Gifts Most Welcome: What She Really Wants
Let me begin by saying that this post is dedicated to our gentlemen readers.
Yes, that’s right: this post is dedicated to the man who… waits….and procrastinates. You know who you are. Yes, you with the shameless, guilty grin…I’ve seen you on the Main Floor, 4pm Christmas Eve; you’re the one with a crumpled list full of names who are, undoubtably, missing gifts. So stop lurking in the shadows and listen up, boys. I’m going to keep this easy for you. So pull out your highlighter & get ready to print.
This is what she really wants to open this week:
Wife / Girlfriend / It’s Complicated
Truly Cool Jewelry — Jewelry is a sentimental thing; she wears it, bam! she instantly thinks of you; however, jewelry can be a tough thing to give. Pause for a moment and think about what kind of jewelry she typically wears. Think… is she more polished? Make a stop by Carolina Bucci and pick up her sparkle bell earrings. Pomellato also is one to consider. Edgy? Look no further than Jessica Kagan Cushman and Eddie Borgo (212 872 8901) — they have a fantastic range of spiky noir. Earthy? Aurelie Bidermann dips her natural finds in gold and silver (so think swan feathers, wheat cobs and other things you may come across when taking a walk across the French countryside) while Ashley Pittman‘s hand-crafted horn pieces benefit a community & foundation in Kenya. Amy Zerner’s Zodiac Pendants are perfect for the lady who checks, tweets & shares her horoscope daily. For the sentimental set, begin marking each year with an Ippolita bangle. Finally, you never can go wrong with the perfect Chanel cuff (212 872 8716).
1. Jessica Kagan Cushman Silver Jewelry, 212 872 2518
2. Aurelie Bidermann Swan feathers dipped in gold and covered in blue enamel, 212 872 2518
3. Pomellato 18k rose gold mega link bracelet, 212 872 2578
Surprise Trip — Consider it as a petite get-away for just the two of you. “Even if it’s like a weekend or a day trip” muses our Beauty editor, Felicia, when asked what she wanted her beau to give. Lucky for you, this option is just a click away if the Ritz Carlton & New York City Ballet sounds appealing. Other ideas include a cozy cabin upstate, an island getaway (visit our latest swim post for inspiration), wine tasting or a romantic Frenchy jaunt to Montreal. Hint: before you finalize the reservation, confirm the babysitter.
Read more information about our Ritz Carlton/New York City Ballet Package
Something for her home — This is perfect for a newer, it’s… well, complicated relationship because it’s kind without being too gushy. Even a New Yorker, with our cramped apartments & multi-purpose ovens, likes a personal touch. Kelly Wearstler’s brass hand bottle opener (212 872 8868) is a kitschy kick for the kitchen (her legs, while fantastic, may be too reminiscent of a certain leggy lamp we all know so well). John Derian’s decoupage plates (212 872 2855) are another good option (is she an anglophile? consider the Lancaster Court Hotel plate). A subscription to her favorite magazine is another way of signifying that you’ve paid attention… and care.
1. Kelly Wearstler Brass hand bottle opener, 212 872 8868
2. John Derian Decoupage trays featuring 20th-century luggage tags from hotels around the world, 212 872 2866
Something for New Years Eve — Begin with a dinner reservation (we recommend Brucie for its intimate, sparkling appeal), and make actual plans. Then, have something for her to open, something that she’ll take a shine to – like a glittering Diane Von Furstenberg top (sneak in her closet & check her size in advance) or a new red lipstick (Tom Ford’s Cherry Lush 212 872 2813 is a universal favorite). Place New Years details atop the package’s tissue so that the tangible gift makes more sense. While incredibly warm, Eugenia Kim’s floppy silk & alpaca cap (212 872 8901) is one that flatters and photographs well — that’s something we keep in mind when making our hat purchases. Another way to conceal next weekend’s plans is in the pocket of a seriously over-the-top clutch. Think Leiber (but modern Rock Candy Lieber, not zoological), Vivier, Kelly Wearstler… (212 872 2872) the type of bag will reveal the night’s tempo. Sneaky.
1. Marchesa Jewel-encrusted clutch, 212 872 2872
2. Diane Von Furstenberg Sequin Top, 212 872 2897
3. Eugenia Kim Alpaca & silk cap, 212 872 8901
Consider a mix of things that she’ll cherish and thoroughly enjoy: family heirlooms, an over-the-top bag, fingerless gloves, a book that reminded you of her… To be completely honest, I lost my father when I was in high school and the gifts I still hold dear are the ones you may not expect: dad’s high school ID bracelet, an ancient pair of cowboy boots, a framed photo of us at the barn and books with his penned inscription on the front page. So, while she’ll really moon over Proenza Schouler’s linen PS1 Keep All (above middle, 212 872 8801), she may want a memory of you to take on her next adventure. An engraved locket from Emily & Ashley (212 872 2518) is quite lovely — mark it with her initial or favorite animal (like an owl). Also, a keepsake box (like L’Objet pour Fortuny) with memories is another that she’ll treasure (I still have all of our old ticket-stubs with attendees stored in a safe place). Family — and the adventures of growing up — are things we’re too oft to skip over; recapture and savor those times with something that truly speaks to her. She’ll appreciate it now… and in the years to come.
