Five ways to improve your gifting skills.

November 25, 2015

I know. We live in a culture that is far too materialistic. Old Navy is opening on Thanksgiving this year for a pre-Black Friday sale, and I think thats pretty gross. Either way, gift giving is fun. You can tell someone you love them a hundred times a day and that is beautiful, but how often do you spoil them with materialistic love? Twice a year. Unless you have my friend’s boyfriend who bought her an iPhone for Easter one year. I was once called the best gift giver ever by someone who is otherwise entirely indifferent about me, here are my secrets.

1.) know your audience.

Who is the hardest person to shop for?  Usually your dad. Think about it, there’s only so many Polo Ralph Lauren sweaters you can buy someone before they start to think you’re thoughtless. Some people’s moms are happy with anything their children get them, but if I brought home something handmade my Mom would be pissed. I wouldn’t be very appreciative of an Urban Outfitters gift card, and my peeps know that. My sister Kate has said on a number of occasions that she’s “obsessed with Marc Jacobs”, shopping for her is a walk in the park.



Crosby Quilt Wingman Wallet $148 via Shopbop – Logo Plaque Ballerina Flats $198 via Shopbop – Cat Eye Sunglasses $170 via Shopbop – Polka Dot Umberella $58 via Shopbop – Tether Watch $275 via Shopbop – Q Baby Groove Bag $348 via Shopbop

2.) frivilous, yes. senseless, no.

Theres a fine line from something you wouldn’t buy yourself, and something that barely has a use. My mom is obsessed with working out, and she’s down with Lululemon, but a 5th consecutive year of Lulu gear is a bit repetitive. Now that athletic apparel is at an all-time popularity, contemporary designers are starting sport lines… gym rat in your family, check.


Binx Leggings $138 via Rebecca Minkoff – Janet Bra $108 via Rebecca Minkoff – Muscle Tee $58 via Rebecca Minkoff – Neoprene Workout Tote $295 via Tory Burch – Freestyle Vest $345 via Canada Goose – Silver Fitbit $195 via Tory Burch – Waterbottle $30 via Kate Spade

3.) Take  n o t e.

If you’re anything like my boyfriend, you mention things you like constantly. Some dude has nice shoes on the subway? Ben will point them out. Ask more questions, what color do you like babe? Would you get them in that dark brown or more of a black? Note it in your phone when they aren’t looking. Unless specified: nobody wants a collectors set. We’re all consumers here! We tend to state what we want, my boyfriend drops hints alllll the time. This week in my notepad: cashmere scarf, sand desert boots, brown winter boots, pea coat, messenger bag, Calvin Klein underwear, Xbox1, leather gloves… the list goes on. Guys, throw your girls hints. Nothing worse than someone who can’t ask for what they want.


Factory Classic Peacoat $118 via J.Crew Factory Xbox One Fallout 4 Bundle $399 via Xbox – Lumberjack Simply Great Beard Oil $19 via Duluth Trading Yves Saint Laurent scarf $69.99 via Saks off Fifth – Cole Haan Chukka Boots $124.99 via Saks off Fifth  


4.) Gift the hostess.

Throwing a party can be really fun, but its a lot of work, and it can be expensive. Even if you’re just having a few people over, you’re expected to have alcohol, food to snack on, and when there is drinking– there is messing shit up. A $15 bottle of wine is a nice token of your appreciation for having you at their house. Seriously, bring something with you for the host.


Moscow Mule Cocktail Mug $8.95 – $16.95 via Pier 1 – Oui Oui Oui Tray $30 via Shopbop  – Glittle Flask $17 via ASOS – White Girl Rose $39 via White Girl Wine – Stay Fancy Wine Glasses (buy 2+) $14 via Shopbop –  $15 via Shopbop – Jacquard-weave throw (for your favorite bachelorette)  $34.99 via H&M – I hate Kale Cookbook (know your audience)

5.) Don’t obsess over bargains.

This Holiday season, don’t buy someone something just because you got a good deal. I know its tempting to run around aimlessly on Black Friday scouring the racks for a sweater that’s only perfect because it’s 50% off for one day only. However, if you know what you’re looking to buy– it’s irresponsible to not take advantage of deals. Somethings are worth the price, but most can be found on discount websites. Some of the best are 6pm, Saks off Fifth, Last Call Neiman Marcus, J.Crew Factory, and Nordstrom Rack– All of which have decent websites, some better than others.


Stella McCartney Two-Tone Sunglasses $69 via Nordstrom Rack –  Marc Jacobs ‘Oh Lola’ Perfume $49 via Saks off Fifth – Sam Edelman ‘Kayla’ Boots $142 via 6pm (50% off) – See by Chloe ‘Kristen’ Cross Body Bag $197 via 6pm – House of Harlow Pyramid Tennis Bracelet $24.99 via Saks off Fifth – Eartha Two-Tone Leather Satchel $219 via Saks off Fifth –  Gorjana Gold Plated Crossover Ring $19 via Saks off Fifth – Rag and Bone ‘Wyatt’ Leopard Print Slingbacks $178 via Saks off Fifth –

Just remember— buying someone a pre-packaged gift soup set is not generous, it’s obvious re-gifting & when all else fails, all guy’s like nerf guns and slingshots.

See you next week for our BFF gift guide!

More about Mackenzie

Retired scene queen living in Astoria, New York with my boyfriend Ben. Accidentally started blogging in 2011, haven't stopped since. Lover of Nutella, hater of white jeans after labor day. Graduate of Suffolk University with a degree in Sociology. During the day I work for Petrossian Caviar, the world's largest caviar supplier and buyer. I have a wonderful life, and I'm excited to share it with you. Also, I have seen every episode of Law & Order: SVU.