J. Crew Chateau Parka Review and the Look for Less

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This is my favorite coat in the whole wide world. The first time I saw it two years ago it was love at first sight. I instantly had fantasies of myself walking down the aisle in the blush pink version of the coat, reinacting J. Lo music videos circa Jenny from the Block era and just all around feeling myself in this coat.

So what could I do but buy this coat in multiple colors? The Chateau parka in Italian Stadium coat is absolutely worth the investment. Unless of course you live anywhere between Florida and North Carolina where the temperatures don’t drop terribly low, in which case I can only shrug and offer you fabulous alternatives which I am happy to do today.

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The Look J. Crew Chateau Parka in Italian Stadium Cloth Wool $365

Pros

  • Colors Comes in 7 stunning colors ranging from basic black and gray, to a fantastic heathered lavender, to a classic but not basic red.  I can not stress enough how stunning the colors are.
  • Wide range of sizes Comes in size 00 to 24 and petite and tall which is a blessing if you are looking for a great coat in extended sizes. Note: The extended sizes don’t come in petite and tall.
  • Fit This coat fits like a dream while still allowing sweaters underneath. It’s ultra tailored at the top while being swingy at the bottom. Several reviews on the site say to size down. However, I think if you enjoy layering, you may enjoy a little more to allow for that. The extra room doesn’t take away from shape with this one.
  • Removable faux fur The hood come with removable fur on the hood although why anyone would remove the fur is beyond me  I have a personal preference for fur that is faux but that is just coming from the tree hugger in me. So if you prefer real fur, the hood may not be for you. But for the most part the fur wears well and doesn’t shed or feel odd.

Cons

Price That price tag though. $365 for a coat that is pretty distinct in color and may not be an everyday wearer is quite pricey for a lot of people and that’s totally reasonable. Hence this list in the first place. However if you are looking to buy it sometime soon, it’s a great gift for the holiday to yourself or others because J. Crew has been doing a lot of promos like the 50% off everything Black Friday promo.

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The Look for Less J. Crew Factory Vail Parka $198 currently 40% off

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Pros

Colors Still comes in great colors. Each year, this coat comes in 4 colors; usually it’s three basics and one “wow color”. This year’s wow color is green, which in person is down right, stinking lovely. It’s the perfect pop of color in a fall and winter wardrobe and would look killer going to Christmas dinner with an all black number under it. I know that’s specific but if I can imagine the scenarios I would wear it. I’m sure you can too.

Size The extended sizes for the Factory Vail parka goes up to size 20, which is still better than the usual size 12

Satin lined hood The ultimate pro is the satin lined hood instead of the stadium cloth. For a black girl with a head of natural hair, this is a God send. He specifically requested for this to be satin lined because then I don’t get the frizz or the ends stuck in the weaving and can avoid the static of the stadium cloth. Super win.

Price Obviously this is a great deal especially if you are buying it as a gift. You are definitely getting what you paid for and more especially while they are doing the killer Black Friday 50% off at J.Crew Factory.

Photographs lovely This isn’t just useful if you’re a blogger. During the time of year where you are photographed with family often, I have to say this little gem photographs well! The photos of me in this coat were actually taken many moons ago in our backyard with an iPhone and it still shows up great.

Cons

Quality It’s excellent quality. Promise! But the quality is not as good as the retail one, which feels a bit like a duh. However, whenever people say that, they don’t say exactly what about the quality is not as good. The factory version is a softer fabric so not exactly the sturdy stadium wool of the J. Crew Retail coat. For me this is a plus because the neck line on the retail coat stands a little high for me to have such a short neck. It also doesn’t have the same details, less visual stitch works and the diagonal breast pocket doesn’t exists on the Factory version.

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The Look for Even Less Target $64.99

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It seems this look has finally developed enough popularity that it is now in a similar look at Target.

Pros

Price The obvious initial benefit is the price. Even with sales on the J. Crew coats, the price is better on this little guy from target’s new day line.

Location Target is far more accessible for many than a J. Crew location or a J. Crew Factory. There is also the chance to get other things at Target like snacks. But let’s face it the ability to go in and try on is a driving factor for lots of folks.

