It’s holiday season, and we all know what that means: presents and gifts galore. The larger your group of friends/family members, the smaller your wallet is by the time it’s December 26th (or the 27th, if we’re going by the eight days of Hanukah). Unless you bought everything with your credit card, in which case your wallet will stay the same size, but the number in your bank account will have decreased.
The most difficult thing about this time of year, only slightly harder than choosing what to wear to the various holiday parties you have to attend, is getting the right presents for the lowest prices. That’s where I come in. I’ve chosen the top five gifts that I’d get for fellow fashion lovers like myself while on a budget. Some of them are specific and others are general, but all are fashion-related. If you’re a Chictopian, chances are some of your friends share this common interest, or at least I hope they do. Otherwise you may need to question the value of your friendship. Just kidding, I have no authority to judge your friends.
Here they are, my top 5 gifts for this year:
1. GIFT CARDS
Gift cards are the best. They’re the present you give to people you aren’t super close with, but you still want to seem thoughtful; they’re a way of saying, “I know what you like, but I don’t know you well enough to actually go to the store and pick you out something. Go do that yourself.” Since I’m a teenager, I’m constantly broke, so I’d get my friends gift cards to Urban Outfitters, Buffalo Exchange, Sephora or Forever 21, but if you’re willing to spend more money/have more sophisticated friends, I also suggest ones from ASOS and The Outnet. Most stores sell gift cards, so often times this is the quickest and easiest option. Hooray for laziness efficiency! Price: $25 and up
2. CLASSY AND VERY CLASSY BY DEREK BLASBERG
I bought these two books for myself earlier this year. I haven’t read them yet, but they’re sitting there on my shelf. I’ll get around to it sooner or later. If you don’t know what these books are, they’re essentially two volumes of fashion advice from the Editor at Large of Harper’s Bazaar magazine (a.k.a. my favorite magazine). So in other words, fashion bibles. You might buy them, intending to give them away, but just end up keeping them for yourselves. Don’t worry, you’ve got four other options to choose from on this list if that happens. Price:Classy: $17 at Barnes and Noble ($9.71 online); Very Classy: $18 at Barnes and Noble ($11.90 online). $35 total, if you buy it in stores. (Tax and shipping are not included in either price.)
3. RED LIPSTICK
Red lipstick is one of my favorite beauty products. It works on everyone (if you have the right shade) and it goes well with nearly everything (if you style it correctly). It’s an easy way to spruce up any outfit, so that’s a mega plus in my book. In order for this gift to work, though, you need to know your friend’s/family member’s skin tone. I suggest taking a picture of them with you to the store so you can get the right shade. To find out which lipstick to get, I suggest watching this video by Michelle Phan, or asking an employee at a store like Sephora for help. Price: $10 and up (designer brands cost more than ones you can get at a drugstore. If you ask me, which I’m assuming you are if you’re reading this article, you can get really good ones at CVS for $10. I use Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lipcolor in Red Revival, but you can see the rest of their 48 (!!!) shades here.)
4. MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION
I am personally in love with magazines. I collect them. Currently, my most prized one is my Vogue issue from July of 1995. It’s older than I am. I use and abuse my magazines like there’s no tomorrow, so if you know someone like me, I would not hesitate in getting them a subscription to their favorite one. In my opinion, the best ones are Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Marie Claire (in that order), but there are of course other ones out there that you or your gift receiver like better. If said person is into arts and crafts, there’s always Vogue Patterns, Threads or Vogue Knitting as well. Price: $5-$50 (depending on the magazine)
Jewelry is tough to buy for people. Like clothing, you never know if they’ll like it, if they already own it, or if it will look good on them. Hey, no one ever said gift-giving wasn’t risky business. But diamonds are supposedly a girl’s best friend, and Harper’s Bazaar wrote an article entitled “When In Doubt, Give Jewelry,” so we know this is a good idea. The trick to picking out the right jewelry is knowing what kind they usually wear. I’d stay away from judging it based on their clothing choices, because personally, I wear some cray-cray clothes, but I like simplicity and minimalism when it comes to jewelry. If you live in New York City, there are some incredible stands at the holiday markets at Union Square and Columbus Circle, as well as the yooj (here meaning “usual”) stores. This gift really only works for people you know quite well, and not that person who thinks they’re part of your group of friends but isn’t really, but you’d feel bad if you didn’t get them a gift. You’d get a giftcard for that person. See how this works? Price: $5 and up
There are of course oodles and noodles of other incredible gifts to get for people. Here’s a few other options I thought of but couldn’t fit on this list: clothing (no duh), manicure/pedicure, spa day (things like massages or facials), makeup, money (this one’s just for if you’re straight up lazy. It’s not so much of a present as it is a donation.), and the list goes on.
Happy shopping! Oh, and happy holidays, too, I guess…
Photos courtesy of google.com and harpersbazaar.com