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Failsafe Gift Ideas for Every Person on Your List

Even the most difficult people to please.

failsafe gift ideas
Morgan McMullen

Let’s face it: Holiday gift shopping can be a downright overwhelming pursuit. If the mere thought of figuring out a gift for every person on your list—particularly those who are very hard to buy for—triggers heart palpitations, fear no more. Months of research went into putting together this year’s list of failsafe gifts that work for everyone. The result is a grouping of items that includes standout cozy pieces, quirky novelties you’ve likely never thought to gift before, reviewer-obsessed finds, and timeless pieces at every budget. Ahead, our roundup of the best failsafe gifts to shop now.

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Cinnamon, Clove, and Lemon Body Wrap
Feel Good Hug™
$45.00

This body wrap pillow actually feels like a warm hug when heated up in the microwave, which makes it a thoughtful idea to send a loved one you might not be able to see this holiday season. The gentle notes of cinnamon have a relaxing and soothing effect too. 

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EDITOR'S FAVORITE
Functional Fragrance
The Nue Co
$30.00

This crisp, woodsy unisex fragrance was designed to help people concentrate and re-center during stressful times. Here, a thoughtful gift for anyone on your list who's working from home with their partner. I've been spritzing this on every day the last few months and can attest to the scent being conducive to productivity. 

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Classic Bathrobe
Parachute Home

Parachute’s unisex bathrobe had a 2,000-long person waitlist before it launched and has consistently been a bestseller since. If you’re after a luxe, hotel-like robe for anyone on your list, look no further.

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EDITOR'S FAVORITE
Beats Flex Wireless Earphones
Beats amazon.com
$45.04

The newest Beats are the brand's most affordable option ever. I was lucky to be able to review these a few weeks back, and can attest firsthand to how sound quality and comfort haven't been compromised for a $50 price tag. Delivering 12 hours of battery life, and charging rapidly fast, these bluetooth wireless headphones are the most impressive affordable option out there.

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Women's Plush Slipper Socks (Set of 6)
Toes Home amazon.com
$13.99

Amazon reviewers are also low-key obsessed with this set of fuzzy socks, which happens to be a steal at this price. (Think 2.3k ratings and counting, with an average of 4.6/5 stars!) A handful of designs are available, but the heart motifs here are especially kitschy-chic.

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Leopard Recycled Faux Fur Quilted Scuff Slippers
MADEWELL nordstrom.com

$40 $28 (30% off)

These fuzzy slippers will provide more than just a respite for her frozen toes. The fun leopard print will make all of her roommates green with loungewear envy.  

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Aries Pendant Necklace
Maje
$70.00

Have an astrology lover on your list? French ready-to-wear brand Maje makes surprisingly affordable jewelry, which includes this line of Zodiac coin pendant necklaces

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Black Croc Willow Card Holder
A.P.C.

$219 $145 (31% off) 

With six card slots in the back, this leather beauty will be able to hold all of your credit cards, random small bills, and business cards exchanged at networking events. Its sleekness is reserved for a sophisticated individual (cough cough) like you.

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Gisele Long PJ Set
Eberjey

The expression "soft as butter" gets thrown around way too much, but in the case of female-founded lingerie and loungewear brand Eberjey, it's completely apt. Here, a chic pajama set she'll be able to enjoy for years to come. 

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OPRAH'S FAVORITE THINGS 2020
Vegan Velvet Red Matte Lipstick
Mented amazon.com

Founded by Amanda Johnson and KJ Millers, Mented Cosmetics is a vegan, cruelty-free makeup brand beloved for their inclusivity. Oprah herself is a fan—the brand's Lipstick Trio made her Favorite Things list this year.  The trio is currently sold out, but you can still treat the lipstick lover in your life to this bold and classic red shade.

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Classic Greek Michelangelo David Bust
Beonueni
$36.99

Nothing subtly says "I'm an Intellectual" like having a decorative bust of a Greek god on display in one's home. Your loved one won't see this gift coming, but they'll love it all the same.

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Pure Silk Adult Pleated Face Covering
SLIP
$39.00

Nordstrom reviewers are obsessed with this washable silk face mask from cult-favorite brand, Slip. As one shopper wrote, "If you’re getting acne from your mask then you need this mask. It’s easy to wash and feels soo smooth on my skin." *Adds to cart.* 

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EDITOR'S FAVORITE
7/8 Jogger Travel Pants with Pockets
AJISAI
$31.00

These flattering $31 joggers, which I recently reviewed here, are the only pair of sweatpants I've ever loved. They're comfy enough for wearing around the house all day, but cute enough to get away with wandering around galleries in (with a mask on, of course). 

