A confession (which will no doubt be validated by family and friends): I am hard to shop for. I tend to obsessively research items, at which point I either decide I definitely need it — and then go out and buy it for myself — or declare myself over it. Even something straightforward, like perusing my amazon.com wishlists, can become a gamble. (Will my enthusiasm cool before the 25th?) Not helping is the thought of lugging items back to London — hello, Border Control! — and afterward, having to find a space for it in our rental. Yes, I’m a bit of a Christmas Scrooge.
However, all is not lost. This gift guide contains a range of items — at a variety of price points — that I promise will hold delight well into 2016.
- Handvaerk Alpaca-Silk Sweater I love Handvaerk’s minimalist range of basics, and the fall collection introduced sumptuous sweaters as well as long-sleeve crewneck tees to the lineup. This medium (charcoal) grey sweater looks lightweight yet warm: perfect to wear under a coat to fight off London’s winter chill without adding bulk.
- Doe Leather 2-zip Purse I’m always on the lookout for bags to corral cards and ephemera while traveling, and of course, I want said bag to look elegant. Deborah Thomas has a winner with her new minimalist 2-zip purse (with accent-colored pen holder). The leather is rigid at first, but with love and use takes on a sublime softness. Can’t wait to get mine!*
- Claire Moynihan’s Bug Balls I serendipitously stumbled across Claire Moynihan’s artwork this fall. (Un-serendipitously, it was just days after she participated in a Marylebone art fair.) Her “bug balls”, equally scientific and sweet, are typically sold as framed sets, but this single felt snail captured my heart. Officially obsessed.
- Paris in Winter While everyone loves Paris in the spring time, it’s my favorite place to go in any season. David Coggins’ ink and watercolor illustrations capture the city in its winter splendor and will serve as a beautiful souvenir. I can’t wait to read his stories about his family’s annual winter visits: I’m sure I’ll refer to them often when we’re back in the US for a quick Paris fix. Living a short train ride away has been a dream.
- Wool Babouche Shoes Babouche shoes are all the rage at the moment, and they fit perfectly with my hate-socks, love-easy-on-and-off aesthetic. Brother Vellies offers a splendid range of fabrics and textures, from denim to leather to über-luxe furs.** This wool style would lend a touch of luxe slipper-chic to my utilitarian jeans-and-sweater uniform.
- Paper Geranium Geraniums are a vastly underappreciated flower in my opinion, and I’ve had my eye on Livia Cetti’s beautiful paper version for years. It would make the perfect gift as I desperately want it but haven’t yet been bold enough to click buy and treat myself. (Though every time it pops up on John Derian’s Instagram feed, I’m tempted.)
image credits: 1. handvaerk.com 2. courtesy of doe leather 3. endless-swarm.com (well worth a click-through to learn more about claire’s art) 4. davidcoggins.com 4. brothervellies.com 5. thegreenvase.com // layout and type by jane potrykus
* another confession: I pre-ordered this pouch the second I spotted it at a London holiday market.
** I’m completely besotted with these two furry options (they’re what led me down the rabbit hole), but of course, they’re not available online.