Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

Until the Shoe Fits…

There are very few people, both men and women included, who can resist shoes. While commonly thought to be exclusively a women’s obsession, I can speak from personal experience and say that I have met many men who have a larger shoe collection than even I do. While shoes were previously a questionable gift idea because of inaccuracies in size and style, the emergence of Zappos has changed all of this. Zappos company model revolves around not only customer satisfaction but strives to exceed all expectations. My experience with this provider has done just that. The company will not only have your initial order delivered to you in record time, making it perfect for last minute shopping but also make exchanges just as simple. Zappos will gratefully take any returns and will even pay for the shipping required to do so. I purchased a pair of boots from Zappos that I absolutely adored but had misjudged on my size. I was able to return the boots back twice all within the matter of around a week with no additional fees until I found my perfect fit. This is great for when giving a present if you are unsure about the person’s size. The selection that they offer is also endless and is sure to keep you coming back for more.

    Spice Up Any Winter Wardrobe

      Now that the holidays have finally come to an end, go out and make sure that you take advantage of all of the after Christmas sales. If you forgot anyone during the holidays this could all work out in your favor as stores are now practically begging you to buy their products. With the cold weather finally in full swing stylish knit scarves, hats and gloves are not only practical but will add some flair to any outfit. While clothes are always hard to find tin he perfect size or style, it is hard to go wrong with scarves. They can dress up any winter wardrobe and bring some color and patterns to the often otherwise dark and lackluster coats. Gloves are also a great gift to give to men, as they too get cold, despite what they may try to get you to believe. A pair of leather gloves is perfect for work or special occasions and we could all use a pair of heavy-duty gloves to play in the snow. If you are buying for children feel free to have fun with it and purchase some of the more creative hats that stores offer. 

      Holiday Sales

      Now that Christmas has passed, it is hard to walk into any store without being surrounded by sale signs. This makes it not only the perfect time to buy something to treat yourself, but also to purchase gifts for your loved ones, whether they be late holiday presents or for upcoming birthdays. Even stores that may normally seem a little pricey such as J. Crew and Banana Republic are falling into the after Christmas sales. If you are looking for a great gift for a woman you cannot go wrong with a simple cardigan. J. Crew offers them in multiple styles and colors making it easy to find one to match their taste. They are perfect to wear in any season, no matter where you may live and are great to pair with anything from a simply white tee shirt to a flirty dress. When buying from J. Crew you can always be guaranteed you are getting the best quality and now with their sales it is the perfect time to shop without making a dent in your bank account. One of the biggest issues about giving clothes as a gift it often the size, but with cardigans your job is often made easy. The open, comfortable fit of the sweaters makes it easy to judges sizes, and its versatility makes it the perfect gift for anyone regardless of their wardrobe. If you want to avoid the hassle of fighting lines and traffic, shopping online is anther great option, as they often even have additional sales available to those who purchase using their website.

      Sweet Dreams

      Whenever you are in need of a quick gift, one thing that no person can go without is pajamas. Each Christmas it was always a tradition in my house for my sister and I to open one present on Christmas Eve and every year it has never failed to be pajamas. This is a tradition that I hope to pass down through my family as well. Pajamas will generally not make a significant dent in you bank account and are easy to select for your loved ones regardless of how picky they may be. It is the perfect gift for men and women, no matter what age. It is easy to pick out pajamas that your loved ones will not be able to resist. If you are unsure of what their taste is, as long as you focus on comfort you cannot go wrong. L.L.Bean offers pajamas for everyone on your list with everything from boxers to nightgowns all of soft, quality fabric for a reasonable price. Based on your relationship with the person too don’t be afraid to select more fun, playful pajamas for a friend or something more intimate for a significant other. 

        Lifestyle Gifts

        When you really are drawing a blank on what to get your loved ones for the holidays or any other occasion, there is never any harm in asking what they would like. This takes a lot of pressure off of you and practically guarantees that they will love the gift. If your family members are anything like mine however, this question is almost certain to go unanswered. I have found the best thing to do then is to pay attention to what is going on in their lives and select gifts that center around these things. My cousin, for example, spent this past summer traveling and working across Europe. Before she left I gave her a tote from Coach, which I know is one of her favorite brands. The bag was not only practical for when she returned home but was the perfect size to fit all of her work and personal belongings as she explored the world. Purses, and briefcases alike, are often great presents to give to nearly anyone as they are sure to be used on a daily basis and can last years. If these are all slightly out of your price range, a clutch or wallet is another perfect gift that has the same lasting ability but on a much lower budget. 

