What to Buy If You Didn’t Get What You Wanted for the Holidays
Our advice? Replace that ugly sweater with one you’ll actually wear.
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It happened again. You received an utterly unsightly sweater from your sweet grandmother. We hear you: She has a heart of gold. And yet, that color palette is downright hideous. Of course, it is the thought that counts, but it’s also time to accept the fact that you’re not going to wear it—you never do.
Whether you find yourself in this situation exactly, or you’re facing a different present-related predicament, we’re here to encourage you to take matters into your own hands. Next steps: Make a plan to donate it to someone in need of a warm layer, and replace it with a gift you’ll actually use.
Below, browse eight ideas for what to buy if you didn’t get what you wanted for the holidays.
1. If your grandma got you an ugly sweater.
Trade your gnarly knit for something that’s both stylish and classic (read: grandmother-approved). A fisherman-style sweater fits the bill, and we happen to have an excellent one. The Somers sweater is made with an alpaca-wool blend and features an intricate cable-knit pattern.
2. If you asked for a new purse and got a canvas tote.
Useful, but not quite what you had in mind when you asked for a new handbag. Reserve your new tote for casual errands, and invest in a sophisticated leather carry-all like the M.M.LaFleur x SENREVE Maestra bag, which can take you from office days to social outings. The Chablis color is neutral but also limited-edition, so odds are you won’t run into anyone else who has your exact bag.
3. If you’re still holding out for that adventure abroad.
Despite your not-so-subtle hints, your significant other didn’t take the plunge. But that’s okay—you’re better at planning trips anyway. Start strategizing now by making savvy purchases. Think: pieces you can wear this winter and pack for your travels later. For instance, pair the on-sale Elsa dress with the coordinating Yiyan blazer this winter; then, style it with sneakers on your springtime jaunt to Paris.
4. If you received unsolicited exercise gear.
Unless you asked for it, this one’s plain offensive. Whether or not it was actually a passive-aggressive gesture, protest by indulging in the most luxurious loungewear you can get your hands on. The cashmere Cece sweater and on-sale Keely jogger form a divine duo that’s ready for a long, lazy day on the couch.
5. If your mom got you outdated designer jeans.
You didn’t even know they made jeans that low-cut anymore! And those bedazzled back pockets? They belong in a museum about the early aughts. While you would have spent all of your allowance to get your hands on these bootcut babies 20 years ago, the moment has passed. Swap them for something that’s simultaneously on-trend and grown-up, like the high-waisted, wide-leg Milo jeans.
6. If you got a questionable book from your eccentric aunt.
You appreciate astrology in small doses, but you never asked for a whole book about it. Add this quirky gift to your pile that’s bound for the local used bookstore, and pick up something you actually see yourself getting lost in. But wait! Make sure you have a go-to snuggly sweater, like the Snyder jacket, which is the perfect reading companion.
7. If you got the ultimate boring gift: socks.
It’s a cliché for a reason: Socks are a fun way to add personality to your outfit, and they’re easily giftable. But you’ve been receiving them for years now, and it’s time to take your at-home footwear game to the next level. If you work from home even one day a week, you definitely deserve to treat your feet to some chic, high-quality slippers. Try the EMU Teddy slippers to feel equal parts cozy and put-together.
8. If you spent most of your budget on gifts already.
Isn’t that generous of you! If you have a bit of budget to spare, be sure to check out our biggest sale of the year—featuring hundreds of items and discounts up to 80% off. Here are a few favorites to start with: For a top you can use as an underpinning now and live all summer long, stock up on the Paige tank. If you’re looking for a polished pullover you can wear to the office, the Para sweatshirt is a must. Going into the office? Add a playful color to your trouser rotation with a style like the Horton pant.