The amount of gift guides, supplements, extra magazines, online offers, price match promises and budget busting deals in the run up to Christmas is overwhelming. I find it harder and harder to buy nice things for the nice people in my life, but I do like to do an awful lot of searching. Here is MY gift list. This year I'm on a penny pinching budget- self inflicted because I am going to New York two weeks before Christmas. And I want to spend my money there, on me! Shamelessly selfish, but I feel I deserve it.
My husband; likes clothes, loves trainers, works long hours in the city and has little free time to himself for anything.
I love this Barbour flask. He has just joined the local parish committee and I keep poking fun at him, that he'll turn grey and old and start complaining about the slight paint peeling on the village phonebox! In light of this admission to himself, that he is no longer the party animal and social playboy he was ten years ago, I thought a bit of a "grandad" gift might go down well. As long as he doesn't ask for a matching pipe and slippers.
I love old fashioned elegance. If you do smoke, (bad habit) this item is something you carry on your person and use maybe as much as your mobile phone... why do we carry little plastic bits of tat?! Why not browse eBay for some of these classics, try the flea markets, and antique stalls. I'm holding out for finding a really lovely vintage Celine gold one.
All of these cost less than £100. And many on eBay cost around £20.
I have a pet hate for celebrities who release perfumes. Having once-upon-a-time worked in the perfume halls of Harrods, I did actually learn a thing or two about scent, the ideas behind it, the things that inspire it, and what really goes into creating it.
One of the oldest perfume creators is Guerlain, and they have created some of the most famous scents of the last 100 years. Undoubtedly, Beyonce and Sarah-Jessica Parker, and Jordan do not have the 'noses' to do this... (well maybe Sarah-Jessica has THE nose, but I doubt its as powerful as Guerlains!).
Girls, don't be sucked into the fad smells and the cheap packaging of these 'latest craze' celebrity stinks. They can hardly even warrant the name perfume. Creed, Guerlain, Chanel, these are what you should be trying. Don't just try new, try the classics too. Have a look through this list
Your scent, as a woman can and will be the one thing that defines you when the lights are off and the clothes are lost- it can give you the greatest of confidence, dressed or undressed, choose it wisely. Think how much your favourite smells remind you of your fondest memories...
This is the ONLY place I could find mine to buy online. As it is world renown for being almost like gold-dust unless you visit the actual boutique in Paris. (Which I where I purchased this on the first day of my honeymoon)
I love the fact that every single time I wear it, I get an incredible amount of comments on it, from strangers mainly. Its beyond outstanding as fragrances go. It is one of four perfumes in their L'artisan range. This particular one is undoubtedly my signature scent, but at $240 a bottle... Its pretty extravagant! So- I found this online site- now, I cannot vouch for its authenticity, BUT... being the bargain hunter I am, I think for $15 its worth a try. I have ordered myself a spray vial of the above scent- and if its truly authentic, I'll be able to tell!!!! Its a pretty clever concept. If you have an unusual scent this is a real find.
Of course lovely girls like a little sparkle, but whats the real difference between the costume, the cheap, the fashion and the real ice?! Depends greatly on the budget, but I think some things look more cheap than others. And some high street stuff can also be very expensive. Obviously there is SO much out there, both in stores and online, here are my personal favourites;
Again I like a bit of vintage, and I like a bit of designer, combining these two searches on eBay or online searches produces some real finds, that are pieces that you will care for and look after, whilst making your outfits look that little better than average. Christian Lacroix is great and so is vintage dior.
Stocking fillers need not be boring, whilst still being traditional. Personally every girl likes a little luxury, and the little luxuries are sometimes the most enjoyable. Like nail polish, socks, underwear, hair clips and hair care products, stockings (persoanlly I think this a great 'stocking' filler!) Lipsticks, and glosses, lushious little pots of golden face serum, and if you're doing one for your mum or sister, why not throw in a little minuture bottle of chamapgne. Its so seemingly decedant but can't fail to raise a smile!
My perfect Christmas would look something like this:
Silk, lace, seamed, hold-up, sexy IS luxury.
This is the best yummy-mummy gift, for a new mummy. Giggly, girly and tres chic for a coffee table book.
I've already expressed my like for Barbara Wiggins things, but these are lovely, little key fobs. Very cool colours for grown up girls!
'Barefoot for Barcelona' and 'Ski Teal' are my current crush colours- but check out their designer metallics range too.
I think its almost impossible to buy a girl a pair of flash, stilletoes, whether they are the best selling Kurt Geiger or top of the range Christian Louboutin, but what most girls would be greatful for on Christmas day are these; Not everyones taste, but hard to utterly dislike two such iconic footwear labels coming together; Jimmy Choo designs for Ugg in this fab new collection.
Ok- so these are PRICEY! But there are going to be some pretty fantastic immitation stuff coming out really quickly in the highstreets.
Hard to go wrong with something that is both very current season and something so traditional- cashmere socks. Wear them with your boots, your high heels and skirts and around the house in your pants! A snip at £8.00!
I'm not often hankering after something I've seen on a celebrity, so I was actually a little disappointed when I saw Danni Minnogue wearing these on Saturday nights X factor, as I had had my eye on them since the collection came out. Shane Leane first grabbed my attention, with his now classic, 'Hook my Heart' necklace, but these earrings are just beautiful.
The hawthorn collection is worth looking at too. With the gold rings starting at £85.00, I think its a fairly cool gift from someone special.
Fashion hits; personally I picked up all my big winter trends back in late Spring/ early summer, for this winter; the camel coat, the sherling jacket and the leather skirt. All were absolute knockout prices being items no one either wanted nor were they temperature relevant to the then time of year here in the UK. BUT... if you weren't smart enough to do this, then high street has caught up. (I got a gorgeous collarless tie-belt camel coat from Ghanarni Strok in sale for £15, my leather pencil skirt for £10 on ebay, and my sherling coat, my always-wanted-one since I worked for a luxury fashion designer on sloane street and my manager had one- the infamous JOSEPH waterfall sheepskin, again on ebay in June for £98.) Yes I'm now gloating!
If you didn't, these are of course the most wanted items for any fashionista, but fear not- now with good old Zara online and Asos fast on the designers heels you can pick up these items pretty sharpish.
Frankly for me Zara got this just right with their leather t-shirt. Unbelievable good value, and so cool it hurts. You will see me wearing this over my little charcoal polo neck in icy New York with my flat knee high riding boots this December- for certain!