These Are The Best 21st Birthday Gifts for Your Girlfriend

Cheers to adulthood with these creative, thoughtful and—yes, boozy—presents.
Spoil Your Girlfriend With These 21st Birthday Gifts
Photos, from clockwise: Lulu's, Eku Box, JoyZeStore, Kate Spade
Danielle Halibey - The Knot Contributor.
Danielle Halibey
Danielle Halibey - The Knot Contributor.
Danielle Halibey
The Knot Contributor
  • Danielle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a focus on modern wedding trends, fete aesthetics and personalization (via fashion, accessories and stationery).
  • As a freelance writer and publicist, Danielle regularly contributes to outlets like Brides, Style Me Pretty, Wedding Chicks and Betches and proudly represents a number of clients (bridal and jewelry designers, venues and wedding planning pros) in the ‘I ...
Updated Nov 30, 2023
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Ask any adult what their favorite (or, better yet, most memorable) birthday ever was, and they'll probably say "21, done and done." It's a big year and a big mood, which makes looking for the best 21st birthday gifts for your girlfriend a big task. Now that she's officially of legal drinking age and ready to strut into that fabulous 20-something world, her tastes may have shifted—but as the one who knows her best, you've got the advantage in the gift-giving game and can spot the stuff that suits her spirit, personality and signature style.

Whether she's a sartorial supernova always shopping for the perfect 'fit, a social butterfly who's the life of the party or a go-getter angling for her next promotion, there's a great 21st birthday gift out there to fulfill her every need (and every whim). Of course, no legal-limit-unlocked wish list is complete without its share of top-shelf drinking swag. From shiny copper beverage shakers and whimsical bar carts to Instagram-worthy glassware, these gifts will have the birthday girl sipping in style. Don't worry if you're wondering where to start—we're here with fool-proof gift recommendations and shopping advice for the best 21st birthday gifts for your girlfriend, bar none! Plus, we'll even help you pen a sweet birthday wish for you GF.

1. Copper Cocktail Set

Copper Cocktail Set
Photo: Macy's

If you recently started dating, you might not know everything about your girlfriend just yet, but getting her favorite cocktail right is a rite of passage for every new relationship. A few key ingredients—plus this cool copper-metallic mixology set—will show her you've committed her go-to drink to memory and know she needs it prepped in the prettiest shaker, obvs.

2. A 'Fit for the Ages

silver shirt and trousers from Lulu's
Photo: Lulu's

If your girlfriend has been counting down the days until her best day/night ever, she might already have an ensemble reserved for the event. That being said, if you think she'll want to rock a few looks (name a better occasion than her 21st birthday…we'll wait), then snag her this silver sequin top she'll absolutely sparkle in. And maybeee the matching pants, you know, just for good measure *wink wink*.

3. Party PopSocket

Party PopSocket
Photo: Pop Sockets

Birthdays as iconic as the big 2-1 call for well-appointed paraphernalia—phone props, really. With PopSocket's new AI customizer, you can create the perfect grip for her phone using your own photos, design prompts and color cues (i.e. 'sparkly 21st birthday with pink and gold accents'). Does she need it? No—but will she love toting it around? Taking selfies and watching TikTok videos while waiting to go into the bar? 100 percent.

4. Insta Printer

Insta Printer from HP
Photo: Amazon

If there's one thing your girlfriend loves, it's a memory-making night out with her besties—which is why she'll be totally smitten with this portable photo studio that fits in her pocket. She can take it with her to document the entire epic evening, from what she wore and who she pregamed with to her end-of-the-night fast food run. With the HP Sprocket, she can transform those cherished memories into high-quality 3x4-inch photos to be saved and shared.

5. Disney Princess Stemless Drink Tumblers

Disney Princess Stemless Drink Tumblers
Photo: Corkcicle

Every girl wants to feel like a princess for the day—especially on an occasion as monumental as a 21st birthday. For a day that's all about her, bring the magic with these special-edition stemless drink tumblers etched with the faces of four of Disney heroines—Elsa, Mulan, Snow White and Tiana. Packaged in a festive Corcicle Collector's Edition box, the no-slip stainless steel tumblers aren't just stunning to look at, they'll also keep your girlfriend's (and her squad's) drinks at the perfect temperature for hours on end, whether it's a frozen cocktail or a warm-and-toasty spiced apple martini.

