The Cheapest, Nicest Gifts From the Most Expensive Brands


Sometimes, being a label whore when it comes to gifts is a good thing. There is something so glamorous about opening a Chanel gift box — even when what’s inside said box is a bar of soap. In that vein, we sniffed around the fanciest, schmanciest brands, and found the cheapest, nicest thing from each (many of which, we should note, are not cheap cheap, but comparatively cheap) that make a wonderful, indulgent gift, especially for the stumpers on your list.

Glittery Vetements socks for when you can’t afford the sock boots.

Original Price: $104

Two travel soaps from the best natural skin-care line, Drunk Elephant. They’re pH-balanced, so they’re safe to use even on hypersensitive skin.

Chloé Charm Hook
Photo: foursquare

This sleek golden hook from Chloé for hanging keys or charms would make a great stocking stuffer.

It’s still pricey, but the quality of this teeny leather cardholder from Mansur Gavriel will at least ensure that you’ll be using it for years to come.

One of DVF’s silk prints in a light, bandanna-style scarf that can be knotted around your neck, a bag handle, or on top of your head.

Original Price: $70

A floral-scented body lotion from Prada that feels extra rich, thanks to the added avocado oil and shea butter.

Single earrings have been very trendy lately, and here’s one in a spiral shape for the person who appreciates the avant-garde.

Original Price: $187

Another tote bag to add to your rotation (and not immediately try to foist on someone else) from Opening Ceremony, in glittery millennial pink.

Original Price: $65

The famed Japanese beauty brand’s best-selling face mask (if you don’t want to shell out for one of their essences).

This gray cashmere beanie ain’t cheap (nothing from Thom Browne is), but it features the designer’s signature tricolor pull tab at the back, which is a delightful little touch.

Original Price: $290

A sculptural glass carafe that’s ideal for entertaining guests, from Danish silversmith Georg Jensen.

A kicky pair of socks with Paul Smith’s signature color-blocking.

Several men in our life own one of these half-zip Comme des Garçons wallets, and swear by it.

It’s not cheap for what’s essentially fancy hand sanitizer, but it’s easily the most affordable thing from Aesop’s understated skin-care line — and it will leave your hands smelling like mandarin, rosemary, and cedar.

An insignia hat with a handsome suede brim from Yeezy Season Five (if you’ve been keeping up).

Original Price: $120

If you’re not ready to go all in on a Dutch oven this year, a bright-red stoneware spoon rest from Le Creuset is a useful alternative.

An indulgent treat that they would never get themselves in a million years.

It’s not a pair of Lululemon yoga pants, but it’ll keep their hair out of their face while doing a sarvangasana. (For more wellness-themed gift ideas, click here.)

Viennese designer Carl Auböck is known for his beautiful brass objects — many of which are over $300. This key chain, that they’ll use every day, is not.

They’ll grow out of a Bonpoint $100-plus onesie in less than a month; this cherry-blossom-scented bath foam will last at least six months, and mom and dad will think of you every night at the tub.

A dreamy pink cloud iPhone cover from Stella McCartney; good for a teen.

Original Price: $85

Logo socks in Virgil Abloh’s signature black-and-white palette.

Original Price: $75

A Dolce & Gabbana rose-festooned silk scarf for mom.

Stack these Isabel Marant rings, or wear them separately. (For those keeping track, it breaks down to about $9 a ring.)

Original Price: $75

Canada Goose Reversible Tech Beanie
Photo: dbottom

A reversible tech beanie from Canada Goose, made with the same Canadian care as their thousand-dollar jackets.

While Sferra’s linens tend to be super pricey, these place mats are surprisingly affordable.

This Dior tinted lip balm doubles as an exfoliating scrub.

A pair of Italian-made Lucite earrings from Rachel Comey.

This see-through plastic mug from Design Within Reach, a collab between Massimo and Lella Vignelli and Heller, is perfect for sipping their morning orange juice.

Tom Dixon, creator of beautiful thingamajigs, offers a stately brass ruler.

La Mer Lip Balm
Photo: Copyright Richard Pierce. All Rights Reserved.

Instead of a $460 La Mer serum, try this $60 tub of the cult brand’s lip balm.

Get the credit for buying them something from fancy candle line Cire Trudon — while spending less than 20 bucks. These taper candles also come in black and white. (Here’s another highly giftable candle we stand behind.)

For the design snob: a tissue-box holder from Herman Miller.

They’ll ooh and aah that you got them a gift from super-luxe French flatware line Christofle (and you’ll smile because this cheese knife only cost you 40 bucks).

A gorgeous Art Deco–looking Hermès sugar jar (that’s admittedly still very pricey, but remember, it’s Hermès we’re talking about here).

D. Porthault is a cultishly beloved French linens line that costs zillions of dollars. This handkerchief, covered in the brand’s signature heart pattern, is “only” $50.

Playing cards from Tiffany: just cuz.

The Strategist is a new site designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best notebook, black T-shirts, fashion-editor-approved jeans, toothbrush, and apartment décor. Note that all prices are subject to change.

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The Cheapest Nicest Gifts From The Most Expensive Brands