What to Get a Brand-Driven Gal
If you have anxiety over buying for a brand-driven gal, it probably isn't that you don't know what she wants - it's that she wants something outside your budget. That's totally normal, and you can rest assured that she (probably) doesn't expect you to buy her that designer handbag she's lusting over, anyway. Still, you want to get her something that she'll actually like.
In this case, you have a few options:
- stay small within her favorite brands
- mimic her brand aesthetic
- avoid her brand in favor of emerging designers
As I said, girls who love their brands are fully aware of how much things cost, and they don't expect everyone in their lives to gift them top-of-the-range swag. Luckily, designers put out entire stores worth of swag, including accessories. You might not be able to buy her a new Valentino Rockstud tote, but the Valentino jelly gladiators or Rockstud keychain might be right within budget. A Burberry coat might be out of the question, but they also make adorable scarves. You might break out in hives just looking at the Chanel store, but Karl came out with some ridiculously cute iPhone cases and patches.
Mimicking the Aesthetic
First and foremost: never get a knock off! She will be able to tell the difference, and there's a good chance she may be horrified. However, there are plenty of non-fakes out there that are inspired by big brand names. Plenty of brands do scarves in the style of Burberry plaid, and many trendy stores have started carrying asymmetrical tops similar to Helmut Lang. Take a look at her favorite brand's website, and keep those looks in mind when you search for something that will blend well with her existing wardrobe.
Shopping Emerging Designers
If your giftee isn't obsessed with any single brand, and instead seems to enjoy designer labels in general, she is probably drawn to luxury, craftsmanship, and exclusivity. Lucky for you, all those things can be found for less from awesomely fantabulous designers that haven't quite blown up on the scene. For these, hit up local boutiques, holiday fairs, Etsy, and boutique sites like Shoptiques. Just make sure that you aren't in a time crunch if you have something made to order.