I am so excited about our very first gift guide of the season. (Although, I swear, everyone asks for them earlier and earlier every year! So thanks for your patience! I really didn’t intend to be late to the party. So I hope it was worth the wait! 🤣)
If you’ve been here since last season, you’ll notice this is the same style as last year, as so many of you raved about it! (Yay!) This is my big Oprah-style “Jess’ Favorite Things” guide on TOP of more gift ideas for all the women in your life!
Kendall and I have put hours upon hours upon HOURS––this is not an exaggeration––into making this post as fun and helpful as humanly possible! This guide (and others that come after) will feature lots of favorites from small businesses, Black-owned businesses, woman-owned businesses, anda also handmade items alongside other favorites from bigger retailers! (You’ll see some repeats from last year, as they’re still tried and true standbys, but tons of new additions, too!) I really wanted to curate a selection that was original and unlike the guides you see elsewhere–I hope you love it!
Speaking of small, woman-owned businesses, a shout out my friend Katie for her amazing calligraphy skills in creating my gift guide graphics! (She also makes darling holiday cards that are linked below–make sure to check her out!)
So…without further adieu, let’s jump in! (Side note, if you see any incorrect links or glaring typos, just DM me and let me know! 🤣)
Gift Guide: Jess’ Favorite Things + Gifts for Her
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
— > Jess’ Splurge Favorites <—
Jess' Favorites Under $50
Jess' Favorites Under $50
Crackling Maple Syrup Candle:
This candle saved me during a low week in 2020. A reader sent it to me and said that this candle is perhaps the most comforting thing she’s purchased all of quarantine, and I have to agree with her! It’s a French Canadian maple syrup candle with a wooden wick that sounds like a crackling fire. Not to mention, the vintage design looks perfect on the counter. Also–it’s on AMAZON!
Lanolips Coconutter Lip Balm:
I discovered this lip balm last year and I declare it the most moisturizing lip balm of all time. It’s truly the best–I get such dry lips in the winter and I have about 3 different tubes of this scattered throughout the house so it’s always within arms reach! A great little stocking stuffer and they have really cute packaging!
PJ Salvage Ribbed Joggers:
I recently got these joggers and they have quickly become a hit in my WFH rotation. They’re SO soft and I loved the little buttons down the front. Kind of reminds me of like, chic childhood pajamas? But I’m here for it. And at $48, it’s a great price point! Who wouldn’t want to open more nice, cute sweatpants this year?
If you’re looking for a super affordable gift for all your girlfriends (or a little treat for yourself), look no further! As one reader described it, “it’s the most incredible thing I never knew I needed!” Check out ice roller benefits in my post here!
Necessaire Eucalyptus Body Wash:
I gave in to all the hype about this brand and purchased this body wash + body lotion duo as part of the Nordstrom sale this past summer. Was not blown away by the lotion, but LOVE the body wash. Clean ingredients and it makes you feel like you’re at a fancy spa–the scent is so, so good, and the formula is very gentle!
The Defined Dish Cookbook:
I am a cookbook lover but I can’t say I make a lot of recipes from cookbooks (I really mostly just look at them. 😂) The exception to the rule is the Defined Dish cookbook, written by my friend Alex who is an incredible food blogger. I love this book because everything in it is health-forward (it’s Whole 30 approved) but it doesn’t feel like a Whole 30 book. Quite on the contrary, I have made SO many things in it (even carb-i-fied them) and every recipe is a home-run. Most of the recipes have minimal, easy, staple ingredients, too. Plus, you’re supporting Alex’s business and if you purchase via Bookshop.org, it can benefit the local bookstore of your choice!
Microdermamitt deep exfoliating mitt:
I have always been leery of physical exfoliators like this (because they can be so harsh on your face and irritate the skin), but this one is made of 100% natural silk and is really gentle. I have both the face one and body one and love them both! Makes skin SO smooth and helps your products absorb better. The body one is also excellent to do before sunless tanner! It’s also a small, woman-owned brand but they sell on Amazon!
The Best Candles:
I couldn’t decide which candle to feature here, so I chose both! First, I love Thyme’s Frasier Fir candle–it’s an incredible foresty holiday scent! It’s only $30, you can get it on Amazon and apparently it has an underground cult following. My friend Tine introduced me and was so convinced I’d be obsessed that she Primed one to me the next day. It’s THAT good!
Second is Anecdote’s line of candles–they all smell DIVINE–it’s my friend Danielle’s shop, so your purchase helps support a small, women-owned business!
Kribi Coffee: (Formerly Counter Coffee)
Based in Chicago, ships all over! My favorite is their Calypso blend–the perfect gift for yourself or any coffee lover! A great way to support a local Black-owned business!
