The ultimate 2022 Christmas gift guide
By Truus, from Brussels with love
Yep, you better believe it, the final count-down has begun: 4 weeks left before Christmas dinner is served!
No need to panic though, I’ve already done most of the work for you. Not for the cooking part - that’s not up my ally - but for the gift part. As Personal Stylist and Shopper, I have my eye out for you all year round, browsing shops and online resources for true wardrobe, beauty, and home treasures for male and female clients every single day. I’m basically the ultimate gift guide in persona:)
This year, I’m going the extra mile, breaking it down for you in categories:
It doesn’t get much easier than that, darlings!
And the best part? My suggestions are real! You see, I am a Personal Stylist and Shopper, not an influencer. My entire ‘raison d’etre’ is to make honest, authentic, unsponsored suggestions that I truly believe are right for you.
Let’s hit it!
BEST GIFTS FOR BOYFRIENDS AND HUSBANDS
Boyfriends and husbands can be a bit of a pain. Gift-wise I mean:) How do you avoid buying just another pair of socks, right?
Well darlings, the question is not what you are buying. You sure can buy him another pair of socks. The question is which ones. It’s all about lifting the ordinary to the next level.
Let me show you a couple of extraordinary ordinary gifts that your boyfriend or husband is bound to love.
A FLANNEL SHIRT
Shirts have to fit right. We want them perfect. That is why I don’t suggest a classic white or light blue ‘office’ shirt as a gift. Most men need their formal shirts tailored, or at least tried on and adjusted in the shop.
However, a more casual shirt can be a fabulous gift. With the option of turning up the sleeves, or leaving it open with a t-shirt underneath, the fit of a casual shirt is far less of an issue.
My personal crush of the season, is a flannel shirt. Café Coton Paris sells these stunning flannel navy blue and grey shirts online. Trust me, with that irresistible chevron texture, your boyfriend/husband will instantly be so much more touch-worthy.
Price of a flannel shirt at Café Coton Paris: 100€
An all-natural skincare gift box
When it comes to skincare, I’m all about clean and natural. Horace is a French brand that produces all-natural, vegan products free of harmful ingredients like parabens, silicone, perfume and mineral oils. Plenty such brands popping up these days, but Horace’s prices are also super fair.
A face kit with a washing emulsion, a hydrating cream, and a scrub sells at 37€.
A retainer cord for sunglasses or reading glasses
Yes, I could have put this in the dad’s category, but truth is, most of us (me included) can do with a cord to carry around our glasses and sunglasses way before the parent or grandparent-phase. I was always in search of my glasses around the house before I decided to introduce a cord. And believe me, my life is better now. Yeah, that’s right, you can hang your glasses around your neck and still look stylish. It’s all about how you do it.
And how’s that? Well, for instance, you can use one of these sporty-hipster nylon cords from Vallon, a retro-cool Dutch brand. They sell these nylon retainers with dual functionality. You can use it to tighten your glasses to the back of your head when doing sports, but also to keep them leisurely around your neck.
For 10€, that’s a small gift that will make a big difference!
A cross-body bag
There still is a small minority of people who resist the concept of men and bags. There is only one thing I can say to that: their bad.
In the meantime, I’m styling all my men - my clients I mean:) - with all sorts of cross-body, travel, and tote bags. Sometimes, the bag can really make all the difference.
My season’s crush: this practical, waterproof messenger bag in recycled nylon with webbing strap and buckle closure from COS. Price: 79€
A luxurious charging tray
If you want to spend a little more for your boyfriend’s or husband’s Christmas gift, this luxurious charging tray from Carl Friedrik is one way of doing it in style.
It’s a charging accessory to wirelessly charge a phone, but also a sleek Italian-leather tray to keep all daily essentials in one place. It can save you both a lot of time and frustration looking for lost keys and air pods.
Price: 230€ + 34€ if you want your boyfriend’s / husband’s initials on it.
