self-portrait dress

What You’re Shopping For, November Edition, Part II: Family Gifts, TV Stand Decor, + Holiday Dresses.

UPDATE (2:18 P.M.): Links appear to be back in working order! Apologies for the confusion.

UPDATE (11 A.M.): Hi Magpies! A lot of my links to amazing shopping finds are not working at the moment. I am working with my technology partner to resolve this issue. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Part two of my latest batch of shopping inquiries! (Part one here, and more of what you might be looking for here.)

Q: A beautiful LBD for a special occasion (to be celebrated at home).

A: This dress (seen above, and currently on sale for 40% off). Wowza. More options here and here.

Q: Gifts for both of my sister-in-law’s families — one large family gift for each.

A: I might opt for a gourmet gift from this list, possibly a gift box from Milk Bar (this set?) or a Callie’s Biscuits box. Alternately, a game for the family to enjoy might be nice — a chess set or an indoor bowling kit — or perhaps a melamine dining set to enjoy al fresco meals at home. If you are looking for something more substantial (no pun intended), these weighted blankets are all the rage and something everyone can argue over using — er, enjoy.

Q: TV stand decor. At a loss for how to style mine beyond the actual TV.

A: I hear you! You don’t want too much up there to impede or compete with your TV-watching. I would say a stack of coffee table books in a carefully curated set of colors with an objet (suggestions here) on top on one end and a green plant on the other — maybe a potted boxwood? That’s what we currently have going on in our living room, and it helps tie the room together without feeling too cluttered.

Q: Looking at Sheertex tights — seem to good to be true? Need tights for work in winter.

A: I honestly hadn’t heard of this brand until you wrote me about it! I have been a Spanx girl through and through for over a decade. I think the quality is amazing and I like the compression. However, I am currently looking to upgrade to Wolford Matte 80 Denier, la creme de la creme in hosiery!

Q: A living room lamp.

A: Floor lamps I love: this tripod style (look for less), this acrylic style, and this mechanical-looking style.

Table lamps I love: this chinoiserie style, this Jonathan Adler geometric style, this bone inlay style, this Aerin beauty, this ceramic style.

Q: Subtle but elegant area rugs under $400.

A: I would suggest Erin Gates’ collection. This 8×10 size (!) is $400, and it looks like something out of a Ralph Lauren ad, and this one is refined and plush and belongs in a Nancy Meyers living room. I shared more rugs I love here, and some of them fit the bill (under $400) if you’re looking for area rugs around 5×7.

Q: Pointy-toe cognac/camel work flats at a reasonable price and available in Canada. Sarah Flint is out…

A: Margaux! Impossibly chic and in the greatest camel color.

Q: Timeless luxury clutch. BFF has the BV pouch and I love it but can’t copy her! Something similar?

A: Oo such a fun one — what about a Chanel wallet on a chain? You can tuck the chain inside to use as a clutch, but nice to have the option to wear as a crossbody, too. Drool.

Q: Gifts for dads and brothers. Likes: boating, history, genealogy, and wine.

A: A starting point for men’s gifts here, but a few thoughts related to their listed interests:

+Depending on their degree of sophistication in wine (this might be insulting to, like, a trained sommelier), we use this What to Eat with What You Drink book constantly — maybe this and some wine from a local vineyard? (My parents-in-law frequently send us wine from Early Mountain Vineyards in VA.) Great stocking stuffer: this amazing champagne stopper. Actually works! Read the reviews!

+A rare/vintage book from this online shop that relates to their interests.

+Yeti mugs or lowballs for their next boating adventure (depending on if they set sail at coffee or cocktail hour). They come with splash lids (boat-friendly!) and are insulated to keep their beverages at just the right temp.

Q: A cute laundry basket that isn’t woven (wicker or rattan)!

A: Poppin! We use this blue one in Hill’s room. Comes in great colors! Alternately, Yamazaki always has attractive storage solutions — if you’re open to one without a liner, love the look of this.

