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Graduates of all levels will appreciate gifts of all kinds this May. And since we know those gifts can be so daunting to shop for — especially when you are acquainted with what feels like hundreds of graduates — we have dedicated this list to just that: graduation gifts. Whether you are shopping for a guy or gal who is graduating from graduate school or middle school, they are sure to love something on this list. Maybe this is the first year you don’t need to stock up on graduation gifts. Well, lucky for you, these are great things to buy for yourself as well!

For the Gals

Pearls of wisdom

Remind all graduates of this lovely phrase: “The world is your oyster. It’s up to you to find the pearls.” When this phrase is paired with this pearl necklace, it is something they are sure to keep with them for years to come. Ladies of all ages would be grateful to receive such a lovely necklace with a meaningful message. Find it at Vignette for $48.

Everyone needs a few pearls of wisdom
Pearls of Wisdom necklace, $48, at Vignette

Lovely bracelets 

These dainty bracelets are ones that grads can wear every day. With dozens of options for stones, these bracelets can be found in your graduate’s favorite color or their school’s team color. At $33, these bracelets are ideal for graduates of all ages and can be found at Judith Bright.

A gift as a lovely as the recipient!
Bracelet, $33, at Judith Bright

Tigist clutch

This beautiful bag is named for one of the women who works with fashionABLE, a company aiding craftswomen in building their businesses and taking advantage of trade. Your grad can feel good sporting this bag for more than just its stylish aesthetic and convenient size, as every fashionABLE purchase supports the very women who crafted the goods by hand in Africa. Snag this clutch at Boutique Bella for $98.

Great for grads on the go
fashionABLE clutch, $98, at Boutique Bella

Cozy Candy jammies

For the middle school graduate, there’s nothing like a cute pair of jammies for summer slumber parties. These Candy Jam boxers and T-shirt are incredibly soft, and the candy print will most certainly make sugarplums dance in their heads. Pick up the boxers ($24) and T-shirt ($26) from Snap Girls.

Sleep tight in these sweet jammies
Boxers, $24, and T-shirt, $26, at Snap Kids


Eberjey short set

Dorm life can be tricky – wearing your dad’s ratty T-shirt and a pair of old boxers to the shared bathroom and in common areas is hardly the stuff of great first impressions. Relax and rest in style with a set of Eberjey pajamas. The fabric is incredibly soft, and the variety of prints means there’s a set that’s perfect for everyone. Habit carries long sets as well, but these short, button-front pj sets ($128) caught our eye!

Ditch the old tshirt for this pair of pjs
Eberjey pajamas, $128 at Habit

Whistle necklace

All of BLO Vintage’s necklaces are crafted in memory of when the founder of the jewelry line was gifted a whistle as she embarked on her college journey by her mother  — to be used for safety. This token of love and sense of protection can now be passed on to graduates in your life! Find a variety of styles and designs at The Willow Tree for $70 to $260.

A gift with meaning!
BLO Vintage necklace, $70 to $260, at The Willow Tree

For the Guys

Summer sunnies

These Italian, acetate-rimmed Dom Vetro sunglasses can handle the wear and tear of summer and college shenanigans, while their polarized lenses will protect your eyes from the sun’s harsh rays. The classic shape will remain en vogue for years to come, making these the gift that grads will still have years from now (if they don’t lose them at a party!). Pick up a pair at The Oxford Shop for $295. (SB Tip: The Oxford Shop also carries the ultimate grad gift guys need – tailored blazers, the wardrobe staple for those upcoming job interviews!)

Stop the show and the sun in these Dom Vetro sunglasses.
Dom Vetro sunglasses, $295, at The Oxford Shop

Money clips

As we all know, men are difficult to shop for, and graduation is no exception. Thankfully, Two Old Hippies has stunning Gaia Metal Studio money clips that make for great gifts. If you want to take this gift up a notch, we are sure that any grad would also appreciate a few bills clipped inside. You can find them at Two Old Hippies for $38.

Give the gift of money (with a stylish money clip)
Money clips, $38, at Two Old Hippies

Dopp kit

Yes, there is a dopp kit on our graduation list every year. Why? Because it continues to stand as a practical and well-received grad gift. Guys on the go can store bathroom essentials in style. Crafted with canvas and leather, this dopp kit can be found at White’s Mercantile for $135.

Our go-to grad gift? a dopp kit!
Dopp kit, $135, at White’s Mercantile

For Tennessee Lovers

Tennessee tray 

Anyone moving into a new dorm or new home will enjoy having this tray, embellished with the Tennessee flag. It is great for holding trinkets, serving cocktails or even doubling as a desk for those who like to hang in bed or on the couch. We guarantee that this is a gift that grads will want and use for years to come. Find one today at Oak Nashville for $79.

A multi-use gift
Tennessee tray, $79, at Oak Nashville

Tennessee pride necklace

Bela Begonias was started by a woman named Bethany, a Tennessee native who now resides in Nashville. She pays homage to her home state with these Tiny Tag necklaces that are stamped with the outline of the state. Some are also stamped with a star for Nashville. If you have any locals who are leaving home, give them a reminder of their roots with one of these necklaces, which come in a variety of metals and are sold at Pieces Boutique for $32.

