Gift Ideas for the Fashionable Woman

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Purchasing clothing as a gift for another person is tough. Even if the person in question is a total clotheshorse and die-hard fashion lover, it can be tough to guess at sizes, brands, colors, fiber preferences, and countless other factors. And yes, you could certainly request a few wishlist items or catalog pages so you’re more likely to succeed. That’s my MO, for sure. But if you’re looking for some creative-but-relatively-safe ideas for gifts that should please the stylish gal, here are a few:

Stylist’s Emergency Kit

An inexpensive, practical, fun gift that just about any fashionista will appreciate is a stylist’s emergency kit. Wardrobe malfunctions are guaranteed day-ruiners, and having the tools on-hand to deal with common style-related problems can make a world of difference. Track down a small, zippered purse and fill it with blister block, double-sided fashion tape, safety pins, a stain removal stick, a mini bottle of clear nail polish, bobby pins, and nail clippers, all of which can be procured from drug stores and online. If you can squeeze them in, add ponytail holders, blotting papers, and tweezers, but remember that the ideal emergency kit can be tucked into a handbag. Don’t let it get too bulky.

Fashion Films

A whole slew of fashion-themed movies have been released over the past few years, and just about any style-minded woman would be tickled to receive them as a set. I recommend, Valentino: The Last Emperor, The September Issue, Bill Cunningham New York, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, Coco Before Chanel, and Unzipped, all of which provide insight into designer minds and industry pressures. If documentaries and docu-dramas aren’t her thing, try The Devil Wears Prada, Sex and the City: The Movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and Prêt-à-Porter for more lighthearted, plot-driven fare. Pack the DVDs in a basket with popcorn and Milk Duds, and finish it off with an oversized silk flower a la Carrie Bradshaw.

Style Experiences

Experiential gifts are all the rage these days it seems, and there are plenty that would work for fashionable femmes. An all-expenses paid trip to the Benefit Brow Bar or a local spa for a facial, manicure, or other beauty treatment is always appreciated. If you know of a woman who loves style but struggles with her own, consider a shopping service like Le Tote or StitchFix. Subscription services like ShoeDazzle for footwear, Rocksbox for jewelry, or Glossybox for cosmetics are a little riskier, but definitely fun.

Image courtesy ‘smil.

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Originally posted 2012-12-03 06:16:19.

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11 Responses to “Gift Ideas for the Fashionable Woman”

  1. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

    I *love* the idea of one of the fashion-related movies, Sal. I’ve seen Bill Cunningham, and loved it. The September Issue is on my list (in case my husband is reading this) : >

  2. Eliza

    I like to give a bottle or two of Chanel nail polish in a trendy new colour. The women I know wouldn’t spend to upgrade from drugstore brands for themselves, but they like the nicer polish when they get it!
    Sal, I’m surprised you didn’t mention books. I’ve always liked books about clothing, and loved both the big coffee table book about Madame Gres, and the handy guide to vintage clothing I recieved one Christmas.

  3. Claire

    The “Mints” have beautiful items, but their customer service is horrendous about 90% of the time so I wouldn’t recommend gifting a subscription to anyone. Jewelmint especially is a headache and a half lately, with ridiculously long ship times and many people getting damaged items.

    My friends always enjoy it when I get them gifts from indie makeup companies, so that’s a nice option. It’s usually easier to guess at someone’s beauty preferences since it’s often a matter of color choice moreso than anything else. My go-to stores are Shiro Cosmetics and Geek Chic, which both offer collections themed after video games and popular TV shows.

  4. Leslie

    I don’t really have any suggestions, but I LOVE that wrapping paper on the box you posted. 😉

  5. Veronica

    I got my sister a three-month subscription to BirchBox. You have to plan ahead because there is a waiting list to buy a subscription or a gift – yes, crazy. But, it’s a nice sampler of beauty products and snail mail is always fun.
    There is a whole mini-industry of “boxes.” I have a Whimsy Box subscription which is a monthly mailing of supplies for a craft project. Fun!

  6. Rocquelle

    These are such great suggestions! I’d love to have Bill Cunningham or September Issue under the Christmas tree :-).

  7. Anne

    Love these! I will forward to the Hubs, but I’ll also file it away to use for my friends.

  8. Megan Mae

    Giftcards or cash. People think they’re not personal enough, but I still say giftcards and cash are the best gifts. You can pick out what you want. I’m not big on surprises, especially from family members who can’t see that I’ve grown or changed in the years they’ve known me.

    Gifts I DON’T recommend are scents. I think giving perfume as a gift is intensely personal, and a no-no for the holidays. Yet every year I get some bath-set or perfume kit.

    • Caro

      I SO agree, Megan Mae. I have a huge collection of artisan-made jewelry. People therefore assume that I would like to receive jewelry as a gift. Absolutely not! I have a very defined aesthetic. Buying random earrings that I will never wear is a waste of money. I appreciate the thought, but just . . . don’t!

  9. Debby

    Family have asked me what I would like for Christmas, and I really wanted to suggest clothes. But sizes are all over the place, and some things sell out by the time they might order them. It’s hard to know their idea of budget and I didn’t want to ask for anything that might be too spendy for them. So…other than black trouser socks, I gave up and asked for beauty items instead.

    If you know someone at least a little bit, I think you can make a reasonable guess as to whether they like certain kinds of makeup or skincare or nail polish. I always appreciate hand cream, which you can get unscented, and things like nail files or lip balm that most everyone seems to need. And books, definitely books!

  10. Maggie

    This post had me searching Amazon for ideas. I came across a book titled:

    How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor’s Secrets to Getting Gorgeous without Breaking the Bank by Andrea Pomerantz Lustig

    Has there ever been a more offensive title for a fashion book?