Colors The colors are as nice and as rich as the J. Crew version with enough options to satisfy but not thrill.

Size Like the Factory version of the jacket, this one goes up to XXL which is equivalent to about a size 18-20.

Cons

Density Not nearly as heavy as J. Crew lightweight and not nearly as good at keeping that chill out from what I can infer. When you put both versions of the J. Crew coat on, both Factory and Retail, you can tell that the weight will keep you pretty warm.

Quality I feel like this goes without saying as well but the quality is not nearly as good as either J. Crew coat but for the price, its still quite lovely especially if you snag it on a deal like today.

Winning Coat: For me, the Vail Parka is the best buy for your dollar. You get most of the benefits of the J. Crew Retail version (unless of course you need the extended sizes) while losing none of the pertinent details. Plus you get that darn satin hood which is worth its weight in gold for me. Definitely the Vail Parka.

Gift Guides for Kids (That aren’t mine)

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I don’t usually subscribe to gendered gift lists but this seemed to be the easiest way to categorize. However, feel free to dabble from either list for whatever gender your little one may be, as well as the neutral gender list I put together. I give off over indulgent auntie vibes so some of these are a little expensive, especially for a child that isn’t yours and/or if you’re buying for multiples but I couldn’t resist adding a few. Perhaps just take the spirit of the gift into play.

The gift that I can’t seem to recommend enough, this year and every year, is always a book. Yes, I’m that aunt. My husband has been in love with me since the very first time we met (true story, not just hubris) so by our first Christmas together, a mere two months after we started dating, freshman year of college, we knew it was forever. I say that to explain the next very wild statement.

Since our first Christmas together at 18 years old, we having been buying children’s books for our non-existent future children. A little young and fresh in the relationship to be thinking about reproducing. But after a decade of Christmases and other gifting holidays, we’ve amassed quite the little collection. After all this time the break down seems to be that Marcus buys rationale classic stories (Corduroy, Frog and Toad, The Very Hungry Caterpillar) and I air on the side of Femininist, African and Indie books (Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughter/ Jumbo Means Hello/ Bad Girls Throughout History). Our children will absolutely have a well rounded reading collection.

Coming in this year for my gift book is “Little Leaders” by Vashti Harrison falling into the “girl’s” guide. Beautifully illustrated and very informative, it’s a great gift regardless of your child’s gender or race and I can not recommend it enough. My copy came in yesterday and I pretty much just cried flipping through it from the beauty of it all. Aside from that being my number one, everything else has my childless stamp of approval.

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Little Leaders // Maeva Doll (Doesn’t her outfit scream me?) // Hooded Personalized Minion Towel // Princess Duvet Cover // Taco Purse // Party Razor Scooter // Cat Emoji Earrings

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Drone // Personalized hooded minion towels  // Harry Potter Lego // Storm Trooper Vtech Watch// Astronaut Duvet Cover // Razor Scooter //Paw Patrol Robo Dog and Vehicle

I just recently got as prissy as I am and in my younger years would have honestly preferred the astronaut themed duvet. (Gifting Key to success: know your audience) With that in mind, my favorite list to put together without fail was the gender neutral list. I’m on a kick about gender roles and emotional work and equitable distribution of labor in households lately and I seem to have taken it out on this list. That kick includes teaching our non-existent sons from a very young age how to manage a household and be gentle and vulnerable in safe spaces (i.e. at home) and it starts from a young age with just learning to play pretend in a way that is safe like encouraging them to take part in house. But also teaching our daughters to canoe and kick predators in the face and build houses because they’re all skills a modern girly should have. So there’s that about that and I present to you my favorite list.

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Farmer Says Classic// Cash Register // Knex Thrill Ride // Frankie Beats Bat Boogie Has the best reviews I’ve ever seen for a talking toy// Day Trip Plush Canoe (Please buy this for my future child) // Melissa and Doug Fridge Play Food // Hearth and Hand with Magnolia work bench // Jetaire Camper Playhouse

And the item that isn’t included on this list but I encourage you to buy for my future child and save in your garage in any extra space you have, is this little number. My children don’t even exists yet and already they deserve it.

