holiday gifts 2022

The Best Gifts for Real Housewives Fans

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

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It’s been one of the most chaotic years in Real Housewives history. Salt Lake City’s Jen Shah is supposed to be sentenced soon in her federal fraud case (on Meredith Marks’s birthday, mind you). There was an Affair of the Necklace–style scandale involving Beverly Hills’ Erika Jayne and a pair of diamond earrings from her estranged ex Tom Girardi. And the upcoming RHONY reboot finally revealed its cast at BravoCon 2022 with the new crew featuring former J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons. So in the spirit of the franchise’s cultural pervasiveness, we thought it was the right time to write a definitive guide to the best gifts for Real Housewives fans.

Since it’s become a sort of running joke that the Housewives start dozens of businesses and then mysteriously never mention them again — it’s not easy to build a Skinnygirl empire the way Bethenny Frankel did — we began by browsing almost every single one in search of the stuff that’s actually worth buying. You can rest assured that everything on this list would make a legitimately good gift for the Real Housewives fan in your life; as two of the Strategist’s resident Housewives aficionados, we have very strict standards. We’ve also thrown in a few wild-card options from Bravo’s own merch shop and from our archives, such as the very same detergent Sonja Morgan uses on Morgan antique linens and a (slightly deranged) coloring book featuring the infamous Herman Munster–shoe scene.

For the Real Housewives of New York City fan

Former countess and (current) cabaret singer Luann de Lesseps has an extensive line of self-promoting merch, including tanks, totes, and mugs depicting pictures of herself and lyrics from her top hits. Our favorite is this saintly shirt portraying all the glory to which the countess holds herself.

Former Housewife Bethenny has launched enough business ventures to fill the unofficial RHONY HQ, Blue Stone Manor (snacks, wine, liquor, cookware, and even eyewear, to name a few). Although some have been a lot more successful than others, her shapewear falls into the “worth it” column. Strategist contributing editor Jessica Silvester vouches that the brand’s camis are the perfect cut and “lift my breasts up even without a built-in bra.” These tanks don’t have adjustable straps, unlike Silvester’s beloved camis, but they’re made with the same smooth, seamless material.

On the topic of Blue Stone Manor, here’s a fitting bottle of bourbon to match the panache of Dorinda Medley’s Berkshires property. Paste magazine said it’s “easy to enjoy and more composed than you see in a lot of comparable craft bourbon” in its review. And we think it would look great on a bar cart.

Everyone loves to trash the fish room, but Blue Stone Manor wouldn’t be what it is today without it. This moisture-wicking sports bra, with a pattern of the taxidermied sea creatures that adorn the room’s deep-green walls, is a somewhat subtle nod to the dreaded quarters.

Trips to the Berserkshires consistently resulted in unbridled chaos and endlessly repeatable one-liners. Among the latter is perhaps Dorinda’s greatest claim to fame: “I cooked. I cleaned. I made it nice” (which comes in second only to “Not well, bitch”). We think these socks are the perfect stocking stuffer for the Dorinda apologist in your life.

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Who better to trust with maintaining antique linens than a Morgan? According to Sonja, this exact detergent is “ideal” for linens that “have been in the [Morgan] family for over a hundred years.” Plus, she says, it “won’t harm the pipes in your home. I live in a townhouse in New York City, so that is a concern.” If you have a friend who was deeply invested in the Laundress’s products, this would be a welcome gift.

Of all the Housewife memoirs (and there are a lot), Carole Radziwill’s may be the best written since she’s a well-seasoned journalist. Published in 2007, before she joined the RHONY cast, the New York Times best seller doesn’t have any Bravo gossip, but it’s full of drama that’s just as compelling — especially if you’re into Cinderella stories, European royalty, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, or all of the above. And since it is a heavy read (it has brought multiple reviewers to tears), we suggest lightening the mood by pairing it with Tinsley Mortimer’s novel, Southern Charm, which follows Minty Davenport up the Manhattan social ladder. Just be sure to stick with the Kindle version — used physical copies seem to sell upwards of $200.

