Posts Tagged ‘Gift Ideas’

buying jewelry: a practical guide for men

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

At our little shop, the telltale sign that the holidays are coming is the increasing number of panicked males wandering into our shop looking for last minute gifts for their wives/daughters/aunt’s sister’s gardener {or you know, whatever}. And while every now and then we get the calm, cool and collected type, by far and large the prospect of procuring some baubles for a lady in their life is enough to drive even the smoothest of operators into a bit of tizzy. With that in mind, we decided to put together an easy guide to help these frazzled fellows get from our shop to the good graces of their beloved – minimal stress required.



TIP ONE: Viv&Ingrid offers jewelry in three types of metal – sterling silver, 14k vermeil or gold-filled {yellow gold} and 14k rose gold vermeil {pink, basically}. Now without getting too technical {though we’ll gladly talk your ear off about metal plates if you’d like}, different women prefer different types of metal for different reasons. Mostly it just comes down to style. Some women like silver better, some gold and some rose gold. A good way to figure this out is to look for an accessory she wears daily {e.g. a watch, a necklace or an engagement ring}. Picking a new piece of jewelry in that tone is sure to be a safe bet!

TIP TWO: Forgive us if we’ve over simplified this, but we once encountered a friend’s boyfriend who wasn’t sure if a skirt went on the top end or the bottom. So, just to clarify: earrings go on the ears, necklaces go on the neck, bracelets on the wrist and rings {everyone now} go on the finger. Now that we’ve cleared that up, when you decide to pick up a piece of jewelry, you’ll need to decide what part of your loved one you’d like to adorn. A few notes!

1. If you’re going to pick out a pair of earrings, make sure the recipient’s ears are pierced. If you’re buying for a younger customer, it is best to err on the safe side and select another type of jewelry if you’re not absolutely, positively sure that she can wear earrings. {Extra note: we usually recommend bracelets, and especially our cotton bracelets, for our youngest customers. They’re durable and sizable so they can fit – and stay on! – even the smallest of wrists.}

2. If you’re going for a ring, it is helpful to know the recipient’s size. Generally speaking, a size seven will fit most women on one finger or another. However, the majority of customers prefer to wear rings on their ring fingers {shocking, we know}, so knowing whether she is a five or an eight when you head into our shop will give you a real leg up.

3. If you’re buying a gift of some significance, selecting a few pieces that compliment one another to be given as a set is always a nice option. For instance, a pair of “everyday” earrings and a matching necklace {by “everyday” we mean something simple that can be worn easily to work, out shopping, on a lunch date, etc.} is a great option to create an extra special gift.

TIP THREE: If you’re going to go with an earring, you’ll have to pick a style. There are three main options to choose from:

1. Post Earring: In layman’s terms, a post is an earring that sits right on your ear. There is no “dangly” part or portion that hangs below your ear. They’re great for younger customers, for women who work in a conservative office, and for moms of young children {who are susceptible to having larger earrings pulled or yanked on by said offspring}.

2. Drop Earrings: Drop earrings do just that – “drop” off your ear. They usually sit in your ear on a french hook {it looks just like a fishing hook, but, you know, for your ear} and have stones or pendants that dangle just below your lobe. Drops earrings can range from the demure to the dramatic and are great for everything from the office to a special event, depending on how elaborate the design.

3. Hoop Earrings: Hoop earrings are generally characterized by their larger size and their circular shape. While we stock a wide range of sizes of hoops {.5″ to 2.5″}, even the smallest of hoops will be slightly larger than any post earring and most {but not all} drop earrings. Hoops are also generally circular in shape, though this is not a hard and fast rule – we stock a few styles that are teardrop and even square-shaped. Also like drop earrings, hoops are versatile and can work just as well in the workplace as they do for a night out. For either option, if you tell us a little bit more about the recipient, we would be more than happy to guide you in the direction of an appropriate size and style.

EXTRA CREDIT: Just a few more, miscellaneous notes that will win you serious brownie points here at Viv&Ingrid!

1. Favorite color: When you are in doubt and you’re buying jewelry, always stick to metallics. They are classic and match everything. BUT, if you’ve done you’re homework and know the recipient’s favorite color, finding a piece that has a pop of aforementioned color is a great way to let her know that you’ve been paying attention and will make that present even more special.

2. Non-creepy stalking: A little Facebook stalking can go a long way. If you’re truly stumped about what to buy, try scrolling through the recipient’s profile photos and tagged photos to see what kind of jewelry she is wearing. If you see one specific piece or style a few times, it is probably a safe bet to buy a new piece that is similar in style to that one. And yes, if you’re curious we have aided and abetted more than one customer in said stalking before. No judging.