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Street Vendor Cart

I demand to know the last time you’ve seen a more perfect toy. Don’t worry, I’ll wait… It’s never happened! This would be so cute as a mobile library (there I go again with the books) or a snack cart or even just for your little ones to play store with stuff around the house. I love it so much I wanna buy it for my dogs. Okay, now I’ve gone too far.

Is there anything that I missed from this list that is a glaring hole like a seasons best seller or something that someone has bought for your little ones in the past that I need to get for the kiddos in my life? Let me know.

Xo Prepford Wife

A Prepford Husband: Gift Guide for Him 2017

Somehow, I’m a better men’s shopper than women’s. Probably because my primary gift giving is for my husband who is very sure of what he likes in this world. So consider this gift guide a gift from my husband to you. Every single thing is owned and approved by him. Half of the items on this list like before, are small business items including the hat, watch band, sweater, cologne and pin.

The item I can not recommend enough and I feel like needs an actual shout out is the cologne. My husband pleaded for it a few Christmas’ ago from online. He’d never smelled it before but knew from the descriptor that he wanted it so we got it. It is the BEST. SMELLING, COLOGNE, EVER. It’s strong and works well with his unique chemistry and super long lasting. I would get into my car for a week after he drove one day and my cloth seatbelt would still smell like it. Aside from that, we love everything on this list and couldn’t recommend them enough. 2017giftguideforhim

Harding Lane Hat // Yeti Bag Cooler //Bexar (Pronounced Bear) Goods Watch Band //Arnold Steiner Sweater // Flannel Lined LLBean Boots // J. Crew Travel Pillow // Rayban Clubmasters // VT Oswald Pin // DS & Durga Cologne // LLBean Windbreaker

Holiday Gift Guide for Her 2017

Today begins a series of Holiday gift guides, the first and the easiest being for her. This is a very specific “Her” List in that its the list that I would want if I didn’t already own most (i.e. some form of all) of these things. This things are all tried and true by me except for the Away bag which I love love love because of the beautiful Gray Malin print. My favorite thing about this list is that half of the items are from small business including the oxford, the hat, the tassels and to some extent the duffel. I think we tend to think of small businesses only in terms of arts and artisan goods but they definitely extend to wearable goods as well.

2017giftguideKate Spade Umbrella // J.Crew Factory Fleece vest //Aviate Hat // Bow Hair Tie // Tiny Tassel Earrings //Tuckernuck duffel // Katie Kime Oxford // Away with Gray Malin Print

 

 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s day is one of my favorite inconvenient holidays ever. It’s only inconvenient because as a non-mother it’s constantly sneaking up on me. Luckily, as a chronic over gifter and early buyer, I’m always ready. If you haven’t purchased a mother’s day gift yet, here are some cute preppy gifts that my husband and I have purchased for our mothers in the past that have gone over well in a range of prices.Mom

Monogram Birthstone Necklace: Go in with your siblings on this one is the budget is super tight. You can add a stone for each of you. This also comes in bracelet, non-monogram and gold form. Truly the options are endless. If you are into small businesses, you can also snag one from one of my absolute favorite etsy shops, LEILAjewelryshop. Mom may need an IOU though because it takes more than a few days.

Kate Spade Mom Idiom Bangle: Classic. No brainer. Fast shipping. Need I say more?

Jack Roger Scallop Rainboot: We’ve actually purchased Hunter Boots for Mom in the past and she LOVES them but how many times can I stress that you need to buy Hunter boots? (Hint hint. This is subtly, or not so subtly, me doing it again.) Instead this time, I bring to you these little Jack Rogers for the mommy who isn’t into a tall boot and would probably love a little Chelsea style better.

Bauble earrings: They are all the rage this season and I actually have a precious little DIY coming down the pipeline for you super duper last minuters out there. In the mean time you can order a pair from Bauble Bar or snag a similar pair for less from J. Crew Factory.