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UGG Kadence Faux Fur Zip Hoodie
UGG nordstrom.com
$98.00

Fleece jackets have had a major glow up since you were in middle school. (Editor's note: I relate!) This hooded number from UGG will be a go-to cozy staple all winter long. 

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Marvelous Pets Custom Pet iPhone Case
MarvellousPets
$48.58

If half their camera roll is filled with pictures of their dog (which, fair), surprise them with a customized phone case featuring their pet. Cases can be made for pretty much any iPhone or Samsung model, and the turnaround time for this top-rated Etsy seller is about two weeks.

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Pro UV Smartphone Sanitizer & Universal Charger
PhoneSoap amazon.com
$119.95

File this nifty tech gift under universally useful gifts for 2020. In just five minutes, PhoneSoap's Pro UV smartphone sanitizer is able to kill up to 99.99% of germs thanks to its powerful UV-C light.

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Sheep Storage Container
QP amazon.com

Whether you're shopping for an aunt that does her own thing or a friend with a unique Instagram aesthetic, this sheep storage containers just hits differently. This can be used for holding Q-tips, paper clips, etc.

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Set of Six Geo Stacking Coasters
MOMA DESIGN STORE nordstrom.com
$28.00

Coasters are the rare decorative entity that nobody ever seems to have enough of, and yet nobody ever wants to buy 'em for themselves. Here, a vibrant set from the MoMa Design Store that looks far more expensive than its $28 price tag. 

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An Architecture-Inspired Kama Sutra
Miguel Bolivar
$9.99

This creative Kama Sutra from London-based architect Miguel Bolivar is for cultured significant others only. Each sex position is inspired by a famous building or furniture design with detailed data and annotated scale drawings.

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PERSONALIZED GIFT IDEA
Gold Round Signet Ring
Missoma

If you're after a gift with a personalized touch, Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton-beloved jewelry brand Missoma offers engravings at no extra cost on a range of pieces, including this 18-carat gold vermeil signet ring. 

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EDITOR'S FAVORITE
Diamond Signet Ring
Aurate New York

This Art Deco-inspired 14k gold and diamond signet ring is simply beautiful. Sizes four through 10 are available, in addition to half sizes.

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The Hygge Game
HYGGE GAMES
$20.00

Containing 330 questions that are thought-provoking yet not mentally draining (i.e. "What's the most annoying sound?"), this game will be fun to play on FaceTimes with loved ones and at future dinner parties.

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Outdoor Picnic and Beach Blanket
Roebury amazon.com

For the nature-loving couple on your shopping list, this waterproof and sand proof outdoor blanket (big enough for 2!) can be used for picnic and beach trips as well. Even better? It includes a compact tote which will make transporting it a breeze.

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BEST GIFT FOR ANY AGE
Tykho 3 FM Radio & Bluetooth® Speaker
LEXON
$59.90

Another Lexon favorite, this silicone rubber bluetooth speaker can connect with your phone to play music, in addition to functioning as a normal FM radio. Aesthetic appeal aside, the speaker has impressive sound quality, charges easily through a USB port, and is splash-proof in case you want to bring it poolside. 

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GIFT THAT GIVES BACK
Slow Factory x Brightland: ARDOR
Brightland
$40.00

As if Brightland's olive oil wasn't drool-worthy enough on its own, it comes in packaging so chic your loved one will want to use it as a vase afterwards. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from this limited-edition bottle benefit The Slow Factory Foundation, a 501c3 public service organization that works at the intersection of climate and culture. 

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Women's Condor Low Top Sneakers
Veja farfetch.com
$164.00

These ridiculously comfy sneakers from Meghan Markle's favorite sustainable shoe brand work for running errands and running distance alike. They're a splurge you can feel good about too as Veja makes their sneakers with rubber instead of plastic. 

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Power 7/8 Workout Leggings
Sweaty Betty
$100.00

To give you a sense of how popular Sweaty Betty's Power leggings are, one pair has sold every 90 seconds this year. I can personally attest to these being some of the comfiest and most flattering leggings I've ever owned, and how they're well-suited for every pursuit from running to yoga to Netflix surfing. 

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Muse Sweatpant
Alo Yoga aloyoga.com
$98.00

If you're after a luxe-feeling loungewear gift, these best-selling joggers are made from a dreamily soft ribbed knit. As one reviewer put it: "They are flattering, lightweight, and just detailed enough to make you feel “dressed” while wearing sweats."

