The Fashionista is in: confronting your gift-giving dilemmas with style

by Sally Hedberg

The holiday season presents us, as consumers, with a dichotomy.

First, thereâÄôs the positive: cheerful lights draped all over the city, peppermint mochas, elaborately decorated department stores and, naturally, limited edition lip color (see: MAC). ThatâÄôs the fun side of holiday season materialism.

On the less joyful end of the spectrum are overcrowded shopping centers, budgets and, hardest of all, finding the perfect gift for the ones in our life worthy of receiving them. ItâÄôs easy to overthink when the act (gift buying) involves someone that you really care about, but generosity shouldnâÄôt drain the merriment from your holiday season. From a style perspective, present options are plentiful. Here are some no-fail suggestions for some fashionable gifts.


For Moms

ItâÄôs time to accept the fact that weâÄôve all been brainwashed by jewelry corporations. And theyâÄôve done a pretty thorough job. Are diamonds indeed a girlâÄôs best friend? Can love be measured in carats? Does every kiss begin with Kay?

Presumably human beings arenâÄôt that shallow. But the fact remains: Women love jewelry. And furthermore, moms (at least in my experience with one) commit most of their extra funds to bettering your life (college ainâÄôt free) and arenâÄôt making frivolous purchases left and right. My advice is simple: go vintage. Minneapolis has an extremely impressive haul in the realm of vintage accessories, so peruse a few shops and find a distinctive ring, brooch or necklace. ItâÄôs guaranteed to be unique and inexpensive. IâÄôd wager youâÄôll provoke a tear or two with the right bracelet.


For Dads

Dads are tricky to shop for in the style sense. Picking them the perfect novel or record is easy. Picking something that will up their style points is not. The best approach is to choose a subtle element like a wallet or watch and go from there. If you find yourself agonizing over which hue of treated leather heâÄôd like, just go with your gut. Dads (again, in my experience) tend to value quality over trends, so sticking with styles that are sturdy and utilitarian usually has a good outlook.


For significant others

Holidays can be an awkward time for new relationships. ItâÄôs hard to know if your whirlwind romance will develop into the zealous, gifting type or the, âÄúIâÄôm poor. LetâÄôs get dinner, have sex and call it a happy holiday,âÄù type.

For those with the urge to splurge: be thoughtful. Despite my endorsement for mom, IâÄôm emphatically opposed to relationship jewelry. ItâÄôs nauseatingly cliché and also a cop out because itâÄôs such an easy answer. And ladies: buying him a shirt you think heâÄôll look hot in is the same kind of thing (unless itâÄôs of his favorite band or something).

Want to really impress? Buy him/her a subscription to a magazine. Vogue may be considered âÄúthe fashion bible,âÄù but there are a whole slew of additional publications with absorbing features and stunning editorials. Best options marketed toward a female: W Magazine or Interview. Best options marketed towards a male: Esquire or Fantastic Man. I say âÄúmarketedâÄù because most people can appreciate the reporting and visual stimulation in these publications (I actually prefer reading menâÄôs magazines).


The blacklist

Should you be any form of a self-respecting person, under no circumstance should these purchases be made.

Lingerie: tacky, expensive, anticlimactic.

Perfume: the perfume chooses the wearer and not vice versa.

Ties/socks: obligatory elements are lazy and boring.