The holiday gift guide series continues as we go down the check list for your loved ones and give you readers some suggestions based on what’s on our wish lists. Next up, women’s clothing, accessories and beauty products.
- Too Hot Not To Cop’s Holiday Gift Guide
- Video Games and Films / TV Series
- Men’s clothing & accessories
Alicia’s Top 5:
The blazer has been the trend of the season for a reason: you can pair a blazer with practically anything and the anything all of a sudden looks great. Well maybe not sweat pants, but almost anything else. Jeans, simple shirt, hot shoes, and a blazer? Hollllaaaa! Try Halogen’s Wool Boyfriend Jacket or if you want to spice up the details a bit, try J Crew’s Tuxedo Jacket.
I love black jeans. They seem to be readily available in the “skinny jean” style but if you look hard enough, you can find a couple boot leg cuts out there. They go with anything. You can dress them down or up. Oh and they’re slimming so forget about “do these jeans make my butt look big?” Try True Religion’s Disco Billy Black in Supervixen or AG Jeans’ The Angel in Coated Black.
Honestly, even Fruit of the Loom will do. A plain t-shirt can be so adaptable. Add a skinny belt and long necklace and you have a great look. Throw a blazer over that look and you’ve just hit four major trends. Graphic t-shirts can be good too as long as the graphic isn’t too crazy. There’s a time and a place for crazy graphics and that time isn’t often. I would recommend plain t-shirts in an assortment of colors or t-shirts with relatively monochromatic patterns. Monrow has great t-shirts, try their Black Studded Tee or their Dauphine V-Neck Tee.
Not sure how to spice up a boring dress? Graphic Stockings! Great for the holidays if paired with a simple dress and those Victorian style shoes, or even with a cute mini and simple slouch boots. Just make sure that if you go the graphic stocking route, don’t wear too many other accessories. Once again, less is more. Forever 21 has a bunch of great graphic stockings, for example, try their Leopard Shadow Tights or their Paisley Fishnets.
Yes, lingerie is clothing, if you don’t agree, take it up with Victoria’s Secret. I know it’s not practical to wear frilly things under your regular clothes, but you can still wear something sexy under jeans and a t-shirt. Why not start the day feeling sexy? Why not let that feeling linger all day? Ugly cotton underwear that look like you stole them from your grams is not good…ever. It’s totally possible to wear simple and comfortable underwear sets that make you feel good. Don’t be lazy. Be sexy. For seamless and simple yet very sexy, try Victoria’s Secret’s Secret Embrace Pair in red. And for something with a little more detailing, try Victoria’s Secret’s Balconet set.
Hallie Valentine’s Top 5:
Accessories. Gotta love them, especially when they are all fun and cute and funky like, as is this nappa cowhide clutch from Coach. Called new layered op art darcy (I so did not pick the name), it’s a multi-coloured clutch 14 inches long and seven inches tall. Just the right size for a cell phone, lipstick and the necessities. Although this is a new product, just in time for gift giving, I really see this as being complementary to spring and summer clothing, given the corals and pinks. But if you can’t wait, bust it out now. The purple helps make it winter friendly. This clutch has a great texture, which really sets it apart from the typical sleek, straight ones usually flouted.
Necklaces are tough. Styles come and go. One year it’s fine detail work, the next it’s beads, the next its chunky. I spotted this particular piece from Nicole Ritchie’s House of Harlow line. Basically, it’s a blend of chunky black resin and fine chain detailing. I love the strong shapes and lines on this one. For the holidays, nothing goes likes statement pieces. This is a strong statement, but it’s not overly flashy which improves wearability. I’m really loving black for jewelry right now, especially in bold styles. Black resin is proving to be really hot this season too, and is popping up in lots of designs.
**Editors note, piece pictured is now sold out.
Love, love this bag from adidas. I’ve been searching for something sturdy and rectangular to lug around things that just won’t fit in even the largest of purses. Stuff like camera gear and extra pairs of shoes. I wanted something with a functional shape, which I think the adidas airline zip bag really does have that going for it. Particularly with this bag I like the multi zippers in different colours, because boring bags are just that — boring. This avoids looking stuffy but isn’t too flashy so that I’ll quickly tire of it. Dimensions are 15 inches by 11 by five, so it’s big enough but not so big that it will get too heavy too quickly.
I have a serious soft spot for all that is warm and fuzzy, and Christmas is always a good time to pick up some delicious, fluffy outerwear. This super chunky and long scarf is the brainchild of Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto and adidas, who work together for the Y-3 line. This knit scarf is a wool and acrylic blend, so it’s likely pretty darn soft and durable. The details show it to be a ribbed knit, so it’s is stretchy and dense, great for those Canadian winters. This scarf is great too because it’s simple to look at and is complementary to many jackets. It could go casual or dress. It’s tough to find a really great plain black scarf, so I’m hoping this makes it into my stocking.
