Holiday Gift Guide: Timeless, Perfect Pieces for a Stylish Woman
Again, this is not a trendy post. I have gone through my wardrobe and picked out clothing and accessories that I have replaced, and worn to death because they are such versatile pieces. Some of my picks were surprising (to me), and others were not.
I initially couldn’t get over how heavy the 15″ tote bag was (use my referral link here), but I have found myself reaching for it more and more often when I go to playgroup to drop Baby Bun off.
It holds everything so comfortably, in such an organized manner that I can’t help but marvel at it.
Of course, it helps that I no longer need to carry Baby Bun in one arm, and he can walk on his own, because this bag needs a hand all to itself.
It has so many pockets, and I can find everything so easily (handy when you’re out in the cold, gripping onto a toddler and fumbling for keys or a wallet).
I’m surprised, believe me.
If you want something lighter though, nothing beats a Longchamp:
Longchamp Le Pliage Medium Shoulder Tote Bag, Blue • Longchamp • $125
Longchamp Le Pliage Medium Shoulder Tote Bag, Pink • Longchamp • $125
Longchamp Le Pliage Medium Shoulder Tote Bag, Garnet • Longchamp • $125
Longchamp Le Pliage Medium Monogramm Shoulder Tote Bag, Bilberry • Longchamp • $125
Longchamp Le Pliage Neo Large Nylon Shoulder Tote Bag, Navy • Longchamp • $190
Longchamp Le Pliage Large Shoulder Tote Bag, Blue • Longchamp • $145
PERFECT CASHMERE LOUNGE PANTS
Hands down, these cashmere joggers for $149 from Grana are the most comfortable, warmest and affordable ones around.
Did I mention the cord actually works in the front (don’t need it though, the band is strong enough), and there are POCKETS!? You could wear them out for a casual weekend and elevate your sweatpants to another level.
I only wear them to sleep at night, and they’re thick enough to keep you warm, but not so thick that you feel like your legs are encased in a sleeping bag.
The cashmere is soft, and on par with the über expensive J. Crew cashmeres, but for only half the price.
I pair them with a t-shirt and a cashmere sweater, and I am good to go for the whole day lounging at home.
I’ll be going back to buy a couple more pairs once I save up some more cash.
I took a size Small if you’re wondering and it fit perfectly. I am normally a US 4 all around on the bottom, but a fast fashion US 0.
UNIVERSAL PAIR OF JEANS FOR ANY WOMAN & BODY TYPE
AG Farrah High-Rise Skinny Jeans • AG Jeans • $188
AG Jeans – Farrah High Rise Skinny in Paradox • AG Jeans • $188
AG Farrah High-Rise Skinny Jeans • AG Jeans • $168
AG ‘The Farrah’ High Rise Skinny Jeans (Brooks) • AG Jeans • $114.99
AG The Farrah skinny high-rise jeans • AG Jeans • $181
AG Jeans – Farrah High Rise Skinny in Brooks • AG Jeans • $168
This is a tall order, claiming that these are the best jeans in the world for any woman, but there you have it. I am throwing down the gauntlet and proclaiming it!
I have tried pretty much every brand of premium jeans available on the market, and my favourite pair that I will constantly go back to and buy again and again at retail if need be, are these jeans in a dark rinse.
Actually, go for the MID dark rinse (not the super dark one), because the jeans feel much softer.
Why high rise? Because it covers muffin top and plumber’s butt crack, and is the most comfortable rise for most women, even femmes d’un certain âge….
I have successfully recommended and converted at least 5 women of varying ages (up to age 60) and they have all come back raving at how amazing they are.
If your belly button is lower on your torso, then try their MID-RISE option, as it will be the most comfortable one for you:
AG ‘The Stilt’ Cigarette Skinny Jeans (3 Year Imagination) • AG Jeans • $205
AG The Stilt Cigarette Jeans, Free • AG Jeans • $164
AG ‘The Stilt’ Cigarette Leg Jeans (Eleven Year Journey) • AG Jeans • $210
AG Stilt Cigarette Jean • AG Jeans • $99.97
AG The Stilt Cigarette Jeans • AG Jeans • $205
AG Adriano Goldschmied The Stilt Cigarette in Free • AG Adriano Goldschmied • $164
My trick with these jeans because I have a smaller waist, is to buy a size up (I am normally a 26, I take the 27), and then I take in the waist so that my legs are not sausage casings but the waist is properly fitted and not too large.
Even if I took my normal size, I’d be okay, but I like them slightly looser.
They. Are. AMAZING.
THE MOST VERSATILE SHAWL CARDIGAN
VINCE Shawl-neck wool and cashmere-blend cardigan • Vince • $297
VINCE Shawl-collar wool and cashmere-blend cardigan • Vince • $297
Vince Shawl-Collar Open-Front Cardigan, Charcoal • Vince • $184.50
Vince Textured Shawl Cardigan, Off White • Vince • $465
VINCE. Wool Blend Chevron Shawl Cardigan • Vince • $189.97
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cardigan by VINCE.
It’s sold out, but the similar versions of what I own are above.
