Find fashion inspiration for those on your holiday shopping list

Black Friday may have come and gone, but holiday shopping season is far from over. Every year we scour malls, outlets, websites and more searching for something that’s just right. If, like me, you tend to leave your shopping until the last minute, the hard work of finding perfect gifts is still ahead.

Clothing is often a great gift, but it’s also a tricky one. What we wear is such a personal thing that it’s often very difficult to find someone a clothing gift that he or she will actually wear and love.

When searching for the perfect garment gift, it is important to consider what the recipient likes to wear, not what you wish the recipient would wear. I accompanied a friend of mine to the mall the other day and, as she scanned the racks for a suitable gift for her boyfriend, she said she found herself putting back a lot of things that she liked, but knew he wouldn’t wear. While this sounds disappointing, it’s a necessary part of gift-giving.

Another dicey issue to consider is fit. Giving pants is a risky business, especially considering the tendency of waistlines to expand a bit around the holidays. Stick to garments where fit is simple: T-shirts, sweatshirts, button-downs and accessories should be the easiest to get right.

I would also encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to holiday clothing gifts. Style guides around this time of year seem to incessantly advocate for cute, sparkly party dresses and cozy sweaters. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it can make the holiday season predictable.

Think how dramatic and attention grabbing something like a black and tan outfit would look at a holiday party filled with cutesy sweaters and sequins.

If you’re having difficulty getting inspired and finding exceptional gifts, take a look at the Target and Neiman Marcus holiday collaboration collection. One of the largest designer collaboration collections this year, the collection features gifts of all kinds: accessories, luggage, holiday ornaments and, of course, clothing. What’s really incredible about the collection though is that a whopping 24 designers — all of whom are members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America — contributed to the project, according to a Nov. 30 blog post on The Cut.

A quick look at the collection on Target or Neiman Marcus’ websites reveals a varied offering of styles, items and prices. Thrifty shoppers may take a liking to a $7.99 roll of Rodarte wrapping paper printed with an image of the lunar surface or a $19.99 Tory Burch lunchbox, complete with the designer’s signature logo on the zipper pulls. On the pricier end, the collection offers navy blazers edged with white by Thom Browne for men and women, priced at $129.99 and $149.99, respectively.

The blazers aren’t cheap, but considering that a regularly priced jacket from Browne would cost thousands of dollars, they’re a steal.

Whether or not you plan on putting these designer creations under your Christmas tree, Hanukkah bush, secular gift pile or satanic offering mound, I urge you to be adventurous but sensible with your gift-giving this year.

With luck, and your newfound gifting prowess, you and the ones you love are sure to look your best throughout this holiday season and the new year.

Ian Simon-Curry is a junior public relations major. His column appears every other Monday. He is going abroad next semester and encourages you to keep your fashion game on point while he is gone. Follow him on Twitter at @incrediblyian. He can be reached at


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