stuff we buy ourselves

Which Stores Offer the Best Online Gift Wrapping?

Photo: Nordstrom Instagram

Lots of things have gone remote this year, and the holidays are no exception: Family dinners will be enjoyed via Zoom (for better or for worse), and most of us will be shipping, rather than hand-delivering, our holiday gifts. But celebrating with friends and family remotely doesn’t mean your presents shouldn’t look festive. And though you can wrap gifts yourself, that also requires going to the post office to ship them. A much easier option is getting your gift wrapped by the merchant and shipped directly to the recipient, but that can be tricky, too: While most retailers offer personalized notes for orders containing gifts, there are a few that offer truly tasteful gift wrapping for the ultimate ease. So if you’re hoping to order a loved one a little something that will actually look like a holiday gift, we asked our writers and editors for their go-to retailers who offer the best online gift wrapping during the holiday season. (And if you happen to be looking for a gift to wrap, we flagged a few of our favorites, too.)

Photo: MatchesFashion

The most-recommended merchant for beautiful packaging was MatchesFashion, which offers a complimentary “luxury box” on any online order, and the marble-printed, magnetic gift box is so nice-looking, senior writer Karen Iorio Adelson says they’re “basically gifts on their own.” They’re so nice on their own, there’s no need for additional wrapping, and so sturdy that Vox’s senior vice-president of e-commerce Camilla Cho says, “You can also reuse them for storage around the house.” Besides, according to Iorio Adelson, “they’re too pretty to throw out!”

To be wrapped:

The statusy Comme des Garçons wallet (beloved by many a Strategist writer) in an unexpected colorway.

And this scarf and beanie set, knitted from Scottish cashmere, goes with everything.

Or for the Tiger King fanatic, a responsibly made, leopard-print cross-body.

Photo: Maxine Builder

Amazon offers gift wrapping — a box or bag appropriate for the item, decorative ribbon, and a printed card with your gift message — for most items fulfilled by Amazon, and deputy editor Maxine Builder was “pleasantly surprised with how nice it looked when I opened the cardboard box.” She received a gift-wrapped present for her birthday in November — a Carhartt dog jacket — that came “wrapped in a lovely blue-and-gold bag that looked far nicer than what I’d expect from Amazon. The jacket itself was wrapped in white tissue paper, so I couldn’t see it through the somewhat-translucent bag, which was another unexpectedly sophisticated touch. In fact, I like the look of the bag so much, and it seems so sturdy, I am hanging on to it and expecting to reuse it for my own gift wrapping this Christmas.” The packaging varies by color and print, but all of the options — from metallic green stripes to shimmery yellow triangles — are equally (and non-denominationally) festive. Gift-wrapping prices start at $4.50 per item.

To be wrapped:

Some reusable Swedish dishcloths that one writer says “soak up 20 times their own weight in liquid” — in a funky dog print.

Or an apartment-friendly, gardener-recommended indoor garden for growing herbs.

Photo: Crate and Barrel

“When I started receiving gifts from Crate & Barrel off my wedding registry a few years ago, I remember being impressed with how everything came packaged so nicely,” says writer Lauren Ro. “It was simple (like its logo) — a white box (with a black base) and thick grosgrain ribbon to tie it all together — but effective.” And depending on how big the gift you’re giving is, Crate & Barrel offers two gift-boxing options: All items in one order can either be placed in one box, for an additional $5.50, total, or each item can be placed in individual boxes, at $5.50 per box.

To be wrapped:

A flatware set that one Strategist editor calls “modern without feeling too modern,” and “heavy enough to feel substantial without giving you carpal tunnel.”

And some Strategist-approved stemless wineglasses.

Or a supersoft, subtly plaid knit throw.

