2014 Holiday Gift Guide & Shopping: Gift ideas for men and women
What a Girl Wants (left) - When we say “girl,” we mean girly girls. The ones that embody femininity, and embrace all the frills and lace it takes to be a lady. We all know them; whether it’s your girlfriend, sister or best friend, take this festive moment to celebrate their girlish desires. When shopping for these pampered dames, elegance is of the utmost importance: look for sophisticated fragrances the likes of Jimmy Choo Stars and My Burberry, paired with an antique-inspired mercury glass brush set from the Sephora Collection, to display beside those fetching bottles on her vanity. Or, think “princess” and go for gold with a pair of blue velvet stunners by Kurt Geiger from The Bay, to match a little blue box from Tiffany & Co. Inside? A duo of bracelets from the Tiffany T collection. Warning: swooning may follow. :: Arm Candy (right) – They say that you can tell a man’s style from the shoes on his feet, but we argue that the real gage is from his sleeve, or more, what’s in and around the vicinity of that area. Keep that dapper gent in your life looking Mad Men worthy with a sleek Victorinox Swiss Army watch, that pairs as well with a suit, as it does with a cable knit and jeans. But, before the watch comes the wrist itself, which demands a scent that speaks to your man’s personality. Look to Thierry Mugler's A*Men collection of fragrances for a diverse and unique variety that includes Pure Malt, for the man’s man, and Pure Wood for the outdoors type. While concentrated on the wrist, why not pick up some chic cufflinks from Harry Rosen? May we recommend a classic silver set that comes in a stocking ready box, complete with matching pen? Last but not least, every man can appreciate a stylish pair of gloves, we love the offerings online at Frank & Oak, particularly their tartan patterned wool and leather combo.
Sweet Dreams My Dear – Bedtime rituals are a sacred thing, particularly where beauty is concerned. Women that understand the worth of time spent primping for slumber will go giddy for a duo of Chanel bath and body products this holiday season. Try picking up the Foaming Shower Gel and Moisturizing Body Lotion in our personal favourite scent, Coco Mademoiselle. For extra points, boyfriends and hubbies will do well to seal the essence of luxury with a silk nighty. We suggest Agent Provocateur’s Molly slip and matching robe in festive emerald green to win you a goodnight kiss under the mistletoe.
Guys Night (left) – Every man deserves a sanctuary he can call his own. Watch The League should you not understand why. Help your special guy build his man cave with an-all-in-one High Roller poker night package, complete with playing cards, lowball glasses, whiskey soapstone rocks, plus a stainless steel cigar case, designed and certified for fun by Man Crate, the experts in gifting for those with XY chromosomes. Of course, where hanging with the boys is concerned, one must not forget the importance of beverages. Oh, and did we mention that the High Roller set also comes with a flask? Handy. Skip the typical scotch taster gift set, and up the ante on your “cool” status by wrapping up a bottle of reposado premium tequila courtesy of Casamigos—the hints of caramel and cocoa in this one make it a standout, as does the fact that George Clooney is one of the creators behind the label. Or, go for something with a deeper golden tint to match the ornaments on his tree, and tuck a bottle of craft whiskey from Washington’s Dry Fly Distilling into his stocking. This is the type of whiskey a man who chops wood to the sound of Bon Iver playing, would surely appreciate. ::
On-the-Go Weekender (right) – Weekend errands know no season. For that friend or family member who seems impossible to pin down and perpetually on the run, stylish essentials to help her Saturday to-do-list go smoothly, are what she needs under her tree. A pair of Ic! berlin sunglasses and uber-feminine flats by 424 FIFTH from The Bay will ensure a fashionable arrival to brunch. While the gift of a Hunter tote bag—large enough to fit the groceries and wine for her weekly dinner party—will secure you an invite to her next get-together. On the go though she may constantly be, this gal is not one to skip a makeup touchup. Add some ease to her life with a Smashbox On the Rocks gift set of miniature Be Legendary Lipsticks, perfectly sized for transport. And don’t forget to throw in a comely gold compact by Alexis Bittar by way of the Sephora Collection into the box. How else is she suppose to put her lipstick on before running to her next appointment?
Chalet Life - What better festive fantasy is there, than spending the holidays in a real-life snow globe? While the lucky ones out there have an escape to a ski chalet in the mountains penciled into their agenda, most will appreciate if you play the part of Santa’s elf and deliver that cozy cottage feeling in gift form. Cashmere sweaters are the ultimate accessory to an idyllic snowy scene; nab her's at Holt Renfrew and wrap it up with a cozy pair of Fair Isle patterned slippers from the Gap, while grabbing his from Harry Rosen, rolled up with a playful set of Paul Smith socks from the same store. Now for the accoutrements: Crabtree & Evelyn’s three-wick Noel scented candle will fill the air with holiday joy, while themed reading courtesy of Taschen will lend to both the mood and décor. And finally, no cottage scene is complete without a blanket from The Bay’s signature HBC Collection. Choose a fleece throw for extra snuggle effect.