Keep TN close to your heart with this necklace
Bela Begonias Tennessee necklace, $32, at Pieces Boutique

Tennessee mugs

Send your graduate to school with a bit of Nashville in one of these Anderson Design printed mugs. During those late nights in the library or all-nighters with friends, they can power through with the encouragement of black coffee and thoughts of home. Each mug is $14.99 at Spirit of Nashville.

Wake up with coffee in your TN cup!
Tennessee mugs, $14.99, at Spirit of Nashville

For Everyone

Catchall tray & cardholders

This Graf & Lantz tray is a catchall for change, keys, pocket knives and the other knickknacks that people carry. It’s the perfect size to sit atop a wardrobe next to that family photo Mom leaves behind at dorm drop-off day. The small cardholders are a nice wallet substitute as well, perfect for gift cards and nonessentials that they would rather have in their backpack than a wallet. You can snag both the tray ($68) and cardholder ($17.50) at Absolution.

Keep all of your valuable safe in this tray
Graf & Lantz tray, $68, and cardholder, $17.50, at Absolution

Magnet boards 

Remind those going away for school that they can always make a trip back home. Petal Lane’s line of magnet boards, sold at The Beveled Edge, come in a variety of sizes and colors, and it’s only fitting to feature the one printed with “There’s No Place Like Home” for a graduation gift. This gift will jazz up any dorm and give students a place to house fun magnets and notes. You can find different size boards (with varying price points), including this 24-by-24-inch board for $114.95 at The Beveled Edge.

There really is no place like home
Petal Lane magnet board, $114.95, at The Beveled Edge

A book about beer

Help your graduate appreciate the history and culture of beer (aside from beer pong and keg stands) by gifting them this book. Nearly 500 cans from 30 countries are showcased in this read that explains the history of beer. Loyal beer drinkers, can collectors and appreciators of artworks are all sure to love this book. Find Beer: A Genuine Collection of Cans for $19.95 at Spruce.

There is more to beer than keg stands!
Beer: A Genuine Collection of Cans, $19.95, at Spruce

Eno hammock and Atlas straps

Swing your graduate into a new school year with an Eno hammock. The lightweight fabric comes in numerous color combinations, suitable for any age or style. We recommend the doublenest size, as it is much easier to lounge in alone but still has ample room for a friend. Atlas straps are a great companion gift, as they are needed for stringing up your hammock between trees, or, for the bold student, university columns. Pick up both (hammock, $70, and straps, $29.95) from Cumberland Transit. (SB Tip: Cumberland Transit has TONS of other great graduation gifts, including a fantastic collection of Kavu purses and bags.)

Give the gift of relaxation for graduation
Eno hammock, $70, and Atlas straps, $29.95, at Cumberland Transit

Graduation balloons

No party is complete without some balloons! Celebrate your graduate in style with these precious “bouquets.” Perfect for graduation parties or just surprising your grad on the big day, these bunches are sure to bring a smile to the grad’s face. You can preorder your bunch or take your chance on what’s available at Shindigs & Celebrations. Prices vary.

It isn't a party without balloons
Graduation balloons at Shindigs & Celebrations; prices vary

Silver tankard

Cheers! Graduation is a time to celebrate, and what better way to do so than with a tankard? The classic shape and style are augmented by the elegant antler handle. Though the mug can be bought plain for $105, engraving is available for an additional $10 to $12. Pick one (or several) up at Corzine & Co.

Sip in style with this silver tankard
Silver tankard, $105, at Corzine & Co.

Colorful quilt

Envelop your graduate in warmth and love every night with a colorful quilt. These blankets are different on each side, allowing for a fresh take at any given time! They are 100 percent organic cotton and handmade with care. Pick one up at Ashley Meier Fine Linen for $125.

Quilts are great gifts for grads
Colorful quilts, $125, at Ashley Meier Fine Linen

Red bicycle

While Nashville is always improving its status as a bike-friendly city, many college campuses already have it figured out. Ecological and economical, bikes also save students from the hassle of finding parking spaces, and it’s great exercise, too! This bicycle may not be exactly the hot red ride they had in mind, but we feel quite confident any graduate would love to receive a brand new bike to take to school. Pick up this Momentum bike at Pedal Chic for $425 (the basket is an extra $90).

Ride in style on campus with this red bike
Red bicycle, $425, at Pedal Chic

Hats off to grads of all grade levels! Your hard work has paid off, and we hope you enjoy one of these (or any) gifts you may receive!


There is no shortage of fantastic grad gifts in our local shopping scene. Follow us on our SB Nashville Instagram: @styleblueprintnville — it’s like window shopping our city each day!

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About the Author
Alex Hendrickson

Alex is a Southern writer known for hunting down delicious stories and traveling the world with hunger. Her passions and interests lie in food, travel, interior design and inspiring people, and her dream is to eat a dozen oysters a day.