Beats Headphone: With the emergence of the Iphone 7 with no separate port for headphones these are looking like a better and better gift by the moment. If mom is an outdoor work out-er (is there a real word for this?) then you may be better off with the buds option so she can wear one of the headphones out of her ears. As someone who runs outside at night, I need to be aware of my surrounding and these giant noise canceling earbuds would be just flat out dangerous.

Candles: Rewind candles are absolutely lovely and smell great. Even better than those though are a candle with a cause. One of my favorites are Mingle Collection of candles from Bridgewater Candles. When you purchase candles, proceeds go to feeding one of any of the millions of orphans around the world. Shop small when you can but also shop with a purpose.

Loccitane Almond Gift set: Husband and I talked my mom into trying this last year and she has not turned back yet. I swear if my mother could, she would drink this stuff just to coat her insides it in. It’s a wee bit pricey for what you are getting but the smell and feel are both absolutely decadent. It’s honestly the spa that keeps on giving.

Camera: Many years ago, I purchased a camera for my mother in law as a Cyrano gift of sorts from her husband. She absolutely loved it and even with the advent of prime Iphones, I still recommend a camera. The Canon power shots are great cameras. In the word’s of my husband “If you’re just a casual mom taking graduation photos, it’ll do”. He says this because his first suggestion was the Sony Ar7 which is pricey if you’re mom’s not a photographer. For the casual user, he’s right. It’s good.

J. Crew Rattan Purse: This isn’t actually a gift for mom; it’s a gift for me. With the number of times I’ve used this bag recently, I would be foolish not to add it to the countdown. If I were a mom I would be anticipating this under the Mother’s Day Tree. I don’t care that that’s not a thing. If/When I have children, it will be. P.S. There’s a J. Crew Factory version as well. You’re welcome.

Anyways, there’s my round up of cute and easy gifts for mom. Honorable mentions goes to these seersucker pajama shorts, this apple watch band and this Draper James Trinket “Mother Knows Best” Trinket tray.

What are you getting your mom this mother’s day? You can tell me. I won’t tell her.

XO Prepford Wife

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classy Last Minute Hostess Gifts

My mom has always been the “Don’t show up empty handed” kind of mom. This holiday season, if you are not staying home for the holiday, then you should be looking for hostess (or host, keeping it gender neural around these parts) gifts. If this post is the first time you have heard those words, then you definitely should be looking for hostess gifts. Chances are this is last minute for you so here’s a list of fun hostess gifts that you can snag on the way in a range of prices.

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Baked Goods Chances are there is a grocery store on your route, stop in and purchase a pie or some other generally loved dessert. Bonus points if you stop at a local bakery instead of a grocery store. If you live in an area where one is accessible, my vote is always on a cake from Publix. I’ve seen the light and I’m never going back.

Cutting board/ Cheese plate There is no such thing as too many cutting boards especially around the holiday. You can snag one with your host’s last initial from a Monogram shop or William Sonoma or if you are super last minute, a grocery store should stock a few selections.The same applies for little cheese plates.

Coffee Here’s the thing, unless your host hates coffee or is a coffee elitist, almost any bag will do. Pick the prettiest one or the one that comes pre-wrapped in fancy Christmas cellophane and go for it. If you have an absolute favorite that you are dying to share, that is a beautiful option as well. My favorite is the Costa Rican Tarrazu from Trader Joe’s. it’s affordable and delicious.

Herbs Stop at a grocery store that you know has herbs. They often come pre potted or if you know the host(ess) has crafty younger kids, those do it yourself kits would be lovely as well.

Dish soap It’s important to go for the artisan soaps here. If you pass a Target, the world is truly your oyster. My husband is obsessed with the Mrs. Meyer’s soaps. Snag a hand soap and dish soap. Place them in a cute neutral colored tea towel and bind them with a ribbon from the craft aisle. Ten dollars well spent. There are also other brands that smell and look wonderful and are readily available like Method, Seventh generation, J. R. Watkins, etc. etc.