Remember when I posted on IG stories and I said, “What’s your favorite item I’ve ever recommended to you?” I can’t even TELL YOU how many people said TISSUE TURTNELECKS!! Really, they’re insanely budget-friendly (especially bc J.Crew is so often on sale!) and they’re the best layering essential. They keep you warm outside as a base layer, and are thin enough to ensure you don’t overheat inside! Order your normal size if you want it tighter, and size up if you want a looser fit. I also love Madewells version, which is a little bit of a boxier fit if you prefer that!
Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel:
A miracle in a bottle, this was another super popular answer on Instagram stories, and I couldn’t agree more! This is probably my #1 favorite beauty product…ever? If you have issues with dull, flaky, patchy, uneven, dry winter skin, this bottle will take care of that real quick! (Plus, Beautycounter is a B-Corp, so you can feel extra good about your purchase!)
Actually Curious Card Game:
My friend Morgan introduced me to this new Black-owned brand and it’s such a fun concept! Neal and I have brought these cards out on a few different date nights and they’re such fun conversation starters–would be great to play over a zoom with a group, too! (The one I have is the “Happy Hour” edition. The cards are meant to foster meaningful conversation and connection.
I’ve had one of these for YEARS and it makes such a difference in taming frizz, breakage, and getting excess water out of your hair much better than a regular towel. Plus, it nicely gets your hair out of the way while you do your makeup, and before you’re ready to dry your hair!
Beautycounter Brow Gel:
My favorite brow product of all time! You will be SHOCKED at how good your brows look after using this. It’s super natural looking but also really buildable. I’m obsessed! I haven’t left the house without this product on since I started using it when it first came out last year!
I think with another long, locked-down winter ahead of us, it’s safe to say we could all use some Drinkwel to go along with our increased wine consumption. 😂 It’s a Vitamin with lots of liver support that you take before you start drinking. It prevents hangovers and is completely magical. The most practical stocking stuffer there ever was.
Imported Italian White Truffle Sauce
My Italian friend Luca has an imports company where he sells fantastic Italian goods to local restaurants, but he’s put a few of his best selling items on sale on Amazon, and the white truffle sauce is absolutely to die for. All you need to do is pour it over pasta and that’s it! It’s that good and that easy! (Although it would be delicious paired with some crumbled Italian sausage too–or over chicken!) Get one for everyone you know–a great gift for someone who has everything!
Breakfast Wine Mug:
HOW AMAZING IS THIS MUG!? What fun-loving person DOESN’T need this? It’s from Alice & Wonder (yep! Who made the VOTE tees!) So not only makes you smile every morning, but your purchase supports a local women-owned Chicago shop, too! (This mug wrapped in cute cellophane with some of the Vital Proteins packets or some fancy hot cocoa packets would be a really cute gift!)
Small Packages Gift Boxes:
You guys know how much I love Small Packages! I was first introduced to the brand when they were a sponsor of mine last year right when they launched, and I feel in love with the concept so much that the owner, Julie, has become a friend! Small Packages makes beautifully curated gift boxes for ALL occasions (good and bad ones!) with goodies made by small, women-owned brands, and they start at just $35!
SWZL Straw Set:
Eliminating the use of plastic straws is something we’re all trying to be better about, and these SWZLE straws make it a lot easier! They’re metal and come in their own carrying case (so you can always keep it stashed in your bag!) with a cleaning brush, too! They’re also a local Chicago startup!
The softest, comfiest, coziest socks IN THE WORLD. There is no one who doesn’t need these in their life! The best stocking stuffer ever! (FYI I know it says size 9/11 but it fits sizes 6-10)
Yeti Rambler Mug:
I love my rambler mug because I can drink coffee in it, and also drink water, cocktails, la croix, whatever out of it–and things stay hot or cold! It’s all you need!
Amazon No-Slip Ankle Socks:
Okay I almost DIDN’T include these because I cannot think of anything less exciting, but these are probably one of the items I get asked about the most. ?These Amazon socks are amazing–they’re invisible socks that REALLY do not slip off your feet! I bought like 4 packs so all my socks match and it’s been the best decision ever.
These are my FAVORITE pair of hoops, made by local Chicago woman-owned brand Vo Jewelry! They’re insanely lightweight (you can’t feel them in) and they make the perfect subtle statement. The best part? They’re only $30!
Vo Jewelry Dainty Necklace:
Also from Vo, I wear this necklace along with my Dana Rebecca necklace (below!) every day. I don’t think I’ve taken it off in two years! The best part? It’s only $38! The perfect layering necklace!
Woo Me Nail Grown Serum:
I absolutely love this nail growth serum, made by WooMe Beauty, a small Black-owned, woman-owned brand! Her awesome formula is made with all-natural ingredients and no chemicals. It makes nails so strong and shiny! It really helped to heal them after my last dip manicure pre-pandemic all but destroyed my nails. At $17, it’s the perfect stocking stuffer for all your girlfriends! The cherry on top is that the founder, Leslie Williams, is absolutely lovely and has a true passion for what she does!