Enchanting Winter Princess (left) – To truly enjoy the beauty of a winter wonderland, a girl wants to add to the charm of the picture. Help your favourite snow bunny get glammed up this season with outerwear essentials including a stunning and versatile faux leather trimmed wool blend cape found at Ann Taylor, paired with chic leather gloves snagged at Tiger of Sweden and an elegant fur snood from Danier. As for stocking stuffers, this princess will surely appreciate a fragrance that has her sharing a scent with her favourite Downton Abbey character. May we suggest a fragrance inspired by Mary Crawley to go with the chill in the air? :: Homebody: The Chic Canuck Special (right) - Gifting a statement piece for the home can get a little tricky unless you take the route of choosing something patriotic and iconic. Proud Canadians of any age will always be happy to celebrate the Canuck life, which is why these home items are a no-brainer. For your friend the movie buff, gift the Cambie Blanket for cold winter nights spent on the couch watching Citzen Kane. Designed in Toronto and Made in Peru, these Alpaca wool blend blankets are quickly becoming a new signature of the Canadian home. Soft and ultra warm, this blanket can double as an oversized scarf or shawl. Or, for friends with an art school bent, use the holiday season to prove that buying a unique piece of artwork doesn't have to break the bank with a hand-painted plate by Toronto-base artist, Jacqueline Poirier, or impress with an amazing souvenir book, Maple Leaf Forever, about the three great themes in Canadian: the Mountie, the beaver and the maple leaf.
Mirror Mirror on the Wall: The Chic Canuck Special (left) - Locally-made natural skincare doesn't always have to be DIY-crafty. These slick brands prove that you don't have to sacrifice style or quality to be conscious about the products you put on your skin. Take F. Miller’s body oil for example, rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, it's one of the best gifts you could give any beauty buff—man or woman. While a present of Sweet Leaf Bath Rosemary Mint Soak, handcrafted natural bath salts made in St. Marys, Ontario, will help awaken, invigorate and detox the body, so to help busy loved ones combat stress. And to go with their soothing bath, put a bow on some Aromacentric Citrust Cheer Lotion. Made with an all-natural base of Shea, Rosehip and Avocado, this luxe cream will earn you squeals when opened by the beauty mavens in your life. :: Accessorize Me: The Chic Canuck Special (right) - Jewellery is always a great gift to give—and receive…hint, hint. Get creative this year with unique pieces from Canadian designers that are sure to surprise and please. The good news is: there's something for everyone's taste! For the quiet trendsetter, the Aurora Necklace by Toronto-based designer, Michelle Ross, is the ultimate statement piece, without the loud razzle dazzle. And, for your childhood best friend, gift a throwback to the days when you two use to swap hemp bracelets at camp. Blackbird gives the friendship bracelet a serious upgrade with its acrylic and gunmetal curb chain take on the style. Say goodbye to the cutesy charms Santa!
Go Go Gadget (left) – If you’re shopping for a guy that falls under the “Typical Dude” category, than opting for a gift with an electric current running through it is the way to go. For your shutterbug in the vintage flannel shirt, the ultimate gift this year is an Instax Mini90 Neo Classic camera from Fujifilm. Or, should your guy be a Pitchfork junkie, unwrapping Jabra Revo Wireless headphones will have him smiling quicker than you can say, “mobile sound enhanced by Dolby.” Now for all of those above and every type of man in between, there’s the gift that keeps on giving to its user: the BlackBerry Passport. With its 13MP OIS camera (say cheese!), 32GB of storage space (playlists please!) and 30 hours of battery life, all wrapped up in a slick modern design, stick this bad boy in his stocking with nothing more than a bow and a gift tag that reads: “You’re Welcome.” :: Travellers Be Travelling (right) - The plight of the frequent traveler, is receiving gifts that don’t travel well. Why not find that special globetrotter in your life something they would be more than happy to pack in their suitcase come their next adventure. May we suggest a chic refillable leather notebook from Hermès, gifted with the label's graphic bandanas to keep your loved one stylish during their next airport stopover? Or, how about some Mont Blanc Legend to keep your mountain man happy when off the trail? As for that coffee table they had shipped over from Indian, why not pick up a copy of The New York Times 36 Hours USA & Canadatravel guide to display on top of it, and help inspire even more wanderlust?