Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
If you missed it last month, we put together a really fun holiday gift guide highlighting some of our favorite products, from beauty and accessories to things we don’t talk about as much, like cool things for men and kids.
The best part about compiling a gift guide is the process — the act of discovering new stores and brands, and finding exciting things at old favorites. More often than not, I’ll learn about a store I’ve never heard of that stocks all sorts of things I fall in love with and end up buying for myself and others.
So if you're more into doing the digging on your own, we’re giving you some solid ideas for where to look — because after all, picking out the special things you think your loved ones will love is one of the most fun parts of gift-giving.
The One-Stop Shops
Stores that carry a wide range of goods mean you can stock up on gifts for multiple people, from your mom to your boyfriend to your neighbor.
Gifts for: men, women, kids, pets, beauty, home
Prices: a huge range; $5–$5,000+
A marketplace of goods from small designers and artisans around the world, Aha Life stocks apparel, furniture and literally everything in between. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the options, the site’s gift finder, which narrows your choices by category and price, is pretty helpful.
Gifts for: men, women, kids, beauty
Prices: lots of splurgy items, with some things under $100
Operating as an e-commerce site for dozens of designer boutiques worldwide, Farfetch is a great place to shop for luxe gifts like jewelry, lingerie, and designer accessories. The site breaks it down for you in guides for women, men, and kids, but you might have better luck just browsing by price and item type, since the shop tends toward the uber-expensive.
Gifts for: literally anyone you could think of, especially if they're fancy
Prices: expensive-leaning, but plenty of options under $150, too
Gwyneth has literally everyone covered with multiple personality-specific gift guides this year — from the animal lover and the host to the health nut. The options are pretty robust in price and category, with products starting as low as $4 in the beauty section to $10,640 for a vintage Bamford watch. Thankfully, though, most of what you’ll find falls in the $400-and-under range.
Gifts for: men, women, kids, beauty, home
Prices: all over the map
Similar to Farfetch but for indie boutiques, Garmentory is where you should head for gifts with a rustic-chic, Kinfolk-y vibe. The site can be a little hard to navigate when you just feel like browsing, but the boutiques page, which lets you shop by individual store and location, is a veritable who’s who of cool shops and brands that’s guaranteed to surface new discoveries.
Gifts for: men, women, beauty, home
Prices: a huge range, starting under $20
Need Supply is great at selecting cool up-and-coming brands in a mix of price ranges that somehow all feel of the same mold; chances are if you like one thing, you’re going to like it all. It also has a good selection of best-in-class versions of basic items (socks, beanies, little leather pouches) that are perfect for gifting.
Gifts for: women, beauty, home
Prices: leans expensive, but has good options under $150, too
If you’re reading Racked, there’s almost a zero percent chance you don’t already know Net-a-Porter. But did you know the (often pricey) e-tailer has a huge selection of gifts under $150? Head here for both little luxuries, like Le Labo gift sets and Tom Dixon scented diffusers, and big-ticket gifts — if you're feeling super generous, the site’s big end-of-the-year sale is still in full swing.
Of a Kind
Gifts for: men, women, kids, beauty, pets, home
Prices: Big selection of gifts under $50, even bigger selection of splurges
Of a Kind gives a platform to new designers, which makes it a wonderful place to shop for gifts from brands that not everyone has heard of. You’ll find items as diverse as pretty earrings, handmade candles, and cool printed socks; conveniently, the site also has a handful of themed boxes that'll get you big gifting points.
Gifts for: men, women, kids, beauty, home, technology
Prices: a huge range; $5–$3,000+
From lipstick to computers, Spring probably has the most comprehensive inventory on this list — because it’s not actually an inventory, it’s a platform that lets you look in one place, but buy directly from the designer. The app provides the best shopping experience, but you can also look on your browser.
The Niche Sites
Specialty shops and brands with very cool finds that fit specific interests and tastes, from luxury PJs to a Scandinavian design haven.
Niche: chic home stuff
Prices: $15 to $300+
From gorgeous glass carafes to abstract-patterned throws, Coming Soon is a go-to for gifts for the home as well as beauty and accessory picks like this chic eye mask. Plus, the “fun” tab has some unexpected items (standing totem candles, millennial pink ash trays) that would make great stocking stuffers.
Niche: Scandinavian goods
Prices: $4–$800+, with some excellent sale prices in the mix
Know someone who loves Sweden, Denmark, or Finland, or just appreciates the region’s love for simple design? Huset means “the house” in Swedish and Danish, so you know the shop carries great home wares. But there’s also a lot to explore in the fashion arena (think Malene Birger, Samsoe & Samsoe, Mini Rodini) for men, women, and kids, too.
Lou & Grey
Niche: cozy women’s clothes
Any brand that focuses on comfort and affordability is speaking our language, but one that does it in a way that’s not even the least bit frumpy? We’ve been waiting for you, Lou & Grey. The sweaters, which start around $50, are particularly giftable for moms, girlfriends, and sisters, not to mention yourself.
Niche: gifts for dapper men
Prices: pretty expensive, with some gifts under $150
The men’s side of the Net-a-Porter coin, Mr Porter stocks great gifts for any person, but especially for men with refined taste or aspirations. The prices for some objects place them firmly in the realm of fantasy, but there are some realistic gems too, like cozy sweaters, luxe shaving sets, leather jewelry, and plush bathrobes. Overwhelmed by the selection? Go straight to the handy gifting section.
Niche: travel-sized everything
Prices: sets from $50; individual items from $6
If you’ve got someone on your list who is always catching a plane (or just likes cute, tiny things), check out this site that only sells travel-sized products for face, body, and hair. You can opt for a pre-packaged set, or make your own with picks from brands like Marvis, Grown Alchemist, Supergoop, and Sachajuan.
Prices: pieces start around $48
Is there any better gift than pajamas? For a lot of people, the answer is no. Sleepy Jones makes cute sets and separates in high-quality materials for men, women, and kids, plus chic lingerie and colorful socks.
Niche: Instagram-worthy gifting made easy
Prices: boxes start around $78
This brand exists literally to make gift-giving easy, and it does a really good job doing just that. The stars of the show, without a doubt, are the Instagramable themed gift boxes — there's everything from natural beauty to fine cocktail — starting at $78, but you'll also find individual picks under $100, like pretty chocolate and leather goods.
Prices: items from $20; sets from $50
LA’s best beauty store stocks items from all sorts of dreamy skincare, haircare, and makeup brands and can package them up for you in elegant gift sets with names like “French pharmacy” and “silver screen.” Products are all vetted by Hollywood’s beauty experts, so you know you’re getting best-in-class goods.