Shopping·12 min read

Gifts That Look More Expensive Than They Are

Design: theSkimm | Photo: Urban Outfitters
October 24, 2022

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There’s always that loved one on your list who has champagne taste — even when you’re on a beer budget. What to buy for the person who wants…everything? Lucky for you, there are plenty of great items on the market that only look expensive. Make their spirits bright with perfectly priced cashmere, customizable stationery, and more. All without wrecking your wallet. You’re welcome.Want more holiday gifting ideas? Check out The Shoppes at Skimm Ave. for our recs for everyone on your list.


A celeb-loved shoulder bag that’s made with vegan leather…

It’s basically the ’90s again — but better, because now fashion is at least (somewhat) more sustainable. Take JW Pei, for example. Its Gabbi Hobo bag (spotted on the shoulders of Gigi Hadid and Hailey Bieber, to name a few) is made with vegan leather from recycled plastic bottles. The ruched handle, fun colors, and shape give it a totally vintage vibe. And the price tag will make you smile, too. And for more great holiday gifts from Amazon, check out our storefront. ($79.99+, Amazon)

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A luxe cashmere sweater at a perfect price point…

Cashmere is inherently luxurious. But with an influx of direct-to-consumer products comes more premium items at more accessible price points. Naadam carries a wide range of super-soft clothing, but this sweater is a bestseller for a reason. It’s got a classic design and comes in a color for every mood. They’ll want to wear it over and over. And over. ($75, Naadam)

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Uncommon Goods

A tiled snack tray that feels like an instant vacation…

Fill their home with the warm breeze of the Mediterranean, even when it’s freezing and snowing outside. This tray, made in Tunisia with carved wood and hand-painted tiles, is great for serving treats to a group — or just themselves. It’s a perfect way to hold them over between trips. ($30, Uncommon Goods)

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Uncommon Goods

A unique glass that celebrates their birthday all year-round…

Chances are they likely know what their birthstone is. Now introduce them to their birth flower. These glass tumblers are printed with flowers linked to each month of the year. Gift them one from their month, or pick out a few from important months throughout the year. Roses are red. Violets are blue. They will love this personalized gift from you. And for more great holiday gifts from Uncommon Goods, shop here. ($24, Uncommon Goods)

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Urban Outfitters

A vase that beautifully honors a woman’s curves…

Some vases don’t even need to have flowers in them to look good on the mantle. This one in the likeness of a woman’s body in various shapes, sizes, and colors looks like it was plucked straight out of a designer home decor store. ($24, Urban Outfitters)

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Customizable stationery to upgrade their letter-writing game…

In an online world, there is something so special about a handwritten note. This personalized stationery makes going analog feel even more fun. Available in a range of colors, the set of 10 thick note cards can be customized to include their name in whatever font, size, and color that suits them. Now if they could only find a stamp… ($31, Papier)

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Coasters that double as a piece of art…

We don’t typically think of coasters as home decor. But these are an exception. This set of six wood and cork coasters can be arranged in a number of different ways to create a fun 3D design illusion. It’s the coolest way to prevent glass rings. ($20/set of 6, Areaware)

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Urban Outfitters

A set of taper candles adorned with flowers…

Is there anything more chic than a table full of tall candles? These paraffin taper candles are adorned with dried flowers and burn for up to 15 hours. (Though we suspect they won’t want to light them at all.) Consider gifting ’em alongside these eye-catching ceramic holders too. ($16/set of 4, Urban Outfitters)

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Olive & June

A manicure set that is sheer perfection…

Now they can have salon-quality nails from the comfort of their couch. Olive & June’s sheer set features three of its most popular shades and a glossy top coat. The vegan, cruelty-free varnish has a cult-like following for its long-lasting, high-quality formula. We wouldn’t be surprised if they love it so much they buy another set for themselves after it’s through. ($36, Olive & June)

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A sampling of an iconic brand’s signature scents…

This set from luxury perfumer Diptyque is a scent lover’s dream: five 0.25-ounce bottles of different fragrances that they can throw in their bag, bring on a trip, or rotate depending on their mood. Smells like a great deal, no? ($128, Nordstrom)

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A pair of artful bubble candles to spruce up any space…

Because candles = guaranteed crowd-pleasers. It won’t be hard for your giftee to find a home for these unique ones. Whether on a bookshelf or a coffee table, this playful, soy wax pair will fit right in. Plus the scents can’t be beat. The white is freesia; blue is bluebell. ($13.99+, Amazon)

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Urban Outfitters

An instant camera with a totally retro feel…

Give them a break from their phone with this adorable instant camera, designed to look like a retro Fuji. It works with instant film (sold separately — you can also snag a bundle here) and, true to its name, prints high-quality photos fast, at the touch of a button. At just over 1 pound, it’s perfect for taking on adventures too. ($100, Urban Outfitters)

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A handmade wall hanging that will add a touch of cozy to their home…

Help them spruce up their space with this dreamy macrame wall hanging. The 100% cotton and wood art piece comes in your choice of either yellow or orange feathers and would look so cute in a baby’s room, their living room — basically any room. And for more great holiday gifts from Etsy, shop here. ($28.99, BlissDecorations via Etsy)

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An iconic YSL lip stain that’ll stay put all night long…

This holiday season, give them a lipstick that will last them through an entire party without having to reapply a million times or run to the bathroom to make sure there’s no red on their teeth. This creamy lip stain stays put without drying out the lips, just in case they get caught under the mistletoe. ($39, Sephora)

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A tried-and-true tote bag that holds everything…

This L.L.Bean tote is classic for a reason. Its heavy canvas material never goes out of style. Available in four sizes, in both regular and long options, and six colors, it’s as much functional as it is stylish. Plus, the personalization option is always a sweet touch. The sturdy bag is also made with double-stitched straps, a secure zipper top and has been tested to hold up to 500 (yes, 500) pounds. Go off, Boat and Tote. ($44.95+, L.L.Bean)

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A card case that’s slim and sleek…

Bulky wallets, be gone. This small buttery-soft leather card case holds all the essentials: There’s room for four cards and a compartment for business cards and cash too. It comes in a wide range of cute colors and can be monogrammed to boot. Cha-ching. ($50, Leatherology)

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A personalized jewelry case for their most prized possessions…

Traveling with jewelry can be a little stressful. Ease their mind with this convenient (and cute) jewelry case that holds rings, earrings, and bracelets and can be popped right in their bag. It’s also customizable and zips up, keeping everything in its right place — even when there’s turbulence. ($20.70+, RefinedbyElegance via Etsy)

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The most subtle necklace that holds up to four names…

Nameplates are all the rage. But for the person who doesn’t want to wear a bulky piece, this dainty chain, which can be personalized with up to four names — of their kids, other family members, or even their pets (hey, we won’t judge) — is perfect. It can be worn by itself or layered and is casual enough to wear every day. ($18.90+, GlamourJewelryHouse via Etsy)

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A pasta bowl in a slew of sorbet hues…

Spaghetti and meatballs never looked this good. This dishwasher- and microwave-safe stoneware bowl has a shallow design perfect for slurping up noodles in style. In colors like mint and mauve, it’s hard to choose just one favorite. And at this price point, you may not have to. ($16, Anthropologie)

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Corkscrew earrings that add a delicate touch of bling…

They’re like a lil’ party for their ears. These dainty threader earrings are made in the USA with 14K-gold-filled wire. They can be dressed up or down and are easy to slip in and out for daily use. If yellow gold isn’t their thing, they also come in silver and rose gold. ($16.99+, hoopsbyhand via Etsy)

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