The Art of Giving

October 12, 2008 • Magazine

The Art of Giving

The Art of Giving

Sun, 2008-10-12 02:00

Andra Naylor

Whether looking for a birthday or anniversary gift, or perhaps you’re an early starter when it comes to holiday shopping, this guide should help you be the best fashionable giver you can be.

There are several cardinal rules of gift-giving, and the first is don’t shop for yourself. It’s hard to resist, believe me, I know, but make you truly think about the recipient and what they would want. Rule #2 – if you don’t know someone’s size, stick to accessories. And #3 – always include a gift receipt – you can’t be spot on every time.

Gifts should be unique – something that the recipient might not splurge on for themselves. is like Red Envelope on luxurious steroids. Every item is carefully handpicked and perfectly giftable – take the large croc stamped envelope, for example, made of Italian leather and lined with faille. Its multi-purpose functionality easily justifies the price – it can be used as a clutch purse, stylish paper storage or a handsome portfolio for business meetings. Choose from orange, cerulean blue, luggage brown or black, and don’t forget to opt for the free gift wrap. $190 at

Bluefly is an excellent resource for gifts, especially for scarves, hats and gloves made of high-quality materials like cashmere, suede and leather at a discounted price. Opt for a cozy set or scoop up a cheery red print featherweight cashmere scarf (various styles by Kasmere for $99 at

Everyone appreciates a little bling, so why not give the gift that sparkles? Cocktail rings are always in, especially vintage-inspired baubles like Juicy Couture’s faceted glass stone ring. I love the smoky tone; it will dress up a casual look or provide the perfect finishing touch on a dressy outfit. Juicy Couture cocktail ring available at for $128.

Sometimes the best presents are those that we truly need. Perhaps these gifts are a little less sexy, but the recipient will be happy you’re crossing off something that’s been on her list. Take tights, for example. They’re a wardrobe staple this season, but not the most exciting thing for me to make a trip for. I’d be thrilled, however, to get a shiny silver Nordstrom bag with a few tissue-wrapped pairs. (Hint: If shopping at Nordies, head to the BP juniors section for a wide selection of high-quality opaque tights at half the price of the name brands on the first floor.) For an idea of other basics you can help your recipient stock up on, check out Shopbop’s “Bop Basics”, a great source for tees, tanks and more. (Pictured: Bop Basics long sleeve burnout tee, $49 at

Finally, surprise your giftee with something they never expected. While perfume, candles and gift cards will always be welcome presents, go for the unexpected. Impress the fashionable lady in your life with your style knowledge and buy her this year’s hottest shoe – the shootie (that’s right, half boot, half shoe). Moschino’s Cheap & Chic grey patent bootie comes already tied with a bow ($485 at Or wow her with the untraditional gift of warmth – in the form of a gorgeous high-neck, white wool/cashmere Burberry coat ($825 at

1. Large Croc Stamped Envelope by Vivre $190
2. Kashmere Red Printed Featherweight Cashmere Scarf Retail: $180 Bluefly: $99
3. Juicy Couture Cocktail Ring $128
4. Bop Basics Long Sleeve V Neck Burnout Tee $49
5. Moschino Cheap & Chic Grey Patent Bootie $485
6. Burberry High-Neck Coat $825

Image Layout: Jessica Piraro

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