Kitchen Linens Pot holders, tea towels, cute aprons, dish clothes. You name it, they can all be found in a grocery store or a nearby TjMaxx. We snagged a cute set with donuts and polka dots from our local Home Goods. Tailor your gift to your host and your host’s kitchen. Hostess a huge Beyoncé fan? This gorgeous Lemon set was available at our local Marshalls. Put a cute (and appropriate lyric on the tag) and credit Beyoncé and sign your name. Hostess quite the pastry chef in the making? Cute little towels like this “Fresh and Delicious” set from Target would do the trick. Don’t know your host that well? Keep it simple and go with white or neutral.

Bottle Opener Duh? People need bottle openers and wine bottle openers. Grab the cutest bottle opener like this one from J. Crew. Which brings me right to my next point…

Wine How great of a guest would you be to bring wine with the bottle? Don’t know what your host likes? Stop into wherever you get your wine usually and ask them for suggestions. They’re the experts. Also a great option is wine adjacent as I like to call it. Sparkling cider for the non-imbibers in your life or if your host is into microbrew, pick up a few local brews for them to try. Great places to dabble in often let you make your own six pack which gives them the chance to try a few things when guest leave and they need alcohol as they prepare to clean up a mess.

Vintage games Is there a game that your family loves? Bring one for your hostess. My husband and his family are really into dominoes and so a beautiful set would be fantastic to bring to family friends who we think would like them. Don’t mind starting a holiday fight? Bring a pack of brand new Uno cards to leave at the home. Target currently carries a retro set that gifts well.

Dog Treats These are obviously going to only be an option if the host has a dog. I honestly would have never thought of these as an option but last year my mother in law purchased Christmas gifts for our two pups and I thought how cute they would be to gift to a doggy parent. Make sure to get grain free just in case the puppy friend may have an allergy

Cute coasters You could absolutely find a great set of cute preppy coasters online and have them expedited to your home in time for the holidays. or you can once more stop into your local West Elm, TjMaxx or Target depending on your price point. Pick a set that is neutral or that you know would match your host’s home.

Pro tip: You can combine any of the choice from this list for a slightly more complex and decorative gift like the tea towels and the Mrs. Meyer’s. If you have time (and aren’t the driver) remove the original packaging. I keep scissors, tape, ribbons and tissue paper in my car as ebay/poshmark/gift supplies and they’ve come in super handy last minute. Want to buy the coffee from Trader Joes’s but hate the packaging? Buy a large mason jar, empty the coffee into it and then use your most beautiful handwriting to label the lid. Wrap some ribbon around the neck of the jar and go.

Or, even more useful, just buy the product that comes in the most lovely packaging in the first place. I can’t be the only person who has picked a brand based on the packaging. Marketing and presentation are everything and that includes for a hostess gift. If you are in a super market that has a locally grown section, scope out some of those items. Maybe there’s a sauce, seasoning or drink that would be appropriate.

What’s your favorite last minute hostess gift?

XOXO Prepfordwife

Insecuri-tees

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If you live on this planet, hopefully by now you’ve seen the Issa Rae HBO hit, Insecure. If you haven’t, let’s quickly get you up to speed. Insecure follows two black best friends, Issa and Molly, as they go through the awkward trials of being modern women. You can catch the half hour comedy on Sunday nights at 10:30. If that’s too late for you, just watch it on HBO Go or HBO Now like the rest of us.

Anyway, Insecure features Issa Rae and her dope wardrobe styled by herself and costume designer, Ayanna James. In an effort to keep her look authentic much of the twenty something wardrobe features, you guessed it, tees.

From the very first episode, I wanted all the tees. Give them all to me. So like a true blogger, I tracked down a few of my favorites from the show and collected them here for you guys. They would make awesome gifts for the tshirt goddess in your life.insecuritee

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Speaking of tees, today, I’m giving you guys a looksy at my favorite tshirt ever.

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How on earth could I pass on a shirt with Coretta and Cardi B. on it? That’s right, I couldn’t.

