FAIL-SAFE GIRL GIFTS: DAY 1

Santa came early this year, boys. As promised, this is the inaugural post of Miss Wingman’s 12 Days of Fail-Safe Girl Gifts, where I direct your attention towards some very cool holiday options for the females in your lives. First up: personalized gifts, because you can’t go wrong with a little attention to detail.

The folks at Chocri allow you to design your own chocolate bar for the candy-loving female. Originally founded in Germany, these purveyors of chocolate-y decadence have thought of everything when it comes to customizing your candy bar to suit her unique taste bud needs. Seriously, they have real gold flakes, cayenne & chili peppers, even candied rose petals – the list goes on and on.

You can choose from over 100 toppings and elect for either white, milk, dark chocolate or a combo for the chocolate bar base, then build on from there. Chocri allows you to add up to five options per bar and has everything from nuts to exotic fruit to breakfast cereal and even wasabi. You can also write a message on her chocolate bar, and if she’s vegan they have an option for that, too. (Told you, they thought of it all).

Depending on your creation, bars rarely cost more than $15 each. They ship to the U.S., only take a few days to create (though this holiday season there is a backlog due to a spike in their popularity), and are a solid gift choice. Sweets for your sweet, how could you go wrong? Check out their website for full details, it would make Willy Wonka proud.

Perfect for: Any girl with a sweet tooth. Dating timeline appropriateness: Any – this would please a new main squeeze or a long-time love, no restrictions. What it says about you: In short, “I rock.” Also “Give me a bite!”

If simple monogramming is more your speed, emblazon something with her initials this holiday. New Soho retail addition C. Wonder offers personalized everything (and I mean everything) for the preppy fashionista in your life. The store is a Tory Burch-meets-Target-prices (ok fine, a wee bit more expensive, but still very affordable) emporium of everything from home goods to high heels. Currently they have stores only in NY and NJ, but their website covers it all.

You can choose from conventional customized pieces like alphabet mugs ($8) and wine stoppers ($22), to monogram cheese boards AND spreaders ($18) for the hostess with the most-est. They even sell a do-it-yourself cocktail napkins and coasters kit – which rocks. Or, you can just opt for the additional $10 required to stitch her initials on anything from tote bags to cardigan sweaters, in a variety of thread colors and font styles.

Even Miss Wingman likes to find this under the tree, I picked up their Goyard-esque coated canvas tote ($68) and added some personalization myself this year – stitch initialing only takes about a week to complete. If you can’t find it and monogram it in C. Wonder, it doesn’t exist. Seriously.

Perfect for: The Kate Spade-type girl, preppy women, girly girls or any female who loves to decorate her space (or her pet) – their home goods and stationary are also standouts. Dating timeline appropriateness: Any, it doesn’t take much to slap some letters on, but it goes a long way in the pizazz department (um, that is manly pizazz, obviously). What it says about you: That you care enough to add a little something extra.

If sneakers are more her style, Converse has you covered. You can customize her kicks now, too. Converse stores feature a bar where you can cherry pick everything from fabric to height to colors and laces, or you can go on their website and Create a Converse for your shoe-loving lady. With sneaker base prices ranging from $67 for plain Chuck Taylor All Stars to more expensive higher styles ($90) and leather options ($80), the geniuses behind this craze have struck gold.

Every piece of the shoe can be customized to your specifications – with solid color options, funky prints, racing stripes and even the option to “tag” her shoes with a word or phrase. Want the tongue to be plaid but the lining to be neon? Done. The possibilities are endless.

Though they, too, are backlogged for the holidays (allow 4-5 weeks for shipping for online orders), you can try to speed it up by visiting them in-store where they build shoes on-site. Not a bad way to say “I love you” or even just “I love your shoes,” if you’re not there yet.

Perfect for: Hipster girls, girls who like shoes, sporty girls or even just the female with an appreciation for the funkier things in life. Dating timeline appropriateness: It’s not pricey, but it is very specific, so unless you know her style really well this is more of a ‘later on’ gift for established relationships. What it says about you: That you respect her individuality and like to think outside the (shoe)box

Ladies, have a suggestion for my list? Ever unwrapped a particularly amazing holiday gift? Share your story, email me at misswingman@gmail.com and keep it right here for 11 more days of gift-giving wisdom. ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

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