It’s that time again. If you haven’t already done your Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah shopping, then you’d better get a move on. I thought I was a step ahead of the game, having finished most of my international shipping last week, but I went to the post office today to ship a few domestic packages to family, and it was packed. Seems I wasn’t the only one trying to finish early. Likewise, I regrettably endured crushing crowds on Hawthorne last weekend while picking up the last few items on my list. I nearly had a panic attack in Presents of Mind. If you, like me, have a mild to moderate case of demophobia, then I would recommend visiting any of the following fine local establishments, all of which cultivate a tranquil shopping experience that is actually pleasing to the senses:
The English Department – Elizabeth Dye’s own inimitable sense of style pervades every corner of her lovely boutique. From stylish silk frocks to clever wool jumpers, her wares are always at the pinnacle of sartorial sophistication, and her bridal options are by far the best in town. It should be the first stop on your list if you’re planning to be wed in ’09.
Stand Up Comedy – Diana and Rachel have painstakingly crafted a high-end general store, full of things you never knew you couldn’t live without. On my current list of must haves: their original, limited edition book bags – these would fit right in with my collection from Strand, Shakespeare & Co., City Lights and Powell’s.
Una – It goes without saying that Giovanna has mad style. This is absolutely the #1 place to go for a unique outfit for your upcoming cocktail party or a gift for the most stylish girl on your list.
Noun – I love this place! The merchandising is exquisite, and it doesn’t hurt that there are cupcakes within arms reach. Looking for a gift for newlyweds or a friend with new digs? This is your treasure trove.
Lille Boutique – Of course, no holiday gift guide would be complete without a mention of yours truly. For the gentleman who wants to give his lady-friend a more personal gift this festive season, there really is nowhere else to go for the finest lingerie in town. Here’s a brief rundown of my top picks for every price range and personality:
Big Spender – Perhaps you’ve not been hit by the recession, or maybe you just want to show your gal just how much you appreciate her. A silk camisole with matching boyshorts is a great option – not only will she look and feel hot in it, but she will also get tons of wear out of the garments, both as lingerie and outerwear, given the versatility of a cami as a layering piece. The Nina Ricci Glycine and Stella McCartney Grace Waking sets are my personal favorites.
Husband on a Budget – You adore your lovely wife and think she deserves something nice for all the juggling she does – work, child rearing, household chores, you name it. But, like most of us, you are on a budget. The Only Hearts Silk Charmeuse Chemise will make her feel glamorous and special – at only $125, it’s a bargain. You could even throw in the Vintage Silk Knit Thigh-Highs, for only $35.
Shy Boyfriend – If you’ve only been dating for a short while, but want to take things to the next level, you may not be ready to bust out the big guns and get her that black silk bra and panty. Perhaps something a little cozier would be appropriate? The Dessous knit sweater set fits the bill quite nicely. Another option, coming soon, is the affordable Eberjey Prima Ballerina PJ set ($95), which is guaranteed to sell out before the end of the year!
Penny Pincher – It’s ok, we understand. Money is tight. Material things mean nothing when compared with love. But you can’t show up empty-handed on Christmas Eve, so how about an amazing Japanese Umbrella ($48), a pair of handcrafted earrings ($20) or some Lilac Bath Salts ($24)? There are also tons of sale undies, marked down 20-75% off, so it’s just a matter of finding her size. These little tokens show you care, but at under $50, you’ll still be able to take her out for a nice dinner on Christmas Eve.
If these suggestions have failed to convince you that yes, it is ok to buy lingerie for your girl, and no, she will not be offended, then perhaps a simple Gift Certificate is in order. They are available in any denomination, and you get the added bonus of coming into the shop with her to try things on that suit her fancy. Happy Holidays!