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The shirt comes from the quote “I am Whitley Gilbert. I am Cardi B. I am Coretta Scott King. I am Freddie Brooks. I’m every woman, it’s all in me.” The quote and the lovely shirt are both from self proclaimed “Glitter and Hustle Influencer”, Maura Chanz. If you are ever just needing a heavy helping of black girl excellence and fabulous hair, peruse her instagram at you leisure.

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Layered casually with a jacket and jeans but dressed up with stacked pearls, I can easily see myself putting this lilac beauty in my constant rotation. In comes in a few colors and would be a lovely gift for the Cardi B fan in your life. The shop also has a bunch of other great black girl centric shirts if this one isn’t exactly your speed.

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Present Presents

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I’m not a very good person to Christmas shop for. I have relativity expensive taste or I want items that can’t be found in a store like “Grail items”. Combine that with the fact that I always have items in my cart that I am considering pulling the trigger on, and I’m just a flat out pain in the rear to buy for.

Here are a few things that I have in my online shopping cart or *cough cough* on the way in the mail for me. Most of these would be amazing gifts for the preppy lady in your life.

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J. Crew Gayle Sweater is a sweater I fell in love with instantly. Unfortunately so did ever other blogger. Luckily they restocked my size yesterday AND it went to the sale section for $59.99 with an extra 40% AND free shipping. I heard it as a sign from God. The cherubs were practically singing in my ears. CLICK, ADD TO CART. Glad that I did because they were all sold out this morning.

External Hard drive An awesome gift for the blogger in your life or just anyone who saves a ton of pictures or information. I’ve seen the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie fails to back up just one too many times for me to not heed the warning. An external hard drive guarantees that all of your files are safe and that you don’t slow your computer way down with them.

Apple watch band While I love the red double tour band that I currently have and it’s totally appropriate for this time of year, I can’t wear it forever. The brown leather would be much more forgiving for everyday wear. Plus it’s unisex so it’s not just a good fit for me and the women in your life, it also makes for an awesome gift for the men in your life. As usual when it comes to anything that can be customized, I’m #teametsy. Etsy is a great way to buy direct and give to a small business. The amount of love that has gone into the purchases I’ve gotten on etsy is next to none.

“What would Cookie do?”  I’ve seen a number of iterations of this timeless classic mug but very few include notable black women. This shop features really cute ones with Cookie, Mary Jane and Olivia Pope. I’ve waffled back and forth on if I will purchase one of these or if I’m going to wait and see what other characters she’s going to add to the shop. I am patiently waiting for a Joan Clayton or Clair Huxtable mug. *squeals at the very thought*

Hunter Boots I have a red pair but I have been highly considering a matte green pair. They’re highly functional and one sale everywhere. Dare I pull the trigger on these?

Kate Spade Magnolia Bakery Purse This purse was way to expensive for me to justify the purchase but when it went to the Kate Spade Surprise Sale for $94, I quickly added it to my cart. Sadly it sold out while I was trying to check out. Since then I have seen a number of listings for an inflated rate and  am considering just buying them. This purse would be so cute for special occasions and as something to brighten a little black dress. All of Kate Spade’s statement purses are adorable but it’s always the ones that involve cake that leave me reeling.

HN Illustrations She makes the most beautiful prints, many of which are multi-racial. I can rarely find preppy prints with my skin tone so hers are always a win for me. And at $12 each, they are a great and pretty inexpensive gift. The one I selected is my favorite because she reminds me of the Black version of Hermione Granger that have been floating around the Harry Potter fandom.

What’s on your list to buy for yourself this holiday season?

XOXO Prepford Wife

PS Not featured gifts to myself include a few items from the Maison Jules collection from Macy’s that are on their way as we speak. What can I say, I like the gifts I buy myself the best.

Christmas Gifts Past

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Coat| Shirt| Jeans| Socks| Boots| Bag

I’ve been thinking of what I want for this Christmas this year and it made me think of all of the amazing things I’ve received as a gift in the past. Over the next few days, I’ll be doing a Christmas Carol of sorts with gifts I’ve received in the past, what I’m buying in the present and what I hope to receive in the future.