Beautycounter Velvet Eyeshadow Palette:
I haven’t used any other eyeshadow since I got this palette two years ago! (And I’m still on my first one!) If a bold eye is giving you joy right now, I can’t recommend this enough. I used to be a Charlotte Tilbury shadow lover and this is JUST as good–it’s one of the few palettes where every color is actually wearable every day. I can use this for a light daytime look or a super smokey dramatic look. I even use the Sienna color as a blush! I travel with it everywhere and haven’t had a problem with it shattering either (which was always my biggest pain point with other palettes!)
Another wonderful purchase to come out of 2020! These “Lululemon Align dupes” are UN.REAL. They are one of my top sellers of the YEAR because they are that good. They are buttery soft (feel identical to aligns) incredibly affordable, and come in a variety of fun colors. They run true to size! (I have the small!) They’re also almost always on sale!
Vintage Royalty Earrings:
If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know I adore Vintage Royalty’s FUN handmade earrings! They’re a Chicago-based, Blacked-owned, woman-owned brand. The earrings are so lightweight, so they don’t hurt your ears, and they bring so much personality to any outfit!
Olive and June Mani System:
I got the Olive and June mani system a couple months back and I think it would make an excellent gift for anyone who loves doing their nails. It definitely makes at-home manis easier and more enjoyable, and I love, love their nail polish colors. I don’t think it lasts longer than any other polish (although others tell me differently) but I love the products otherwise, and really appreciate that they’re nontoxic and a woman-owned brand!
Pear Nova Nail Polish:
Another polish brand that I’ve tried and loved recently is Pear Nova! They also have some stunning colors–I love “Michelle Our Mama” which is a beautiful creamy beige hue. They’re a Black and woman-owned brand from Chicago AND they just made the list of Oprah’s favorite things!!
Amazon Wubby Fleece:
Okay, this is a Wubby that isn’t technically a NAME BRAND Wubby, but it’s still damn good, especially for the price! This is also different than a Wubby in that it’s FLEECE lined (not sherpa lined, not jersey-lined) but literally like–Dudley kind of material lined. “It’s different than the others” is how I justify this purchase to myself. It’s fine, it’s $28.
OurPlace Stackable Everything Glasses:
I love LOVE these glasses because they’re handmade, vintage-inspired, they stack and take up so little room, and the size and shape make them perfect for everything from water, to iced coffee, to juice, to cocktails and wine! (Use JESSKEYS for $10 off!)
Jess' Favorites Under $100
Jess' Favorites Under $100
Brightland Olive Oil Gift Set:
The world’s most Instagrammable olive oil (that also tastes divine!) After seeing Hitha and Grace rave about Brightland Olive Oil on Instagram, I had been dying to try some! Hitha so kindly introduced me to their founder, Aishwarya Iyer (thanks Hitha!) I fell in love with the brand story of how she got started (she has a background in the beauty industry, which explains why the branding is SO stunning). After learning that most of the olive oil in the US is rancid and low quality, she set out to create a new kind of olive oil brand, made from a family farm in California. So far I’ve tried both oils in this set and the balsamic–it’s so, so good. It would truly make the most special gift for anyone who loves food! All are meant for drizzling and finishing dishes, salads, crostini, etc!
Authentic Italian Olive Oil (2 pack)
If trendy olive oil isn’t your thing, I also absolutely love this high quality Italian olive oil, which is available on Amazon and is sold in a two-pack for $64––so you can keep one and gift one 😉 This is another great item my friend Luca imports from Italy and sells in his Amazon shop, so your purchase goes a long way to help a local business!
Foxtrot Espresso Martini Kit:
If you live in the Chicago area, I always recommend FoxTrot for cute gifts that do same-day delivery! I also know how much you all love Espresso martinis (it’s always a top request for Cocktails with Neal but we’ve yet to do one 😂) It includes everything you need to make a delicious espresso martini at home–a bottle of CH Distillery vodka (local to Chicago!), cold brew liqueur, metric coffee and other goodies! Foxtrot has tons of amazing gift options at different price points (booze and no booze!) so definitely check out their whole selection.
THE classic tartan J.Crew scarf that really just signifies the holidays for me! I’ve owned this scarf for several years and it’s always a favorite! It looks so festive and pretty with everything! Makes the best (unisex) gift too! Plus, it’s J.Crew, so it’s almost always on sale!