Best gifts for girlfriends and WIFES
Being a wife myself, I know from experience that buying a gift for us, the girlfriend / wife category, is super easy:) The only thing we don’t like, is when you buy our favourite item in the wrong colour, the wrong size, or from the wrong brand:)))))
But don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Here’s my list of sure-fire hits for your girlfriend / wife.
Minimalist, 70s-inspired goggles from Vallon
These must be THE most stylish ski goggles I’ve seen of late. It’s retro but it’s not. With its striped multi-coloured strap, these goggles are an unmistakable throwback to the 70s. However, combined with a spherical lens from optical experts Carl Zeiss, the Freebirds from Vallon are a winning combination of style and performance.
Vallon is a small, Dutch brand that has stayed true to goggle designs of the past, but always with a high-tech, modern take. The epitome of cool!
Vallon goggles range from 120€ to 145€
Men’s-inspired boxer shorts for women
Ever wondered how to make your girlfriend / wife truly happy?
One day I ran out of underwear, so I resorted to my husband’s boxer shorts. Darlings, talk about an aha-moment! I couldn’t believe how much easier life is in boxer shorts, y’all!
So ever since, I’m on a mission to add boxer shorts to every woman’s wardrobe staple pieces. It’s only fair. Us to, we like to be cosy and comfortable. And us too can be darn sexy wearing them.
And don’t be mistaken. I’m not talking about some super-tiny, tight, synthetic boxer briefs that run up between our ‘cheeks’ to annoy the life out of us all day long. I’m actually talking about proper, ultra-comfy, cotton boxers with that male triangle-shaped stitching in the front and plenty of fabric in the back to fully cover all of our bootylicious bits down there. Yes sir, that’s what I’m talking about.
So I gotta say, hands down for Kim. Credit when credit’s due. She has understood this basic female need and added cotton rib boxers to her Skims shapewear collection. For the festive season, Skims is offering a limited edition 3-pack for 104€, with sizing options as inclusive as they get. Hands down for Kim again!
Ear cuffs are booming. Chances are your girlfriend / wife has been meaning to buy one of these.
I say, beat her to it, and surprise her with one of these stunning ear cuffs from AR.M, short for Anna Rosa Moschouti, Antwerp-based jewellery designer with Greek-Dutch roots. And if you feel like going a little more wild, add a pair of ear hoops from the same brand for the total look. Stunning!
Price: between 55 and 60€ depending on the model.
By the way, in case you were wondering, you only need to buy 1 ear cuff and no wholes are required to wear it:)
Knitted over-the-knee socks
This is one of the best sexy gifts in disguise. You see, straight out of its gift wrapping, people around the table don’t quite get the full picture of what these socks will do for a woman when she puts them on. You’re not sure what I’m talking about? Just buy them for your girlfriend / wife:)
My favourites of this winter season are from Calzedonia. Just google “Openwork Wool Over-the-Knee Socks” and you’ll get a whole range of colours and textures to choose from.
Price: 10€, can you believe it?!
Not just any rain coat
Us girlfriends / wives, we like to be stylish even when it rains, on our city bikes running errands and juggling job and family life. That’s the sort of women we are. That’s why one of these Vivi Mari rain coats is a perfect gift for us.
Careful though, pick the right one. Every girl will have her very own favourite. Mine is the Leo Splashes navy/rust. Good luck with that:)
Best gifts for dads
Dads are quite the category these days. Technology-savvy, fit, adventurous, and fashion-conscious, they just keep on surprising us. That is why they are bound to love all of the following gifts.
A leather travel tech case
Those modern-day dads and their tech gadgets, right? Let’s help them get organized in style, and never lose another charger on the go. This is the beauty case of technology!
If you want to find this exact tech case from Bol.com, at 89€, just click this link. Alternatively, you can find plenty of other, stylish alternatives in all price ranges by just googling ‘tech bags for travel’ or ‘travel tech case’.