Oscar de la Renta
This necklace by Oscar de la Renta is probably the most frivolous of all accessories, but it’s so beautiful it’s hard to resist. Ultra feminine, it looks like it belongs at a rather glamorous party all by itself. The devil is in the details on this one. The beads are pearl embellished glass and twisted up with silver tone metallic chains. The whole thing is tied up to your neck with a simple black ribbon, which perfectly offsets the wintry tone of the whole thing (which probably is quite heavy). Love it, can’t rationalize the price tag — $1,150. A girl can dream though.
Katie’s Top 5:
Charm Bracelets are really popular this season and my favorites can be found at Betsey Johnson and Juicy Couture. Juicy has “starter” bracelets for $42 and charms like this adorable boombox for $52.
I like the idea of the starter and charms because you can express yourself. But Betsey Johnson makes bracelets with all charms already included like the adorable Stretch Vintage Vicky Charm for only $50. For shoppers on a budget, I’ve also found really cute charms at Aldo for about $15-20
Over the knee boots
Seemingly every fashion watch list has named over the knee boots to this season’s “must haves.” And I think I’ve figured out a few tricks to best rock the look.
If boots have heels, don’t show bare thigh. It’s too much. Flat boots with bare thigh look ok.
I like the rounded tops better. Kind of slimming. Petite girls can wear the look and slimmer thighs are probably needed for this one
We can all salivate over the $1995 pair of Christian Louboutins or look at places like Aldo and their Coffelt boot which cost $120.
Ribbon and beads statement necklaces
The look this season is feminine and frilly. I’ve seen a lot of ribbon and bead necklaces which add a bit of prettiness to an outfit. Even with a biker jacket and something edgy, these necklaces will allow that unexpected touch of girlishness.
Skinny belts in metallic
I found this one at J Crew for $29.50. It works over a cardigan or little black dress or even gives shape to a winter jacket.
Blame Blair Waldorf, but headbands are definitely back in style. I’m in a weird stage trying to decide whether or not to grow out my bangs and these headbands help in keeping my hair back at the office.
Urban Outfitters offers a plumage headband for $24 but I’ve even seen completely adorable ones on sale at Target for $8.
Alicia’s Top 5:
Big bags are great and all, but they’re also annoying. Especially when you have to fish around for five minutes to find your lip gloss, keys, whatever. Big bags are convenient for the day time/work. Any other time, a clutch will do. They come simple, they come fancy. You can tuck them under your arm or slip the wrist band around your wrist. Although matching is good, don’t be afraid to liven up your outfit with some pizzazz. Loving Diane Von Furstenberg’s Hawyworth clutch with silver stud embellishments and Giambattista Valli’s Jewel-print embroidered clutch.
Not everyone can pull them off, but if you can, work it girl. Bright red lips can potentially be the only accessory you need. Plus if you decide to pucker up, you don’t want to over accessorize by adding to many other elements to your outfit. Less is more. Try Guerlain’s KissKiss Lipstick Precious Colours Silky & Delicious in Inso de Rouge or MAC’s Lipstick in Lady Danger or Brave Red.
They come in all widths and colours and they instantly change an outfit. A Baggy shirt is no longer a baggy shirt when you add an appropriate belt. They can liven up plain shirts and dresses and make you look slimmer in box-like/baggy garments. Skinny metallic belts like Ralph Lauren’s Metallic Croco-Embossed & Patent Leather Reversible Belt, go with everything. Or try something with more pizzazz like Arden B’s Mixed Flower Grosgrain Belt.
I don’t think scarves can ever go out of style. Not only are they essential for hiding you from the elements, they can be oh so fashionable. Scarves can brighten up a totally awesome yet monochromatic outfit (you’ll want to pick a thin scarf that you can wear all day if not you’re back to monochromatic-ville). You can get thick scarves to keep you warm, or lighter ones which pretty much only act as an accessory. Any colour, any pattern, tassel or no tassel… scarves are a must have. Try something thin and silky like Marc Jacobs Swirl Paisley Scarf. Or for a more casual look try Madewell’s Print Holey Long Scarf.
Mr.T is proud of us chunky necklace wearers. Chunky jewellery is always good. One piece of chunky jewellery can make/accessorize your entire outfit. Take the boredom out of jeans and t-shirt with a great chunky necklace. Wearing a plain dress over the holidays? How about some graphic stockings and a chunky necklace? Baddabing, baddabang, your outfit is complete. Perfect for the holidays, try Janis Savitt’s Gold and crystal multi-chain necklace or for those I-feel-like-a-rock-star-days, try Paige Novick’s Gunmetal Link Necklace.
Hallie Valentine’s Top 5:
The first thing on top of my list for must have beauty products isn’t exactly a beauty product, but it’s way, way more useful.
I recently picked up a library copy of The Original Beauty Bible by Paula Begoun, a consumer reporter who has written 18 books about beauty and is called, fondly I suppose, The Cosmetic Cop. Basically, she explores modern marketing about makeup and cosmetics but actually does her homework and finds out what is going on behind the scenes. This book is eye opening – it forces the reader to think logically instead of emotionally to examine the marketing being used to sell products and uncovers which beauty companies are actually owned by which companies and it uses real science to talk about what is good for one’s skin. As it turns out, all those so-called scientific studies cosmetic companies use aren’t that scientific after all.
