May 8, 2014

Mother’s Day Gift Guide: Classic, Chic, and Crap

Whenever I begin browsing the ‘Gifts For Moms’ section in May, I’m struck by how poorly suited the selections seem for real women. 



Who are these demure souls wielding garden gnomes and keepsake boxes while raising America’s youth? The cliché, uninspired ‘Mother’s’ gifts highlighted by every major retailer appeal solely to one aesthetic–an aesthetic of bland kitsch and unremarkable thought that is at best hilarious, at mediocre hideous, and at absolute worst nauseating. You know this already, which is why you’ve been giving your mother a book, or (*shudder*) an Ann Taylor Loft gift card, every year since college.  This year, I challenge each and every one of you to step your daughter game way, way the fuck up. Every ounce of effort you give has already been returned ten-fold by your long-suffering Mother. The woman DESTROYED her abs for you. I’ve sorted our gift guide into 3 sections: Classic, Chic, and Crap. Classic choices are a thoughtful upgrade on traditional Mother’s Day gifts. Chic selections are stylish, luxurious gifts that  any mother would be thrilled and grateful to receive.  Crap gifts are crap.



via tipjunkie

via tipjunkie


Why should anyone pay $69.99 for what essentially boils down to a gingham and sorrow wrapped turd? A turd that always turns out to be SIGNIFICANTLY smaller than in the picture? Down with over-priced, under-sized corporate flowers.  Here is how to order flower delivery at local rates from a long distance:

1. Know your mother’s address

2. Search for flower shops near your mother’s address

3. Research, select, and place your order over the phone.

That’s it. Maybe that seems super basic, but younger generations tend to nurse a sincere-ish phobia of communicating with strangers via telephone. Don’t listlessly browse from site to site, ignoring any without images, until you feel exasperated enough to overpay.


Gold Bracelet

via Cartier

via Cartier

Timeless elegance that fits everyone, thy name is bracelet. No matter what Mom’s size or style is, an elegant bracelet will add a touch of class to her day-to-day look. While earrings and necklaces are also fabulous gift picks, bracelets have a certain traditional charm and universal appeal that makes them perfectly for an older woman who may or may not follow fashion. Even if you’re Mom couldn’t care less about fashion, she’ll appreciate the luxury of truly well made wrist bling. Gold bracelets are timeless. A Cartier Love Bracelet is the pinnacle of luxurious gold bracelets, the one bracelet to rule them all. Originally intended to be a romantic gift, the Cartier Love Bracelet symbolizes a permanent bond. Men might come and go, but the bond between you and your mother will never break. Even the surliest of mamas will surely be charmed by a semi-irremovable bracelet that symbolizes an unyielding bond of love/codependency. If you can’t currently afford Cartier (no shame), there are many high quality ‘Cartier-inspired’ lockable gold bracelets that are basically indistinguishable from the real thing. It’s not fake- there’s no label- it’s simply a lower priced alternative. 


‘Treat yo self’ is the unofficial mantra of shopaholics everywhere. This Mother’s Day, suspend your self-absorption and bask in the pious glow that comes from treating someone else. ‘Treat yo Mama’ is this weekend’s mantra. Spice up a Spa gift by forgoing generic treatments like the omnipresent mani/pedi for services your Mother wouldn’t usually get like a mudbath or high-tech facial. A fabulous way to find local services at radically discounted prices is Lifebooker, an amazing website that lets you grab high end services at a fraction of the price and book appointments directly. If you don’t live in the same city as your Mother, lifebooker is an exceptional way to find, purchase, and schedule treatments for your Mom from far away. If you’ve waited until the last minute, Lifebooker is a total Godsend.

Print Scarf 

via shop-hers

via shop-hers

In my humble opinion scarves are the least interesting gift ever. Yet they remain a classic because even the most critical Mama can appreciate a nice fuckin’ scarf. Don’t just swing by Old Navy and grab a boring red cotton scarf. If you must get a scarf get one of THE scarves: Hermes kerchief, Missoni knit, or Pucci swirl One of those scarves that have gone down in history as statement pieces on some of the chicest women in history. Dearest Mama will feel like Jackie O and all her friends will be green with envy. Or if you’re not feeling designer, simply exert some time and energy and find a truly unique print a tropical tones that will set your Mom apart from the Mom pack. Vintage stores are a great place to look.

