gifts they might actually want

The Cheapest, Nicest Gifts From the Most Expensive Brands

Photo: Courtesy of the retailers.

Sometimes, being brand-obsessed 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 item from each (many of which, we should note, are not cheap-cheap — only relatively so) that would make a wonderful, indulgent gift, especially for the stumpers on your list. Don’t miss all of the Strategist’s holiday gift coverage right here, too.

Chanel No. 5 Bath Soap
$26 at Nordstrom

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

Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte Alcohol-free Deodorant Stick
$38 at Neiman Marcus

How luxurious to swipe a little Hermès under your arms?

Gucci Suzanne Socks
$100 at Nordstrom

A subtle nod to the Italian brand that’s really not that subtle at all.

Drunk Elephant Travel Duo
$18 at Sephora

Two travel soaps from the best natural skin-care line, Drunk Elephant (pH-balanced, too).

Le Labo Lip Balm
$14 at Nordstrom

If springing for expensive hand-wash feels too indulgent, try this plant-based lip balm instead.

Prada L’Homme Prada Perfumed Soap
$45 at Nordstrom

On the other hand, you might as well go big and go Prada — this is scented with their men’s fragrance.

Jacquemus Le Pitchou Leather Coin Purse
$295 at Matches Fashion

Though it’ll cost you more than a few coins, this tiny purse from French darling Jacquemus can be worn like a necklace.

Maison Margiela Tabi Copper Bookmark
$69 at Matches Fashion

If you can’t afford the iconic split-toe boots from Maison Margiela, settle for this copper bookmark inspired by its shape.

Opening Ceremony Box Logo Mug
$20 at Orchard Mile

Take your morning coffee in style with this matte ceramic mug from Opening Ceremony.

Ugg Pet Cable Knit Scarf with Pom-Poms
$10 at Bed Bath & Beyond

For the dog owner (or dog) in your life, what could be cuter than a cable-knit scarf from Ugg — which also happens to cost $10?

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask (Single)
$17 at Nordstrom

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

Thom Browne Navy Aran Cable Knit Beanie
$112 at Ssense

This navy cable-knit 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.

Georg Jensen Elephant Bottle Opener
$50 at Saks Fifth Avenue

You can’t even tell at first that this stainless steel elephant by Danish silversmith Georg Jensen is actually a bottle opener.

Paul Smith Hatty Metallic Stripe Crew Socks
$30 at Nordstrom

A kicky pair of socks from Paul Smith that combines a sheer foot with a sparkly cuff — perfect for the holidays.

La Mer Lip Balm
Photo: Copyright Richard Pierce. All Rights Reserved.
La Mer Lip Balm
$60 at Nordstrom

Instead of a $490 La Mer serum, try this $60 tub of the cult brand’s lip balm.

Comme des Garçons Wallet
$99 at Need Supply

Several men in our life own this half-zip Comme des Garçons wallet, and swear by it.

Aesop Rinse-Free Hand Wash
$10 at Nordstrom

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.

Le Creuset Stoneware Spoon Rest
$28 at Amazon

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.

Lululemon Uplifting Scrunchie Bow
$12 at Lululemon

It’s not a pair of Lululemon yoga pants, but it’ll keep their hair out of their face while they’re doing a sarvangasana. Besides, scrunchies seem to be having a comeback. (Jeweler Aurélie Bidermann can’t live without her silk ones.)

Bonpoint Baby’s Foaming Cream
$49 at Saks Fifth Avenue

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.

Missoni Supermini Printed Shell Umbrella
$81 at Net-a-Porter

You’ll always be able to spot this umbrella, which is festooned with Missoni’s iconic zig-zag pattern, in a sea of black ones.

Isabel Marant Gold Horn and Hand Earrings
$90 at Ssense

Mismatched earrings are always fun, as are these horn and hand danglers from French cool-girl label Isabel Marant.

Canada Goose Standard Wool Blend Beanie
$95 at Nordstrom

Channel your inner Steve Zissou in this bright red, water-resistant beanie from Canada Goose, made with the same Canadian care as their thousand-dollar jackets.

Sferra Celine Throw
$68 at Nordstrom

While Sferra’s linens tend to be super pricey, this cotton throw is surprisingly affordable.

Addict Lip Glow Color Reviving Lip Balm
$29 at Nordstrom

This Dior lip glow also moisturizes.

Tom Dixon: The Golden Rule
$20 at East Dane

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

Cire Trudon Marie Antoinette Bust Decorative Candle
$101 at Matches Fashion

Okay, it’s definitely not the cheapest item from fancy candle line Cire Trudon, but this Marie Antoinette bust is more than just a candle — it’s also a design piece.

Herman Miller Formwork Tissue Box
$52 at Design Within Reach

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

Christofle Albi Stainless Steel Cheese Knife
$43 at Amara

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 about 40 bucks).

D. Porthault Printed Handkerchief
$50 at D. Porthault

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

Tiffany Paper Clip Playing Cards
$70 at Tiffany & Co.

Playing cards from Tiffany: just because.

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