Believe it or not, this year’s holiday season is almost back to normal. Dinners with family members and close friends are pretty much in full swing too. Since socially distant gatherings and virtual gift-giving are no longer the norms, handing off gifts in-person might be on the horizon for you soon. All year long, we keep tabs on things so you don’t have to: this year’s gift guide is a master list of the most unique items worth picking up for your best friends, your partner, or a close family member.
If things are tight this year, don’t worry, though there are a few selects that are a bit pricey, there are others that are moderately priced but just as special. Options this time around span the following categories: culture, music, books, art, streetwear, and more.
THE BEST PICKS: If you’re playing Secret Santa or just want to grab a thoughtful and affordable gift for someone, we’ve got you. For that friend who is really into cult beauty products look to KNC Beauty’s Leaf-Eye Mask. This item is packed with high doses of Vitamin E and its key ingredients are cactus extract, cucumber, and green tea leaf. yasaf, lit’s “Inception” candle features the scents of palo santo and sage. If self-care picks simply won’t do, pick up either Spike Lee’s new book SPIKE or My Beautiful Black Hair written by St. Clair Detrick-Jules. Kara Hinson’s “Aura” print is a piece begging to be a conversation starter in an apartment.
THE BEST PICKS: Your cultured friend is the one that’s always hitting the group chat with the best museum exhibits to check out, or is always somehow going to sold-out concerts. Edvin Thompson the designer behind Theophilio had a breakout year in 2021. Pick up the brand’s Crystal Logo Brothers Tee quickly as it might not restock. T.A. x Yowie’s Collaborative Art Sculpture is an eclectic selection that’ll last for years to come. Bephie’s Beauty Supply x LOT XI The Experience Box Set is perfect for that person who wants a taste of self-care without a heavy lift. The set comes with palo santo sticks, a travel-size candle, lavender soap, and a bath tea created with a blend of dried calendula flowers, epsom salt, cornflower petals, spearmint mint, and more.
THE BEST PICKS: Are you the best-dressed person in your friend group? If not, we decided to add an entire section for that friend. One option we think this individual would be impressed with is Fear of God’s Baseball Tee, it’s a clean shirt that can be added to anyone’s cold weather lineup. Next up is Sneakersnstuff’s cozy and tonal Sherpa Sweatshirt, while you’re at it New Balance’s 991 in a lush winter-ready colorway is ideal for gifting. Alternatively, Nike’s ACG Mountain Fly Gore-Tex is an attention-grabbing sneaker perfect for activities or just everyday wear.
THE BEST PICKS: Your girlfriend might have such good taste that she only accepts super-specific gifts. Whether she’s into buzzy brands or lesser-known lines, we highly recommend Ciriaco’s Large Ashley Baguette in Hunter Green named after the designer. This handbag is leather, it’s also handmade and features a unique shape that’s been approved by countless editors this year. Char Workroom’s High-Cut Cheeky Short in “Rose” is a pick designed by Houston’s Tacharra Perry. The metallic shorts are eclectic and feature an invisible zipper in addition to the satin lining. Only Made’s Toni Earring is the earpiece of your girlfriend’s dreams. Rayne Schloss, a rising jewelry designer created the piece with freshwater pearls in floral and diamond shapes.
THE BEST PICKS: Holiday gifting for your partner, husband, or significant other just got easier with our stylish selections. Our first recommendation is Bloomfield Works’ Dance Tee in “Black.” This piece with a splashy graphic can be worn around the house or for a night on the town. Bricks and Wood’s Pencil Holder/Coffee Mug is a ceramic gift that’s multi-use and it’s emblazoned with the brand’s logo. Tier’s Hoodie in “Iced Mango” is a part of the streetwear brand’s latest collection, it’s also equipped with their logo. We’d also suggest Carhartt’s Work Tote, it’s a basic piece that can be used each day for work.
THE BEST PICKS: We all have that friend that cops merch from festivals, concerts, and online when their favorite artist announces a drop. Incendium’s Erick The Architect Action Figure is an offering your friends and family won’t ever forget. It’s a miniature figure of the talented producer/rapper. BIA recently dropped a Limited Edition For Certain Cassette/Rolling Tray Box. This pick features an actual cassette of her debut album in addition to a well-crafted rolling tray. Phabo’s first project is one of the best releases of the year, in honor of this Soulection released the Soulquarius Bucket Hat. Pick up Aminé’s 2.5 Airbrush Hoodie in “Yellow” before it’s out of stock; this hoodie is splashed with a funky graphic from the Portland-bred artist’s latest release.
THE BEST PICKS: The tech-obsessed are typically living at least a year ahead of the present. They’re the ones who love a good pair of headphones or would actually appreciate a special tech piece. First up we’re really into Anker’s PowerWave Fast Wireless Charger Stand. It’s case-friendly, has temperature control, and has twin charging coils. Kanye West’s Stem Player allows skilled producers and beginners to isolate vocals, beats, and more. Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay E8 3rd Gen Earphone is another supreme pick we figure any tech lover would enjoy.
Banner Graphic: @popephoenix for Okayplayer
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