5 gift ideas for women that combine the traditional and modern

George Dawson
Authored by George Dawson
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 8:11am

With our help, you can buy a gift for the women in your life that will not disappoint. The favourite traditional gifts come from four main categories of jewellery, clothing, beauty, culture and experiential gifts. Whether you are choosing a gift for Valentines Day, your wedding anniversary, Christmas, Chanukah or any other occasion we have some ideas that add a modern touch for the modern woman who cherishes traditions.


Jewellery can be inspired by heritage, culture and symbolism, providing many options for a piece that will be appreciated. If you are unsure, ask her friends for their opinion or take note of what she often wears to get an idea. Necklaces and earrings are the most popular jewellery for women, though a ring, bangle, bracelet or brooch may also be appreciated. Be aware that if you are unmarried and buying a ring for your girlfriend or partner unless it is an engagement ring, do not hide it otherwise she will think she is asking for her hand in marriage. 

Ethical and fair-trade jewellery is becoming increasingly popular as they are high-quality pieces that are not responsible for any exploitation of people or the planet. Unique pieces of jewellery make a perfect gift for your wife or partner. This detailed list of wedding anniversaries shows the gemstones and colours that are traditionally given to each anniversary, from the first (pearl and gold) through to 60 (diamond), which means you can take the traditional and put your own modern interpretation on it.


Lingerie is a great gift for your woman, although if you are early on in a relationship, it might be a bit too much of a surprise and the sizing might be a bit of an issue.  If you are looking at other clothes, look for something in soft, luxurious fabrics like silk, cashmere or Egyptian cotton. 

Modern design has taken these traditional fabrics and created further luxury with laser-cut silk or cotton, embroidered lace, sequined tulle, fringed chiffon and appliqued wool which are all considered luxury fashion, with many being high fashion too. If you’re still not sure what to buy, arrange a date with your lady and go shopping together and give her a budget that she can choose what she wants. Add in lunch or dinner, and you will have created a lovely day of memories together.

Beauty Products

Perfume is a popular traditional gift, particularly for those women who do not justify the expense to buy this for themselves. Perfume is quite personal as a gift, so if you are buying for a woman who is more of a distant relation or associate, a scented candle or lotion shows less of a serious commitment but will still be something appreciated.  Modern candles are now available in seasonal scents and in combinations 

When considering beauty products, it is wise not to buy her makeup or anything that suggest she needs to correct the way she looks. Instead, go for things that smell nice and will make her feel pampered. Hyacinth has a sweet scent that has people popular since Victorian times, now modernised in combination with water lily, this is a fruity scent with a hint of vanilla. Alternatively, Vetiver with Sea Spray Driftwood is one scent that is a lovely reminder of summers on the beach, even if you are freezing someplace else in the dead of winter. 

Cultural gifts

A framed piece of art is a gift idea that most women love. Artists and designers can be found online, particularly on Etsy and Pinterest if you know the style that she likes or an artist that she follows. Cultural gifts also include books, films and music. Consider a box set of her favourite television series or an album that you listened to together when you first met. The latest book by her favourite author also shows that you have noticed what she likes, and you can combine this a “library-scented” candle which evokes mahogany shelves full of leather-bound books being read by candlelight, with its combination of wood, amber, pink pepper and pomegranate. You could also consider framing a colourful album cover of her favourite band or rose-gold plated earrings of a musical quaver for those who prefer the opera.

Experiential gifts

Experiential gifts are becoming increasingly popular. Traditionally, this would be a pampering session at a local salon for a manicure and pedicure, but the modern twist is spas that offer a full day of treatments, including massage.  You can also share the experiential gifts, from an inexpensive picnic at your local park with all the foods and drink you know she loves, right through to a vacation at a place that you know is on her wish list.  Other modern experiential gifts can include going to a day at the races, watching your favourite sports team or band play and staying overnight if you are far from home.  Other ideas are a day out ice-skating on Valentine’s Day or a meal out sampling the chef’s taster menu at a high-end restaurant.  An annual pass at her favourite art gallery, a month’s pass at a yoga studio or the two of you joining a dance class are other fun ideas that can go beyond the actual date being celebrated are some other ideas.  

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