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GirlStuff’s Post-Holiday Gift Guide


Originally published November 13, 2013


The religious holidays may be over, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop indulging yourself or your lover.  Here are a few “must have” items that you can acquire, whether taking advantage of sales, or returning that unsexy cashmere sweater set you got from your mom for Christmas.

1 Beige Kid Leather Gloves – Oh so ladylike, they soil so easily, but it is the ultimate standard of classiness. If you’ve never had a pair before, you will enjoy the feel, the fit, as well as the fretting in a useless effort to keep them in mint condition. Don’t fret, a few years of soil only adds to the patina, and then one future Boxing Day, when the patina is no longer aristocratic but rather shab, you can get a new pair. Look for the thin, stretchy baby goat leather at any department store. Or, you can start with a gorgeous vintage pair.

2 Hermes Cashmere Shawl – The luxurious, classic full size cashmere shawl can be used all year round. Tied in a huge loose knot around your neck during the winter time, it will enhance your attire whether you are wearing a greatcoat down to your ankles or a casual poofy jacket. You cover your shoulders or your lap in the office to avoid the summer air conditioning. You fold it into nothing and put in your luggage whether you are going to a hot, cold, or moderate climate. Though light, the warmth of the cashmere allows you to substitute this for a jacket when that unexpected temperature drop catches you in an unknown land. Visit this link just so you can get the idea …

3 A French Press and an Electric Kettle – Who says you can’t get kitchenware as a gift – or, a gift to self. The French press is so romantic, the whole activity of making an aromatic cup of coffee is never a chore. Forget the boring filtered automatic coffee makers that let your coffee sit on hot coil and ruin itself all day, or the totally unromantic Nespresso machine. No wonder they needed to get Penelope Cruz to advertise that one, you need to bring out the big guns to sex up these contraptions that are merely upgraded airport coffee machines. But don’t forget the cordless electric kettle, dealing with a burnt old-fashioned kettle every other month is no fun. My pick is a click away.

4 The Goyard Tote – If you are like me, you have come to detest heavy, clunky hardware on your purse. Or thick heavy leather like you’re carrying around the whole cow with tack and mouthpiece. The Goyard St. Louis Tote, as chic as Jackie O, with its specially treated leather in all the classic and candy colors, is void of any and all hardware. At first you may experience sticker shock at what seems to be an extremely expensive pouch, but once you’ve owned a Goyard, it’s a special secret that only those who’ve owned one know the value of, and gives you that special Jackie GL-O whenever you walk out the door.

5 A Dozen White Hankies – Once you’ve blown your nose in a 100% cotton or linen hankie, you can never go back to Kleenex. It’s also the most elegant way to sneeze, when you are in a room full of men in a freezing cold conference room. You’ll be surprised how many places still sell these, once you start paying attention. I like carrying the men’s versions with my boyfriend’s initials on them. It reminds me of Rhett Butler’s hankie that Scarlett noticed wrapped around the wad of cash Belle Watling delivers to Melanie.

6 Vintage Silk Slip – Think Elizabeth Taylor in the film Butterfield 8. Although having read the book, I believe the movie was grossly miscast, the classy, luxurious sexiness of the shapely slip made of white silk, with wide adjustable straps, lace trimmed bosom, perfectly formed cups with a slender tapered waist is to die for, whether for your own sexy self or that other special someone. Remember you have to go vintage on this one (I got mine in London in Shoreditch), no elastic straps, no revealed nipples (remember, the lace is just trim), and no loose flowy box shape of today’s manufacturing, when you’re going for the silk slip.

7 Patterned Opaque Tights – You can’t have enough of these, started with sixties mod, they are a staple in anyone’s closet. The prices are high–while not an article so sensitive to size, you definitely want to grab as many of these on sale.

8 Keiko Swimsuit – Whatever your body shape, swimwear should make you feel confident and sexy, and Keiko’s swimsuits do just that for you. A Japanese designer working out of her Chelsea studio, she will even custom make swimsuits to fit your needs. I have several already, and since my chance encounter with Keiko over a decade ago it’s the only swimsuit I will ever wear. I especially like how she cuts the bikini bum perfectly to hide the butt flab while at the same time miraculously lengthening your leg. Nobody has been able to accomplish that before Keiko.

9 Rimowa Luggage – If you’re still tugging a Samsonite or a Tumi around town, or the wonderful but heavy as hell Briggs & Riley, you need to get out and try the Rimowa. The Classic Aluminum case is my favorite, but the Salsa Light is as light as a feather, which is so important now as airlines have gotten stingier and stinger with weightage. And don’t forget my views on German engineering, the multi-wheel trolly glides not only along the airport carpet but the narrow airplane aisles, you can put a heavy laptop bag on top and still push it around with a finger.

10 Boxing Classes – Don’t go to a fancy gym and sign up for boxerobics or some shabby copycat class. Find a real boxing gym in your hood, once you look they are everywhere, and burn 1,000 calories an hour. I still love my yoga, but my metabolism has slowed down and I need to put in double the hours in power yoga to maintain my shape compared to ten years ago. Boxing is fun, extremely efficient, and will give you a real rush of adrenaline– you’ll get hooked on it real fast. This one is mine, you’ll need to find your own, but just so you can get the idea …


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