Coming up with gift ideas gets tougher each year, especially when budgets are tight. If you’re stuck, think of it as an opportunity to help someone increase their style quotient. It’s an ideal time to nudge people in the right direction.

  • Replace neglected wardrobe items: Socks, underwear, loungewear, sleepwear, workout wear and camisoles are items we use regularly but aren’t fun to purchase. It’s hard to spend a limited budget on items that aren’t always visible to the public eye. Solve the problem by having Santa pick up the tab for these basics.
  • Introduce a new beauty product: Items like mascara, nail polish, lipstick, gloss, crème blush, eye-brow kit and moisturizer are inexpensive and can make a huge difference. Jojoba oil is my new skincare jackpot and I highly recommend it for dry facial skin ($7 for 4 oz).
  • Evangelize the power of accessories: Hats, scarves, belts, bags, specs, watches, umbrellas, gloves, wallets, hosiery and jewelry make for effective statement pieces. It’s wise to invest in these while sales are going strong.
  • Recommend a professional bra fitting: Style starts with the best bra. Suggest a fitting to a friend or family member if you suspect that their size and style isn’t correct. Make it a date over lunch and contribute to the purchase of a fabulous bra. (This one’s a little more personal but I’m sure you’ll use your discretion).
  • Treat a loved one to a haircut: A good haircut is therapeutic and often a quick, effective style fix.
  • Offer to clean out a closet: Set someone free of their wardrobe shackles by helping to edit their closet. Make it a fun event with lots of dress-up as they go down memory lane.
  • Propose a great pair of jeans and contribute to its purchase: There is loads of information on our forum about the best jeans for different body types. Help someone find killer jeans and pave the way to flop proof smart casual dressing.
  • Share the secrets to happy feet: Introduce the inexpensive joys of foot comfort through insoles, shoe stretching and moleskin.
  • Stock up on style books: “The Pocket Stylist” by Kendal Farr is still my top recommendation.
  • Create a boot care kit: Rescue boots from sad wardrobe situations one Christmas present at a time.

Of course, style is a very personal matter and some of the options above are quite intimate. Most of them imply that there is room for improvement. This is sensitive territory so make sure you have the right relationship to give the gift of style.

I’m sure we could all  use a creative boost in this department and I’d love to hear more about your gift giving plan.  Let the brainstorm begin.