It's not all hearts and candy. Buying Valentine's Day gifts can be a minefield. What if the gift is too intimate? What if it's not intimate enough?
The key, our experts say, is avoiding the generic and making the gift fun and thoughtful. If the relationship is still pretty green, Alli Baldwin, marketing manager of Poppy and Stella in Fells Point, suggests keeping it simple.
"People in new relationships may not know enough detail about sizing to shop for clothing or shoes, so we recommend accessories. Scarves, hats, jewelry, or candles are all great choices that can be personal, but are safe as you're still getting to know someone," says Baldwin.
Once you've been dating that special someone for a while, add a touch of personalization.
"A thoughtful card and a set of personalized stationery, or a nice frame with a picture of the couple together always makes a great gift," states Louise Wright, co-owner of Simply Noted in Ruxton.
When it comes to buying a gift for a spouse, let their gifts to you be a guide, says Paul Foreman, owner of Harbor East's Loafers & Laces.
"Consider the gifts this person has given you in the past—people typically give to others what they actually like," he notes. "Once you know what types of gifts this person likes, it's a lot easier to give a more meaningful and creative gift."
[Above images clockwise, from top left: Gilah Press + Design cards ($5/each) at Simply Noted. Blanket scarf ($38) at Poppy and Stella. Gilah Press + Design cards ($5/each) at Simply Noted. Lisa B. merino-wool-and-cashmere socks ($35) and Bills Khakis lined deerskin driving gloves ($125) at Loafers & Laces. Illume mercury glass candle ($16) and Fossil Sydney zip clutch ($65) at Poppy and Stella.]