I was fortunate to be part of Robert Verdi’s fabulous holiday Tweet This! event recently, where the style guru gives the MOST fabulous and forward-thinking gifts for everyone on your list. In attendance were other blogging fashionistas, beauty heads, and yes, even famed photographer Nigel Barker all tweeting away. The BEST part about Verdi’s gift suggestions is that they’re cool, different, practical, and always presented in a beautiful way. I was able to catch up with him the next day to pick his brain about some of his best holiday gift giving tips (read til the end for his full gift guide as well!):
Robert Verdi at his Tweet This event
Beauty and the Feast: What’s the holiday gifting etiquette for when someone buys you a gift unexpectedly? What’s a nice gesture in return?
Give them an experience gift. A lot of times, you forget someone unintentionally and they give you a gift. Here’s a little tip: carry cards with you, and write something like “This card is good for a night out on the town with me.” Something that’s an experience. “Pack your bags, we’re going to Great Adventure day in the spring!” Give them something that’s time spent with them, and time well spent, then I think you’ve got out of that awkward position. You might have to run to the bathroom to write it out and then give the card to them, but be prepared with that. If you don’t have cards on you, be like “Oh, I have a gift but I just dropped it in the mail!” But be sure
that if you’re going to tell a little white lie like that, that you follow up!
BATF: What’s a thoughtful gift for the guy who has everything he needs, and doesn’t need anything he doesn’t have?
: Guys just haven’t gotten comfortable buying this item for themselves, so it’s a great opportunity for a woman: a man bag
. A really good messenger bag. Keep in mind, guys are techies. So they’re carrying their charger, a laptop, a cell phone, keys, wallet…you have all this crap you can’t fit in your pockets anymore, and if you do, your pants look misshapen and you look all lumpy and bumpy. Guys haven’t got used to this yet, but they’re moving in this direction. Get something classic, but with just enough chic that it’s not intimidating to him. Check out the bags at Mulberry
. And if you think your husband might be gay, go to Louis Vuitton or Balenciaga (laughs
BATF: I love how you gave us gift suggestions at your Tweet This event that are not that expensive, but were presented in such a creative way. Where do you go for inspiration and what are some things to have around the house to put something together like that?
: One of the best one of the things to keep around the house are the Container Store’s Lacquer boxes
, which are $18. That is so much look for $18 dollars. You can customize any of those. We forget the importance of sentiment and connecting with another person who we have in our lives. We have this very passive way of being like “Oh thanks!” or “Hey, Merry Christmas!” rather than really write something to them. So if you have a bunch of boxes, you can customize it whether you fill it with a bunch of CoverGirl
products and make it a beauty box with a note like, “To my beauty inspiration.” Or you can give a stationery and a pen for your boss; or if it’s a kid, paper and crayons. Or you can even put a bunch of paper back books if they’re a reader and love novels. It’s a great size for all those things.
BATF: What are some gift ideas for someone who’s hosting you at their place for the holidays?
: There’s something about when you’re staying with someone, that you appreciate the fact that you’re tapping into their supplies. They have to go grocery shopping twice as much because you and your better half and kids have invaded their home, lovingly, happily, and left their shelves bare. The Hunter tote bag from L.L. Bean
is such a great gift to fill with essentials. I take that home when I go visit my mom. I stop at Wal-Mart on the way to her house and I get the Puffs tissues
, Bounty paper towels
, Herbal Essences shampoo
, literally I fill it. I actually put the initial embroidered on the bag too. I put a big “M” for “Maria.” That and photographs of my sister’s kids is what she loves that more than anything. Back to that Container Store box, you can also bake chocolate chip cookies, put them in a cellophane bag, and that’s a great thing to put in the box too for a gift.
BATF: What are some tips to give great gifts when you’re on a budget?
The LL Bean camo bags served as our seat assignments at Verdi's event!
: Yesterday, I filled a Lauren Merkin glitter clutch
with a CoverGirl mascara
, Tide To Go pens
, and Oral-B floss
, and yes the bag is $180, but that gift can be done in a more financially savvy way.
Lauren Merkin bag filled with practical goodies
It’s really about taking ordinary to extraordinary. It’s presentation and sentiment. If you have girls who are super stylish, when you go to the flea market or thrift store, you’ll find most fabulous clutches for $20 or so. You can pick any one of those which are so cool and fill with makeup. I love giving practical gifts. I will give an electric Oral-B Toothbrush that I love, either with a disposable camera and a note that say “because I love your smile,” or “you always make me smile” with a photo of me and the person I’m giving it to. There’s something to be said about giving someone something that they’ll use everyday. For a great office gift (for a boss or someone starting a new job), get that Container Store Box, fill it with a handful of sharpies, sticky note pads — it makes a great little desktop item. It’s such a great presentation, and will cost you $25.
BATF: I love all your tips! How did you get to be so great at picking out gifts?
Verdi: My mom was a great gift giver. Honestly, that’s the answer. She’s really good at it and I think I grew up with that. She’ll give you something that’s very practical always. She’ll send me oranges, she’ll knit me a scarf, and send me a note that’s like, “Stay warm and sweet this holiday season.” My mom’s Portugese — she’s still a mother that crochets, uses the sewing machine, she just has incredible skill. She’ll make these little baskets out of fabric scraps that are so beautiful, and fills them with different things sometimes candy or beauty products depending on the person, but it’s always such an amazing gift. When I bring it out, people are always like, ‘Where did you get that from?” And I’m like, “Oh my mom made it!” Now I have 90 of them. Those type of things are invaluable in gift giving, and I learned it from her.