This isn’t a new book, but it’s new to me and this year the third edition was released, all revised and update. Check out this book before you buy another “miracle” skincare product.
I fell for the bottle on this one. Marc Jacobs release this perfume, called Lola in the summer, but before I smelled the perfume, there was the bottle. It’s a lovely, purpleish shape for one thing. But out of the top comes this gorgeous bouquet of flowers in rich primary colours. The flowers feel to be made of something slightly rubbery, but they are kind of flexible and fun. It’s so nice to see a bottle not designed to be classy or pretentious, but fun and spunky. It really is representative of the best qualities of Jacobs clothing line. I love it! The perfume apparently, it smells like pink peppercorn (huh?), pear d’anjou, ruby red grapefruit, fuchsia peony, rose, geranium, vanilla, tonka bean and creamy musk. Whatever all that means. It smells really pretty, light, fresh and summery. Good enough for me. I’m definitely gunning for this. There is a large and growing product line around Lola too, so check that out online at lolamarcjacobs.com.
I have been searching for the perfect fuchsia coloured nail polish. I haven’t quite found it yet, but I’m pretty happy with L’Oreal’s Drama Queen shade of Pro Manicure, which says it will last seven days. I’m not feeling confident about that no chip thing, but the whole colour line is pretty decent. I also love the Blush it Off shade, which is a grey brown colour, and a really fun, pretty shade called Party Hop, which is grey-purple. I’m seeing a grey trend here. Also loving some of the purple shades for winter, including Don’t Wait Up. Purple nail polish is hot. The L’Oreal website says the nail polish doesn’t contain formaldehyde, toluene or phthalates, which I kind of see as good thing. So I might beg for a couple of bottles of these polishes in my stocking.
MAC Eye Shadow
Holiday season means holiday makeup. I check out MAC Cosmetics to see what it was offering up, and it was the eye shadows from the Magic, Mirth and Mischief holiday line that caught my eye. The shades come with two colours per compact. There are a few unusual but really great pairings. I just wasn’t thinking of turquoise blue and sliver together on my eyelids I guess. That one wasn’t my favourite though. I really love the lilac and silver package, and the deep blue burgundy and gold combo, called It’s a Miracle (pictured). It has just the right amount of glam to get you through party after party, but is just fine for daytime, if you go easy on the layers. The shadows contain a bit of shimmer too, so you can sparkle.
I think nail polish is my new favourite accessory. Let’s face it — your nails can make or break and outfit — if you’re feeling dramatic about it anyway. OPI has a line just for Sephora called Mermaid in the Shade, and I seriously love the colours. Grays, blues, and greens — it’s all just so great. The Mediterranean island of Capri inspires it. Some of the shades have a bit of a sparkle in them, but they always have a more flat counterpart, which is nice to see. I’m particular to the sparkle free shades, as shiny matte is really appealing to me these days. OPI has some other lines just for Sephora, but this one is my fave. It also reminds me of being in Cuba. So if you need a little bit of paradise this winter, check these shades out.
Katie’s Top 5:
Harajuku Lovers Perfume
From Gwen Stefani herself come 5 fragrances in the Harajuku Lovers line: Love, Lil’ Angel, G, Music, and Baby.
I own G and Lil’ Angel and I’m a fan of Music too. Love and Baby have a softer more floral scent where Lil’ Angel and Music are more fruit and spice, and G has almost a tropical vibe. The perfumes come in cute bottles designed by Gwen herself. And if you already have a favorite fragrance from the line, you can pick up the new Snowbunnies bottle design.
- Love: Sensuous floral. Pink peonies, delicate paperwhites, rose and sensuous musk.
- Lil Angel: fruity floral. Juicy raspberry, lush pear blossom and warm hinoki woods.
- G: Modern gourmand. Fresh coconut, jasmine + magnolia and sexy woods.
- Music: delicate floral. Sparkling clementine, sweet pea, honeysuckle and creamy vanilla.
- Baby: powdery musk. Sparkling bergamot, tiare flower, jasmine petals and soft white musk.
The bottles sell from $30-$45 at Department and Cosmetic Stores
Urban decay Glide On Eye Pencil
These eyeliners from Urban Decay sell for $17 and come in really cool colors. I have the pencil in “Rockstar” which is a dark eggplant hue. All the colors have a metallic tint and are edgy. My only complaint is that they do need to be sharpened frequently.
Bath and Body Works Winter Fragrances
It’s Sweet Pumpkin Spice time at Bath and Body Works!
For $9.50 you will smell amazing and festive for the fall in the scented body lotion.
Other favorite seasonal scents include Winter Candy Apple, Spice, and Twisted Peppermint
Smashbox Wish Eye Wish
12 shadows, 4 cream eyeliners, and a mini photo finish lid primer allows you to play around with various looks.
The retail value of the palette is $234 but Sephora sells this gem for $44.
Bumble and Bumble Creme de Coco Masque
Selling for $25 at any upscale hair salon is the savior of my over-highlighted hair. Not only does the product smell amazing, it completely moisturized my damaged hair. I use the masque twice weekly and leave it in my hair while I shave or something for 10 minutes. As soon as I rinse, I can feel the difference. And my hair smells like the beach!