Photo: MoMA Design Store

While MoMA’s gift wrapping isn’t exactly Christmassy, it is tasteful, says writer Liza Corsillo. “For just $5 (or free if you’re a member), the MoMA Design store will wrap your Hay lamp or Braun alarm clock in wrapping paper that’s almost exactly the same turquoise as Tiffany’s iconic boxes and ribbons, but MoMA uses a more modern navy sticker. Both are signifiers of a very good gift inside. Though, if I had to choose, I’d be more excited to unwrap something from MoMA these days.” One word of warning: Some items on the MoMA Design Store website aren’t eligible for gift wrapping, but all of the ones below are.

To be wrapped:

The Memphis-esque water bottle from Hay that inspired one former Strategist editor to drink more water.

And a game-changing butter-spreading knife that renders fresh-from-the-fridge butter “sliceable, spreadable, and perfectly meltable on just-crisped toast.”

Or for the friend who got to see Andy Warhol’s latest MoMA exhibition last fall (and won’t let you forget it), a colorful long-sleeve.

Photo: Net-A-Porter

At no additional cost, Net-A-Porter will place any online order in one of its (very chic) signature black boxes, which are FSC-certified and fully recyclable, along with a personalized gift note. Writer Chloe Anello describes the wrapping as “really fancy,” so much so that any gift recipient “would’ve thought I spent a couple hundred dollars,” on the item inside, even if it’s less expensive. The gift is wrapped in “nice tissue paper,” says Anello, and “comes in a black box with a ribbon on it.”

To be wrapped:

The triangle version of the Skims bra that Strategist writer Rio Viera-Newton says is “totally wireless, incredibly supportive, and great for loafing around the house.”

Some woodsy, musky perfume that “smells like the feeling of dancing barefoot in the sand under the moonlight.”

Photo: Nordstrom Instagram

“Growing up, Nordstrom was the shopping destination for my family for just about everything, but especially gifts, mostly because it has always offered the nicest, most elegant wrapping option,” says Ro. “Its metallic boxes and matching satin ribbons (and its gigantic holiday-themed shopping bags) are forever etched in my memory. Luckily, Nordstrom also offers this option when you shop online, albeit for a small fee. For $2, you can get a kit sent to you (for you to put together yourself), and for $3, someone will box it up for you (or your recipient).” For an even more personal touch, Nordstrom will also include a free personalized gift message on the packing slip.

To be wrapped:

And a Strategist-approved insulated water bottle. (That’s also on sale.)

Photo: Revolve

“I made my first Revolve gift order earlier this year, and I think it’s my new go-to,” says writer Jenna Milliner-Waddell. “You get to shop multiple categories, so you can get a balanced care package together, the shipping is fast, which helps if you’re last-minute like me, and on top of that, the packaging is beautiful. My friend, whom I sent a birthday gift to earlier this year, said the packaging was almost too nice. She didn’t want to open it.” The wrapping changes with the season. When Milliner-Waddell sent her gift, the boxes were white with pink ribbon, but according to Milliner-Waddell, “The black boxes for the holidays look even more luxurious.” This holiday season, Revolve will wrap any order, as well as include a personalized gift message, for an additional $5.

To be wrapped:

A classic pair of Ray-Bans with a slight geometric upgrade.

And an extra-fuzzy sherpa beanie, to pair with any fleece.

Or a superfood-packed face mask that’s “basically a green smoothie for your face,” and that makes skin “clear and glowy.”

Photo: Williams-Sonoma

“I love giving people helpful kitchen tools and gadgets that they might never buy for themselves — like bread baskets (for prolonging your bread’s life span), citrus juicers (that catch all the juice and make sure the seeds don’t fall in), or cake stands (if I know they have a sweet tooth),” says writer Rio Viera-Newton. “Williams Sonoma is not only the perfect place for this type of gift but also has excellent gift wrapping. It’s beautiful and sleek and has adorable, tiny little pineapples all over it.” Gift wrapping starts at $8.50 per item, which includes red wrapping paper (with said adorable pineapples), red ribbon, and a personal message.

And a bread-proofing basket for the friend who calls their sourdough starter their “baby.”

Along with a three-piece knife set from Global, which includes our favorite eight-inch chef’s knife.

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.

Which Stores Offer the Best Online Gift Wrapping?