6. Macaron Masterkit

Macaron Masterkit
Photo: Food La La

If your S.O.'s favorite binge is "The Great British Bake Off," a baking kit of her own is bound to be one of the best 21st birthday gifts for your girlfriend. This Food La La French Macaron Kit comes with everything she needs to whip up the fanciest meringue confections, including glam extras like edible metallic paint. She'll also get access to the brand's virtual macaron masterclass for a year, so she can brush up on her skills and learn from the pros before she totes her latest confections to book club or her finals study group.

7. Star Charm

Star Charm
Photo: Neiman Marcus

Will your favorite Sagittarius (or any other star sign) be ringing in 21 years sometime soon? We love that for her—and she'll love an astrology-centric accessory from fine jeweler Monica Rich Kosann. If you shop giftable girlfriend jewelry directly from the designer's website, you can purchase the Zodiac charm on its own, but if you've been saving up to splurge on your GF's 21st, complete the gift with a 17-inch black steel chain.

8. At-Home Spa Night

At-Home Spa Night
Photo: Eku Box

Truth time: The way to every 21-year-old's heart includes champagne (gummies, in this case), candles, face masks and rose petals—and this expertly curated gift box has all of the above. Wrapped up in a soft-touch ekuBOX Box and tied with a satin ribbon and bow, these birthday goodies will be the envy of everyone in her dorm. The best part? You can include a personal message inside, lovingly handwritten on a stylish notecard of your choice.

9. Versatile Bar Cart

Versatile Bar Cart
Photo: Urban Outfitters

We love a good bar cart, but if you're on the hunt for something that'll fit in your girlfriend's dorm room or first apartment, a versatile cart might be your best bet. The white and acrylic aesthetics on this one are sleek and modern, and the glass shelves don't just have to be stocked with just spirits—school supplies, work gear, coffee table books and even a pregame-worthy speaker all fit the vibe. If you're having a little sticker shock over the price, ask her roommates if they'd like to go in on it with you!

10. Classy Coupes

Classy Coupes
Photo: Anthropologie

Functional presents can still be fashionable, and that's where these 1920s-style coupes come in. Whether your girl loves straight bubbly or a more fetching French 75, she'll be stoked to pour her sip into these hand-blown glasses (a wild upgrade to her typical red Solo cup, wouldn't you say?). The set of four is available in three mellow colorways—Peach, Lilac and Sky—each more stunning than the next.

11. Trés Chic Cocktail Book

Emily in Paris Cocktail Book
Photo: Bookshop

Packed with 50 fun cocktail and mocktail recipes—each accompanied by vibrant, full-color photography—this rose-covered book is a visual feast that'll transport her straight to the City of Light. With quotes from the show and party tips galore, it's a one-way ticket to hosting unforgettable viewing parties and cocktail soirées. All with that Emily Cooper-kind of magic!

12. Throwback Drinking Game

Throwback Drinking Board Game
Photo: Uncommon Goods

If your newly-minted 20-something lives for a little healthy competition among friends, you'll come in clutch with this Candyland drinking dupe. Invite all her favorite people over for a pre "going-out" hang, have them pick their poison and then let the games begin. With every turn, you'll roll the dice, move your game piece and then carry out a boozy mini dare, confessional or drinking challenge. We have no doubt this funny 21st birthday gift will become her #1.

13. City Sips

cute shot glasses for the perfect gift
Photo: Kate Spade

Will the Big Apple serve as the backdrop for your babe's big night out? If the answer is 'yes,' then this 4-piece shot glass set is the perfect sidekick to what's sure to be an epic celebration. Each shooter features adorable illustrations of iconic NYC mainstays, from pigeons and pizza to cab chasing and concerts in the park. When you gift her, make sure she calls dibs on a favorite to use for the night (we're team karaoke, in case you're wondering!).