Your favorite hometown comfort food, shipped from Goldbelly
I had never heard of Goldbelly before, I think I saw an ad for it somewhere, but it’s the most genius thing ever. They’re kind of like a GrubHub but for restaurants to package and ship their specialties all over the country. So you can say, get a dozen of your favorite New York Bagels from your favorite bagel shop, or your favorite Chicago deep dish pizza, Phillies from Philly–you get where I’m going with this. What an amazing gift for anyone who is homesick for a hometown comfort food, plus, an amazing way to support a restaurant from afar!
Faux Leather Leggings:
I love Spanx Faux Leather Leggings and 2020 has only solidified that love. They’re what I wear when I need to wear “pants” but I just can’t bring myself to wear jeans. They look way more put together and nicer than normal leggings, but they’re more breathable and comfortable for all-day wear. Sizing: Spanx run TTS for me but the website says to go up a size, so maybe if you’re in doubt, go up.
Slip Silk Sleep Mask + Silk Pillow Gift Set:
I have had this set for years and it’s one of my go-to luxurious gifts that anyone would love to receive! The eye mask is so lightweight and feels like nothing on your face, and the pillow just makes going to bed feel like a fancy spa experience–it’s supposedly much better for your skin and hair than regular cotton and helps prevent wrinkles and frizz! Plus, it’s a treat that a lot of people wouldn’t normally buy themselves!
I’ve had these sneakers for a year now, and I’m still so in love. They are so comfortable, require ZERO break-in, and they go with everything. They’re a little preppy, a little retro, and 100% classic. I have styled them countless ways on the blog, so click here for all the posts I feature them in if you need inspo!
Lululemon Breeze Workout Tees:
My #1 favorite workout top! While I love tanks, sometimes you just want a little bit more coverage, and this is the perfect top for those days! I love that this is basically nothing–you can pull it on over your sports bra and it is SO breathable. It comes in a bunch of colors as well! Sizing: I ordered a size 6 (my usual size in Lululemon), but I think this top runs a little big for lulu–but I’m glad I got it a little oversized, so I can tie it in a knot–which looks cute while being functional at the same time!
Madewell Sherpa Cardigan:
Another recent addition to my winter wardrobe that has become a staple. I often wear it with the other pant options on this list. 😂 It’s just the best and kind of like if Wubby Fleece had a more grown-up chic cousin. One of my top-sellers for November, so I know you all love it too! Bonus: it’s made of recycled materials!
Barefoot Dreams Robe:
The ultimate blanket-meets-robe that comes in 8 dreamy neutral hues! Definitely a purchase/gift we could all use in 2020! I got a BD robe at the start of quarantine and it’s without a doubt one of the best things I’ve treated myself to this year. Don’t bother with a cheap robe, this is worth every penny.
Equilibria Balance Box:
When I say CBD has greatly improved my life, I’m not exaggerating. Equilibria has vastly affected my sleep quality and reduced my daily stress. I subscribe to their Balance Box each month which is what I recommend to those starting out–it contains both their softgels and daily drops, which work together to produce the best results. (Tip: Go for the subscription! It’s 20% cheaper and you can cancel anytime!) You can read my whole post on CBD here! I cannot think of a better self-care gift for yourself or anyone you love! Use code JESSKEYS for 15% off your first purchase!
Nordstrom Lingerie Moonlight Pajamas:
The best pajamas for the money! I have purchased a new pair each year for the past three years. They are so, so soft and also don’t make you overheat, which is key!! If you don’t yet own a nice pajama set, I can’t explain what a difference they make. Sounds silly, but it’s a small upgrade that makes a big difference in the self-care department! Order your normal size!
Equilibria Daily Treatment Oil:
The newest Equilibria product, the daily treatment oil with 500mg of CBD would make a great gift for a loved one or yourself. It’s my favorite face oil I’ve ever tried–It’s especially great for locking in moisture, targeting redness and inflammation, and it even helps breakouts heal a lot faster! Great for spot treating anywhere on your body, too! Use code JESSKEYS for 15% off your first purchase!
Jess' Favorites Around $150-$200
Jess' Favorites Around $150-$200
OurPlace Always Pan:
Now we get to the portion of the program where I yell from the rooftops about how amazing this non-toxic, non-stick pan is! I know, I’m beating a dead horse, you already know how much I love it. I’m naming it the #1 gift of 2020. You can read my giant blog post about it. In short, it’s the easiest pan to clean, so multifunctional it will replace most of the pans you own, and it looks so pretty on your stovetop. The founder Shiza Shahid, is so cool and has a background in non-profit, so the company is very mission-centric and the products are ethically made in a woman-owned factory! (Also, right now it’s $50 off which NEVER HAPPENS so snap it up ASAP!)
J.Crew Sophie Sweater Blazer:
I’ve been raving about this piece forever! Part cardigan, part blazer, it’s an essential wardrobe staple for both work and weekend! Add a layer of sophistication in the office or dress it down for a cozy weekend look — zoom approved, and it comes in many beautiful colors! (Sizing: TTS, but fits like a cardigan, not a blazer!)
