(Gift Guide)

Brilliant Holiday Gift Ideas From America’s Best Boutiques

Knock out your whole list here.

Originally Published: 
thoughtful holiday gift ideas lisa says gah
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There are those who were born with a sort of holiday season telepathy, an intrinsic quality that makes selecting a sentimental, obnoxiously perfect present for each member in their inner circle a total breeze. As for the rest of us, help is required. After all, end of year is the most demanding time to come up with thoughtful gift ideas — pressure is high, budgets are limited, and timing is everything (shipping timing, to be more specific). But if you’re ready to free yourself from the stressors of December and hand over the reigns to the experts, the guide ahead is a good place to start.

Tapping some of the best boutiques around the country, TZR asked the stores’ founders, fashion directors, and buyers one very important question: what’s a good gift? Unsurprisingly, the answers flooded in, and they address everyone on your list, from in-laws and significant others to co-workers and best friends. There are, of course, the usual suspects — candles, socks, scarfs — but with fresh design twists. You’ll also find somewhat unexpected picks that you may not have before (you’ll have to scroll down to find out what those ones are). In short, the roundup below will get you and your holiday season shopping list squared away in no time.

Le Point in San Francisco, California

What's your bullet-proof holiday gift?

“Darner socks. I know, socks for holiday — groundbreaking. But this mesh pair is super unique and makes for the best gift.” — Pauline Montupet, owner and buyer

Any general advice for holiday gifting?

“Don't overthink it. It's easy to get wrapped up in 'are we getting each other gifts?’ or ‘is it a big enough gift?’ — but I think if you find something that is perfect for someone, just get it. Even if it's something small. It's the thought that matters, not the cost.” — PM

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Lisa Says Gah in Los Angeles, California

What’s your bullet-proof holiday gift?

“I'm feeling extra confident in an easy-fit cardigan with (bonus if they have a dog) a matching dog sweater for the ultimate gift.” - Lisa Bühler, Founder

Any general advice for holiday gifting?

“Don't forget a card and don't overthink it. Giving anything is thoughtful enough and really so lovely to do, and a little note makes the gift more meaningful.” - LB

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ByGeorge in Austin, Texas

What’s your bullet-proof holiday gift?

“My absolute favorite across the board is a nice bottle of Tequila — I like Herradura Reposado, or a bottle of Chamucos Reposado. It's a little more unexpected than Champagne, and also a little cheekier. If I know the recipient doesn't drink, I'll make them a batch of my family's secret recipe Pecan Thins cookies. Or, if I want to really make an impression, I'd send one of Attersee's striped blankets. It's exactly the sort of thing you wouldn't want to buy for yourself, but would be so thrilled to receive. It's a great beach or picnic blanket, but also looks so chic on your bed or couch. AND! The rope tie makes a fabulous belt. I'm hoping to get one myself this year.” — Laurel Pantin, SVP, Fashion Director at Large

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Hampden in Charleston, South Carolina


What’s your general advice for gift giving this time of year?

“I absolutely love giving gifts. It’s an opportunity to show someone you not only care about them but also know them so well. I think about their hobbies, a memory you share that you might remind them of, a trip that might be coming soon, or their style. Instead of focusing on the gift first, try focusing on the person and the ideas will easily lead you to the most thoughtful gift of the year.” — Stacy Smallwood, Founder and Owner

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Isabel Marant
Yenky Tote
"Sallie Holder, my twin sister and author of the book Hitting Rock Middle, has been traveling a ton to give inspiring speeches to female entrepreneurs looking to grow their business. A chic but functional carry-on bag that would allow her to travel in style is the perfect gift."

Monty in Montclair, New Jersey

What’s your bullet-proof holiday gift?

“Generally speaking, you can’t ever go wrong with a luxe and cozy knit for the holidays, but I think this particular year calls for a little extra pizazz, no?  This season, I’m itching to go out, not stay in, so if the Martiniano Party Sandals in Pewter showed up under my tree, I would not be upset.” — Natalie Haddad, Owner

Any general advice for holiday gifting?

“There’s a fine line between frivolity and uselessness, so a gift should delight the recipient but still serve some function. No one wants to give a gift that will go unused or unworn. I love to give (and receive) something useful that’s also a bit of an indulgence: a luscious sweater, a piece of jewelry, new luggage (surprisingly, one of the best gifts I’ve ever received), but when in absolute doubt, a bottle of bubbly will always do the trick!” - NH

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Pilot & Powell in New Orleans, Louisiana

What’s your bullet-proof holiday gift?

“I am feeling a little indulgent this holiday season and my bulletproof gift is this super sweet but super wearable Citrine Hearts Bracelet by Christina Alexiou. There is something timeless about a piece of heart jewelry and a bracelet is a great jewelry gift that does not have to be read as romantic. I am planning on splurging on this bracelet for both my mom and my sister!” — Coeli Hilferty, Co-founder

Shop Gift Ideas From Pilot & Powell

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