Buying clothes as gifts

Today I have a guest post from Argos Clothing which gives some great advice on that tricky issue of buying clothes as gifts.  You’ll also find my four favourite picks from their website at the end of the post.

5 Rules for Buying Clothes as Gifts

Most people would tell you not to bother: buying clothes as a present for your loved one is a recipe for disaster and is only to be attempted if they’re a) the exact same size and shape as a mannequin or b) they’re under the age of 9.

Yes, they say, getting your son, daughter, niece or grandchild something is easy – simply choose something from the huge range of clothing at Argos, or a simple T-shirt that features a picture of their favourite cartoon. But getting your girlfriend, sister or daughter something is a different story, as there are so many variables when it comes to buying women’s clothes.

If you’re listening to the nay-saying, you might be missing out on a gift your loved one would treasure forever. Sure, it requires perhaps a bit more thought and planning than, say, a bottle of perfume or champagne – but that’s what makes it special. There’s no better way to prove that you know them inside-out. Whether it’s a soft, comfy pair of pyjamas or something in a gorgeously luxurious fabric, a funny t-shirt or a piece of exercise wear, they’ll understand that you’ve spent time pondering both what they like and what they like to wear.

Because it’s such a personal gift, there aren’t that many universal rules: there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to buying clothes as presents. However, below are three rules you might want to bear in mind – whether you’re trawling for the perfect shawl or looking to get your lover some lovely lingerie.

1.     Keep the receipt: You might think it’s negative to prepare for the worst, but a receipt is an essential safety net when buying clothes as gifts. If it doesn’t fit or they don’t like it, they’ll be able to pick something they do like from the same shop. It means less pressure for everyone.

2.     Double, triple, quadruple check their size: Getting something too big or too small is the ultimate taboo, so you need to be über-careful when it comes to sizing. Sizes often vary from shop to shop and your loved one might wear different sizes on their top and bottom, so try and find something they’ve bought from the place you’ve got in mind to get the right measurements.

3.     Think carefully about their style: You’re buying something for them, not for yourself; try to imagine what they’d want and not what you’d like to see them in. Think carefully about anything that’s very sexy, very cute, or very old-fashioned: is it something they’d enjoy wearing? Where and when do you think they’d wear it? If it’s difficult for you to answer these questions, you might find your gift’s recipient ends up offended: as clothes are closely linked with self-expression, it will appear like you’re trying to change them into something they’re not.

Of course, there’s always the straightforward option of getting something that’s practical and classic: a sumptuous cashmere jumper, say, or a pair of timeless gloves. Getting something that’s warm and nurturing is safer than something glamorous, because it’s as much about your caring instinct as their style.

Thanks Argos!  Here are my favourites from their website…

Girls’ prom dress | Rayban wayfarers
Roxy makeup bag | Dangermouse lounge pants

Have you ever bought clothes as a gift? Do you have any advice to add?