does luxury mean to you? For some, it means a soft, warm scarf to keep the chill away. For others, a sparkling wine that they might not necessarily purchase for any everyday tipple. Perhaps it’s a tech gadget that you want but can do without, but you know it’s going to make life easier and more fun. For someone on a real budget, luxury might just be that new hair dryer or flat iron that they want, but don’t absolutely need because the old one isn’t quite “dead” yet. This gift guide offers a range of what we like to call luxury gifts, at various price points. Which will delight those on your gift list, or maybe, just you?
alicia rudd The word “Cashmere” brings luxury immediately to mind. It’s sold, and warm, and meant to be something special, such as this Isaac Mizrahi Live! 2-Ply Cashmere Basketweave Infinity Scarf Retail Value: $106.00 QVC Price: $88.00 (Shipping & Handling: $7.72). This amazingly soft and luxurious, designer infinity scarf comes in 8 colors and it’s from QVC! While there are plenty of cashmere scarves you can choose from, this one has a basketweave design that makes it interesting, and the 2-ply cashmere is both soft and warm, and feels lovely next to your skin. The scarf is approximately 28″ x 16″ and meant to be double wrapped as a cowl over a sweater or blouse, or over a coat or jacket. It is large enough for even a man, and in black, grey or maroon, it’s a great gift for him or her.
Also from QVC is another ultimate luxury item that is great for a couple, a family, someone with a new home, or just for yourself because it’s so luxurious but it’s actually reasonably affordable. I love this Dennis Basso Platinum Oversized Faux Fur Throw with Trim QVC Item #H200601 $72.50 . This throw is large enough to cover a couch or a queen sized bed, big enough for two (or more) to snuggle under, and so soft, you will never want to leave home once you’re under it! While you can get other faux fur throws, this one has a fun fur fringe trim which makes it look more interesting. It really looks like it should cost a lot more than it does. The shell, lining, back, and fill are 100% polyester; Blonde/Leopard trim 62% modacrylic/28% polyester/10% acrylic; Gray trim 60% modacrylic/27 polyester/13% acrylic; Ivory trim 80% modacrylic/20% polyester; Royal Blue trim 100% modacrylic; Brown Mink trim 46% modacrylic/35% polyester/19% acrylic. Although these don’t quite take the place of genuine fur they look close enough to satisfy all your anti-fur loving friends and family, and still make a style statement from a great designer. If the baby spits up on it, or the family pet has an accident on it, or someone spills on it, the best part about this is that you can machine wash it and line dry it (try doing that with real fur)!
For these luxurious gifts and more, visit the QVC web site (or you can always turn on your television and watch, too)!
SPARKLING ITALIAN WINES FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Sparkling wine is not just a welcome gift, it’s the stuff of luxury and holiday cheer. Cantine Ferrari, and Italy’s northern Trentino region, produces some of the best sparkling wines in all of Italy. Using only the finest grapes and the method champenoise, Ferrari is a family owned and operated winery that has been around since 1902. It produces high-end sparkling wines that can be compared with the best the world has to offer. Ferrari wines are Italy’s high end anniversary, holiday and celebration sparklings. John Dunham The Advice Sisters wine reporter, samples four exceptional bottles at the Merano Wine Festival in NYC. The basic wine, the Ferrari Brut Trento (DOC) is a blanc de blanc , made with 100 percent chardonnay grapes. It is vibrant and creamy with a pleasant mousse and mouth feel. The wine features a yeasty apply palatte that compares well with its peers. Priced at just about $25 a bottle in New York this is an excellent hostess gift for parties.
Moving up in Ferrari’s collection is Ferrari Rose Trendo (DOC) which is a blend of 60 percent pinot noir and 40 percent chardonnay. Priced at about $35 a bottle, with wine is pinkish orange in color, vibrant and has a soft strawberry apple palatte. Again, this is an excellent selection for a party where the host may be familiar with sparking wines and would appreciate something unique and well made.