Today’s post is a gift guide for her of all of the amazing basics, I’ve gotten in the last few years  based off of some of my tried and true favorites. I’m also going to include my husband favorites (of mine) on this list because he’s a much better gift buyer for me than I am.past-gits

Hunter boots Everyone should own a pair of good rain boots. I advocate for Hunter because not only are they on trend but they really are well made. I had a less expensive pair of rain boots and they sprung a leak  but the Hunters I own are withstanding the test of time.  I own the huntress boots in red which is always my go to for a pop of color. People seem to really love the hunter green so I guess for these I recommend that you know your audience. I’ve actually got my eye on the Bright cobalt at this moment. Don’t forget the Hunter Boot spray to avoid the boot bloom (that graying that will occur to the rubber)

Camp socks  I’m not wild about the hunter boot socks. I don’t know that they go with my aesthetic and they feel like wasted room. I always just layer my hunter boots with J. Crew’s camp socks. They make an amazing gift for anyone in your life without costing an arm and a leg. I usually buy the men’s instead of the women’s. I usually steal my husband’s because the colors and patterns are better.

Monogram necklace I finally caved and bought a monogram necklace now that my initials are permanent. It’s a wonderful gift especially if you have a new bride in your life.

Patagonia down sweater I actually have the North Face Quince sweater which is sold out everywhere. This is the Patagonia version and it  has fantastic reviews and comes in a variety of colors.

Illesteva shades I have been in love with the brand Illesteva Leonard shades since seeing Solange Knowles’ many moons ago. I tracked them down and knew they were a must have. Since then, I have gotten ample usage out of them. They are gorgeous with every outfit and the quality is next to none. They are one of the few pair of sunglasses that I have owned where they is not a single scratch.

Camel back Edy bottle  I’ve had camel backs, swell and hydroflask and I just keep coming back to Camelback. The bottle is well made and the bite tip works for me. Best of all the 0.75 L fits in my cup holder which is important for someone who spends as much time in the car as I do.

Apple watch and band If you’ve seen any of my recent outfit posts, you’ve more than likely seen my apple watch. I wear it every day with this double tour band and I am obsessed. When the series one came out I was hesitant to get it since the GPS couldn’t operate without the phone and you couldn’t technically swim with it. When they announced that the series two would offer those capabilities, I wanted to jump on it but I’m not someone who believes in pre-ordering. (Something about giving someone my money without getting anything back immediately freaks me out.) But after hunting it down, I couldn’t be more pleased. It helps me to check my notifications discreetly, track swims and runs without needing the phone. I also like the activity tracking. It isn’t something I thought that I would be very interested in because I am usually accountable to myself for working out but I have to say, it really helps to motivate me on days where I am not doing so well on my own. It definitely lives up to the hype for me.

If someone in your life already has the apple watch, then a spare band in their personal aesthetic would probably much needed. There are some amazing options on Etsy. These are a few of my favorites (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Transport tote I purchased this tote on a whim when it was on sale and it has been a fantastic buy. It has enough space for a working woman to carry all of her work needs, for moms to carry all of the baby diaper bag needs and for school aged ladies to carry a laptop, textbook and a notebook. It ages beautifully and can be personalized with a monogram or solo letter. Even better it’s 20% off today with the code SPLURGE and Madewell does free shipping. My kind of people.

Canvas Tote (pictured) is an obvious choice for me. It was an instant classic the moment I opened the package in the mail. There is obviously the LL Bean brand as well but after comparing between the two, I opted for Land’s End. If you sign up now for their email you get 40% off 1 item, plus free shipping on orders of $50 or more.

#TeamShirtSuit

I am the ultimate fan of the one piece suit and swimsuits that are “covered up”. It’s not about the modesty for me, although I respect that it plays a factor for many women. I just love the lazy factor of it.

I love a bathing suit that can double as a shirt. It makes it so easy to throw on a pair of shorts and leave for the beach or slide on a skirt and a sweater and having dinner after a day in the water.

I remember a time when the one piece was very unsexy and unfun but now there are some beautiful and creative one piece bathing suits. These are my favorite “shirt” suits this season, just in time for Memorial day weekend.

swimsuits

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