I was a bit hesitant when I bought it back in 2013, but MY GOODNESS it was such a good buy, even if I put it under ‘maternity wear’ at the time to justify it.
This cardigan goes under and over EVERYTHING.
I wear it over a t-shirt and am enveloped in cuddly sweater lover. I even wear it under my open wool coats, and it gives a nice look to it, I don’t even need a scarf.
I wear it underneath a leather jacket, and the shawl in the front peeks out a little and gives the PERFECT cover to the edge of my leather jacket.
I’ve had people stop me and ask me where I bought that leather jacket with the shawl, and I had to show that it was two pieces.
I also wear it belted, and it is just as amazing.
If you buy only one sweater in your life as a cardigan, make it this one.
WELL MADE BASE LAYER TANK TOPS
I pretty much wear my All Saints cotton tanks to death. They’re thin and a bit sheer (if I wear them alone, I need to layer them or my bra shows), but they are the perfect under layer to anything I wear, not to mention preserving modesty.
I paid a pretty penny for them, but they are worth it. I still have my original Stam tank from back in the day, which has now started to distress a bit at the edges (another cool, frayed look I say!), and I ended up buying the tank in 3 different colours because I wear them so often underneath things that the cost per wear is totally justified.
You may think buying any old tank top will work, but the quality of cotton to not fade, stretch, pill and be thin enough (yet strong and flexibly comfortable), is no small feat to accomplish.
I thought I was saving money by buying a cheap fast fashion tank top for $10, but it is not worth it if I wear it three times and toss it. I have bought and discarded a ton of tank tops over the years until I finally found the All Saints Stam Vest.
They come in long-sleeve as well, and t-shirt versions. I find the tank top version is the most versatile however, with the second being the long-sleeved version.
It’s a staple in all wardrobes.
HIGH QUALITY SILK SHELLS
I was super suspicious that you could get quality 100% silk tops and shells for less than $200 (I am thinking Equipment, etc), but Grana has proven me wrong in this regard.
This silk is on par with the quality of Equipment and other higher-end brand names, and does not feel cheap at all (and trust me, I know what cheap silk feels like, I own a bit of it!).
The silk is soft, malleable, and feels like liquid all over your skin. The colour is also true to your screen, I got Olive, and received Olive.
It is so versatile that you can wear it casually with a sweater (the shawl one above!) or with a blazer for the office. I want to buy one in EVERY COLOUR THEY MAKE.
I also like that the cut of this tank top is higher, so I don’t feel like I need to wear another layer underneath.
I took a size Small in their silk tank, and it fit perfectly.
I also got their longer sleeved silk shell and took the size Small and while it fit and was comfortable, if I wanted it to be truly loose and not as fitted for my larger US 6 shoulders, I should have taken the Medium.
The body of the shirt however, fit perfectly in a Small. Again, the colour was truly a navy, not a dark blue, which is always an issue when you buy online. When they say NAVY it should be NAVY, no? (Cuyana I am looking at you!)
A long-sleeved shell is great because it can be paired with a skirt or some jeans with a long necklace for interest (or a chunky one) and you’re done for the office or for going out.
*GASP* BUT THE COST OF DRY CLEANING!!!!?!?
If you’re worried about drycleaning bills, don’t be. Just pick up this Woolite product that I swear by:
CASHMERE TRAVEL WRAP
If you are a guy trying to find a gift for that perfect woman in your life, grandmother, mother, sister, cousin, wife, girlfriend… THIS IS IT.
This is truly an indulgence, but a cashmere travel wrap is something that can be used in so many situations it isn’t funny:
- As a blanket at home or while traveling
- As a scarf
- As a pillow (no joke, did this in an airport once)
- As as headscarf when it snows unexpectedly
My absolute, 100% favourite travel wrap is from White & Warren:
Cashmere Travel Wrap • White + Warren • $298
White and Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap • $318
White + Warren Travel Wrap • Rebecca Taylor • $298
Cashmere Color Spliced Travel Wrap • White + Warren • $330
White + Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap • White + Warren • $298
White + Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap Scarf • White + Warren • $298
White + Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap • White + Warren • $298
There will be NO ONE ON YOUR LIST who will not love this gift. Pick a nice neutral colour (any of the above ones are suitable), and watch them squeal with delight.
Frye Melissa Seam Leather Knee Boot, Brown • Frye • $428
Paige Tall Riding • Frye • $199
Lucy Riding Tall • Frye • $698
Melissa Tall Riding • Frye • $448
Dorado Riding • Frye • $458
Frye Melissa Knotted Tall • Frye • $318–358
I wax poetic about how amazing they are, but they really are. The above are my picks, I kind of really love the ones that have a knotted or belted look, and the one with the belt across the calf is a dead ringer for the Hermes Kelly Jumping Boots…..
Anyway, Fryes wear like iron, they are comfortable, they look fantastic and are classics.
If you re-condition and clean them yearly, and take them into the cobbler to re-sole once in a while, they will and can be worn forever.
I am normally a US 7 but I buy them in a US 8 so that I can put in these Birkenstock half soles to make them even more comfortable, but that’s not really necessary because they’re really quite comfortable as-is.