How to buy clothes as holiday gifts

Shoppers hunt for bargains at the Westfield Valencia Town Center on Black Friday morning. Knowing which stores your loved ones’ like makes buying gifts a little easier.

Holiday shopping lists are being made, and there is a strong chance that clothing has made many of those lists.

Year after year, apparel, along with technology and books, dominate the top giving categories, according to Nielsen Global Holiday Spending Expectations. However, before rushing out to buy that new sweater or pair of slacks, shoppers are urged to follow a few tips that can make clothing shopping easier.

Mimic the recipient’s sense of style. Take your shopping cues from the types of clothing your loved one typically wears. Now is not the time to try to impart your own fashion sense on someone else. Enlist help if you’re not exactly sure of your loved one’s sense of style; retail associates are there to help.

Stick with classics. Instead of mimicking his or her style, you can always select from classic apparel or general categories if they seem like they might be the right fit. Certain pieces, such as classic black pants or a skirt or a camisole and cardigan, always work seamlessly in a wardrobe. A gentleman might appreciate a new dinner jacket or blazer for those special occasions like a night out on the town. Opt for muted colors unless the recipient to make a statement.

Find out the right size. This can take some investigatory work, but enlist other friends or family members to determine which size clothing your loved one wears. Otherwise, do some subtle sleuthing. Indirectly inquire as to size in general conversation. Or you can be forthcoming and say, “I’d like to get you clothing as a gift, what sizes do you wear?”

Discover his or her favorite stores. Through your relationship, you may have learned about your loved one’s favorite clothing stores. Such knowledge can give you a better sense of where to shop.

Get gift receipts and learn the exchange policy. Even items purchased with the best intentions might not be right or fit correctly. Give the gift recipient an easy out by including a gift receipt with the present. This way he or she can exchange the gift for something else at full purchase price. Avoid retailers with especially stringent exchange policies.

¥ Enroll in a clothing subscription service. You don’t need to buy clothes to gift clothing. Another way to gift clothing is to enroll your loved one in a trial for a clothing service. Clothing services ask members a few questions, and then fashion specialists will choose select pieces to ship each month. The clothing can be kept or returned for new items.

Clothing gifts are very popular. Gift-givers can help ensure they’re well received by selecting items with care.

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