Background (per Wikipedia): A bridal shower is a gift-giving party held for a bride-to-be in anticipation of her wedding. This custom originated in the 1890s. *Note: Showers are explicitly a gift-giving occasion, so everyone who attends the shower is expected to bring a small gift.
Lingerie. Since most showers are girls-only events (although some exceptions do exist) it’s the perfect time to give a slightly more intimate gift to the bride-to-be. My recommendation: don’t got too trashy – the bride’s family may be in attendance – and depending on the family it could be embarrassing for the bride or the women in her family (or both).
Travel Accessories. Hopefully the bride is planning a honeymoon or some type of post-nuptials trip. Gifting a leather travel jewelry case or passport holder could be just the trick – especially if you’re not comfortable buying more intimate gifts. In addition, items like this can often be customized with the bride’s new last name. For ideas try Gigi New York or Leatherology. I also love Bag All, which offers travel organizer sets. Classy, but not stuffy.
Wedding Accessories. Cake serving sets and toasting flutes are my go-to gifts when I know that the shower is co-ed. I recommend personalizing these sets with the wedding scripture (if there is one) or the couple’s names. Things Remembered has great options.
Wedding Gifts. If all else fails, buy off of the bridal registry. You cannot go wrong!