The Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

Women think that men can be clueless at shopping – but sometimes, women are just as mystified as their male counterparts. Check out a few of our favorite picks that are sure to impress the man in your life on Christmas morning!

1. The Tech Accessory – Men love their gadgets. They’re even happier when they can find cool accoutrements for their gadgets. We’ve pooled together two of our favorite finds here. Why don’t you try a distressed leather iPad case with a built-in keyboard? Perfect for your man on-the-go, travelling and it takes basic iPad use to the next level. Another cool find is this iPhone case with a built-in bottle opener. It’ll be his new favorite party trick – guaranteed.

2. Cool New Speakers – We’re sure he has the surround-sound TV system completely covered. But a cool iPod/iPhone/iPad dock that will look sweet in his place? We didn’t think so. Try out this Gramophone Speaker from Restoration Hardware.

3. Time Management – Does your guy have a good watch? Chances are, he’ll need a professional looking one sooner or later. We liked this limited edition one offered by J.Crew’s collaboration with Mougin & Picquard – sleek, simple and classy.

4. Matching Scarf & Hat – No matter how manly the man, winter’s chill will sneak up on them eventually. Why not protect them in style and grab them a matching cashmere hat & scarf? Cozy, simple and can be dressed up for fancier occasions as needed.

5. The Basics – There is not a man on this earth that doesn’t appreciate new socks and underwear. Especially nice ones! We’re big fans of Naked brand microfiber undies. An addded bonus? They’re made in Canada with environmentally certified fabric. We also really liked J Crew’s wool socks – great for keeping toes warm during the cold winter. Sure beats his old gross ones with holes in them.

6. The “He-Has-Everything-So-Now-What” Present – We really liked these two unique gifts. Who doesn’t like to sing in the shower? Finally Kohler created an integrated showerhead speaker system. Its bluetooth operated, too, so it’ll sync with your iPod/iPhone/Laptop to blast your favorite playlist while you’re sudsing up. Another awesome find were these cufflinks that also can unlock handcuffs. Perfect for your James Bond-wannabe, and a practical gift to boot!

7. The Athletic Enthusiast – Does your man like to stay on his toes? Nike has released this ingenious Fuel Band, allowing him to monitor his daily activities and see how much he’s actually burning off. Even better, he can sync it with the Fuel App to see how his friends are doing (and  because he’s a guy, compete against them.) Pair this gift with an amazing pair of heated insoles! The remote control will let him decide how warm he wants his feet to be while he’s outdoors (increasing his fuel points, presumably.)

8. The Overnight Bag – Does your man have a great duffle? Perfect for your weekend getaways to the cottage, or even as an in-flight carry on. We liked this distressed leather version from m0851 for a look that says understated cool.

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The Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

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Have a special lady in your life? Whether its your Mother, Daughter, Girlfriend of Wife – there’s sure to be something in here that they’ll love!

1. The Cashmere Scarf – Or any scarf, for that matter! It doesn’t have to be cashmere – but it should at the very least be soft and long so that she can wrap it around herself. Confused about colors? Try to think about the colors she wears often. Failing that, figure out what color her go-to winter coat is and match the scarf to it.

2. The Chunky Watch – Perhaps not for every girl, but these are quite popular overall. Some like silver, some like gold, and this newest style of the Michael Kors watch is sure to be a seasonal hit.

3. The Personalized Necklace – Sometimes its hard to figure out what sorts of jewelry your lady might like. Its kind of hard to go wrong with her intials set in black diamonds. Edgy, yet feminine. Just make sure you get the right initial.

4. The Fancy Heels – Got yourself a trendsetter and a slightly larger gift budget? She’ll undoubtedly enjoy herself a pair of fancy high heels. What girl doesn’t? Just make sure that you include a gift receipt in case they don’t fit her perfectly.

