Shawls are wintery, cozy, and can always be put to use. They’re an easy go-to for pretty much any gift recipient, but especially ones you don’t know very well. Enter a good blanket into the Secret Santa ring, and I bet it’ll be stolen a few times. This bamboo wrap by Papillon is 18 inches by 64 inches, so can double as a scarf, shawl, and small blanket. There are even buttons at the end to secure it in place. Talulah Belle’s got them in the houndstooth you see above, winter white, black, brown, camel, and gray. Only $29.
This sewing kit in a jar will encourage anyone’s do-it-yourself inclinations. Tools include measuring tape, safety pins, sewing materials, and of course, a shabby chic jar perfect for filling with other things when the supplies are used up. Only $40 at Number One/Le Jus.
This is not the equivalent of gifting a vacuum cleaner. This locally designed happy hostess accessory is sizzling. Everything from the sultry red lace, silky lining, and satin ribbon is luxurious. (Including the price tag–$200.) Elizabeth Scokin of Haute Hostess Aprons makes several styles for all occasions, so don’t see what you like? Prefer Saint Patrick’s Day? You’ve got it. Shop the collection online.
A free ticket aboard the pampering train is a sweet deal for any lady friend. I recommend a gift card to La Bichette. Not only will she walk away with a pretty new ‘do, she’ll spend the time in a Parisian-themed salon complete with crystal-encrusted mirrors, buckets of frilly, polka dot umbrellas, and complimentary champagne and mimosas. Total girly bliss. Blowouts are only $35 (but $10 is recommended for gratuity), and add-ons are available, like hair masques and scalp massages.
Buy them at La Bichette.
My intern Margaux Anbouba stumbled upon these guys on McKinney.
Jonathan Adler is awesome, pillows are useful, and zodiac signs are personal. These needlepoint versions for $98 are an easy go-to for gift recipients you don’t know very well. All you need is a birthday.
If you think it’s odd to gift lingerie to your pals, check yourself. This is no creepy babydoll. This, my friends, is one of my favorite wardrobe staples. The Coobie is, as advertised, the most comfortable bra ever. It’s also flattering, one-size-fits-all, and cheap (under $24). Styles come in scoop neck, v-neck with lace trim, and bandeau and new “full size” options are available to cover up to size 42DD. Pads are removable, straps are adjustable, and fabric comes in more than 40 color and pattern options, which make the Coobie bra fun for stocking stuffing. (Who wouldn’t want a sweet polka dot bralette?)
Prepare to pick up handfuls. Jump for the list of local retailers.
I think these massive key chains, dubbed The Big O by local creators Janie Cooke, Caroline Nix, and Jennifer Neuhoff, have life-saving potential. Like, for busy moms who don’t have spare time to spend digging in diaper bags for missing house keys or for Dallas ladies so on-the-go, they could put three personal assistants to use. I happen to think these could be also brilliant for messy teenagers used to digging under piles of clothes to find their things.
My favorite thing about these rings is that they can be hung on doorknobs. (Therefore, eliminating entranceway table clutter.) Find these nifty inventions for $55 a piece at Cabana.
Skip the stress of gift giving on your not-so-big budget and pick up a little luxury from a grand store: Rodin Lip Balm from Forty Five Ten. If ever there was exclusive, high-fashion lip gear, this is it. Created by Linda Rodin, former model, Harper’s Bazaar editor, and stylist turned current skincare guru, this essential oil-infused, floral scented, tinted balm is not only pretty in its lucite house, but can be given in a Forty Five Ten bag for an extra luxury point. Just $30.
Answer these questions about your potential gift recipients and their pets:
Is his/her Instagram full of furry things wearing clothes?
Does he/she own a car seat for Fluffy?
Does he/she show strangers iPhone photos of his/her pet at parties?
Does Fluffy have his/her own closet and/or drawer for belongings?
Does Fluffy have his/her own Facebook page?
