’t get enough of neon colors, in which case, you may want to search ’1980s’ to discover the electrifyingly lovely Laser Light Show Dress. While this doesn’t guarantee that she’ll absolutely adore whatever you buy her, it’s a pretty darn good starting point, and you can at least rest assured that your deliberation will strike a pleasing chord upon her heartstrings.
  • Now, if you’re on a tight budget but still would like to bestow a gracious gift to your gal, then I still got ya covered. This is going to take a quite a bit more thought on your part, but she’s worth it, right? Basically, what you’ll need to do is combine my first two tips in order to find an item that may not be exactly what she’d want in a perfect world where you make a celebrity’s salary on a college student’s schedule, but is still going to complement her own personal style. If you’ve gathered that she’s totally mad for 1960′s styles, or that she enjoys throwing cocktail parties, but you can’t splurge on a dress, maybe you could pick her up some Social Club Coasters. Does she have a green thumb and like to keep plants in her home? If so, you’re certain to woo her with the Strange What Love Does Planter. And if you’ve surmised that she likes wearing skirts, why not treat her legs to a pair of tights, leggings, or socks for the chilly winter months in the northern hemisphere? We’ve got a sundry selection of those gam garments right here.
  • Still having a hard time? Well, maybe you should visit our Gift Guide, where we provide you with a pool of ideas organized by category under a heading of either ‘price’ or ‘person’.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking now, so before getting your jeans in a jumble, I also have a couple of sleuthy solutions for seeking out a crucial factor in shopping for a woman: her size. This is a very sensitive issue, guys, so it’s imperative that we behave as gentlemen and with the utmost discretion. And your calculated caution will be rewarded – when you give her something special that’s also in her exact size, she’ll be impressed and flattered at how well you know her. So, here’s what you can do:

  • If – and only if – you’re in an established romantic relationship with a woman, you can discover her size by simply looking at the items she already has hanging in her closet or tucked away in her dresser. Then, write the sizes down so you don’t forget later. You obviously wouldn’t use this method with relatives, co-workers, platonic friends, or someone you recently started dating.
  • What happens if the tip above is not an option? Well, get creative. Maybe you could ask her closest friends for advice on sizing and styles? Tell her you’re thinking of buying someone else something, and that someone just happens to be roughly her shape, and would she mind revealing her size? Or, perhaps, the magnificent ModStylists could work their magic and surmise your lady’s style and size by chatting with you and asking a few guiding questions, then lead you to success.
  • If all else fails, just take your best guess! ModCloth wants to make sure that you – or the recipient of your gift, as the case may be – are happy with your shopping experience. So, if she’s not completely satisfied with your selection, simply send it back for a quick exchange or an easy refund. It’s no-worries shopping.

And my absolutely best piece of advice, men, is to land a job at a women’s clothing retailer to benefit from the employee discount and the influence of all the fashionable females that surround you on a daily basis. But if you don’t think you can swing that before the holidays, then I hope my shopping suggestions help you breathe a little easier.

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5 Responses to Gentlemen, Start Your Shopping Engines!

  1. Jen 11/24/2009 at 4:45 pm #

    This is amazing. I’m forwarding this to a gentleman who will be quite grateful for this advice!

  2. Jenn 11/24/2009 at 5:09 pm #

    I second what Jen says. This post is fantastic!

  3. Tori 11/24/2009 at 5:24 pm #

    Good job. But I think you forgot something…remember it’s the thought that counts. Any girl would be happy to know you tried your best and paid attention to what she was wearing and tried to get something you think she’d like. Do your best and that’s all that matters.

  4. Natalie 11/24/2009 at 5:32 pm #

    I think this should be required holiday reading for all men!

  5. Lindsay 11/24/2009 at 6:00 pm #

    haha, already emailing this to caulen…as if i need any more clothing.

    awesome post richard!

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