1. Emily & Ashley Engraved Pendants, 212 872 2518
2. Proenza Schouler Linen PS1 Keep All with multi-color faux python, 212 872 8801
3. L’Objet pour Fortuny Brass boxes covered in Fortuny fabrics, 212 872 2866
Mom’s the one who’s always giving but rarely receives… particularly when it comes to the truly luxurious. Skincare, for that matter, is something you could help her indulge in. Le Metier de Beaute’s Peau Vierge (212 872 8612) is an in-office favorite… another good one is Natura Bisse’s Diamond Cream (212 872 2693) is another facial gem (Bvlgari is another one we like, too). Personalized photo calendars are another one she’s cherishes — and although it’s too late to order online, you still may have luck with your local drugstore or photo center. When it comes to photos, frame a large print from your last family photo or secure a miniature one in a Monica Rich Kosann locket (212 872 2570). Mom likes memories.
If she likes to cook, get her something truly nice for the kitchen — Coltellerie Berti for Match‘s insane collection of 24 individual knives stored in magnetized wooden blocks for collective safe-keeping (212 872 2870). We’ve recommended it a thousand times but Chateau d’Estoublon’s insanely giant bottles of olive oil (212 872 2866) are, perhaps, the most beautiful thing she’ll have on her countertop (aside from that Le Creuset collection). A larger-than-life silk Hermes Shawl (212 872 8869) is another favorite — plus it can become your yearly thing (just switch the print to signify a major trip she took). If she collects something, nothing is easier than adding to it. And, finally, when it comes to collecting, consider the tree: ornaments always are something she’ll cherish.
1. Coltellerie Berti for Match ”Insieme” collection of 24 individual knives and magnetized wooden blocks, 212 872 2870
2. Monica Rich Kosann 18k gold stone lockets, 212 872 2570
3. Hermes ”L’arbre de Vie” red cashmere/silk shawl, 212 872 8869
Grandmothers seem easier than they actually are, and perhaps that’s because we think they’d be happy with just about anything. But, the truth is, grandmothers deserve the really personal and nostalgic. If you recall thumbing through her charm bracelet as a child, surprise her with a new charm — Annina Vogel’s vintage charms (212 872 2851) range from the more standard hearts to more personalized bottles of wine and scales of justice (perfect for the retired judge or lawyer). Photo calendars are another big hit (still cursing my brother for claiming that at an early age…). And truly luxurious pajamas (think Olatz and D.Porthault, 212 872 8787) are something she really could enjoy at night.
1. Olatz Silk pajamas, 212 872 8787
Growing up, my grandfather gave me silverware. Yes, you read that right: silverware (as in one place setting each year from when I was three until an early teen). Each year my child-self was terrified that I had done something horrifically wrong and un-granddaughterly. In hindsight, it’s a very wise and clever gift… because I now have a full set of silverware; however, it’s something that could have been easily remedied by including something fun for a toddler to engage with — like a book (Kelly Florio Kasouf’s Super Adventures of Sophie and the City is a nice place to begin); Rody’s Inflatable Pony is another one to delight & distract from the collectible item. As she grows up, heed the sentimental or cultural route: a keepsake from your cuff link case, a framed reprint of your wedding picture, museum membership, monogrammed handkerchiefs (212 872 8787), first-edition book, a trip to your favorite opera or a piece of art that has its own shared story.
1. Vintage Rolex, 212 339 3290
2. Super Adventures of Sophie and the City, 212 872 8960
First things first: if you decide upon a traditional gift to repeat each year (for instance, I give my tie-obsessed brother an exciting new Ferragamo print each December), mentally regroup after a few years to ensure that your traditional thing still is relevant. Girls’ interests and styles change drastically from sixteen to… say thirty while a guy’s may be more even-keeled.
Secondly, spend five-minutes really thinking about your sister. What does she talk about? What was the last movie she saw… and actually liked? As the youngest of two older brothers, I speak from experience here. That said, think of things that will enrich her life and make it more exciting: cooking classes, wine-tasting lessons, tickets to see her favorite band. When she does those things, she’ll think of you and there’s something to be said for that. Another thing: there are certain things that a sister may secretly want but never splurge to get. For instance, if she has ridiculously long hair, get her a Mason Pearson brush (212 872 2621) and an appointment to that salon she can’t stop mentioning during family dinner. Other things she may not splurge on? Gorgeous coffee table books (think Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty or Windows at Bergdorf Goodman, 212 872 8960), nice accessories for her technology (she’ll thank you for Proenza Schouler or Valentino’s Rockstud iPad case, 212 872 8801) or a divinely thin, wrap-around a million times scarf.
