We know it's hard to find the right gifts for your loved ones, so we've compiled a ton of fashion and beauty-focused gift guides tailored to a range of interests and budgets. Check out our latest below and find more right here.
There is a very high likelihood that if you work in fashion, you've been told gift shopping for you is really hard. It's not that your friends and family don't know what you like — it's that they assume what you like is a really expensive Chanel bag or the latest hard-to-find Gucci must-have or that you're drowning in freebies that are better than anything they could get for you.
"Every year my parents tell me their gifts can never measure up to the things I'm sent to the office by PRs, or can buy myself at discount or at a sample sale," says Tatler shopping editor and Fashionista contributor Ailsa Miller. "To me, this seems crazy because it's not about the financial value, it's about the thought behind it, and their gifts mean more to me than anything I receive at work."
So, if you're faced with buying a fashion fanatic a gift this year (or, if you're a fashion fanatic who wants to give your loved ones helpful hints), we've got you: We reached out to some of our friends in the industry to get their input on how to shop for them — without going deep into debt.
Check social media.
PopSugar beauty host and producer Kirbie Johnson keeps Pinterest boards of things she's eyeing. "Every time I get one of these gifts, I'm genuinely psyched," she says. "It keeps the surprise element of gifting because I don't have to outright tell anyone what I'm lusting over, and they're able to gift me something that a) I will absolutely love and b) fits their budget."
Not everyone will be on Pinterest, but checking out someone's social media can tell you a lot about what they might want. "Troll my Instagram to get the best idea of what I really love," says Elle.com senior fashion editor Nikki Ogunnaike. Who are they following on Twitter? What are they Instagramming from press appointments or in #OOTDs?
Think outside the fashion box.
Often, people who love fashion spend the bulk of their disposable income on clothes — which means many of us are working with home goods from Ikea. Pick out something that will help them upgrade their living space. "I normally ask for homeware – art for my walls, kitchen appliances, small pieces for around my flat that I'm unlikely to buy myself or acquire through my job," says Miller. "The best gift I've ever received was a specially commissioned drawing by Will Broome, my favourite illustrator."
Fashion books also make a great gift, whether it's a biography or a collectable coffee table book. If you know they love a certain label, model or photographer, see if there's a new tome out featuring their work. "[I love] beautiful coffee table books – about fashion, art, photography, lifestyle," says Eva Galambos, director of Parlour X. "They are works of art in their own right and I love to collect them and enjoy them for years."
Sometimes, the best gift is giving back. If your loved one is particularly passionate about a charity or organization, they'll be thrilled if you contribute in their name. "I donate blood to the Red Cross regularly, so hearing you made an appointment to donate, or offering to come with me to donate is an amazing gift," says Johnson.
Gift experiences over things.
While it is true that your friend might have just about everything they want, they're always down for a little pampering. Gift cards for places like Heyday or Paintbox will give them a chance to take their everyday beauty routine to the next level. "Perhaps don't pick up a random lipstick to give me, since I probably already have it," Johnson says. "But massages, pedicures and facials are always a thoughtful gift because it forces to me to have 'me' time."
If your friend is saving up for a dream trip, look into travel vouchers; if they're starting to #trainlikeanangel, pick up gift cards for sweat sessions at their favorite boutique fitness spots, like Barre3 or FlyWheel.
If you must buy a sized-item, do your research.
Most people cautioned against buying things like clothing or shoes, especially if you're unsure of sizing. But if you know your loved one has their heart set on something, get sneaky. "There’s nothing stopping you having a look inside your loved one's wardrobe and making sure you select the right size for that special someone," says Galambos. "If that’s not an option – perhaps check with a family member or close friend to see if they know the right size of the gift recipient."
What if you see something you just know your friend would love while out shopping and don't have time to investigate? Forget subtleties and shoot them a text. "Just ask!" says Glamour fashion features editor Lauren Chan. "I’ve done it—and while it may be frowned upon, at least you get it right and your giftee will be excited."
Remember, most places can offer a gift receipt; ask for one, and hang onto it just in case.
Gift cards are absolutely always welcome.
Every single person said they were more than happy to receive gift cards. ("They're free money! Why wouldn’t you want that?" Ogunnaike says.) After all, they can always be pooled together, used with existing discounts or sales and can be put towards anything. And when it comes to the fashion crowd, there are certain no-fail crowd-pleasers across the price spectrum, from Topshop to Net-a-Porter.
"I know it sounds simple, but I love a gift card from a department store," says Chan. "It lets me choose my own gift — whether it be a fashion item, a beauty product, something for my home, et cetera."
Still, it's important to keep it as personal as possible. "Amazon or iTunes gift cards might be useful, but they don’t exactly scream, 'I know you so well and put some thought into this,'" Miller says. If your friend wears a lot of vintage, think eBay or The Real Real; if your friend is into harder-to-find luxury goods, think Ssense or FarFetch.
No cash, and no food.
Everyone said cash was too impersonal (unless the person has specifically asked for it!). And take it from those who work in offices absolutely inundated by treats over the holidays: We're covered when it comes to sweets and alcohol.
"The worst gifts are edible," says Chan. "I do not need more chocolate around the holidays."
Homepage image: Cedric Ribeiro/Getty Images