Q: A nice but not too $$ gift for someone you don’t know well. (An in-law’s new partner…)

A: There are some good options along these lines in my Stocking Stuffer roundup — but if you’re looking for something more substantial (around $50), perhaps a Caran d’Ache pen and notebook, a beautiful mug, or a pair of digital tiles. My mom has also given a lot of Everlane and Patagonia to significant others of her children in years past (before those people became children-in-law) — both brands are nice, substantial, and “inoffensive” (by that I mean, a safe play — who doesn’t love Everlane and Patagonia? — and because they are more along the lines of outerwear, they don’t feel too intimate/personal). Something like this fleece sweatshirt or this fleece pullover might be just the ticket.

Q: How to dress my husband.

A: Ha! Todd Snyder has been my strategy for the past few years (bonus! they are running a great Black Friday promotion where you can save up to 30% off right now). I love that they walk the line between traditional and, for lack of a better word, urban — or stylized. They also offer great colors! I feel like all men’s clothing is navy, brown, or green, but Todd Snyder dares to venture into bright blues, oranges, yellows, pinks, etc. I buy Mr. Magpie several head-to-toe outfits at a time from them a few times a year. This winter checklist is a good starting point — I would start with some cords and a great sweater. I find that the way they style their models online is instructive (sometimes I copy their entire looks), and their in-store staff at their flagship store has also been very helpful on visits in years past — now they offer free email styling consultation, which might also be helpful.) I also recently discovered Taylor Stitch, a more rugged-leaning menswear label. I’m intrigued by their textured shirting, like this houndstooth and this corduroy.

Let me know if more suggestions would be interesting for a standalone post.

Q: Footless neutral or light blue one-piece for newborn boy. Photographer wants feet out!

A: If you can do stripes, this Kissy Kissy playsuit was one of my favorites for Hill, and if you don’t mind a small applique on the front, I adored him in these Little English rompers! But if you want true solids, Kyte carries them and Hanna Andersson, too. Precious!

Q: Christmas dresses for my wife.

A: So sweet! I did an entire roundup of my favorite holiday dresses here. This one is so cheery! Feel free to email me any time with specifics like style, pricepoint, etc and I can do a deeper dive.

Q: Christmas/holiday cards. Traditional, classic, not too modern, non-photo.

A: This is tough to find — so many of them are photo-centric! I’d say your best bet is to find an Etsy shop whose designs you like and ask if they will work with you to adapt one to be photo-less. That’s what I’ve done! Currently working with EW Designs on this exact subject. HoneyBearPages also has beautiful work that might be adaptable. I’ve also worked in the past with Sweetly Said Press and Dinglewood Designs — both were joys to collaborate with and yielded the most stunning letterpress designs!

Another hack: search for “Holiday Moving Cards” (tend not to be photo-centric, but to have holiday themes!) and just change up the phrasing to suit your own needs!

P.S. My favorite home gear.

P.P.S. My latest shopping finds.

P.P.P.S. An ode to the em dash and words I hate.

6 Comments

    1. I am so sorry, Laura! I am aware of this and working with my technology partner to resolve this. Hopefully will be up and running soon!

      xx

  1. This is so timely as I almost emailed you yesterday (no time!) because I am exasperated trying to figure out something to get my nephews for Christmas. They are nine and five…was going to try and reference your list of recommended children’s books, but I couldn’t find it? I am told my nine-year-old nephew likes fairy-tale type books? And my younger nephew is just starting to read. Please help a well-intentioned Aunt without kids of her own, lol.

    My brother loves boating! But I already got him a Yeti mug for his birthday, ha! I’ll probably try something from American Giant to stick with my “made in the USA” theme.

    Finally, soon I will undertake an interior home painting project. Yayyyyyy 😉 Any neutral colors/color palette that would complement a dark chocolate sofa? I’m totally overwhelmed.

  2. Jen, not sure if it’s on my end or just what, but many of your links aren’t working. Thanks and hope your family has a great Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Martha! Yes – I am so sorry (and frustrated!) about this! I am aware of the issue and working to resolve. Will ping you when things are back online. xx

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