1. Proenza Schouler iPad Case, 212 872 8801
2. Windows at Bergdorf Goodman published by Assouline, 212 872 8960
3. Mason Pearson Brush, 212 872 2621
Aunts can be funny territory — sometimes you’re super close to her and other times she’s just a lady you talk to during holiday meals. Either way, there are things you can give that a personal and appreciated. If you don’t know her too well, NEST’s Holiday Candles (212 872 2695) are perfect. So are John Derian’s decoupage plates (212 872 2866) and subtle fragrances (you may want to email uncle to see what she’s currently wearing, then ask your perfumer for a scent with similar notes, 212 872 2581). If you’re close, let her open up brunch for just you two. (bonus points for having it typed up on letterpress) A little something for her home is a nice touch. Simon Paul Scott’s alabaster candlesticks (212 872 2866) are a good place to begin — as is a pretty vase like Venini (212 872 2866).
1. NEST Limited Edition Elton John Holiday Votive Set, 212 872 2695
2. Simon Paul Scott Alabaster candlesticks, 212 872 2866
3. Venini Mouth-blown glass “Fazzoletti” vases, 212 872 2866
First: how well do you know her? Books always are appreciated; particularly if they cover a shared interest. One never can have too many gloves (212 872 2604) or assorted cold weather accessories (212 872 2604).
Tights! a girl never can have too many… and they’re one of those funny things that we have to throw out on a regular basis. Bring her photo to the store & show where her head hits you in terms of height; an associate will be able to help you pick the correct size. Colors and prints are big this season but we always will appreciate basic opaque black. Also, when it comes to tights, lean on the luxe side. Ladies tend to secretly want Wolford (212 872 8676) and DKNY but they rarely splurge on them. A little Tom Ford (212 872 2813) never hurt, either. Neither did makeup brushes. Makeup brushes are those odd things a girl rarely splurges on… and a travel set is a rarity. Bobbi Brown (212 872 2681) is a good place to begin. Trust us.
1. Wolford tights, 212 872 2676
2. Tom Ford Beauty, 212 872 2813
3. Bobbi Brown Travel Makeup Brushes, 212 872 2681
If she’s young, go with books. Remember to date & inscribe a message in it. If she’s in her teens, go with a brightly-colored nail lacquer or lipstick (think Tom Ford, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent or Le Metier de Beaute). If she’s in her 20s/30s & likes to be social, a small clutch or cross-body bag is a real winner. Plus she’ll be like, look what my cool uncle gave me! Other ideas include Bernard Maisner’s paperweights, ornaments for her tree or a really specialized cookbook.
1. Tom Ford Nail Lacquer, 212 872 2813
2. Bernard Maisner Stationery & desk accessories, 212 872 2570
3. Carlos Falchi Miniature Buffalo Bags, 212 872 2577
First: did you establish an exchange between this friend? Second: did you agree upon a price limit? You never can fail with a delicious bottle of champagne and listen to Coggins when he recommends to deliver it un-chilled… just so she can savor it later. Printed photographs have become a lost art… frame a fond night out & wrap it in brown paper with red string. Fragrances can lean a little too… romantic in notion (unless you want it to go there?) as can jewelry. Favorite albums are good (really: when was the last time you listened to an album from start to finish?) To be honest, the wild & weird will be the gift that resonates… I still have this odd little frog a dear friend delivered one year. Although it looks like a Cracker Jack find, it reminds me of our friendship every time I see it…and that’s what’s special.
You see her daily… perhaps even more than you see your wife (particularly during those pesky busy months) but have you begun to think about a way to thank her for her hard work & dedication? Give her desk a peek. Is her space heater cranked? Then wrap up a super soft throw (we like Hijos de Cecilio Valganon’s mohair number however anything soft and solid-colored will do). Has she been emailing you from the office at 10pm? Treat her to a day off. Is her desktop decked with a tropical vista? Pick up an orchid (insider’s tip: Ikea has truly beautiful ones that are surprisingly hardy). And, finally, correspondence cards (212 872 8960) are chic. Plus, if she’s your assistant, I’m sure that she’s already begun her list of thank you notes.
1. Hijos de Cecilio Valganon Mohair throws with fringe, 212 872 2866
2. Alexa Pulitzer Correspondence cards with portfolio case, 212 872 2860
STILL LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT PRESENT?
LET THE BG GIFTER HELP!
Shoes — Shoes are a personal, personal matter for us ladies; plus, sizing can be quite the obstacle. So, unless she emailed you a direct link with absolute size, give her a BG Gift Card enclosed in a shoebox (trust us: you’ll get bonus points for this. A recent survey revealed that many of our ladies are wishing for shoes this holiday season).
Home Appliances — Must we remind you of Macy’s hilarious dog house video from a few years ago? Unless she asked for it in writing or flagged it in a catalog, avoid home appliances. Save those domestic surprises for a rainy weekend.
Your Interpretation of Trends — Even if you see wild feathers or prints in our windows, don’t trust your interpretation of popular style trends. Leopard spots on a pair of Louboutin booties are cool; however, leopard spots on a coffee mug or stationery set are not. And, for that matter, unless you really know her sizing or are in cahoots with her best friend, avoid gifting clothes.
Cannon oversees all social at BG — from sending out tweets to managing all that is posted here on 5th/58th. The youngest of two older brothers, she is also a step-daughter, niece, cousin, granddaughter and aunt to a group of men who only shop on December 24. Ironically, she wants nothing this Christmas.