Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Love her or hate her, you probably still need to buy a gift for the sister/mom/best friend/girlfriend/secretary/boss/roommate/frenemy in your life. We've rounded up a few ideas, from the luxe ("Hooray, the recession is over!") to the budget-friendly ("This recession is going to have me eating Ramen noodles four times a week in 2011!"). Whatever your situation, here's a mix that we think offers something for anyone on your list.
1. If you know someone whose travel expense budget got cut at work, you can bet she'll find herself flying coach and staying in some seriously mediocre motels. Consider the travel set from LA's own Kumi Kookoon, a luxe all-organic-silk pillow/blanket/eyemask/pillowcase combo that makes airplane blankets look like—wait, do airlines even still have blankets? Either way, a silk-filled silk-covered pillow is way better, especially when it comes in a silk carrying bag. ($495, variety of colors, kumikookoon.com)
2. It may not rain much in LA, but when it does, it's nice to be subtly prepared. Dav boots are waterproof and incredibly comfortable, plus these are cleverly disguised as equestrian boots. You may even catch yourself wearing them on dry days, too, since the price point is more affordable than actual leather boots. ($98; Post 26, Madison, Polkadots and Moonbeams and more; Davrain.com)
3. Denim skirts don't usually come in creative silhouettes, but Italian brand 9 In The Morning uses comfortable, high-end fabrics in an effortless, origami-esque draped look. Which is a good fit for the fashion-lover who has everything. ($172; Satine, American Rag, and ShopStyle.com)
4. Although giving bath products can be misconstrued as a not-so-subtle hygiene hint, it's also a good, inexpensive way to give someone an indulgence they might not buy for themselves. Pasadena's Lather offers a Seasonal Soap Sampler with four olive oil soaps in scents that we kind of wish were edible. Honey almond, rosemary and peppermint, oatmeal lavender and clove will keep skin from drying out and make you hungry during shower time. ($24; Lather, lather.com)
5. Holiday commercials may have you convinced that jewelry gifts must be covered in diamonds or be given while down on one knee, but women really need unique jewelry pieces that can be dressed up or down. Which is why we like Samantha House's Melanie necklace from her Circus collection, which is a colorful statement piece in an elegant design that works for day to night. ($265, Fred Segal, Barneys New York, and Shopbop.com)
6. Then again, pearls and rhinestones are really, really sparkly (maybe we were raccoons in past lives?). But don't have to break the bank or be overly traditional. See: TCyia's gunmetal and violet pearl necklace with rhinestone balls. We want to wear this on New Year's Eve...now all we need is plans that don't involve Dick Clark and Two-Buck Chuck in a plastic cup. ($185, Fred Segal, Aura Boutique, Milk, and more, plus online)
7. We love getting new beauty products to play with, especially when they make use of natural ingredients like green tea and grape seed extracts mixed with aloe vera and avocado oil. Beauty for Real has a holiday duo with lip gloss and nail polish in festive winter shades that make us almost look forward to awkward holiday parties with strategically placed mistletoe. ($35, Number One Beauty, Marie Mason Apothecary, Palette Maquillage and Beautyforreal.com)
· All Gift Guides [Racked LA]