          If the Boot Fits

          This season in particular, it is nearly impossible to go anywhere and ignore the new trend of high boots. Boots are not only practical as the weather chills but look great on people of nearly all ages, making it an ideal gift to give to anyone. Another plus to buying boots for someone is that sizes are often a lot easier to judge than with other shoes. With this being said, if you are still hesitant about guessing on a size, ordering off of Zappos can leave you worry free. If the fit or style isn’t right, you can easily return the boot without even having to pay the shipping and will have a different size delivered to your house within days. Boots are great to wear with jeans or a dress and can be worn on a night out downtown, to work or just out running errands. With hundreds of designers and styles to choose from you are sure to find something for your loved one, whether it be at Zappos or at a nearby store. Available in black suede and leather, among many other options, the boots can also often be worn for the majority of the year and are not limited to winter months alone. This gift is easy to personalize for your loved one and puts a new twist on otherwise typical Ugg or snow boot.

            Getting Dirty Gift

            Dan: Now that it is winter time and it is consistently cold, wet, and slushy outside people’s shoes and sneakers tend to get destroyed during these harsh months.  I recommend this great Timberland gift that will keep guys looking tough and staying dry at the same time.  Timberland boots have either a steel toe or without one.  If you need a pair of these really great high quality boots for things like walking around or yard work than the steel toe is not really necessary.  The steel toe does cost extra and provides that extra protection (less comfort) for people undergoing really heavy construction projects.

            Amongst the Gore-Tex boot world, TImberland’s or “Tims” are the ideal choice.  They are perfect for every occassion, from work, hiking, traveling, or just the everyday, Tims make the best gift choice.

            Grace: As someone who goes to school where it starts snowing in October and ends in May (if we’re lucky), I understand the importance of having proper winter shoes.  Many of the freshmen think they can get away with wearing Uggs in the snow, but they soon realize that they need something more durable.  If you know someone who just started attending school in the snow or is planning on doing so, skip the Uggs and get them Timberlands.  However, I wouldn’t recommend steel toes because, in my experience, they’re actually more dangerous.  I used to horseback ride and there was someone at my barn who owned steel toed boots, got stepped on by a horse, and the steel bent and cut through their toes.  Not a pleasant story, and certainly not something you would want to be responsible for.

            Create Your Own Shoes for a Unique Gift

            Grace: The thing that stresses me out the most about buying gifts is trying to find something unique that is also something the recipient will like.  I have a lot of eclectic friends who are difficult to shop for, and I don’t want to give them something everyone has but it’s so hard to find something they’d like!

            I found this great site that lets you custom design all sorts of things from mousepads to shoes.  I, personally, love the idea of custom designing shoes, and I feel they would make a unique and creative gift.  If you feel you know the recepient well enough, you could design your own creation for them or you could let them design it themself and pay for it.  The site seems to be easy to use, and you can either start from scratch or you can start from a template.  I was worried that it would be difficult to design shoes, but it actually wasn’t too bad!  Also, on the site you can buy other people’s creations as well as sell your own in case you find that designing your own pair of shoes is too difficult and would rather buy someone else’s creation.  Unfortunately, they only seem to have women’s and kid’s shoes, but they do have all sorts of other products that can be designed for men too.

            Dan: I think this is a great gift idea because how many times have you gone to the shoe store and you find absolutely nothing you want to buy?  I recently had get a new pair of sneakers because my soles were falling off my old ones and I had to settle for something that was all right but just not my style.  I think what makes this gift so great is the creative element involved in it.

            Thomas Pink Dress Shirts

            Grace: I’ve realized that we haven’t written many posts about gifts catering specifically to men (probably because Dan is slacking off), but I thought today I would give it a try. After all, it isn’t Dan’s responsibility to write only about men’s gifts, and I should be shopping for men’s gifts anyways, seeing as an anniversary is coming up.

            I am not one of those girls who insists that her boyfriend dresses well and nags on and on about his sense of style, or lack thereof. In fact, I’m a big fan of guys wearing comfy jeans and a tee-shirt they probably got for free somewhere, but I do think that it’s important for men to own at least one nice shirt. My boyfriend would never be caught dead wearing a cheap tee-shirt (hypocritical of me, I know), and he is in love with dress shirts from Thomas Pink.

            To be honest, I don’t know much about the different kinds of dress shirts, but even I can tell that Thomas Pink’s shirts are very well made and of high quality. They always seem to fit nicely, and they have an interesting texture to them.  I personally like this black and pink striped shirt, but if you think the shirt is a little too vibrant, I also really like this simple pale blue shirt.  Just make sure you know the recipient’s size before you buy the shirt!

            It is important to dress well for job interviews and other business events, but it’s also important on an everyday basis. Many times the way a person dresses reflects their confidence level. Everyone, both men and women, has confidence issues, and for some people, the first step to building confidence may be as simple as dressing well. By dressing in clothes that fit properly and reflect where you want your life to go, you will begin to see all sorts of possibilities. Trust me, confidence may be difficult to build, but it makes all the difference.