14. Mic Drop

great microphone gift for a 21st birthday
Photo: Amazon

She already has the entire Era's Tour setlist memorized, so you may as well give her one more way to fulfill her Swiftie fantasies. With high-quality sound output and easy connectivity to her favorite devices, this versatile microphone sets breaks the ice for every social setting. And, since it's lightweight and portable, it isn't tied down like traditional karaoke—it can be taken outdoors for beach trips, picnics or camping adventures, where everyone can grab a drink, roast some s'mores and sing along to their favorite playlists.

15. Keepsake Snaps

photo keepsakes from Shoott
Photo: Shoott

You've heard of first-birthday photoshoots for babies, right? Well, how about setting the same up for your girlfriend's twenty-first with a session through Shoott? Picture this: your GF looking gorgeous, dressed to the nines and striking a pose like the queen she is. You can even invite her besties to jump in for a few of the shots. Grab some balloons, confetti poppers, a few bottles of her favorite booze and even some sweet treats (Milk Bar cake, anyone?) for some on-camera fun. Some people are just amazing at gift-giving, and that's precisely the kind of hype this thoughtful 21st birthday gift will earn you.

16. Fine Flight

a flight of drinks for your girlfriend's 21st birthday
Photo: In Good Taste

Let's be honest: 21st birthday celebrations can get a bit rowdy—and your girl is already known as the life of the party. Use her playful personality as a jumping-off point for your gift and treat her to a fun flight of small-batch wines from In Good Taste. With an endearing "Wild Child" label around each bottle, your partner will feel like this wine was created just for her. Whether she loves a good Cab or prefers something a little lighter, like the much rarer Verdejo, she'll find something she loves in this pack of eight minis.

17. Clear Catch-All

fun clear backpack for your girlfriend on her 21st birthday
Photo: Kendra Scott

Do you and your boo go to a lot of concerts, sports games and festivals? This clear bag has both of you covered with a spacious place to stash all your important stuff—phone, wallet, keys etc. The two zipper pockets and gold hardware are this backpack's best parts!

18. Cheeky Crewneck

It's a good day to be hungover sweatshirt
Photo: JoyZeStore

Toying with something she can open the morning after her 21st birthday, when she's feeling a bit dazed and confused? Look no further than this groovy and oh-so-comfy sweatshirt, which reads "It's a good day to be hungover." Available in five different colorways and an inclusive range of sizes (from small to 3XL), this long-sleeve style is what she'll want to live in any time she's recovering from a rowdy night out.

19. Floral Journal

pretty floral journal birthday gift
Photo: Rifle Paper Co.

She's got a lot going on in life now that she's 21, but that doesn't mean she wants self-care to fall to the wayside. Whenever she has a free moment for mindfulness and reflection, this beautiful journal will be there for her. It boasts delicate floral embroidery on the front and has 240 lined pages where she can dream up her next decade, write down her bucket list, pen poetry and more. The grosgrain ribbon bookmark is such a nice touch, too!

20. Puffy Pouch

Puffy Laptop Case Pouch
Photo: Urban Outfitters

How many times have you had that you-think-its-helpful-she-thinks-its-annoying convo with your honey about not throwing her laptop in her bag haphazardly? And how many times has she actually listened? (We're guessing not many.) This quilted laptop case is topped with a closing flap and hook-and-loop closure, so it'll keep her most prized piece of tech protected. It's also made with recycled materials, because sustainability is everything.

21. Charming Nightlight

Customized night light gift
Photo: MagicWoOod

Of course, we couldn't curate a list of the best 21st birthday gifts for your girlfriend without at least one gift for the sentimental girlfriend. This precious wooden box can be personalized with a special message from you to your sweets, be it "Happy 21st birthday to a boss," "Cheers to you, [girlfriend's name]" or the ever-classic, ever-thoughtful "I Love You, [girlfriend's name]." She'll freak out when she sees your note illuminated on the wall, and never worry about being in the dark again.

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