If you’re looking for a gift idea for an older woman in your life — or really, for any woman — these are really nice pajamas. (This year, I’m buying gift cards to Soma for a lot of the older women I know.) I think the Cool Nights pajamas are intended for women who may be getting hot flashes at night, but honestly, they’re some of my favorite pajamas. I love that they come in short lengths (plus regular and tall), so if you’re a shorty like me at 5’4″ you don’t have to flop around in your PJs. They’re machine washable and they wash well, and the latest pair I bought has pockets, which is great. Soma has a lot of cute bras too, and readers have recommended their Vanishing Edge panties. This set is available in sizes XS-XXL and is on sale for $49 (from $70) at Soma. ‘Pass the Bubbly’ Scoopneck Long Sleeve Pajama Set
Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
I don’t think we’ve had a good discussion on weatherproof shoes for work in far too long — so let’s discuss, ladies. Do you own both rain boots and snow boots where you are — or just rain boots, with the assumption that if it’s that snowy out you can probably work from home? What makes a shoe acceptable to wear all day at work, versus just for your commute? Do you have any rules about changing out of bad weather commuting shoes (e.g., no stopping at the coffee room before you change — or no big meetings until you’re in your “office shoes” — or do you actually do the thing where you change outside the office, like in the lobby of your building)? For those of you who are consultants, in court, or otherwise away from home base often — what do you do?
For my $.02, I have an almost surreal memory from my lawyer days of having to review documents at the office one weekend when it was truly horrible outside — so bad that I took the subway instead of calling for a car. I may have had to take a different subway line than I normally took because weather was so bad — I remember getting out of an unfamiliar subway exit on one of those interior, tight streets around Wall Street and seeing snow piled everywhere, several feet thick, and I felt like the last few blocks to work were a true trek. It could have been worse — a few months earlier, I had happened to buy super ugly Lands’ End snow boots on sale on a friend’s recommendation, and I was so grateful I had them!
Before we get to the featured weatherproof shoes for work, I thought I’d round up some weatherproof, waterproof options in special categories:
This cute lunch bag is easy to clean and has adjustable shoulder straps and a small handle at the top. Of course, I love the colors, considering they’re the blog colors, but I also like how this bag is sort of feminine but also sort of masculine at the same time. If you’re looking for a new lunch bag for yourself or for someone in your life (holiday gift?), this one is $25 at Staples. Cynthia Rowley, Navy Blue with Pink Stripes Lunch Bag
So here’s a random, fun question for today: who are your celebrity crushes; who do you admire? Who’s your Internet boyfriend or girlfriend — who’s your spirit animal — who’s your hypothetical best friend? (On the flip side, are there any celebrities you absolutely can’t stand? I have three actors who I will almost never watch in a movie…)
For my $.02:
- Celebrity crush: The usual suspects, I guess; Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured here from Dr. Strange), Matt Smith, Idris Elba, Ashton Kutcher… in years past Clive Owen, Keanu Reeves, Bill Pullman, George Clooney. Like everyone else I thought Oscar Isaac was great in the last Star Wars. I also kind of have a thing for Adam Driver — I passed him once on the street in Brooklyn and was really surprised by how “leading man” he seems in person; at the time I only knew him from Girls. On the lady side I always admire Emma Watson, Zoe Saldana, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, and more recently Charlize Theron, often for their fashion risks as much as the roles they take.
- Spirit animal / person who you recognize a bit of yourself in: Maybe Keri Russell’s character in The Americans? She has a cool, almost cold way of looking at situations that I recognize in myself, but I lack her black/white view of the world. (Also, you know, I’m not a trained killer.) I might also put Bethenny Frankel in this category, although there are a ton of differences between us.
- Hypothetical best friend / person you’d actually like to have a drink with: Probably a comedienne of some kind — Julia Louis-Dreyfus or Tina Fey, maybe Emma Stone or Melissa McCarthy. I also like Jill Kargman (creator/actress of Odd Mom Out). I might put Stacy London, Tim Gunn, or Susannah Martin (from the old BBC version of What Not to Wear) here too. I’d probably put Oprah on this list also.
