It’s that time of the year again. As much as the end-of-year festivities are all about merry-making and feasting, it’s also about making a list and racking your brains about what kinds of presents are appropriate for whom. Not to mention, the perennial struggle of trying to figure out what price point your gift should be so you won’t look like a scrooge. It gets worse when you have knockout friends who are knee-deep in the fashion industry, because let’s face it, these impeccable individuals have really high standards when it comes to gifts, and have pretty much everything.
Though don’t fret — nothing’s mission impossible. Here are eight different gift ideas that you should, and should not, be thinking of when shopping for a Christmas present for your stylish friends. We’ve got you.
You should not gift: Something from the fast-fashion range
You should gift: Something from an indie brand
Although pieces from fast-fashion brands are affordable and stylish, they may come across as insincere or basic as a gift. However, that’s not to say to avoid those labels like the plague. Go for their more discerning lines instead like H&M Conscious Exclusive, or Topshop Boutique. They’re usually of better quality and will last through several washes. Plus, your pal will appreciate the eco-effort with the former. And if you’re willing to go the extra mile, seek out the indie brands instead. They are niche and will likely offer up unique or artisanal pieces your stylish friend will absolutely appreciate.
For tops and T-shirts, we suggest Keur Paris (which offers stitching customisation to create one-of-a-kind tees) and Kule (they specialise in versatile pieces like striped T-shirts and casual shirts, as well as dresses too). If your friend’s a stylish working girl, or a lover of Phoebe Philo’s designs, visit Admise Paris. They sell suits that accentuate a woman’s figure without looking too feminine. As for jewellery, our top picks will be Nalin Studios, Shashi and Missoma for dainty, understated accessories.
Read more on the next page.
You should not gift: Anything fashion-related
You should gift: Gift cards and vouchers
It goes without saying that when you’re shopping for your fashion fanatic friend, you avoid giving anything fashion-related. Why? They either already have it, have too much of it, or will judge it. Give the apparel section a miss. Instead, go for something that has meaning, such as a unique piece from a non-profit organisation or a donation to a charity in their name.
For something more straightforward, a simple gift card from their favourite retailer will do. Let them decide the damage instead.
You should not gift: Cash
You should gift: An unforgettable experience
Giving cash to your fashion friends may seem like an easy way out, since they can use it to purchase anything their hearts desire. But we beg to differ. Nothing feels more impersonal (and at times, insincere) than simply packing dollars into a sealed envelope and handing it over. Plus, the more sensitive ones might feel you’re indirectly nitpicking on how fussy they are (read: they prefer the term selective).
Instead, go for something they might enjoy, such as pampering packages of massages and mani-pedis or unique experiences such as artisan candle-making workshops. Even an enjoyable meal works. Better yet, include yourself and organise a fun day out with your girlfriend. Trust us, she’d be more than appreciative of your efforts.
Read more on the next page.
You should not gift: Anything fancy that isn’t aligned with their style
You should: Check their social media accounts first
While your fashion-savvy friend can be fastidious in her choices, it doesn’t mean she would automatically adore everything-and-anything expensive. Nor does it mean she would love all luxury brands. Ultimately, it’s all about the aesthetic, and your friend has subjective tastes that are not tied to a price tag or a label.
What you should do is research before you sink in major bucks on an expensive branded coin purse that she would sooner regift. Scroll through her Instagram account and do some stalking. Observe and consider her likes and dislikes. If your friend’s feed is filled with minimalist photos for example, she might prefer modern and functional brands that are simple and monochromatic, such as COS. If all else fails, just ask them what they prefer. Your wallet will thank you for it.
You should not gift: Insignificant presents
You should gift: Functional items, like multi-use storage furniture
The worst thing that anyone can receive is a poorly thought-out gift (we’re talking about mugs, socks and notebooks). Rather than carelessly buying generic gifts from the bargain bin, put some thought into what would be useful to them. Your fashionable friend might, for instance, have a pile of clothes still sitting somewhere in a shopping bag. How about getting them pretty storage boxes for their clutter or Muji wooden hangers? Or art pieces and antique home ware to upgrade their living space? You get the picture.