Help Your Graduate Adjust to Our New Normal With These 24 Gifts

Keychains, pearls, and picture frames are beautiful, but they won’t help your new grad get a good night’s sleep or cook a healthy meal. With everything they’ve been through, why not send them out this year better prepared for the new normal, no matter where they’ll be calling home.

From a grown-up backpack to our favorite organic mattress, these are the useful (albeit still stylish) pieces they’ll thank you for in years to come. Because one less thing to think about is probably top of their wish list right now.

So They’ll Get Some Sleep

Help Your Graduate Adjust to Our New Normal With These 24 Gifts

The name of Avocado’s Organic Luxury Plush Mattress (from $2,399) says it all. Handmade in Los Angeles, it contains 21 layers of organic materials from silk to cotton, mohair, flax, and natural latex. Top it off with a 100% linen Piglet in Bed Bedtime Bundle (from $535) made from stonewashed French flax and a Bearaby Tree Napper ($269) weighted blanket woven from natural eucalyptus fiber and set to ease any grown-up anxieties.  

A porcelain and marble Chirp Alarm Clock and Lamp ($200) will wake them up gently with a mixture of soft light and a range of (customizable) nature sounds, while the odor- and bacteria-zapping Samsung Air Dresser ($999) steamer will help keep the start of their days stress-free. For ultimate nighttime Zen, spoil them with a Walden Meditation Cushion (from $85) and a Body Set ($230) from Dr. Barbara Sturm, because it’s never too early to start a cleansing and moisturizing routine. The pure cashmere knit goodness courtesy of the Naked Cashmere Ynes Robe ($325) is equally perfect for breakfast time.

And Look Sharp  

Help Your Graduate Adjust to Our New Normal With These 24 Gifts

Your grad might not be going into an office just yet, but that shouldn’t stand in the way of an upgrade in the style department. Buck Mason’s Carry-On Jacket ($150) is a relaxed, unstructured blazer cut from uber-comfortable stretch cotton. Every student’s favorite shoe—the Birkenstock Arizona ($457)—gets a luxury makeover in iridescent foiled leather courtesy of the newest Rick Owens collaboration. Margaux’s The Demi ($178) ballet flat is available in thirteen colors, three widths, and a sumptuous Italian Nappa leather for all-day ease.   

When it comes to accessories, Troubadour’s sleek leather Apex backpack ($695) offers an ergonomic design, waterproof protection, and a slew of handy padded pockets. The colorful  Janji Multipass Sling Bag ($50) keeps spare bits organized during a run or a night on the town, courtesy of adjustable bungee compartments. And whatever the day brings, they’ll show up on time with the 36mm Nomos Glashutte Club Campus ($1,500) stainless steel watch. Add a personalized engraving to make their big day extra memorable.

And Work Smarter

Help Your Graduate Adjust to Our New Normal With These 24 Gifts

The most organized desk won’t do any good if it’s not practical to use. A free-form, multicolored Rarity Catchall bowl ($250) from designer Kelly Wearstler offers the perfect spot to store keys and loose change, while the solid walnut Grovemade Wood Pen Cup ($60) keeps writing tools wrangled with a handy brass divider. Whether they’re stashing the compact Dell XPS 13 laptop or the Apple iPad Pro, Maurele’s Large Suede Sleeve ($225) handcrafted in buttery green leather makes for a beautiful (and cushioned) way to store and transport valuable gadgets. Toss in Sony’s Noise Canceling Truly Wireless Earbuds ($280) to block out the construction, or the toddler, next door. For an old-school nod, surprise them with a set of Dear Annabelle Bespoke Stationary (from $750 for a set of 100) cards in your preferred typeface, monogram, and envelope lining.

Or Just Start Eating Better

Help Your Graduate Adjust to Our New Normal With These 24 Gifts

Make the transition from meal plan to meal prep a bit easier with a kitchen lineup of master chef essentials. Viking’s 20” Butcher Block/Serving Board ($100) hybrid will encourage them to eat their veggies—skillfully sliced with one of three stain-resistant stainless steel knives in the Korin Togiharu Molybdenum Three Piece Set ($339). From kneading, blending, and whisking to steaming and even cooking rice, the innovative Thermomix TM6 ($1,499) performs an impressive 24 culinary functions.

Serving their sweet creations will be a special treat when displayed on the wildly colorful and patterned La DoubleJ x Laduree Dessert Plates ($340 for a set of six) made of fine porcelain. If something premade is still in order, look no further than a custom Knack Gift Box (from $78), which can be filled with your choice of gourmet goodies.

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