Robert Verdi tweet this gifts
Without further ado, here are Robert’s hand-picked gifts for everyone on your list:
1. THE JETSETTER
Rise & Hang Shelving Duffel Bag, $125; Robert Verdi “Lizzie” Sunglasses, $30; Hickies Elastic Lacing System, $20
Help your jetsetting buddy reflect a style all her own with these hip sunglasses by Robert Verdi for HSN. The retro shape flatters most faces and the printed detail gives you a look above the rest. She’ll also be super organized with the Rise & Hang Duffel Bag. Featuring a patented portable shelving system, this runway ready gear is great for weekend get-aways!
2. YOUR BLOGGING BUDDY
HTC Windows Phone 8x, $200.
The phone has an iconic design, studio-quality sound with Beats audio and incredible camera capabilities.
3. THE GADGET GURU
Perry Go Watch by Rumba Time, $50
. Ready? Get Set. GO! The Perry GO, powered by VITA, features cashless payment in a stylish lightweight watch! Insert your VISA chip into the innovative silicone sleeve, and wave it at the point of sale to make purchases at the thousands of US retailers who accept contactless payment.
Verdi with the Shower Sensations gift set
4. THE DO-IT-ALL MOM
For the Do-it-all-Mom, Fit n' Fun Family, and Dear ol Dad
Tea Forte and Ceramic Tray Set, $54; ‘The Liar, The Bitch & The Wardrobe,’ $15; Shower Sensations Kit from P&G, $10.
Pamper your mom by bringing the spa to her, with spa and care items, therapeutic teas, and Allie Kingsley’s debut novel, “The Liar, the Bitch, and the Wardrobe.”
5. FIT N’ FUN FAMILY
Xbox + Kinect, $299; Dance Central 3, $49.99.
Xbox 360 was built for bringing family together! Watch movies, live TV, listen to music, & play games with people all over the world with the sound of your voice using Kinect for Xbox 360. Dance Central 3, featuring authentic choreography, will get the family off the couch & learning favorite dance crazes from the past as well as the hottest moves of today.
Gilette gift set
6. DEAR OL’DAD
P&G Gilette Fusion ProGlider Styler, $20; Duracell Ultra Power Batteries, $3; 15″ Steel Gadget Tool box from Stack-On, $14.
Give Dad a 3-in-1 precision tool to master his facial hair that trims evenly, shaves closely and edges accurately. Whether he wants a simple goatee, a thin chinstrap, or a clean shave with sharp sideburns, he’ll be able to do it himself, even in the shower.
For the Furry Little Critter, 21st Century Tween, and Hip Holiday Hostess
7. THE FURRY PETS
FabDog Rain Apparel, $32; The Container Store Rugby Stripe Bin, $15; Iams ProActive Health for Cats and Dogs
. Your dog will be stylin’ in this FabDgo rain gear. Make sure to feed him Iams, made with the best natural ingredients!
8. 21st CENTURY TWEENS
Zinken Headphones by Urbanears, $155; Bluetooth Silicon Keyboard, $59
. These headphones were developed with the professional DJ in mind. Zinken has a chock-full of handy features that you never even knew you needed, like the dual duty TurnCable, swivel ear caps, ZoundPlug, and headband. Pairs perfectly with a super flexible key board, the ideal accessory for your iPad tablet.
9. THE HIP HOLIDAY HOSTESS
ThomasPaul printed hand towels, $52; Umbra droplet soap pump, $15; P&G Dawn dish soap, $5.
These 100% cotton hand towels, featuring hand silk screened designs by Thomaspaul are soft ot the touch adn the perfect addition to any bathroom or kitchen. Paired with the Otto Pump from Umbra, filled with Dawn dish soap, to be put on the ‘best guest’ list
10. THE BUSY BOSS
For the Busy Boss, The Glam Gal Pal, The Lovely In-Laws
Parker Pen Premium Urban Utensil, $100; Moleskin Daily Diary/Planner, $22; Container Store Lacquered Box, $18.
Keep your busy boss happy and well organized with this extraordinary Urban writing utensil from Parker Pens and the Moleskin Daily Diary Planner. Presented in a stylish lacquered box, from The Container Store, these gifts will ensure the efficient pleasure of office tasks with high-end design.
11. THE GLAM GAL PAL
Lauren Merkin Eve Glitter Clutch, $180; Crest 3D 2-Hour Whitestrips, $55; CoverGirl Blast Flipstick Lip Duo, $8.50; CoverGirl Stay Brilliant nail polish, $5; CoverGirl Clump Crusher mascara, $7; Oral-B Glide 3D White Floss picks, $3.50; Tide-To-Go Pens, $3.
The Eve Glitter Encrusted Clutch from Lauren Merkin will complement your glamorous girlfriend with a classic shape in a size subtle enough to accompany any ensemble. Packed it with chic beauty products!
12. THE OH-SO-LOVELY IN-LAWS
Jessica Kagan Rope Handled Canvas Tote, $95; Cascade Complete DishWash Packs, $11; Bounty Picker Uppers Paper Towels, $4; Puffs Ultra Soft Facial Tissue, $3.50;
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Original, $1.75
. Designer of chic bags and jewelry, Jessica Kagan Cushman presents the JKC Pleatherware Rope Handled Canvas Tote. Stuff this Tote with beloved P&G Happy Home Gifts & Supplies.
Who’s ready to shop?? What else do you have on your shopping list?
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