5. The Little Blue Box – Who doesn’t get excited to see a gift from Tiffany’s? Every girl from the age of 13 onward knows what the little blue box means. We liked the rose gold key necklace with diamonds for a subtle feminine look.

6. The Little Add-Ons – Looking for an extra little something to punch-up your pre-existing gift? Why don’t you try picking out Hanky Panky underwear, a funky journal or iPhone case. The latter is perfect for work or for home, and she’ll look (and feel) chic while carrying it around. The undies? Hanky Panky makes great ones because they’re one-size-fits-all (Can’t you imagine the conversation? “I’m a SMALL, not a LARGE!”).

Sidenote: Do NOT under any circumstances purchase the gift of lingerie unless directly instructed by your lady. Lets be honest – that gift is something you’re apt to enjoy more than she will, and her Christmas gift should be about what she wants. Save it for Valentine’s Day.

7. The Coffee Table Book – Got a hard-to-buy-for girlfriend? We’re talking about a gift from Girlfriend to Girlfriend – not Boyfriend to Girlfriend. Why don’t you try a cool coffee table book? Its always a welcome addition to any home and is a great conversation piece. Pick out one that reminds you of her!

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The Festive Special

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Has your quest for the perfect holiday dress begun? There’s always an event where one is needed – a company Christmas party, a christmas get-together at a friend’s place, New Years Eve – the list is never ending!

Check out a few that caught our eye.

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Leather Bound

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Those under the impression that leather is just for jackets and shoes has another thing coming. This season (and a couple seasons before, technically) leather fashion pieces have slowly been embedding themselves into fashion houses the world over.

A few seasons ago, leather pants slowly started inching their way into popular fashion. Although at the time, they were dismissed as a fad that would only be around for a season. It is now clear that they have withstood the test of time, showing up for several seasons and also making their appearances in Spring 2013. Beyond that, leather has also begun to make its appearances in tops, dresses, shorts and all sorts of other variations: leather-trimmed sweaters, leather-sleeved blazers, and more.

So, how does one go about wearing leather pants? Pretty simply, actually. They can be worn in very much the same way that one would wear leggings or tights. Pair them with a longer, slouchy sweater for a downtown-chic look. For dressier occasions, they can be easily paired with a longer blazer and plain tee for an understated approach, or a more elaborate top for an all-out glam approach.

In the more classic sense, leather jackets are also exceptionally popular. Always a staple of sorts, they have also recently transitioned to being less of an outerwear piece and more of a fashion statement in and of themselves. Biker jackets, shearlings and sharp, laser-cuts are carving our their own niche in the fashion industry.

Check out the many different varieties of leather below.

To Boot

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This season’s preferred form of footwear: the bootie. Whether they are heels or flats, a shorter ankle bootie is the hottest trend going.

The best thing about this trend is how versatile it is – fashion spreads show booties with anything from skinnies to little dresses, from day time to night time. The added bonus? You can look fashionable all while keeping your feet warm in this cool fall weather.

Take a peek at the gallery below for some inspiration on the next addition to your closet!

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Wear It With Flare

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This season, the peplum trend has taken the fashion world by storm. Many styles that we’re seeing both on runways and on clothing racks are catering to this feminine silhouette. One of the nicest effects that peplum has on the physique is that it really enhances the waistline. Due to the increased volume at the hemline of the top or dress, the waist appears to be much smaller comparatively. Whether this trend takes form in a top or a dress, the coquettish look is much more versatile than one may initially think.

For non-work related daytime activities, pair a peplum top with simple skinny jeans and cute flats. A peplum dress can be toned down for daytime by pairing it with a pair of biker boots to counterbalance the more girly silhouette of the dress.

For work? A peplum dress is a great way to be fashionable and trendy at a conservative work environment without being too revealing. Pair it with a statement necklace, and you have yourself a fashion-forward outfit that won’t raise any eyebrows.

Take a peek through some of the finds below to see a few examples of this trend in action.

