‘Tis the season to be shopping. Indeed the holidays are a veritable retail heyday; the stores are packed with both an army of determined gift-seekers and a ton of shiny new merchandise. This sheer volume, combined with the obligation to find “the perfect present,” can make holiday shopping overwhelming. The pressure is only compounded when the recipient-to-be is style-savvy and fashion conscious – buying any old thing just will not do. For this reason, a gift guide comes in handy to give some direction amidst the seasonally festive chaos.
So, let us begin. First and foremost, I will always maintain that accessories make the best gifts. They can be just as qualitatively “nice” as any garment (sometimes even more so) and most of the time they allow you to dodge the sizing guesswork bullet. You will be able to spend less time worrying if the gift will fit and more time thoughtfully considering if the person on the receiving end will like it, making the experience more pleasant for you. And there will be no disappointed return or wounded ego from getting something that just does not fit on the part of the recipient.
One classic set of accessories that is a perennially appropriate and appreciated gift is the scarf-hat-gloves combo (or any of them in isolation if the price is right). I bring this up as a suggestion not because the concept itself is novel, but because this holiday, these pieces are especially perfect, as they are ideal templates for many of the season’s hottest trends. As we know, Fair Isle print and faux fur are huge concepts in fashion right now and they are particularly applicable to cold-weather cozies. This means that scarves, hats and gloves will inherently be some of the most trend-conscious items out there on the retail scene. The market is full of fur-lined trapper hats and fur-rimmed gloves as well as cashmere Nordic-patterned knits right now. Where to find them? Check out Urban Outfitters and Bloomingdales for a great selection.
It is also worth mentioning that socks, once a mocked gift item, are now totally acceptable to give. This change is due to both their recent renaissance in the world of fashion with the “socks-n-heels” look, as well as their equally close relationship with the Fair Isle pattern. Free People and Madewell are two companies making some really fun options. They will be ideal stocking stuffers.
Yet another great accessory to give as a holiday gift is a bag or purse. Clutches and cross-body/messenger bags are particularly fitting. These types of bags are now very much in favor; the past few years have been the era of the hobo bag, but now it is these smaller, sleeker alternatives’ time to shine. Thanks to their more modest size, these bags are able to gracefully take on trendy utilitarian hardware or newly popular textiles like velvet and feathers. Furthermore, due to their diminished girth, these bags tend to be more reasonable in terms of price, which is a point of interest when looking for a gift. Shopbop.com has a wonderful selection of clutches and small cross-body bags.
Lastly, jewelry is always a great present. This season, go with a piece that has a little bit of edge à la utilitarianism. I am talking studded pieces, chain detail, something with a little bulk. I love CC Skye for this type of jewelry.
So, there are some ideas to arm you in the stores. Best of luck and have a happy holiday!