Ray-Ban Round & Hexagon Sunnies:
I’m a Ray-Ban loyalist! I love SO many of their sunglasses, but these two pairs are what I gravitate toward most often! I have the 53mm Rounds, and I love how they feel retro and classic at the same time! They go with everything, every time of the year, for every occasion. Note: they come in two sizes–50mm and 53mm! I also love the Hexagon frames! Check out Neal & Jess’ Ultimate Ray-Ban Guide for more of our favorites!
Dudley Stephens Turtlenecks:
I don’t know how I ever got through a Chicago winter before Dudley Stephens turtlenecks. The Cobble Hill Turtleneck is so soft, so warm, such a flattering tunic cut and it has pockets! I can’t say enough good things! Sizing: Runs a little small, consider going up a size. I also love the Park Slope Turtleneck, which is such a classic style! It has a cute structured collar with the same cozy, low-maintenance fleece in a shorter, tuckable cut! Sizing: I found this fits more TTS than the Cobble Hill. Check out my full review and style ideas for both turtlenecks here!
Able Convertible Belt Bag:
I love this little belt bag–it’s perfect for walks around the neighborhood and converts into a cross-body that you’ll wear so often when going out in public is normal again! This is the most incredible company, dedicated to lifting women out of poverty and sex-trafficking by giving them fair-wage jobs. I highly recommend browsing their entire site–they have so many beautiful items! *Use code JESSKEYS for 20% off!
Lululemon Keep Moving Pants:
The best pants if you are going for that “I’m wearing real pants but I need them to feel like sweats” look. I have them in this green color and I love them so much! They’d make an awesome gift. They come in tons of colors, too! I ordered my normal size but I’d say the waistband runs a bit tighter than their leggings do, so if you’re in doubt you could size up.
Blue Apron Gift Card:
My favorite meal subscription service! $120 covers a two-week delivery of 3 recipes on any 2-serving Meal Plan! I cannot think of a more pandemic-friendly gift and it has really taken the stress out of cooking and grocery shopping for us! Their meals are SO good too and really make our weeknight meals far more interesting. Full disclosure, they are a sponsor, but they deserve a spot in this gift guide because we love them so much and have made cooking over the past couple of months so much easier and a lot more fun!
Audiotechnica Record Player:
Many of you said this is your favorite gift you’ve ever given OR received from my recco! Yay! (I’ll be putting this on the guys gift guide too, because it’s amazing for everyone). We have an Audiotechnica and it’s hard to beat for the price. (We had a cute Crosley first but this is much better quality!) I think this would be a great gift for either a parent who has a vinyl collection but got rid of their record player years ago or a music lover who hasn’t gotten into vinyl yet––giving them this with a few classic albums would be SO COOL. We connect and play this via our Sonos speakers.
Sezane Reversible Gaspard Sweater:
I think this is hands down the most beautiful sweater I own. Pre-pandemic it was also my most-worn sweater, now that I don’t leave the house I pretty much just wear it when I’m trying to “dress for a date night” (AKA wear normal clothes and make martinis and play records). But it always makes me feel beautiful. One of the few sweaters that can pull off being “sexy” and also appropriate for any occasion at the same time.
Blondo Presto Waterproof Boots:
My #1 most loved reader product!! You’ve all heard me rave about these for years! Yes, they are suede AND waterproof AND salt proof! You don’t need to do anything to do them–you just wear them straight out of the box. You can wear them through the rain and sleet and slush without worry–they have tread AND are are BEAUTIFUL (which I think we can all agree can be a rare combo when it comes to true winter boots!) Sizing: TTS!
Cole Haan Snow Boots:
My favorite snow boots and what I recommend to everyone (come in other colors too!). They are incredibly warm and **WATERPROOF** I have Sorels for mega snow days but they’re so clunky I wanted something that was super warm, waterproof, and that I wouldn’t look rediculous wearing on a winter day that didn’t have snow on the ground––these do not disappoint! Come in other colors as well! Run TTS. Snap ’em up quick–they sold out last year!
We have had a Nespresso machine ever since the first year we moved in together and we love it so much. Their smaller machines are really great for smaller countertops, too! We have the “Originaline” espresso machine, but they also make the “Virtuo” line that makes both espresso and other kinds of coffee––their website helps explain the differences! I also love the limited edition pods they come out with all the time!
Cuisinart Auto-Grind + Brew Coffee Machine:
When we’re in the mood for drip coffee instead of espresso, we LOVE our Cuisinart coffee maker that grinds the beans fresh (and pre-measures everything for you so you never have to play that “is the coffee going to be too strong or too watery?” roulette). For those who prefer drip coffee, I can’t recommend this enough. All you have to do is press “start” and it does the rest.
