Gift Ideas for Clothes Lovers
What kinds of gifts do you like to give? What kinds of gifts do you like to get?
I think one of the hardest gifts to give is clothes. You need to understand the recipient’s taste, know their size and ideally give something that they don’t already have. And I can tell you firsthand from being in hundreds of closets – many clothing and accessory gifts go unworn. Because nailing their taste (and size and needs) is not as easy as it sounds. Or if they are worn, they’re worn rarely and out of obligation. And that doesn’t sound so good, does it?
One thing that’s harder than gifting clothes is giving them to someone who loves clothes. Because they most likely have a strong opinion on what they like and don’t like. And it’s not necessarily something that they articulate on a regular basis. So, unless you’re giving them something that they basically picked out, it can be a gamble.
So, what can you buy someone who loves clothes, without buying them clothes? Here are my ideas.
GIFTS OF SHOPPING
As someone who loves clothes, one of my favorite gifts to receive is a gift certificate. Because it’s the gift of shopping! I know, you may think that a gift certificate is a copout. Or that it’s a non-gift. But a well thought out gift certificate – to a brand or store that they love – is really giving the recipient the ability to shop without worrying about finances. And for anyone who loves to shop, that’s a really nice gift. Here are a few things that make a gift certificate a great gift:
Pick a store/brand that they love – this does require a little research. But it’s not that hard to do. You can ask someone close to them, or compliment something they’re wearing and ask where it’s from. Or simply ask them their favorite places to shop as part of innocent conversation.
Select an amount that allows them to buy something they covet – if you know something that they really want, give them an amount so they can get it. And if that isn’t financially feasible, partner with other gift givers to contribute to the amount.
Give them the gift of time – along with the gift certificate, offer to babysit. Or drive the kids to sporting events. Or anything else that will give them free time to enjoy a few hours of shopping.
Make it an afternoon – give them a gift certificate to a clothing store that they love. And then another one to a restaurant nearby. And then arrange the babysitter, too. (Read this for other things that can make shopping easier.)
GIFTS OF ORGANIZATION
Sometimes, people who really enjoy clothes don’t take the time to create an enjoyable space for them. So, things that contribute to a nice and organized closet can be super helpful. Here are just a few ideas:
A closet worth of velvet/felt hangers – if you know that their closet if a mish mash of plastic hangers and hangers from the dry cleaner, this is a great way to calm the visual noise and create more space (click here for a few more closet organization tips).
Jewelry organization/storage – this can be anything from a pretty ring tray to necklace and bracelet stands to a wall accessory unit (that you’ll hang for them). But with all these gifts, you probably need to have been in their closet to know what they need.
Drawer and shelf dividers – these come in handy more than you may think (especially if they store a lot of clothes in drawers or on shelves).
Storage bins for out of season clothes – if they have a small closet or a big wardrobe (or both), they probably have some clothes in storage. So, it’s always nice to have boxes or bins designed specifically for this.
GIFTS OF SERVICE
If your loved one has expressed interest in any of these services, they make a great gift. Especially if it’s something that they have talked about, but have yet to pull the trigger.
A closet organizer – if they have a lot of clothes to the point that they’re overwhelmed. Or if their closet is often a mess. Or if you think they’d benefit from someone who can help them organize their space so that it’s more user friendly. This could be a stellar gift.
Color analysis – this is a really fun experience if they have a hard time deciding what works for them. Or if they’re reticent to try new things. Or if they say they enjoy color – but have an entire wardrobe of neutrals.
A personal wardrobe stylist – if they aren’t sure of their style. Or they have a really hard time shopping. Or they just want to demystify the process of feeling great in what they’re wearing. Time with a wardrobe stylist is the gift that keeps on giving. (I prefer to meet with gift recipients first to make sure it’s a good fit before I allow someone to buy a gift certificate. But I’m happy to chat about a gift if you think it’s something they would like. Click here to contact me to chat about a gift of styling services.)
A quick caveat about gifts of service. I speak from experience when I say that it works best when the recipient has essentially asked for the service – or when you clue them in to the gift to be sure they like it. Some people are comfortable having conversations with an expert about their clothes and their style. But some people aren’t. So, it pays to not make this kind of gift a complete surprise.
If you’re looking for a little something for someone who loves clothes, these are a few ideas that (mostly) fit in a stocking:
Sweater shaver – this is an electric device that gets pills off sweaters. And it’s super helpful to refresh the sweaters that they already own. (Better yet – offer to do it for them!)
Portable steamer – I rarely iron, but I do steam. I find it much easier than ironing, since you can do it while the garment is hanging. And you can get a portable steamer in many sizes – or even a travel steamer if they’re often away from home.
Packing cubes – another great gift for the traveler, to keep everything neat and organized in a suitcase.
Hemming tape – a lifesaver when you don’t have time to shorten your pants or skirt, but you want to wear it now.
Seam ripper – you don’t know you need this until you need it. But when you need to take down a hem, or remove a stubborn tag or move a button (or get rid of the X of thread on the back of a blazer), it’s super handy.
Magazine subscription – people who love clothes often love reading about (or looking at pictures of) clothes. And a magazine is something they can hold and look at and revisit – which is a totally different experience from perusing websites on your phone.
MORE GIFT IDEAS
A full length mirror – if they don’t have one, they need one. You might want to consult with them on this one, since a standing mirror vs. a wall mirror depends on their space and décor.
Cedar shoe trees and boot trees – a great option for the shoe lover.
A subscription to a wardrobe app – there are apps out there that help you make outfits, track the number of times you’ve worn something and more. So, if they’re always on their phone, this could be something fun.
Do you have any other gift ideas for someone who loves clothes? Drop them in the comments!
And if you want to give them a little something right now, send them the link to sign up for Style Mail. Style Mail is my twice monthly email with tips and tricks to make getting dressed easier, along with the actual strategies I share with my clients to help them feel great in what they’re wearing every day.
Paul Julch helps busy people to streamline, organize, and update their wardrobes so they can get dressed with ease and always look stylish and feel confident. Any budget, any lifestyle, any body. His business is Urbanite|Suburbanite, and he works with clients to develop a modern, current, versatile wardrobe that expresses personal style rather than trends. Paul is based in the SF Bay Area, and remote wardrobe & style coaching is available for out-of-towners. Visit Paul’s website http://urbsuburbstyle.com for more style advice, and follow him on Facebook www.facebook.com/UrbaniteSuburbanite/ , and Instagram www.instagram.com/urbsuburbstyle/ to stay up to date on the best styling tips and tricks.