Non-white city sneakers
Have you noticed how difficult it is to wear white sneakers in winter? With darker outfits, cooler temperatures, and rainy-muddy sidewalks, white sneakers just feel a little off most of the time. So, let’s get your dad out of that pickle, shall we? What he needs, is a non-white version of his white sneakers, for a more natural fit with wintery colours.
My personal pick are these minimalist grey-beige ones from Filling Pieces, a Dutch streetwear brand with an attitude. Perfect for dads:)
The Mondo 2.1 Ripple Nubuck sneakers cost 200€ (not 199€, refreshing!)
A key chain
Did you ever think of your key as a design object? Probably not.
But Campbell and Cole’s designers did. Creating understated design accessories from their studio in Nottingham, UK, they introduced this simple but beautiful paracord key chain. Looks great on a key hook, but even better around your neck. And at least that way, your dad will never shut himself out of the house again:)
Price of the simple key Lanyard from Campbell Cole: £19
A hipster cap
When done in style, and in the right measure, I can appreciate a clothing item or accessory with words on them. These corduroy and chino caps from The Refined Spirit, for instance, strike that right balance for me. They make reference to the good things in life, mostly Italian (of course), but in a subtle, well-designed way. Urban-hipster, good-spirited, gourmand dads will love this.
An Eto wine decanter
Give your dad the freedom to enjoy a glass of wine at his own time.
Eto is a wine decanter that makes a design statement at the dinner table. But not only. Its innovative, patented design prevents oxidation, to preserve your wine’s full flavour until you’re ready for another glass. That’s wine preserved beautifully!
Price: 233€ - 251€ if you order through Wolf&Badger (to avoid having to pay customs when you order directly from Eto in the UK).
Best gifts for moms
And finally, we get to the moms. They always insist you shouldn’t have gone through all that trouble, and you didn’t need to get them anything at all. Yet we all know, they are the ones who deserve it more. Here is my list of extra special gifts for our extra special moms.
The cutest plate ever
Honestly y’all, how stunning is this plate? Your mom would agree, right? Made from traditional Moroccan craftsmanship, this handmade clay plate from tinekhome, one of my favourite bohemian Danish design brands, is a perfect addition to any dining set. It will also make a great statement piece in your mom’s interior.
Price: 71,63€. If you like, you can complete it with a matching set of clay bowls.
A croc leather tote bag
Tote bags are having a moment. And so they should. Slip in a laptop, cell phone, hat, and lip gloss, and you’re good to go anywhere.
But totes become truly interesting when you take them a notch up from the standard canvas version. Like this this one from &OtherStories in deep-cognac croc leather. I love the refreshing contrast between the classic material and the urban-hipster feel of a tote. Great for classy, modern-day moms who love to carry around lots of stuff.
A sleeveless cardigan
Please don’t buy your mom another grandma-like cardigan. Believe me, she doesn’t want it.
But your mom will love this modern-day, high-end, sleeveless cardigan from Xandres, a Belgian fashion house with very inclusive sizing (up to 4XL). A sleeveless cardigan like this one is a staple piece that she will effortlessly throw on top of any outfit, for that distinguished, powerful look.
Aarke water purifier
The Aarke Purifier is a patented water filter pitcher in glass and stainless steel. No plastic carafe, no plastic cartridges. A clean and pure design for clean and pure water. In short, it’s an upgrade!
A marbled bracelet from Sézane
This one needs no explanation. Self-explanatory. 100% mom-happiness guaranteed.
Ecru (my personal favourite) or turquoise.
Best gift for anyone
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And just like that, we hit the end of my list. Honestly, if you don't find anything in here that your loved ones would like, something's wrong with your family, man:)
Oh, you wanted something from this list for yourself? Pass it on to your partner with a big red circle around your 'coup de coeur'. Never any harm in a subtle hint:) Fingers crossed, and happy holidays, my friends!