The vintage, 2007 Ferrari Perle Trento (DOC is$38 a bottle in the New York market and shows well for a wine of that age. And for those who really want something special and older, there is the 2002 Fiulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore Trento (DOC). This wine ranges in price from $57 to $103 and above, depending upon where you try to purchase it. It compares in price to classic French champagnes, like Dom Perrignon and well it should. The 2002 was perfectly aged, golden in color with a green, grassy nose, the wine tasted like a caramel apple from the Coney Island Boardwalk. Rich and buttery with a hint of spiciness, this wine would make a perfect gift for an important someone, who knows a great wine when they taste it.
I selected a few products showcased at a holiday preview for The Accessories Council that I thought were exceptional, not simply because of price, but because they are the types of items that signify luxury both big ticket, and smaller ticket. The Accessories Council is a not-for-profit, national advocacy organization established in 1994 created to stimulate consumer awareness and demand for fashion accessory products and they have seasonal previews for editors in which I always discover at least a few very special “finds.” To see the other round-ups The Advice Sisters have done from Accessories Council Events, simply type “Accessories Council” into the search box at the top right hand corner of this page.
This stunning leather satchel from Leigh Ann Barnes is both durable and lightweight, and it holds a special secret: The two straps in the front hold a separate clutch purse that you can lift out and wear on its own. Choose from genuine, python, calf hair, cork (very cool looking) or fur, to make a variety of looks. The cost ranges from $760 to $2200 depending upon what you choose. She also makes headbands, bracelets, ponytail holders out of the handbag remnants that help victims of domestic violence. Check out her wares at: http://leighannbarnes.com/
Less pricey but still precious and luxurious is the Charlotte Crossbody bag by Dolce Vita ($108). This petite bag ( 8 1/2″ x 1″ x 6″) is also available in black, and makes an elegant statement for a night out and for travel. What I love about this bag is that you can unsnap the long chain (it has a nice paddded piece of leather at the top so it doesn’t cut into your shoulder) and use the bag as a clutch or a bag-within-a-purse type bag. The front features two metal strips on the tab, and either gold hardware on the red bag or silver on the black bag. There is an open pocket on the bag of the bag (big enough for your mobile phone) and in the interior, slots for credit cards, plus a zippered pocket for things that you need to keep in a more secure way. The bag is lined in faille fabric, and the leather is genuine, and luxurious and of high quality. While you can find less expensive mini-cross body bags than this one, I’d call this a little luxury, and a great holiday gift! Find it on www.dolcevitahandbags.com
A watch is a classic gift, but this Anne Klein Watch Set ($150) is even more luxurious because it is such a glamorous watch, with a Roman-numeral, sun-ray dial ringed with a pavé-crystal bezel. The watch has an adjustable bracelet *links can be removed by your jeweler or at the department store in which you purchase this). The metal is gold-tone plate and the watch is water resistant to 10 ATM *100 meters). And the boxed set includes more bling: a curb-link toggle bracelet and tortoiseshell-tone bangle! It is really three gifts in one. Wear the watch alone, or with the bracelets. You can get this watch at department stores like Macys, Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor, Bon-Ton, Carsons and more.
Although fur is not for everyone, rabbit fur is so soft, so fun, and let’s face it, so WARM! This La Fiorentina Knitted Rex Rabbit Fur Hat & Scarf Hood $550 is a one size fits all luxury that would be hard to resist. One of the things I love about hoods of all types is that they skim over your hair instead of flattening it down, so you don’t end up with that dreaded, flat, “hat hair” that a regular hat gives you. This particular hood pools around your neck as well, so it is scarf as well as hood. It reminds me of Julie Christie in Dr. Zhivago…yes, I want one! It is available on www.lafiorentina.com
If there was one “little luxury” gift I wish I had been gifted with at the Accessories Council holiday preview, it was these Roman & Sunstone Eternally Radiant Sterling Silver Round & Square CZ Stud ($30). Yes, they are just a little splurge at $30 but they are so elegant and sparkly, I can see them adding allure to just about every holiday party outfit, and every special event throughout the year. The Sterling Silver and Cubic Zirconia earrings look like the real thing and are of high quality. They’d be perfect for gifting to a bridal party, and of course, make a great gift. Learn more at: http://www.romansunstone.com/
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