During the holidays, you want to get people gifts they love, but if what they love is fashion this can be risky.
If the woman or women in your life love fashion, any self-respecting person would want to get them what they love for the holidays. However, everyone from advice columnists to comedians warn those without a keen sense for women’s fashion to just stick to gift cards. In a lot of cases, this is a good enough gift. It allows the fashionistas in your life to get the whole experience. They go to the store, try the clothes on, stop for lunch and wine, and so on. In fact, if this is an experience they love, this should also be on your holiday gift list. But even if you do gift a shopping spree, you should still consider buying the women in your life specific fashion gifts.
Buying fashion for women, especially if you don’t have much experience with it, can be tricky. It’s one of those times when it really will be the thought that counts, whether the item fits or not. Because along with dress sizes, shoe sizes, and everything else, you have to be able to anticipate her style choices. It may seem like an unwinnable battle, but this is why fashion gifts are so perfect. If you are able to successfully do all of this, she will know that you pay attention to her. Buying her a piece of fashion that she loves and would wear shows that you know her tastes and respect her style. It’s a high-risk proposition, but one that comes with high reward.
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A Bit About Fashion Gifts
Before we tell you about the best sort of fashion gifts to get the women in your life, let’s talk about it more generally. How does someone who doesn’t know a romper from a clutch go about navigating the tricky world of women’s fashion? There’s no great mystery, though. Fashion is like an art form, meaning that it’s someone’s personal expression. All you have to do is listen to what the women in your life are saying every day.
Make Sure You Understand Her Style
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The biggest statement fashion gifts make is that you know the woman you are shopping for in a way that many don’t. You want her to feel like the effort she puts into her look is not just seen but, also, understood. Thus, the challenge becomes finding something that is both new but fits into her overall style with little effort. This is not as hard as it sounds, and all it takes is a glimpse at her wardrobe. Pay attention not just to the outfits she wears, but where she wears them. Take note if she seems to feel comfortable in one or uncomfortable in others. Without being too obvious, ask her about it, too. Your best resource is the woman you are shopping for.
Of course, if you want the gift to be a surprise that makes her feel special, don’t start asking fashion questions the day after Thanksgiving. Take real interest in her style, and she’ll likely be happy to discuss it with you. Remember, fashion is a personal form of expression and all artists love to talk about their work (even those that say they don’t). Not only will this help you buy the best fashion gifts for the women in your life, it could even help you grow closer. When you understand a person’s style, it’s not that difficult to understand them a little better, too.
How to Pick the Best Fashion Gifts
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If you are already engaged with the women in your life’s love of fashion, then this part is actually very easy. They will happily tell you – and their Facebook friends, Instagram followers, and Pintrest friends – what items are to die for and what are not her speed. Simply paying attention to detail can clue you in to the type of fashion gifts she wants. Whether it’s for practical reasons or maybe because she feels like she can’t pull it off, there are items out there that she won’t get for herself. This is the fashion gifts sweet spot.
Of course, make sure you know the difference between fashion items she likes but wouldn’t wear. For example, she might think Princess Leia’s headphone hairdo looks cool on space royalty but not a look she’d pull off anywhere outside of a cosplay convention. Make sure that the fashion gifts you choose are items that she would wear but just for one reason or another hasn’t picked up yet. If you want to seek advice from the Style section in the paper or fashion blogs, make sure they are people whose opinion she respects. While you can get very good tips (some of which are below), your best source of information is the woman you are shopping for.
Why Fashion Gifts Are Worth the Extra Effort
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If all of this seems like too much or something you can’t pull off, that’s okay. As mentioned above, a real fashionista is not above making the most of a gift card. But, also mentioned above, is the thought that has to go into these gifts. “It’s the thought that counts,” is a loaded phrase in today’s world. Essentially it means that whatever gift is being discussed was a big zero in the eyes of the person who got it.
However, in this case, the thought that goes into a gift they love is even more precious. If you are able to buy fashion gifts for women who take fashion seriously, it’s a lovely gesture. It signifies that the whatever statement the women in your life are trying to make with their style is being heard loudly and clearly. To stick with popular sayings, like horseshoes and hand-grenades getting “close” to the target still counts.
