Giving the gift of warmth…or a shirt…or slippers…

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Tips for gifting clothes to everyone on your list

Buying clothing is one of the most popular options when selecting a holiday gift for a loved one, especially since there is plenty of variety available. It can be tricky to choose the right item, but with a few tips and a little thought, you can be sure that your purchase will be put to good use, and the recipient will wear it over and over again.

Analyze the recipient’s fashion style
When deciding how to choose the right clothing gift, you must first assess what you’re working with. Make sure you take the time to determine what your loved one already wears on a daily basis. Does the person prefer casual wear or does your friend like to dress up when you go out for drinks? Does the gift recipient choose fitted clothing pieces over baggy, oversized jackets?
Chances are, there’ll be a pattern to the kinds of pieces that the person you intend to give the gift wears on a regular basis – and this is known as his or her personal fashion style. If you learn it, you are more likely to find a clothing gift that he or she will love.

Think about colors, prints, and fabrics
Analyzing your loved one’s fashion style goes hand-in-hand with working out what colors, prints, and fabrics the person likes to wear. For instance, do you constantly see the individual in florals or does the person like more of a solid type clothing? You should also consider what colors work with the individual’s skin complexion and hair color. Neutrals and light colors will wash out an already pale complexion even further, however, most people look good in black, and since it is the winter season black is always a staple for the coldest months. It’s all about getting the balance right, as well as choosing pieces in the right colors, prints, and fabrics that will suit the gift recipient.

Shop for the recipient’s body shape
Once you’ve considered the above factors, you also need to make sure you are shopping for the individual’s body shape.
For women, take a moment to really look at your loved one and decide whether her body could best be classified as a pear, hourglass, straight, or apple shape. If she is a pear, hourglass or apple, then she is likely to be curvier, so make sure you buy clothes that deflect attention away from any unflattering areas, and instead define the waist. With straight body types, the trick is to add curves through exaggerated shirts and bottoms.
For men, body shapes tend to veer towards triangular, inverted triangle, or rectangle. If he carries extra weight around his mid-section, he might be more of a triangle, so look for items the make his shoulders and upper half appear broader and deflect attention away from the belly. Structured jackets and tops with vertical stripes can be good bets. Men with an inverted triangle shape often look best in slim-fit styles. Rectangle men can benefit from tops with horizontal stripes at the shoulders, or prints or details that give the impression of a more defined waist.

Get the correct size
The final thing to do is to make sure you buy the clothing piece(s) in the correct size. This saves the person the hassle of having to return the gift or exchange it for the true size. The easiest way to ensure that you buy the right size is to subtly ask the person in conversation, without making it obvious it’s for a gift. Alternatively, you could ask another friend or family member who might know this information.

A fun and meaningful gift
It might seem overwhelming at first, but buying someone clothing as a gift is very straight-forward when you know how. It’s a chance to have fun, be creative, and find a useful and meaningful gift. Fashion lovers, in particular, often find that they love to purchase clothing gifts on behalf of others. After you’ve done it once, you’re sure to do it again, as the feeling you get when your loved one opens his or her gift and is ecstatic with the clothing piece(s) you’ve picked out is priceless.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to assist you with your shopping:
Do be practical and consider their everyday needs. Things like slippers and dress socks get worn out over time, so you’re doing them a favor by buying them a replacement before they’d eventually have to.
Don’t think too seasonal when you’re gift shopping; red and green only look fun and festive for so long.
Do give gifts that can be used year round. Don’t buy any hat that’s not one-size-fits-all.
Don’t buy clothing for someone if you don’t know their size.
Do look for a warm sweater. This is an exception to the no-clothing gift rule since you can usually correctly guess the size, and it’s something everyone needs in the winter.
Don’t spend a ton of money on fancy leather gloves. Unless they’re for someone who dresses up for work every day, they’ll go underappreciated.
Do think about people’s needs for the winter. These texting-enabled gloves are incredibly convenient, especially for those who can never seem to detach from their phones. Lastly please donate warm clothing, gently used or new to your local shelter. Often, when I am in a big box store, I will buy different size t-shirts, underwear, and warm socks, for both sexes and especially children. There is a time for giving and warm clothing to those in need is on par during this wonderful holiday season.
I wish each and everyone a glorious holiday!

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