If the Carole stan in your life has already read her memoir, consider gifting this Nest candle instead. It’s something Carole can’t live without because its scent is “not perfumy but a little like fresh laundry. You wake up and smell it and think, It’s going to be a good day,” she says.

Married to the Mob is the fashion line that Leah McSweeney started with the settlement money she won after an unfortunate incident with the NYPD. Of all its offerings — which include graphic tees, sweatshirts, and activewear that the brand bills as “bold, edgy, and unapologetically feminist” — we think this one encapsulates the essence of Leah and perhaps the entire Housewives franchise most effectively.

In true Real Housewives fashion, Jill Zarin was allegedly caught using a fake Amazon account to write reviews for her book, Secrets of a Jewish Mother. (Mind you, this was a decade ago, before the days of Instagram, where some of the stars now hide behind anonymous accounts to shade their fellow cast members.) The book covers everything from dating and parenting to money and family, and this copy is signed by Jill herself.

For the friend you binge old episodes and exchange current “Page Six” gossip with, here’s a “Turtle Time” wine bag referencing the season-three girls’ trip. We suggest following Ramona Singer’s lead and gifting it with a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio.

One of the writers of this story was gifted this slightly deranged coloring book at the start of the pandemic, when she first began her Housewives journey. It’s full of outlined illustrations of some of the best moments of the show (like Countess Luann facing off against Alex McCord, accusing her of wearing Herman Munster shoes) in @drunkdrawn’s signature style.

For the Real Housewives of Atlanta fan

$15

Any true-blue Atlanta fan remembers the “battle of the workout tapes”; we’re more partial to Kenya Moore’s, which is still streamable after all these years. The Washington Post sums it up best: “Moore’s ‘Booty Boot Camp’ consists of three 20-minute workouts on one DVD. Led by pro trainer Nikki Veal, the exercises are a combination of traditional and some risqué moves with such names as ‘Booty Pop’ and ‘Stallion Giddy-Up.’”

Shereé Whitfield’s long-promised and highly anticipated fashion line (of September … or spring-summer fame) has finally become a reality. Her designs are admittedly on the pricier side, but this water bottle caught our eye. To the casual observer, her logo just looks like a star.

And for the glamorous friend, get these dramatic falsies from Porsha Williams’s line (which are named after her, of course).

For the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fan 

Grab takeout from SUR and deliver it to your friend with a bottle of Vanderpump Rosé. It actually earned a decent review from Wine Enthusiast with an 88-out-of-100 rating: “Balanced citrus and raspberry flavors are cut with acidity, with a crunchy texture at the end.”

No matter your stance on Lisa Rinna, you can’t deny that her lips are iconic all on their own. With that in mind, her lip kit — complete with a lipstick, gloss, and liner — is sure to make a statement.

We browsed pages and pages of muumuus at Kyle Richards’s website and found this actually very chic midi slip dress. It comes in mint green, emerald green, and a fun multicolored leaf print.

One of the more wholesome products on this list is Garcelle Beauvais’s children’s book about two children, Jay and Nia, who explore what it means to be of mixed ancestry, and we think it’s a sweet present for the Real Housewives–obsessed parent. This is the first of a three-part series Garcelle wrote with comic-book author Sebastian A. Jones.

Earring drama aside, Erika’s consistently icy-blonde hair is an impressive feat. If your bottle-blonde friend wants to branch out from purple shampoos, she told us this is “essential for keeping your hair pale and icy-colored instead of yellow or brassy. I use it about once a week to keep the color neutral.”

For the Real Housewives of Potomac fan

Here’s the three-wick candle that sparked conflict between Potomac’s grande dame, Karen Huger, and Dr. Wendy Osefo. It’s said to have notes of bergamot, clove, and tobacco leaves and top notes of mahogany, sandalwood, and vetiver. (Or consider this bejeweled bottle of Karen’s signature fragrance?)

Wendy’s lifestyle brand is still going strong despite her candles having only one wick. We’d be remiss not to include said candles here too, but we found something in the home-aroma space that Karen’s La’Dame has yet to expand into: reed diffusers.