Madewell Transport Tote:
I’ve had my Transport Tote for 3+ years! I love the look and how much stuff it holds! It’s also really durable- I’ve pretty much beaten it to hell and it’s still going strong. I love the zipper top, which is essential if you’re a heavy traveler or commuter, and the inside pocket zips!
Barefoot Dreams Blanket:
I gave into the Barefoot Dreams hype at the beginning of quarantine and as it turns out, it is actually that good. This blanket is probably an item most people wouldn’t buy for themselves because it’s a very expensive blanket (except me 🤣) but would use and cherish profusely when gifted! It’s like being enveloped a cloud and would make the most luxurious, cozy gift — especially for 2020! Even Neal loves it and he used to be a big eye-roller about “blanket obsessions.”
Another upgrade a lot of people probably won’t buy themselves, but would greatly appreciate as a gift! I upgraded my AirPods this year to the Pro noise cancellation and they’ve been a game-changer- especially for working in the same house as your significant other!
P.Volve Starter Kit + Streaming Subscription:
At the beginning of the pandemic, I discovered P.Volve via an Instagram ad and bought it on a whim because it looked like the kind of small-space friendly, cardio-hating, low-impact workout I was looking for. I’m one of those people that struggles to work out if I’m not going to a class, and this is the one workout I can actually stomach from home. They have tons of streaming workouts to choose from and most are around 30 minutes, so it’s the perfect pandemic workout. I’m linking to the starter kit I purchased, and highly recommend!
Jess' Splurge Favorites
Jess' Splurge Favorites
Classic Barbour Jacket:
One of my favorite wardrobe staples (I have acquired a few Barbour jackets over the years). If you’d like to channel your inner “Royal Family at Balmoral” vibes, this is your jacket! The waxed Barbours are my favorite as I love their look and how durable/versatile they are. A Barbour will last you a lifetime, and it’s one of the most iconic brands out there. I recommend starting out with either the Beadnell (a bit more feminine/fitted in shape) or the Bedale (a bit more relaxed fitting). (I also have a ladies Beaufort I ADORE but I can’t find it in stock anywhere anymore!) FYI, Barbour is made in the UK so sizing is European, so I’d recommend sizing up.
Equilibria “Season of Intention” Gift Set:
Equilibria actually has four beautiful gift sets at a variety of price points, one geared specifically toward fast-action stress relief, sleep issues, topical pain, and this one–which is the most luxurious of all, and includes their seasonal flavored Daily Drops, Daily Softgels (that give you ALL the benefits of ingestible CBD–like stress-relief, help falling and staying asleep, reducing inflammation, etc) along with their incredible new facial oil, mineral bath salts, all in their limited edition, artist-designed pouch! It would make the best gift for mom, sister, or yourself! Use code JESSKEYS for 15% off your first purchase!
Delsey Chatalet 21″ Rolling Carry On Bag:
For when the world opens up again! I haven’t gone on a single trip without my little Delsey suitcase in the past two years, and let me tell you–I never thought I could have such love for a suitcase! (I couldn’t bear to take it off my favorites list even despite nobody traveling right now!) It’s not just adorable–yes, it sounds cheesy, but it SERIOUSLY brings me joy rolling it through the airport–but it’s crazy functional and holds so much! See my full review here!
Dyson Cordless Vacuum:
This might not be the most exciting purchase, but it will DRAMATICALLY improve your life. This vacuum is one of my favorite things that we own and has made it so easy to keep our entire (all wood floor) condo dust-free. It’s as light as a Swiffer, and I can quick vacuum our whole place in minutes! It’s worth every bit of the hype. When you’re spending all day every day at home, this will make your life wayyyy easier–trust me, put it on your Christmas list.
Dana Rebecca Sylvie Necklace:
My best friend Courtney gave me this necklace as a bridesmaid gift (so generous!) and I wear it every day. I don’t think I’ve taken it off in over a year. I always get asked what necklace I’m wearing, so I had to include it here! Dana Rebecca makes the most beautiful dainty jewelry that always makes for a really special gift!
Dana Rebecca x Liz Adams Diamond Trio Studs:
I just ordered these beautiful studs that Liz designed with Dana Rebecca as a gift to myself. (I would’ve asked Neal for them for Christmas but I’m too afraid I’ll lose one and then I’ll feel too awful 😂) I don’t wear much jewelry (aside from my necklaces) but have been looking for a pair of nice (but not super expensive) tiny diamond studs that are comfortable enough to leave in indefinitely, and these absolutely fit the bill. They’re so dainty and subtle but feel so special. I adore them!
J.Crew Cocoon Coat:
Probably the warmest non-puffer coat money can buy you–not to mention, it’s just an adorable coat! I reach for this all the time and love how classic and elegant it is! Sizing: It does run big- I would suggest sizing down if you prefer your coats more fitted. I’m usually a 0 or 2 in coats and I have the size 0 with room to layer! See my full Cocoon Coat Review!