Borrowed From The Boys

Who says girls can’t do it better? I think that slouchy, androgynous looks can be really flattering when done properly. Check out a few key pieces that will infuse your wardrobe with that boyish charm.

The Chunky Watch

We can thank Michael Kors for making this trend much more girl-accessible. Chunky watches make for a bold wrist statement that’ll up your cool factor by several points.

The Boyfriend Jean

They’re back! Boyfriend jeans are a great way to achieve that relaxed and adorable girl-next-door vibe. Depending on your build, be careful of how many other masculine touches you add to this kind of outfit. Too many, and you may inadvertently drown yourself in fabric, so remember that proportion is key.

The Long Blazer

Choose one that has a hemline that goes past your pant’s waistline – and then some. Goes perfect with skinnies, and perhaps even the occasional boyfriend jean (careful here). A blazer is a great investment piece any day, as you can wear it both on-duty and off-duty where work is concerned.

The Collared Shirt

Flannel optional. Its super cozy, though, so don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. However, I’m always a huge proponent of a collared shirt. Crisp and white is always a great classic, too. Make them edgy with a chunky necklace, or girly with pearls. It doesn’t always have to be fancy, either!

The Smoking Slipper and/or Loafer

Now, I haven’t 100% made my mind up about how I feel about these. Vaguely reminiscent of my grandfather’s preferred lounge shoe, I think this trend and I got off on the wrong foot (pun intended.)  However, despite the fact that I haven’t found any that suit me, I’ve seen them on countless others where they look positively adorable.

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Written For: The Stellar Blog

Seeing Red

Although the colour red has always been a classic, it has become especially trendy this season for fall in all of its forms and variations. From bright, fiery reds to deep burgundies, red is certainly a must-have  from the fall/winter colour palette. The cherry on top? Despite the fact that its trendy now, red has always been a timeless classic. An investment in red will surely bring you dividends many times over.

Understandably, some are hesitant about wearing red. Its too bright, its too loud, it draws too much attention. All understandable qualms, as it is usually far from subtle. However, there are still tricks that you can use to successfully integrate red into your wardrobe without allowing it to take over. My usual rule of thumb? If at first you’re too scared, go for accessories!

Not quite bold enough to buy those bright red pants or silk top? Not a problem. Try a red scarf, a clutch, a belt or flats. Mixed in with an all-black ensemble, they will be the perfect pop of colour to help anchor the outfit.

Not really concerned and love the colour red? Lucky you! This season’s hottest hue comes in a multitude of forms: tweed jackets, textured pants, jeans, sweaters – you name it. One that is especially beautiful (and more or less universally flattering) is burgundy. This quintessential fall colour hasn’t gotten the spotlight in some time, but better late than never. Its also very versatile, since it plays well with black, browns, whites and much more.

Written For: The Uniq Lifestyle Newsletter

Photo Credit: net-a-porter.com, intermixonline.com

The DIY Manicure

What you need:

  • Cuticle stick (preferably orange stick)
  • Olive oil (or if you want to get fancy, cuticle remover)
  • Cotton balls
  • Nail file
  • Cuticle trimmer
  • Polish remover (if necessary)
  • Base coat, polish, top coat

Elegantly Waisted

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Higher waistlines have been making their rounds in the fashion circuit as of late. Whether they are shorts or hot-pant style, or coming in the form of skirts, they have been an increasingly popular summer trend.

When playing around with this look, an important thing to remember is proportion. If you’re wearing short and snug high-waisted shorts, perhaps a cropped top or more flowy shirt would help to balance out the look. Conversely, if you’re wearing a long and flowing skirt, a form-fitting tank that can easily be tucked in would probably be more appropriate. Too much volume can result in a parachute-effect, which is definitely not complimentary to anyone!

Also, try to make sure that your waistband is visible… otherwise, whats the point, really?

Written For: The Uniq Lifestyle Weekly Newsletter

To read the original version, click here.