Does Fluffy get an annual birthday party complete with party favors?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, a portrait session with Dallas’ Mica Ringo of The Dog Photographer will be a guaranteed merry maker. Ringo promises to capture a pet’s a personality during the photo shoot and the end results can look like a cluster of canvases (see above), a coffee table book, or large portrait. Pricing starts at $250 (but typically runs between $500 and $2,500) and contains a built-in print credit of 50 percent of the cost. Get all the information here.
Because, apparently, wearing funky socks is the way to the top, I present to you these Hook + Albert dress socks from new Rye 51 in West Village. Quality socks are a great, if slightly clichéd, gift for three reasons. One, they’re a luxury item that don’t hit the top of the priority list for most men. Two, they’re practical. They’ll actually be put to good use. Three, if this gift is for someone whose feet you’re forced to look at often, they’ll replace a pair of dirty, hole-y socks that you hate. It’s a win all around. These Hook + Albert socks are made of breathable Peruvian pima cotton, have hand-linked toes for a comfortable fit, boast a “specialized arch support band” for increased circulation, and come in one size. Each pair retails for $30 at Rye 51.
I’m not going to gush all over again about LAFCO New York’s new soap line. I’ll let you read that stuff here. But I will give you a quick rundown if the greatness of this soap line. Each bar is: softening, with a unique combo of both almond and coconut oils, comes in two sizes, and is available in 14 of the 36 House & House fragrances, like Daffodil, Marine, and Rosemary Eucalyptus. Buy one for $17 or a set of three for $34. Bar soap lovers and haters, whimsical bath takers, and practical showerers will all love. I promise. At LAFCO New York in Highland Park Village.
We all know those types. Likely, we are those types. I don’t know how I was living before I was given a pair of these Yosi Samara fold-up ballet flats by Merge boutique. Countless numbers of celebs sport these year round, but until you own a pair, you can’t know the true bliss they provide. Here’s the scenario: It’s 6 pm; you’re ready to leave work. You’ve been on your feet (in heels) all day. You’ve got one too many bags to carry to the car, and the idea of making it to happy hour and then hitting the grocery store makes your feet throb at the mere thought. Then you realize, you have tiny pair of flats stashed in one of your bags. The music swells! Your heart sings with joy! The evening is now yours again! (It happened to me this week.)
Plus, Yosi Samara makes an absurd number of style and color options (truly, something for everyone), and Merge carries an impressive collection of almost thirty. different. styles. From $60 to $90, you can peruse through prints or solid colors, patent or ostrich, holiday sparkles or everyday matte.
You know the nesting type. They natural born hosts and hostesses with immaculate taste. They look elegant an in apron, serve perfectly poured cocktails, and have living rooms that belong in Elle Decor. (There’s a chance she or he already has an edited collection of books on display.) Well, head to Five & Ten to peruse their library of stylish coffee table books, like The New York Times’ 36 Hours: 125 Weekends in Europe guide of mini getaways and Tim Walker: Story Teller, a collection of a famous fashion photographer’s dazzling pictures.
Leave it to Nest to discover a purveyor of wicked cool audio gadgets that are both high performance and sexy. ShopTalk intern Margaux Anbouba found these Molami nappa leather knot earbuds on a recent trip to our beloved McKinney Avenue gift shop. Swedish Molami combines function and fashion in these Bight Knotted Earbuds that come with braided fabric cords, sizing pads, an adapter, and a protective pouch. Available in both white and black. Consider it musical eardrum jewelry. $150 at Nest.
ShopTalk intern Margaux Anbouba landed a fun find at The Gypsy Wagon, which is no surprise. It’s one of my all-time favorite gift shops. Everything is whimsical and “aw”-inducing.
Enter: these Consuela Slip-In Covers for iPads, Nooks, Kindles, Tablets, and probably even the new Microsoft Surface with those creepy dancing schoolgirls. They’re easy to use and come in granny chic prints for actual grannies, or, anyone into the look. The Gypsy Wagon, $58.