If your friend is a fan of Gizelle Bryant and Robyn Dixon’s long-standing friendship, they probably listen to the (appropriately named) Reasonably Shady podcast. Unfortunately, the paddle from season six is sold out, but we think matching caps would be an excellent alternative.

Perhaps a more niche gift, but if your friend happens to be a bird parent like Monique Samuels, these are the exact treats she uses to train T’Challa. She has used them to potty train him and even teach him how to say his own name in different voices.

Or if they’re fans of T’Challa but aren’t a bird owner themselves, Bravo carries a mug calling for T’Challa to get his own Champagne glass.

For the Real Housewives of Orange County fan

From $5

Without RHOC, we wouldn’t have the Housewives franchise as we know it today. So a Cameo is a fitting tribute — we suggest one with Tamra Judge, whose “Did you go to Bass Lake?” was heard around the world. (And send your recipient a link to “OG of the O.C.” Vicki Gunvalson’s insurance company while you’re at it.)

It’s practically a rite of passage for a Housewife to bring up text receipts (especially at reunions). This T-shirt cheekily references one infamous exchange between Heather Dubrow and Shannon Storms Beador in the aftermath of a sushi party.

For the Real Housewives of New Jersey fan

Considering that table flip is so iconic — it may just be the most defining moment in Housewives history — why not get your favorite RHONJ obsessive this very on-the-nose cedar-and-suede candle?

And this memoir (which features “scans from her coveted prison diary”) by the table-flipper herself, Teresa Giudice, would be a clever complement to the candle.

For the budding businessperson, Margaret “Marge” Josephs’s Caviar Dreams, Tuna Fish Budget is “part memoir, part entrepreneurial manifesto.” It includes advice she received from the late, great Joan Rivers and details on her affair with her now-husband.

For the Real Housewives of Miami fan

RHOM has the distinction of being one of the only entries in the franchise that “ended,” only to later be revived (the other is D.C., after the notorious White House state-dinner crash — though we don’t know what’s happening with Dallas, either). As a nod to RHOM’s original three-season run, consider this novel from Lea Black, who basically ruled the show’s social circle. The plot summary may sound familiar: It’s centered on socialite Leigh Anatole White and her annual charity ball.

For the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City fan

Instead of the expected “I’m Disengaging” hoodie, your best bet from Meredith Marks is this waffle-weave robe with her logo on the front. Her son Brooks, a breakout star of Salt Lake City’s first season, even named a (now-sold-out) version of it as something he can’t live without. Brooks told us that he described his perfect robe to her during the design process and that the resulting product “makes me never want to put my clothes on.”

Lisa Barlow, a self-described “Mormon 2.0,” owns a tequila company called Vida, which you might recall played a significant role in fellow cast member Whitney Rose’s vow-renewal ceremony in the series premiere. The brand’s Añejo tequila was even reviewed on Wine Enthusiast, which called it “spicy from the first sip.”

[Editor’s note: You do have to double-check that the tequila will ship to your address by entering your Zip Code; orders are expected to ship starting in January.]

Meanwhile, Lisa Barlow’s sons, Jack and Henry, have their own bespoke grooming line: Fresh Wolf (and it’s available on Amazon). In its description, the company compares this shower gel to Dior’s famed Sauvage fragrance due to its bergamot, pepper, cedar, and amber notes. (The luxury label’s woodsy Sauvage shower wash does include similar scents.)

And for a full history of the franchise …

If you want as close to the official version of the Housewives historical record as you can get, Dave Quinn’s Not All Diamonds and Rosé serves as an oral history with on-the-record interviews with the wives, Bravo producers, and the one and only Andy Cohen, executive producer of the entire franchise.

If you want a more unofficial version, check out The Housewives, by Brian Moylan, who recapped Housewives episodes for our sister site Vulture. He talked to some castmates on and off the record along with former Bravo executives and current staffers. (One of the writers of this story, Ambar Pardilla, read it in practically one sitting. It’s very reminiscent of Moylan’s mocking recaps, she says; there’s even a ranking of every song produced by one of the Housewives — “Tardy for the Party” tops them all, obviously.)

The Strategist is 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 acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

37 Best Gifts for Real Housewives Fans