- Actors I cannot abide: Nicholas Cage, Kevin Costner, and Bill Paxton. (Aliens is one of my husband’s favorite movies and we joke that I can only stand watching Paxton in it because he dies a violent death.)
I’m sure there are others that I’m forgetting — I’m looking forward to your lists in part so I can so OH YEAH I FORGOT ABOUT ____! (Ah, for the days when we had them all on posters around the room…)
Ladies, how about you? Who are your big crushes? Which celebrities do you watch for at awards shows — and which ones are you most likely to go see a movie just based on their star power alone?
Oooh: of course I’m going to love the metallic cobalt card case from Kate Spade — but the whole collection looks fun, especially if you’re the type who a) likes to have a colored wallet/card case so it’s easy to find in your bag, b) you like feminine, girly things, or c) you are trying to find a small gift for a person who meets either a) or b). (I did try the use-a-card-case-instead-of-a-wallet-in-my-clutch trick the last time I wore a clutch and I really liked it.) Anyhoo: the card case is $50, and comes in a metallic cobalt, hot pink, and a more muted rose gold that isn’t pictured here; the larger wallets go as high as $158; they’re available at Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom,. (The confetti one in the picture is the “Grant Lane” collection, also fun.) kate spade new york Rainer Lane Metallic Card Case
Sale Alert: MAC is offering 25% off all orders through 12/4. Wish I’d known that before I ordered the Soar lipliner (one of their bestsellers) during Cyber Monday, but hopefully all the mascara samples I got (the Cyber Monday deal) will make up for that.
The Nordstrom Thanksgiving Sale is so good for workwear it’s a bit of a downer to remember, ah yes, I’m supposed to be buying for other folks too. So I thought I’d put together a few quick gift ideas if you’re on the hunt — with Nordstrom’s very customer-friendly, open ended return policy, they’re great for everyone. CYBER MONDAY UPDATE: Don’t forget, Nordstrom is offering an extra 20% off select items through the end of today! (updated prices in red below).
(Check out our other favorite Black Friday Sales here.)
Pictured at top: cardigan
- Barefoot Dreams. I’ve heard great things about the drape front cardigan for YEARS, and finally got the circle cardigan during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and I’m hooked on the super, super soft material — it’s a nylon/rayon blend that feels like cashmere but is machine washable. In addition to lots of cardigans and wraps for the women in your family (note: they come in plus sizes also!), they also make manly-looking plaid pillows (pictured above) and throw blankets. The cardigan at top is now $54-$68; the pillow is $39.
- Drinkware. Personally, I’m a total sucker for anything art deco, like these $41 double old fashioned glasses (now sold out, alas, but check out this set of whiskey glasses and decanter, now on sale for $40)— but they’ve got a ton of nice glasses on sale.
- Cashmere beanie. Kate and I were just talking about how it’s so hard to find a stylish winter hat — you either look like you’re 20 or you look like you’re 60. This cashmere beanie is highly reviewed, and on sale for $26 — it looks like a great gift idea too. It comes in ELEVEN colors. They have a ton of hats on sale though.
- Bath and beauty stuff. A bubble bath/gel is always a safe bet (this Philosophy special edition one is marked to $12 from $18, which is a pretty great deal) — but there’s a ton of fun makeup markdowns in the sale. (PLUS, there’s a “mystery beauty gift with purchase” today.) Makeup can be hard to buy for grown women — but if you’re on the hunt for a teenager or a makeup addict, there’s a lot of fun things in the Nordstrom sale. (I for some reason am drooling over most of the MAC Star Trek collection, mostly 40% off — doesn’t this illuminating powder look like a much more affordable version of Guerlain’s Meteorites?). Hmmn: this $17 shower cap looks great for the blowout addict on your gift list (now sold out, alas).
Ladies, what are you hunting for as far as gifts go? Have you gotten anything great at the Nordstrom sale?