If you give the women in your life fashion gifts that are not at all reflective of their tastes or personal style, that could be bad. However, fashion gifts that are close, either in size or style or designer, to something she would actually wear aren’t all that bad. Sure, you have to deal with returns in order to get her something nice, but that’s like a crash course for next year. Keep trying each year, and when you eventually get it, it’ll be one of the most special fashion items in her collection. Trust us, she’s worth the effort.
The Top Ten Best Fashion Gifts for the Women in Your Life
Because fashion is so subjective, our tips for the best fashion gifts are more general than specific. However, since the whole idea is that these gifts are supposed to specific, we’ve also included top-rated examples of what we’re talking about. These items will most likely fit with any personal style but, remember, these are just guidelines.
1. Comfy and Cute Shoes
Shoes are a very personal thing. Sizes vary from brand to brand, comfort is subjective, and style also comes into play. So, if you want your fashion gifts to be in the footwear realm, don’t go for big and stylish. Every woman has a few pairs of comfortable shoes. While the comfiest ones are likely not fit for public consumption, others are meant to be seen. Sneakers are comfortable shoes that also have style. Buy the same brand as the others you’ve seen the woman you’re shopping for wear, and you have to double-check the sizes. For example, the above Sketchers demi-boot sneaker is perfect for working out, walking in the park, or chilling at the coffee shop after a yoga class.
2. Something Luxurious and Special
When it comes to fashion, luxury is a big part of it. So much of what people wear exists just for fashion purposes. The cummerbund or bow tie, for example. These are the things people want to wear but don’t actually buy. Maybe they don’t want to shell out the cash for it. Whatever the reason, these items are the perfect fashion gifts for that reason. It’s the sort of fashion item that they will set their eyes sparking with delight and makes them feel like royalty or a celebrity. Take furs, for example. For many women a fur coat or shawl is the height of luxury fashion. Made by Oliverfurs, this shawl comes with Canadian sable fur on both sides. It’s a glamorous choice for the woman who likes furs.
3. Something Bold and Ostentatious
As fashions gifts go, this is one of the trickiest. Because this is another gift that has to be something she loves but just wouldn’t buy for herself. Whether it’s experimental fashion or the Victorian-inspired blouse pictured above, this is a gift that encourages a fashion risk. What makes this tricky is that even if you pick the perfect item, the woman you give it to may not feel confident enough to pull it off. So, be supportive and if she decides, for example, that the above blouse makes her look like a background character in Westworld, respect it. The purpose of these fashion gifts are to encourage the woman in your life to take a risk and indulge in something that would make her happy to wear.
4. Something for Warmer Weather
Winter and the holiday can bring down the doldrums in a heavy way. In order to get past those feelings, one way can be to remember that the promise of warmer weather awaits on the horizon. Fashion gifts meant to be worn in warmer weather can be a nice reminder of that. When choosing one, make sure to pick one that both matches her style but is unique enough to stand out from her other summer clothes. In most cases, simple is better, like this Devlin’s Edyth Top pictured above. It’s simple enough to fit with a lot of looks, but unique enough that it will be a stand out item in any ensemble.
5. A Comfy, Luxurious Sweater
There is nothing quite like a comfy sweater that can be worn lying around the house or out on the town. Something like this Autumn Cashmere sweater with bell sleeves is perfect, because it’s both stylish and comfortable. Fashion gifts like these are great because so often women’s fashion requires being cold or showing a lot of skin. In the winter months especially, it’s great to have high-class, luxury items that don’t just look great but keep her warm. You don’t want to go too big with the sweater, because while it would keep her warm she might not wear it anywhere other than the ski lift. A smart sweater that is comfortable enough to lounge in but lovely enough to rock in public is a great choice.