3. Shopping early: We know, we know. You’re busy. We’re busy. We get it. But the benefits of shopping early {and by early we mean two to three days before you intend to give the gift} are many. For one, you’ll be less stressed if you’re coming in to select a piece if you know you don’t have to be at your dinner reservation in fifteen minutes. Additionally, if we don’t have exactly what you’re looking for {color, size, etc.} coming in a few days before will give us the time to make the perfect piece especially for you. Last, if you’re not in a rush to get out the door and off to your sweetheart, we’ll use those extra minutes to wrap the gift. And trust us, a prettily wrapped gift goes a long way with us ladies – it is the present equivalent of a walk in closet. Full of Louboutins. And puppies {the non-Louboutin chewing type}.

And there you have it! No one ever said we were short winded, but if you took the time to read this consider yourself well-prepared for the final exam come Christmas time. And as always, we here at Viv&Ingrid are here to help you through all of your gift giving endeavors, online and in store.

Happy shopping!

oh, the places you’ll go

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Hooray, it’s time to graduate! For all you donning a cap and gown this month, that means you can officially put all those papers, exams and all-nighters behind you. We know what hard work it is getting through school, so we want to send a great big “congratulations” to the class of 2012! While we are always in favor of celebrations, we also know how daunting it is to step into the real world. After years of having your life dictated by a syllabus, the reality of freedom can be overwhelming. That is why, with the help of Russell and Hazel, we have decided to make your transition into the world of break rooms and pay stubs just a little bit smoother.

 Mornings can be hectic. They seem to be especially chaotic on days when you need to be somewhere important, like a job interview. In our experience, when mornings are at their worst (we’re talking mornings when your alarm doesn’t go off and your dog decides to make a chew toy out of the shoes you were planning on wearing), keys always disappear. Honestly, it’s like they know when you’re running late and they roll themselves under the sofa just to spite you. For this reason, we have fallen in love with Russell and Hazel’s Fringe Keychains {1}. They are adorable and BIG! How can you possibly lose your keys when they are attached to so much gold fringe? Of course, we cannot control the alarm clock or the silly puppy, but at least we know that when you are sprinting out the door to get to that interview, you will have one less thing to sweat over.

 Okay, so you made it out the door and you’re at your interview. We have been told that it’s those first impressions that are vital when convincing someone you are perfect for the job. To make your introduction memorable, we suggest Russell and Hazel’s Gold Folio {2}. Clutching one of these in your arm while going for that initial handshake (remember, make it a firm one!) is a guaranteed way to completely wow your interviewer. The folio is designed for an iPad, but also has room for a pad of paper, so you can be attentive and professional, but stay completely fabulous while doing so.

 Of course you get the job. Between your accessories and your charm, there is no way anyone could turn you down! Now that you have secured your first official job, why not spread the word? The business card holder we have from Russell and Hazel {3} is one of our favorite ways to show everyone how far we’ve come. Between their amazing leather scent and their beautiful purples and golds, we like to pull them out every chance we get. Plus, busting out a business card makes us feel oh so grown up! Congratulations, once again, to the class of 2012 and we hope your journey into the world is full of excitement, fun, and joy!

when in rome

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

According to our trusted google sources, every chocolate/shiny object/Hallmark card-toting significant other out there can partially thank the Romans for the now infamous holiday on February 14th. Though the exact origin of Valentines Day is somewhat murky, it is thought to have its roots in the ancient celebration of Lupercalia. Between February 13th and 15th Romans partook in this feast, which {among other things} included widespread drunkenness, animal sacrifice and the subsequent beating of the local women with the aforementioned slain animals’ hides. The festivities were topped off with a charming little matchmaking lottery where men would select the name of a lucky lady – the two were  then paired for the duration of the feast  {and, fingers crossed! sometimes longer}. And you thought being a woman in the 21st century was tough.

Luckily for us modern women, our biggest worry on Valentines Day is {a} being single or {b} being presented with a gift so heinous that, well-intentioned though it may be, we haven’t the strength to summon the appropriate surprise and delight our eager mates are anxiously expecting. Unfortunately, we do not sell significant others {though on certain days we’d consider giving you ours – just sayin’}, but we can help with the latter issue. Simply point your misguided sweetheart in the direction of our shop and we’ll promise we’ll send them home toting a treat that won’t send you running for the hills {or land them in the doghouse}. And if you’re unattached, might we suggest some retail therapy to soothe those less-than-sunny feelings that Singles Awareness Day can sometimes stir up? They might not keep you warm at night, but a new pair of earrings has a certain way of putting some pep in a girl’s step that might just make you forget your lack of a beaux.

So for a happy, stress- {and animal hide-} free Valentines Day, hop, skip and jump down to Oxford Hall – we’ll handle the rest. To get you started, here are just a few of our favorite gift ideas ideas that will make any sweetie swoon come the 14th. And stay tuned – on Monday we’ll be showing off some classic V&I options that are the perfect way to you say “I love you” in jewelry!

 1. Bon Bon Cupcake Keepsake Box – $22; 2. Barnier Lollipops - $2.50.; 3. JPT Heart Paperclips - $10; 4.  Rifle Paper Co. Valentines Day cards - $5.50; 5. Maison Bouche seasonal mini-bar set – includes fleur de sel, pomme d’amour and fruit de la passion {available in milk or dark} – $18