Gift Basket

via World Market

via World Market

So help me God if you send your Mom an Edible Arrangement we are no longer cool. Fruit cut into fun shapes is still fruit, and fruit is bullshit. Why not just give her a bushel of beets or kale smoothie? Maybe some radishes? How would YOU feel if the person you nurtured for 18 years and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on decided to pay you back with MELON? Your Mom can buy her own cantaloupe. Show a modicum of effort. Get her a gift basket filled with fun items that are not a balanced part of your daily diet. Acceptable items for your gift basket include cheese, bacon, booze, CLASSY sweets, makeup, pampering type items. Sephora and Ulta are good bets, and WorldMarket has come original and affordable items. Body Shop is ok I suppose but Bath & Body Works is so 2001.


Jared Jamin Necklace

9Jared Jamin Ice Queen Dream Necklace This gorgeous piece is a timeless, yet on trend statement piece that any woman would covet. Come in to stylehaüs to grab this one of a kind piece.

AS BY DF  Fabiana Moto Jacket


Any woman of any age can rock the right Moto Jacket. This piece is perfect for Moms who want to be chic, not grunge, with a perfectly tailored lightweight jacket in a dramatic pop of color- or for classic cool, it also comes in black. This is a great way for mature women to go motorcycle without taking the risk of looking ‘leatherdaddy’.  Available online or in-store at stylehaüs. 

Neoprene Dress


Neoprene is a massively popular new fabric that’s making waves in the fashion industry. Neoprene is a unique material that manages to hide flaws and accentuate assets to make for one super smooth silhouette. This Clover Canyon  is made of neoprene and comes in a festive, super summery print that just screams ‘Resort’. If Mom can’t make it to Santorini, she can at least look private Island ready.

White Leather Jacket


Everyone has a black leather jacket­ but what about white? The lighter color is just as versatile and twice as fresh! The Marina jacket from Alpine Stars is a modern Mom’s  must­ have, featuring quilted leather panels and gold zipper detailing for a breezy, sophisticated look that’s incredibly flexible. 

Stylehaüs Day Pass or VIP Experience

For LA girls with local mothers, take ‘Treat Yo Self’ to the next level and give Mom an utterly one of a kind experience. A Day Pass includes a one-hour appointment with a stylehaüs stylist and a customized pull of clothing. The Grove VIP Experience includes two hours of personal shopping throughout the Grove, in-store consultation with one of our stylists, and a customized pull. Available online or in store at stylehaüs.


Charm Bracelet


Charm bracelets are for elementary schoolers and depressed  housewives. Charm bracelets are as dated and tacky as frosted blue eyeshadow. Buy the woman a real bracelet, a bracelet that does not have a tiny suitcase dangling next to a tiny foot print.

Gift Card


Gift cards say: I stopped at CVS on the way over, and I am too self involved to ask you what you want this year.



Mother. Not Hooker. Mother.

Handmade Coupons


‘One free hug’ and ‘one floor sweeping’ will never be redeemed and you both know it. If you really want to do something for your mother, DO IT. SWEEP THAT KITCHEN. Don’t talk about it. Be about it.



Not a real gift bitches. Not a gift.

A final note on giving:

When in doubt, focus on the sensory. Giving an experience, such as dinner or some wretched Groupon white water rafting voyage, is thoughtful but hard to predict. Different people experience things differently, and there’s a special circle in hell called ‘Pretending to enjoy doing something you wait while a loved one watches happily’.  Practical presents, such as a magazine subscription or toilet paper, will be appreciated but probably will not touch any sort of emotional core. When thinking about a possible present, first think about the Giftee’s senses. Do they respond strong to visual stimulus, such as bright colors or patters? Sounds? Think about what your Mother admires or praises most.  Then pinpoint your search to items that trigger their strongest sense. I know it sounds kind of creepy when I type it out, but thinking about sensory (or even emotional) experiences has led me to be a better gift giver. Try it.

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