Sweet Jesus, it's almost Christmas. Pun intended. Thanksgiving is Thursday, people, which means Black Friday is Friday, which means the shopping begins -- unless you're my mother, in which case your shopping is done.
But for those of us with less foresight and ambition than good ol' Martha U., panic is probably starting to set in. Making your list and checking it twice sounds great in the song, but frankly, Christmas shopping often feels like work. First you have to decide what to buy for the people on your list. And once you have that figured out, you have to worry about hostess gifts, and what to get the co-worker you picked for Secret Santa; then there's the panicked moment when someone you haven't shopped for hands you a gift-wrapped package.
Would it help take the edge off if we published a list of ten extremely rad gift solutions to help you shop for the lovely ladies on your shopping list? There is a little bit of everything on here, at a variety of price points, to help get you started. Happy shopping!
Candles and Diffusers
Candles generally scream, "I didn't put one second of thought into this gift. You're welcome!" So skip the trip to Yankee Candle, or worse, the nearest 40 percent off display at your local grocery store. Instead look at luxury candles from Jo Malone, Le Labo, or Diptyque. The scents are far more sophisticated, and the candles formulated to be long lasting. This is the perfect gift if you have a friend who is a perfume lover, but you don't feel comfortable picking out something as personal as scent. A luxury candle makes a perfect a gift for someone you don't know very well, or as a hostess gift. Especially nice to find in the toe of a stocking.
Diptyque and Le Labo can be found online through Luckyscent; Jo Malone has a counter at Neiman Marcus in the Galleria.
Another gift that can seem like a throwaway, but the new J.Crew Vintage PJs ($85) are so adorable! The poppy color would be great for Christmas--these are guaranteed to sell out fast, so grab them now--and you can have them monogrammed for that special preppy touch. Absolutely perfect gift for the person who is hard to buy for--assuming they don't sleep in the nude.
Riordan Roache's Etsy shop is a small, well-curated collection of easy-wearing, handmade knits. There are lots of special little details that set the basics apart--ombre sleeves on a sheer t-shirt, draped lapels on a trench coat, cool color blocking or asymmetrical seams on dresses and jackets. If you don't see your size, don't worry--she takes custom orders.
We recently published a round-up of style guides, any of which would make a fantastic gift for the fashion/style lover in your life. They include:
• Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible • The Truth About Style by Stacey London • How to Look Expensive by Andrea Pomerantz Lustig • Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange with Sophie Gachet • The One Hundred by Nina Garcia
A few other suggestions: War Paint by Lindy Woodhead, Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin (or any Kevyn Aucoin book, frankly), and Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie.
If you are shopping for a book lover and these don't fit the bill, you have to check in at Brazos Bookstore. Manager Jeremy Ellis is the book whisperer. He'll find you something perfect.
Vintage Brass Necklace from Coquette Boutique
A modern take on the pearl necklace with a graphic twist, this multi-strand pearl necklace--described as a "neutral tribal piece" on the website--features two brass medallions from Africa; a stunner under a crisp white shirt, with the little black dress, or with a simple t-shirt and jeans on the weekend. The $250 price tag is worth it--an amazing blend of classic and trendy that will stand the test of time.
Birchbox Gift Subscription
We reported on these beauty sample-delivery companies earlier this year, and so far Birchbox has been quite nice; a commenter added that Glossybox was worth the $21 per month subscription fee. Birchbox is a very affordable $10 per month and has a lovely mix of name brands, including Essie, Dior, and the luxurious Shu Uemura. A 12-month gift subscription is $110--that's one month free! Six-month ($60) and three-month ($30) gift subscriptions are also available.
Thornwillow Press Stationary
Letter writing is a lost art, but it needn't be--and Thornwillow Press makes letter writing (or just dropping a quick note) a luxurious pleasure. The boxed stationary starts at $40 and come in a wide range of motifs--absolutely darling! These are wonderful for host/hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, or perhaps a daughter or niece away at college--hint, hint.
House of Harlow Clutch for Goop
There is more than meets the eye with this brown-on-turquoise clutch from Nicole Richie's House of Harlow. The bag is first dyed in turquoise, then brown, so the blue shows through in a subtle, textural glimmer. The cool jaguar head clasp is in a rich, brushed gold. The clutch is an all-around easy-to-style accessory for any woman over 16; $250.
Tory Burch Bracelet
Tory Burch has put together a lovely gift guide of her own, and the Sidney Hinge Bracelet is a standout. For those who shy away from designer items with flashy branding, the Tory Burch "T" is done subtly here, as prongs holding the jewels in place--cheeky, without screaming, "I'M WEARING TORY BURCH." Your choice of topaz or amethyst; the topaz has a bit more oomph.
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Hunting Gifts for Vintage Lovers
Shopping for a vintage lover is hard-work, and depends on what is available. Consignment shops are also great places to hunt for pieces for your hard-to-buy-for girlfriends. Here are a few places to start your search
• The Guild Shop: Just about everything you can imagine, but there is usually a really fun assortment of jewelry and the occasional very special handbag. • The Little Bird: This consignment "transplant" from Aspen is right across the street from Philippe. If you don't find the perfect gift, console yourself with a perfectly French lunch or dinner. • Couture Blowout: The Montrose location is where you'll find the super-fancy labels; head over to S. Shepherd for the mid-price labels like Theory.
Tomorrow: Check out our 10 Stylish Gifts for Men.