After last week’s reader Q+A, I received a flurry of follow up requests but one jumped out at me as worthy of its own post: the best gifts to give a girlfriend.
After feeling frustrated by the gift round-ups I’d seen online (no but who really buys those things for friends?), I wrote a long post on gifts I’d actually give for Christmas last winter, and I’d still stand by every item on that list as a good starting point for those of us who want to keep the price tag under $150 (often, under $100 and even under $50).
I’d add a couple of new discoveries to this list, though — almost all of them $100 or less:
+I love to give friends my favorite beauty products. I can be borderline evangelical about the things I love that work well for me and I want all my cronies to get in on the action. This year, my favorite new beauty finds that will probably find their way into the hands of loved ones at upcoming celebrations are: Ole Henriksen’s truth serum ($48) and LaNeige’s Water Sleeping Mask ($25 — a new discovery and I’m INTO IT). I haven’t yet tried Summer Friday’s Jet Lag Mask ($48), but people have been going bananas over it and it might also be a solid pick for a friend who follows the beauty circuit closely. (Ahem, my sister Eleanor.)
+Zojirushi thermos ($28). These are THE ABSOLUTE BEST thermoses for coffee. They keep your beverages piping hot all day and are a dream to drink out of (I like the design of the lip). I love to give really high-quality everyday products like these to friends. (Check the reviews!)
+Scout foldable travel bag ($40). I can’t stop talking about this bag for travel. It weighs nothing, packs up into a small square, and has come into heavy use on every occasion I’ve used it, whether standing in as a laundry bag, toting beach gear, or serving as extra packing space when we’ve bought too much on the trip.
+An Everlane cashmere sweater ($100). I’m sorry if you’re tired of hearing about this, but I can’t get over the price for the quality, and I love the colors. Plus — who wouldn’t love opening a box with a plush cashmere sweater inside?!
+J. Crew dreamy joggers ($69.50). Guys. Guys. Guys. These are magic. I never want to take them off. They are super soft and, though I love J. Crew’s dreamy pants as well, I like that these are cuffed and not dragging on the ground. Also: they have pockets, which prove startlingly helpful for schlepping my phone around while I’m carrying mini, a glass of water, etc.
+A pair of Nicola Bathie earrings (<<on sale for $82). I love this under-the-radar jewelry designer and think her earrings (they made my roundup of my favorite things I bought in 2018!) would make the perfect gift for a fashionista friend.
+I’ve given a few friends Smythson notebooks for various milestone occasions, like this one for engagements (<< on sale for $56!) and this one ($75) for pregnancies. They are luxurious and highly useful for those of us who are listmakers — plus, a little splurge-y something that we probably wouldn’t buy ourselves. In a similar vein, I love the idea of monogramming this passport wallet ($95 with monogram — be sure to sign up for emails to score 10% off) for a frequent traveler.
+A little over the $100 target range, but my favorite straw box clutch from the one and only Pam Munson (<< read my interview with her here!) just went on sale for $132. I absolutely adore this clutch and think it would make the perfect gift for gal with feminine, preppy style.
+An engraved gold bangle. I love the elegant cursive they use! I can imagine engraving a term of endearment/nickname on one of these for one of my sisters. I actually just now convinced myself I need to order one with mini’s name on it! (Also — this would be a wonderful gift for a little gal or guy celebrating First Communion.)
+A monogrammed jewelry round. My mom gave me one of these years ago (I believe from Leontine Linens) and I still use it to this day. These are the kinds of things that surprise you with their utility — oh, so nice to have a place to stow my pearl earrings at night! Or, now I don’t need to throw my jewelry in a plastic bag when I travel.
What other gifts do you have in mind for your loved ones? Recommendations?
P.P.S. Cherished the comments on this post. I want to give each of you a big fat hug.