Photo: Zara Home
For us, shopping online—even without the incentive of crazy Cyber Monday discounts—is the preferred way to pick up holiday presents.
The benefits are obvious: You can shop any time of the day or night, and you can comparison shop with a simple click of a button.
Of course, even online-shopping connoisseurs like us can fall into a digital rut, surfing the same sites time and again. So we’ve compiled a list of 20 must-browse online shopping destinations with thoughtful–not to mention affordable–gifts for everyone on your list.
1. Zara Home
The popular Spanish fashion retailer recently launched online shopping in the United States for its home line. We can’t get enough of the beautifully crafted accessories, including photo frames, vases and trays–especially the metallic and reptile-print designs.
This retailer’s on-trend jewelry designs are perfect for female friends and relatives. We particularly love the glitzy pieces adorned with pave crystals, and the mixed-material wrap bracelets. Plus, you can easily search by price range–and there are plenty of under-$25 options.
3. Flight 001
This site has an impressive array of fun, useful and well-designed items for the frequent travellers in your life. We’re especially fond of these cheeky luggage tags for stocking stuffers.
4. Think Geek
This site–with its “Stuff for Smart Masses” tag line–is pretty self-explanatory. Got someone on your list who loves “Star Wars” or gadgets and gizmos? Think Geek will undoubtedly have the perfect gift. (We think that the “Game of Thrones” board game doesn’t sound like a bad way to pass the time on chilly winter nights.)
Although smartphones have made photography easier than ever, film cameras that produce interesting, offbeat pics are making a comeback–and we love the lightweight, colourful plastic camera designs from Lomography.
When we’re on the hunt for quirky gifts, Uncommon Goods is our first destination. We especially love their home and dining picks (like this set of exotic cooking salts from around the world), and they make it easy to search for gifts under $50.
Topshop has certainly made a splash on American shores, but another favourite British retailer of ours is ASOS, which has a vast selection of stylish fashions for men and women at all price points.
Got tons of photos from a recent vacation or celebration? Turn them into a coffee table-worthy book using Blurb. Small books start at just $11!
Love the idea of Etsy, but don’t have the time to sift through thousands of vendors? Check out Poppytalk Handmade, which curates a new batch of handcrafted items from emerging designers each month. We’re fans of the creative maps from ImagineNation, and this tasseled bracelet by Vivien Frank Designs.
10. Candle Delirium
Luxe candles perfectly describe one of our gift-giving philosophies: Pick up something that the person would appreciate–but wouldn’t necessarily buy for herself. Candle Delirium has a bevy of brightly coloured options, including scents from design guru Jonathan Adler.
11. C. Wonder
Bright colours and animal prints abound at this playful, preppy website, which sells home goods, clothing, jewelry and accessories. This monogrammed mug is a great office gift, so people don’t steal your colleague’s cup!
We’re fans of the offbeat jewelry, beauty and home décor available at Catbird. Gifts are organised under themes like, “Your True Love,” “Your BFF & Sisters,” “Hostess and Secret Santa” and “mum/Mother-in-Law.”
Mxyplyzyk sells colourful home accessories and toys. The playful designs, like these ketchup and mustard dispensers, make great hostess gifts–and many of the items run well under $50.
14. Brandy Melville
Brandy Melville’s cozy and cute printed t-shirts and oversized sweaters are all affordably priced. The graphic tees, in particular, are perfect for gifting to a little sister, daughter or niece.
15. C.O. Bigelow
C.O. Bigelow, “the oldest apothecary in America,” stocks a wide variety of beauty brands, including Clarks Botanicals and Dr. Hauschka. And items from the store’s own line—like this C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Shines—make fantastic stocking stuffers.
16. Branch Home
For sustainably made gifts from indie designers like Krank Press and Contextual Design, Branch Home is a great site to bookmark. We can’t wait to gift some of their adorable designs for kids’, like the handmade bunny stuffed animals reminiscent of “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
17. Pop Chart Lab
This company specialises in turning pop culture phenomenons into cheeky, graphic-heavy t-shirts and posters, including this cocktail-wheel design.
This is a members-only site featuring steep discounts on an amazing variety of gifts for humans–as well as their pets. Sign up for their emails to be notified of pet-related sales each Wednesday night or become a member (it’s free!) to check out what they’re currently selling. Right now, they’re showcasing skulls-and-crossbones doggy sweaters.
19. Watson Kennedy
At Watson Kennedy, you’ll find home goods that are a little vintage-y, a little offbeat and very gift-worthy. Our favourite feature: The site is organised by the senses, including “To Feel,” “To Hear and “To Taste.” In the last category, we’re dying to try the blood orange bitters and the blue cheese and mission fig dipping oil.
We’re obsessed with the charming images of woodland creatures at The Animal Print Shop, devoted to the work of photographer Sharon Montrose. And with print options starting at $25, you won’t break the bank.