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Graduation Gifts That She'll Actually Like

When it comes to gift-giving, one can never go wrong with money—especially for a recent grad. However, being a recent grad, I can tell you that spending the piles of cash I received on anything practical was not my first instinct. Looking back, there are many things ("things" being the key word) that could have been useful in my post-college life—that I didn't even know I needed at the time.

I've put together some gift ideas for the female grad in your life (this way to the boys' section) that she'll be thanking you for now—and for many months to come.

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"Big Girl" Bags

If there's one thing that distinguishes a professional from a broke college kid, it's a nice bag. A simple, sleek black tote will make her look like a powerful young woman, even if she's carrying around a PB&J sandwich and smelly gym clothes.

It may be time to ditch the heart-printed wallets and tech cases, but these two options are proof that chic yet non-boring options actually exist.

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Jewelry

Although not often used for practical reasons anymore (thanks to the digital age), a nice watch is still great way to mark your rite of passage into adulthood.

Personalized jewelry is as thoughtful as it is pretty. Whether engraved with words of wisdom, an inside joke or initials, this is a piece of jewelry that she'll try extra hard not to lose.

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Home Essentials

It's my belief that every book in Anthropologie is necessary to own, but these two are a good start. The first will inspire her and keep those brain cells moving, while the other will help her decorate her new digs on any budget.

The single-cup coffee machine is self explanatory. If you gave this to me, you'd be my favorite person ever.

These towels will keep her kitchen tidy, but more importantly, will teach her about wine—perfect for a classy-lady-in-training.

Even if she's more of a takeout kind of gal, the color of this Le Creuset french oven alone will make her want to cook.

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Primp & Upkeep

For those who have recently ventured out on their own, haircuts and skincare products can quickly fall to the bottom of the priority list beneath food, bar money and shoes. My advice? Stock her up with essential products (moisturizer) and gift cards to her favorite spa or salon. Then add in a product or two that she couldn't (or shouldn't) afford by herself (like a good red lipstick).

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Wardrobe Staples

A blazer, blouse, trousers, and medium-height pumps can all be styled as work, weekend or night outfits. She'll wear these four pieces to death.

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