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Bold Herringbone Chain Necklace
Mejuri
$150.00

Herringbone chain necklaces look good on everyone, in addition to pairing well with nearly everything. If she doesn't already have one in her jewelry box, Mejuri's gold vermeil option is the perfect length. 

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Women's Cashmere Hoodie
NORDSTROM SIGNATURE nordstrom.com

This luxe cashmere hoodie works with everything. Your loved one will be able to wear this  while lounging around at home, on Zoom calls, or with a pair of cool leather pants when we're able to be more social again. 

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Arise Mat Made with FSC-Certified Rubber 5mm
Lululemon
$78.00

For the loved one that's just getting into yoga, this vibrant Lululemon option is a splurge you can feel good about. The mat is Forest Stewardship Council-certified, which, per Lululemon, supports the protection of forest ecosystems and the people, plants, and animals that inhabit them. 

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Pulcina Geometric Espresso Pot
Alessi
$90.00

This espresso pot from Italian design brand Alessi not only brews a perfect moka, but is kitchen counter eye candy. The recipient will want to keep this on display 24/7.

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Nova Deruta Salt and Pepper Shaker Set
Nova Deruta
$34.95

Behold: the thoughtful souvenir you would've brought back for the couple you love from Italy this year if 2020 hadn't been...like this. Nova Deruta's earthware uses traditional handcrafted techniques inspired by Italy's Umbrian region, dating all the way back to the renaissance.

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"Be the Change" Soy Candle
Natural Annie Essentails
$23.00

Surprise a changemaker you admire by way of a natural, 100 percent vegan soy candle. The scent is a dreamy bamboo coconut. 

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'Supreme Glamour'
Thames & Hudson
$40.00
$21.93 (45% off)

Anyone who loves The Supremes or retro glamour will swoon over this new coffee table fixture, which chronicles the fashion history of the beloved 1960s Motown group. Founding member Mary Wilson tells her friend and co-author, Mark Begu, the whole story of the band.

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Reversible Throw Blanket
Areaware
$110.00

Stay cozy this winter with a fuzzy reversible throw blanket. It's a gift sure to be appreciated by anyone on your list as soon as it starts to snow. 

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Knit Texting Gloves
Hat Attack
$30.10

Spare someone you love the wintery dilemma of answering a text or losing feeling in their thumbs with a pair of texting gloves. Certain to come in handy (not sorry for the pun). 

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Mini Maestra Bag
Senreve
$695.00

Senreve's bags take versatility to another level with their ability to be worn as a backpack, crossbody, or top handle. Now that we're living in a hands-free world, this bag is sure to be useful for everyday wear as it fully zips at the top and has enough space to hold a small umbrella and 10.5" tablet, while still feeling like a small bag.

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Reversible Wool Triangle Scarf
Wilfred
$68.00

This wool triangle scarf is soft on the skin, easy to style, and reversible. I own this in two of the 12 color ways it comes in and am tempted to buy a third. This will be a godsend for hiding the fact that she's still wearing pajamas during morning Zoom calls. 

Courtesy
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A Coffee Table Book With Fuzzy Feels
Weldon Owen
$25.00
$16.29 (35% off)

Who doesn't like looking at pictures of cute pups? This tome is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for hipsters, grandparents, and city-goers of all ages.

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Classic Core Sheet Set
Brooklinen
$139.00

As humans, we spend a third of our life asleep (or, at least, trying to fall asleep), so upgrading a loved one's bedding situation is a thoughtful move. This cotton sheet set from what's arguably the most beloved sheet brand on the internet includes a fitted sheet, top sheet, and two pillow cases.

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Paper Mache Rainbow Giraffe Head
Caribbean Craft
$95.00

There is so much to love about independent brand Carribean Craft's upcycled creations. The ethos of the women-run brand is celebrating Haitian culture and empowering Haitian women. Here, a decorative paper mache fixture that'll add sunshine to any child's room.

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Mix & Match Eyeshadow Palette in True Neutrals
Fenty Beauty
$25.00

Just in case a makeup lover in your life has yet to try Fenty Beauty, introducing them to Rihanna's beloved line will be the beauty gift that keeps on giving. A personal Fenty Beauty favorite of mine is the True Neutrals palette, which contains six smooth, easily-blendable shades in a range of matte, shimmer, and glitter finishes that can be mixed and matched to create both natural and dramatic looks.