More Gift Ideas for Her- Jess's Picks
More Gift Ideas for Her- Jess's Picks
Steve Kornacki Mug!
One of my personal favorite Election Heroes!! Artist Jennifer Vallez is one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram, and she makes the most AMAZING illustrations–you will want to drop hundreds of dollars in her Etsy shop–her RBG, Stacey Abrams, and Joe & Kamala merch are among my other top favorites.
Faux Tortise Mask Chains:
This Etsy maker ByLunari makes the CUTEST mask chains! If you’ve been looking for one that’s a little bit different yet still dainty/not chunky or heavy–these look perfect!
Lotto Love “Scratch-Offs” For Charity:
If you’re looking for a cute little something to slip in with your holiday cards, or a little something for the person who has everything, I ADORE this company called Lotto Love and everything they are about! The winning prize of each card goes to support one of the company’s four pillars: literacy tools, clean water, nutritious meals and solar energy. Each card has a 100% chance of winning for someone in need!
Winestyr Gift Box/Subscription:
I LOVE Winestyr! They’re a small, Chicago-based wine subscription company we belong to. They focus only on small-batch wines from producers that you wouldn’t be able to find in a liquor store. You can choose one box per quarter, monthly, whatever–they’re really flexible! They ship (affordably!) all over and have lots of great gift options too! (A great gift for the picky person who has everything!)
Handmade Geometric Mug:
Another mug from another one of my favorite small shops (also Black and woman-owned!) called New Origin, based in Austin! Sierra does such an amazing job of curating really special items from small makers, and also handmakes her own goods, too! This handmade ceramic mug is one of the many beauties she carries!
2020 Errand Kit:
If this isn’t the most 2020 product I’ve ever seen–it’s a cute little errand kit containing a mini hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer wipes, a stylus/pen combo (so you don’t have to touch the credit card screen), reusable tote, and cloth face mask. Perfect for keeping in your car or your purse so you’re never caught without these essentials!
Mark & Graham Tech Envelope:
My SIL got me this for Christmas last year and I love it so much–the best travel essential! It’s an all-in-one beautiful leather envelope that holds ALL your stuff in one place. Kindle, iPad, phone, earbuds, credit cards, USB cord!
Cashmere-Lined Leather Touchscreen Gloves:
These are such a great gift idea! You guys said a pair of warm, tech-friendly gloves is a non-negotiable winter staple so you don’t have to pull off your gloves every time you use your phone. These come in black, too!
Casper Glow Light:
Very random, but I love this thing. You can use it as an alarm clock, so the soft light gradually gets brighter to wake you up gently, so you don’t feel so out of it when you wake up! Additionally, I use it as a reading light before bed (you can set the timer to slowly dim based on when you want to go to bed) and if you need it in the middle of the night (to get a drink of water, or if you’re a new parent and you want to change your baby’s diaper in the middle of the night without waking them up) you just wiggle it and carry it with you and it produces the softest “nightlight” type light. It’s really soothing and the light feels more similar to that of a candle than a lamp!
Moira Mug from Lost Girls Vintage:
Lost Girls is one of my favorite local Chicago shops and I am dying over their amazing Schitts Creek merch, especially this Moira mug!!
Lunya Sleep Mask:
My MIL got me this Lunya sleep mask last year for Christmas and I am SO in love with it! I also love my Slip sleep mask but love that the Lunya one is wider, so it’s even better at blocking out light. It’s also padded so it feels like a mini luxurious silk pillow for your eyes, in the best way! (However, if you don’t want to feel something on your face, the Slip one is more minimal!) Both are great gifts!
Ethiopian Cotton Napkin Set:
This Black and woman-owned shop has the most beautiful home goods sourced from Africa, and this beautiful napkin set would make a great gift for anyone who loves to entertain (you know, under normal circumstances) or just moved into a new home!
Magnesium Bath Glow:
At $5 a pouch in the most DARLING packaging ever, these little bath soaks from Etsy are the perfect thing to send to all your girlfriends! Infused with magnesium and other minerals for the ultimate, relaxing bath!
Neal and I have so much vintage glassware that we absolutely adore–I think it also makes a thoughtful and unique gift! Vintage stores have especially been hard-hit this year, so whether you find a seller on Etsy or you call around to some local shops–your support will go a long way! You can search more vintage glassware on Etsy here! (If you can’t find something you like, try searching “vintage martini glass” or “vintage champagne coupe” and it will yield more specific results!
Five Minute Journal:
I cannot recommend this little journal enough! It provides a structured format to boost your happiness in 5 minutes a day including: gratitude, prioritizing your day, 3 amazing things, inspiring quotes, daily affirmation, and end of day reflection.
