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Graduation can be a strange event to shop for as it's a life juncture with a lot of offshoots.
Some high school grads will be entirely financially supporting themselves from now on, while others will have their tuition paid and allowances to see them through it. (Either way, check our dorm room essentials guide if they’re headed to college.)
In recognition of the many varied scenarios of graduated life, we put together a superlatives list highlighting the best of the best grad gifts for each. Below, find the perfect present for whoever’s on your list.
In a dorm room or new apartment, saving space is crucial, and what limited workout equipment you’re able to have on hand will feel ever more precious.
The Mat from Stakt ($86) has an innovative design: it folds up instead of rolls up in a small-yet-significant difference to portability and ease of use. Twice as thick as a “regular” yoga mat, it can also be used for step-ups, tricep dips, and other movements requiring a block or elevation.
Our new grad athlete has got to stay hydrated – and those plastic water bottles your school handed out during orientation week aren’t going to cut it. The Spiked Jet ($42) reusable bottle from bkr makes the perfect gift. Ditch the single-use plastics and opt for this chic and sustainable option instead.
Most Likely to Succeed
Our recommendation for this personality type is twofold: to optimize their productivity and help them cope with any burnout or perfectionism they may encounter.
Add some pizzazz to their networking efforts and gift a digital business card ($20) from Dot. It works like tap-to-pay technology: wave the sticker or card near another device and the other party will immediately receive a page with their site, email, relevant links, and downloadable contact. No more clumsy exchange of info; this takes seconds.
Help optimize their tech with this hyper-powerful portable charger that can juice up to three devices at once – including your laptop. Whether your grad is headed off to new travels or simply wants to pop to the coffee shop to work remotely, the HyperCharger MAX ($79.99) is fabulously functional.
To encourage relaxation, opt for a Lyric Massager ($159.99) to massage out any stress-induced knots (because the body does in fact keep the score) or Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion ($60) for a cooling, rejuvenative soothing effect.
Best Dressed/Most Attractive
For the beauty and skincare lover, the Radia Facial Brush ($49) from Vanity Planet elevates the daily ritual of washing your face. A cleansing brush penetrates your skin deeper, allowing any product to be more effective, and three additional brush attachments ensure you’ll find a texture and combo that you love. Plus, it feels luxurious.
Men will love this combo, especially with the Exfoliating Face Scrub ($22.40 with subscription) from Disco Skincare, tailor-made to combat in-grown hairs and razor burn.
Finally, there’s nothing more fitting for our Best Dressed than jewelry with meaning. The journey into adulthood can be daunting. You feel every single emotion, sometimes all at once. The Growth Collection necklaces ($44- $48) from Bryan Anthony are not only modern but offer meaningful designs, so our grads can always always feel supported and remember what matters most.
Most Likely To Save The World
Luckily, for our eco-conscious grad, we have a big roster of Earth friendly brands to choose from. My personal favorite has to be the Dinnerware Set ($215) from Fable. It’s hand-finished in Portugal and comes with four each of The Dinner Plates, The Salad Plates, The Pasta Bowls, and The Breakfast Bowls. It makes a great, sustainable and sleek housewarming gift!
If you’re looking for something lighter on the budget, a beach towel ($51) from SORA is the perfect choice. Each towel is individually designed with the brand’s artist partners and printed on recycled fabric. Best of all, it’s highly absorbent and packs small and light, making it an ideal choice for anyone traveling after graduation.
Entering a new chapter of your life means new friend groups, new schedules and new experiences. With all the newness, quality time with your romantic partner becomes all the more important. Gift your favorite couple a beautiful Our Place’s Home Cook Duo ($225) so they can have an intimate night-in with their meal of choice.
For these star-crossed lovers, nothing screams “I’m taken!” like matching tattoos, but since we don’t feel right (read: may not be allowed) to be recommending such a permanent option, we have the next best thing: Customized phone cases ($55)! The choice is yours – a first name, a nickname or simply get them a gift card and have them choose. These Casetify cases are extremely durable and strong, hopefully, just like the relationship of our favorite couple.
Best All Around
Glassware is another spot-on grad gift — because you can scale it so easily. For a smaller gift, you can give one or two elevated glasses for special occasions or for flair, like these iridescent wine glasses from Dragon Glassware (2 for $29.99). If you wanted to make this gift bigger, you could give a larger set or an intro-level subscription to a wine club we love.
My favorite gift I (Grace) received after graduating high school was a tiny tool kit that has been invaluable to my adult existence. While you don’t want to buy a hammer and pliers for yourself, having a small essentials set is, well, essential. Character offers attractive and functional tools in appealing packages; you can shop by project (gallery wall, faucet, etc,.) or by tool. The Mini Set ($95) contains a hammer, tape measure, screwdriver, adjustable wrench, and slip-joint pliers, wrapped up in a space-friendly and chic canvas organizer. Plus, the brand offers a lifetime warranty and expert support to walk you through anything.
And with that, the official conclusion of the new grad gift guide – superlative style! Graduation truly is the marker of the start of a brand new chapter. No matter the gift, we wish you all the best of luck on this road ahead.