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Azul Face Pillow by Justina Blakeney® X Loloi
Jungalow
$89.00

Based on an original watercolor painting by Justina Blakeney, this decorative pillow will bring a contemporary touch to any room the recipient places it in. 

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Clear Acrylic End Table/Nightstand
MyGift

For the loved one who could use an end table or nightstand upgrade, this acrylic option is equal parts sleek and practical. The best part? Since it's available on Amazon Prime, you won't have to pay extra for shipping. 

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Maliza Bar Cart
South Shore
$179.90

This apartment-friendly bar cart provides space for an artsy cocktail connoisseur to display some of their favorite liquors and wine glasses. It's a sophisticated storage piece that exudes understated glamour and is suitable for the outdoors as well. 

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Mini Boxed Hoop Earrings
Soko
$68.00

Minimal yet playful, SOKO's boxed adaptation of classic huggie earrings pairs well with just about any look. In case you're unfamiliar with the women-founded and sustainably-sourced brand, SOKO's pieces are handcrafted by artisans in Kenya.  

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GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK
Ruby Heart Pinky Ring
Olivela
$300.00

Heart jewelry has come a long way since season six of The Office when Pam insinuated that women wouldn't ever buy heart-shaped jewelry for themselves. Dainty and special, this gold pinky ring will add a subtle kitschy touch to all of her outfits. Olivela donates supplies for families in need with every purchase through Save The Children as well.

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Doing Things Unisex Hat
Outdoor Voices
$28.00

I gifted this hat to my boyfriend last summer (I liked the idea of a non-blogger type wearing this to places like the DMV) and it has since become a mainstay in his wardrobe. It's proven itself not only durable, but a compliment magnet from virtually everyone. 

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Bulldog Knit Scarf
Polo Ralph Lauren
$29.99

To put it simply, this is for the dog-loving dude who's tricky to buy for. 

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Ray-Ban Shades for Him
Ray-Ban sunglasshut.com
$165.00

You know his sunglass face type better than he does, so treat him to a pair of high-quality, super comfortable shades that he'll be able to enjoy year-round.

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Men's Wool Jumper
Allbirds allbirds.com
$135.00

Like their sneakers, the pieces in Allbirds' first-ever clothing collection fall into the category of "splurges you can feel good about" since they're environmentally friendly. This sweater from the collection is equally soft and suave.

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Reebok by Pyer Moss Logo Socks
Reebok by Pyer Moss
$20.00

If he's a cool socks guy, this pair from Reebok by Pyer Moss will quite literally knock his off.

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Men's Utility Style Hooded Jacket
A-COLD-WALL*
$335.00

This utility style zip-up from Samuel Ross's label A-Cold-Wall* will be the coolest jacket he owns. Versatile and lightweight, it features a concealed fastening system, which allows for an individualized fit.

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Men's Cole Haan x Hasan Minhaj 4.ZERØGRAND Hiker Boot
Cole Haan colehaan.com
$270.00

Whether he's an outdoorsman or a Brooklyn native, these hiking boots from Hasan Minhaj's collaboration with Cole Haan are sure to be a hit. 

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Men's Fam Jam Microfleece Pajama Pants
NORDSTROM
$29.00

For the guy on your list who insists he doesn't need new pajamas, but you know absolutely does. Nine other colors and patterns are available as well, in case you're after something less minimal.

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Now's The Time Watch
Daem Watches
$425.00

If he's an art lover, the creations from Brooklyn-based men's watch label Daem Watches in collaboration with the Basquiat Estate are otherworldly. Here, a one-of-a-kind piece that reads "Now's The Time."

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Slippers For HIm
UGG
$79.95

Gift a good man in your life the slippers he'd never treat himself to that will change his life. Or, at the very least, keep his toes warm all winter long.

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Pre Shave Oil for Men
Bevel
$15.16

Gifting shaving cream is so last year. This year, treat him to a priming oil from top-rated Amazon brand Bevel to use before he shaves. Reviewers rave about how this priming oil works for even the most sensitive skin. 

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Aventus En Voyage 5-Piece Coffret Set
Creed
$295.00

Creed's colognes were originally made exclusively for King George III and his royal court back in 1760s Paris. If you're after a luxe-feeling gift for him, this limited-edition set of the brand's beloved Aventus scent (think: notes of bergamot, musk, and pineapple) is it.

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Neon Acrylic Cactus Sculpture
Brightecture
$35.00

This handmade acrylic cactus sculpture is another smart art gift that looks way more expensive than it actually is. Standing 5.5 inches high, it'll bring a punchy splash of modernity into your loved one's home. 

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