6. A Unique Handbag or Clutch
There are plenty of differences between men’s and women’s fashion, but perhaps nowhere is the division wider than when it comes to pockets. Women get to wear lovely dresses, incredible hats, and all sorts of other stylish things. Yet, for whatever reason, pockets are often nowhere to be found. So, for formal gatherings or parties, women depend on a clutch to carry their necessary items. These tiny handbags are as much a fashion accessory as they are functional. That’s why new clutches make perfect fashion gifts because they can add a new element to classic outfits for the women in your life. This clutch, a Judith Leiber Couture Cube is a conversation piece. It looks like a treasure from a long-lost ancient culture and, as clutches go, is roomier than most. It also comes with a chain shoulder strap so you can keep your hands free.
7. Functional Fashion with Style
Perhaps you like to go for hikes in cold and wet climates, which requires very specific clothing in order to stay dry. If you want the fashionista in your life to join you, then consider getting her fashion gifts that have as much function as they do style. For example, the above Sorel Joan of Artic boots are tall, waterproof boots that will keep her feet dry and warm in the worst conditions. However, it’s also a smart enough boot that she might be happy to wear it on a snowy or rainy day out downtown. Fashion gifts that serve a purpose while also looking stylish are a double-edged sword. Not only do they show that you’re aware of her style and tastes, but it also shows that you want her to join you on those morning hikes or whatever outdoor adventures you enjoy.
8. A Nice Scarf
Some of these fashion gifts are tough calls and very specific items, but some like this one are simple and easy. Scarves are perhaps the winter weather wear that most easily bridge the gap between function and style. They keep your neck and head warm, but they also look amazing. In fact, you can find lighter material scarves for wear all year-round. While personal style still matters when choosing a scarf, it’s much easier to find the right ones than with other items on this list. If in doubt, go with an iconic classic. Enjoyed by everyone from the old-money upper-class to hip hop artists, Burberry’s instantly recognizable pattern is a sure-fire hit with most fashionistas. This classic design looks great on men or women and will add warmth and class to any winter ensemble.
9. An Evening Gown
While buying specific fashion gifts is a risky proposition in general, buying formal wear for someone is even more difficult. If you want to treat the woman in your life to an evening gown, it may be best to include her in the process. These gowns need to be taken in and tailored so that they fit a woman like it was made just for her. However, if you really want it to be a surprise there are options. Go for an evening gown that flows and moves freely around the body. For example, this Halston Heritage long-sleeved Jersey evening gown is sleek and elegant but would work for any number of body types. It may still need some tailoring, but not as much as some of the more contoured dresses out there might. While some of these tips urge you to take chances, this is not an area where you should. Go with something like the dress above or the tried-and-true “little black dress” to increase your chances of getting the right dress for her.
10. Something She Loves, but Would Never Buy for Herself
The perfect gift to give anyone is something that they want but wouldn’t get for themselves. Whether it’s price or confidence or something else entirely, getting someone a gift can given them permission to try it on. This could be anything, but let’s take the example of the hat above. This Eric Javits-designed hat has a very specific and retro look. This could be something that the woman in your life adores and would love to wear. Yet, for whatever reason, she hesitates. If you get it for her? That could change things, especially if you followed our tips and your other fashion gifts have been successes. To be clear, women don’t need permission to take fashion risks or anything like that. However, anyone needs support if they do take a risk, and buying the risky item for them is a great excuse to try it on it see how it feels.
The best fashion gifts are special not because of the specific items given, but rather how it shows how well you know the special women in your life.
Everyone likes presents, and there are presents everyone likes. Things like laptops or drones or other gadgets are really cool and make great presents. However, fashion gifts are different. Sure, the thing itself is still really cool and nice to have. What really makes the gift special, however, is the thought that goes into choosing it. Done right, fashion gifts prove to the women in your life you that see them and pay attention to them. It encourages them to continue to express themselves with their style and maybe even push the limits that they thought existed only for runway models and Hollywood celebrities. It’s the sort of gift that tells the women in your life that you know them and their tastes. It can be risky, but if it pays off it’s a gift she will always remember.
What do you think? Do you have any tips about fashion gifts that we missed? Share your thoughts, reactions, and experiences in the comments below. Don’t forget to share the article on social media if you enjoyed it, so your friends can get in on the conversation.
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