Hydro Flask Water Bottle:
I LOVE my Hydro Flask water bottle — it keeps water so cold, and is fun to drink out of. (Sounds weird, but true.) I use this EVERY day and love it because it holds so much, I only need to drink two to hit my water goal for the day. It makes an awesome (super practical) gift!
Major’s Project Pop Organic Kettle Corn:
Love skinny pop but want to support a small, woman-owned biz? Grab some Major’s Project Pop! Created by Chauniqua Major-Louis (who goes by Major), a PR exec from Orlando (according to her Forbes profile!) Her formula focuses on quality, simple ingredients–organic, Non-GMO kernels popped in small batches using virgin coconut oil, the perfect amount of organic cane sugar and Himalayan pink salt! (I ordered the two-pack and am anxiously awaiting its arrival!)
Slip Silk Hair Scrunchie Set:
Another beauty lover gift–slip silk scrunchies! These are a dream for making your hair stretch longer in between washes–you can wear it up at night without risking breakage or bad kinks in your hair! (I like to put dry shampoo on my roots at night and then put it up in one of these to sleep in!) It’s also a gift that feels really fancy, even though it’s only $39!
Virtual Happy Hour Kit:
(Cleverly re-named from the “Carry On Cocktail Kit!) I feel like I can’t not include these in my gift guides every year. Neal and I LOVE these cute little cocktail kits–they’re the best thing to take on the plane to kick off a fun vacation! (Whenever those happen again). But in 2020, they’re the perfect little thing to facilitate a virtual happy hour, or just a great little stocking stuffer! They have a bunch of different kids–Margarita, Moscow Mule, Champagne Cocktail, Bloody, and a Spritz, just to name a few!
DIY Macrame Keychain Kit:
Another fun little gem from New Origin Shop! Since 2020 is the time we’re all tapping into our craftier sides, what a fun, affordable gift is this? It’s only $15, a fun way to learn a new skill, and your friend will always think of you when she grabs her keys!
Minted Custom Recipe or Drawing print
Minted is such a great resource for really meaningful gifts–from photo books, to framed photos, artwork, and more–but this one really stood out to me. Recipes are so special and they are passed down from generation to generation––do you get emotional looking at your Grandmother’s handwritten recipes too? (I do!) I think this is a really unique gift idea that you can make for your whole family–you can customize the frame too to suit everyone’s individual style!
Custom silhouette portrait art:
Another really special gift idea from Minted (especially for grandparents or moms!) You can have them a beautiful silhouette (and customize the color and frame as well!) If you want something sentimental and different, but are sick of photos, this is a great one!
Admiral Row Dainty Gold Jewelry:
If you’re looking for affordable, dainty gold jewelry, Admiral Row, an awesome Black-owned brand out of Atlanta, has so much to choose from. They’re known for their quality jewelry at affordable prices. Whether it’s a treat for yourself or someone you love, I especially love their delicate studs, and they have some really cool vintage jewelry, too!
Greer Chicago Holiday Stationery:
Greer is a beloved Chicago boutique founded by Chandra Greer, and is known all across the city for their beautiful cards, stationery and other gifts! They have the cutest selection of holiday cards, you’ll be looking for excuses to send one to everyone you know!
Katie Elizabeth Designs Holiday Cards:
My friend Katie from high school is an amazingly talented calligrapher who makes the cutest, cheeky cards. I especially love her holiday and pandemic-related cards. They will make anyone smile!
Sezane Demain tote:
Choose what you pay for this tote, up to $25, and all proceeds will be donated to Sezane’s “Demain” charity, which funds projects geared toward equal opportunity education. I actually received this bag as a gift with purchase a while back and it’s my #1 go-to grocery bag–it’s so cute and holds so much stuff!
ABLE Leather Jacket:
I have had my eye on ABLE’s classic leather moto jacket for quite a while and while I can’t personally speak to it (it’s on my list) my friend Natalie raves about hers and I trust her reccos implicitly! It’s one of the most versatile investment pieces you can make in your wardrobe, and the company has such an incredible mission. I often get asked for leather jacket reccos, so wanted to include this one in case you are hoping to add one to your holiday wishlist! **Use code JESSKEYS for 20% off!
InBooze Cocktail Infusion Kits:
Ashleigh is a one-woman show and Etsy seller who creates these amazing little infusion pouches filled with dried fruits, herbs and spices that you drop into the alcohol of your choice to make delicious craft cocktails! The perfect stay-at-home activity for any cocktail lover. (I bet they’d make some great mocktails, too!)
Whew! You made it to the bottom!
Whew! You made it to the bottom!
I hope you LOVED this guide and that it’s the most helpful guide around for your holiday shopping! Gift guide for guys, experience (non-material item related) gifts, stocking stuffers and more coming soon!