2011 Gift Guide: For Women, Men, Kids, Foodies, Gadget Lovers, and More

WRAP STARS: The perfect presents—unusual, covetable, affordable, and cool—for everyone on your list

KEY: [*] MADE IN CHICAGO  [¢] LESS THAN $50  [♥] GIVES BACK

For Foodies
 

Winsome kitchen papers

Winsome kitchen papers, which stand in for plates or perk up serving dishes, could inspire baking enthusiasts to share the goods. From $15 a set at Classic Remix Chicago, classicremixchicago.com [¢]

 

 

Sweet Ride’s food truck

Surprise your holiday host: Offer to bring dessert, and let Sweet Ride’s food truck deliver on the promise. $75 an hour, plus the cost of treats, at sweetridesf.com. Location restrictions apply. (Chicago magazine readers receive free coffee.) [*]

 

 

Chocolate and cheese collection

Chicago magazine exclusive! The Good Food Project, which brings produce to Chicago-area classrooms, receives 10 percent of the profits from this chocolate and cheese collection. $60 at Pastoral, pastoralartisan.com [♥]

 

 

Iced coffee by La Colombe

Beer doesn’t go out of season. Neither should this iced coffee by La Colombe (the coffee supplier to The Pump Room—and several other hot spots). $4.50 at La Colombe, lacolombe.com [¢]

 

 

Locally made tea towels

Locally made tea towels in graphic patterns that pop will bring cheer to design-savvy cooks. $24 each at Shapes & Colors Textiles, etsy.com/shop/shapescolors [*] [¢]

 

 

Melamine coffee cups

For the dinner party impresario: Melamine coffee cups pay tribute to Pan Am–style service. $30 for set of four at I.D., idchicago.com [¢]

 

 

Food basket of locally made goods

Know a foodie who’s new to Chicago? Introduce her to some of the city’s artisanal snacks, condiments, and coffees with this food basket of locally made goods. $75 at southportgrocery.com.

 

Photography: (kitchen papers, iced coffee, tea towels) Michael Boone; (food truck) Megan Lovejoy; (all others) courtesy of vendors

 

KEY: [*] MADE IN CHICAGO  [¢] LESS THAN $50  [♥] GIVES BACK

For Women
 

Proenza Schouler clutch

A Proenza Schouler clutch is a fashionista’s keepsake. $975 by special order at Ikram, ikram.com

 

 

Leather cuffs with antique buckles

Wondering what to buy the fan of vintage? These leather cuffs decked out with antique buckles are the answer. $195 each at Post 27, post27store.com [*]

 

 

With & Wessel’s new merino wool camisole and high-waisted leggings

With & Wessel’s new merino wool camisole and high-waisted leggings are the softer, chicer alternative to thermal undies. $89 (camisole) and $150 (leggings) at p.45, p45.com

 

 

Vivian Maier book

The first book on Vivian Maier, a North Shore nanny whose street photos were decades before their time. $40 at powerhousebooks.com [¢]

RELATED: Read our story about Maier

 

 

Chanel’s luxe limited-edition perfume

Chanel’s luxe limited-edition perfume gives new meaning to “Jersey girl.” $210 for 6.8 oz at Chanel, chanel.com

 

 

A small dish

The motto printed in this dish has an ironic ring when you use it to keep diamonds and other bling. $22 at Classic Remix, classicremixchicago.com.

 

 

Gold-plated charm

Proceeds from this gold-plated charm help support Chicago native Amy Lehman’s floating health clinic on Africa’s Lake Tanganyika. $125 (necklace, $145) at altruette.com [♥]

 

 

Jewelry pouch

Practical as well as luxurious, this jewelry pouch makes packing gems a treat. $385 at Barneys New York, barneys.com

 

 

Sony NEX-5NKB digital camera

The Sony NEX-5NKB digital camera (for pictures and high-quality video) packs in more than meets the eye—including a touch-screen user interface. $700 at Abt, abt.com

 

 

A printed silk scarf from Neopolitan Collection

This printed silk scarf brings a bright pop of springy color to the darkest days of winter. $310 at Neapolitan Collection, neapolitanonline.com.

 

Photography: (cuffs) Michael Boone; (book) Megan Lovejoy; (all others) courtesy of vendors

 

KEY: [*] MADE IN CHICAGO  [¢] LESS THAN $50  [♥] GIVES BACK

For Men
 

Badger hair shaving brush

Made with high-grade badger hair, this shaving brush has old-school utility and a trippy ’tude. $69 at Truefitt & Hill, truefittchicago.com

 

 

USA-crafted card cases

Sturdy USA-crafted card cases get better with every scuff. $56 each at corterleather.bigcartel.com

 

 

Bow tie

A bow tie is the dandy’s defense against the winter blues. $75 at Shrine Haberdashers, shrinestyle.com

 

 

A made-to-measure bike frame

A made-to-measure bicycle frame—handcrafted in Chicago—is the ultimate gift for a serious cyclist. $7,900 for a similar model at Method Bicycle, methodbicycle.com [*]

 

 

Mister Marvelous cologne

A cologne with a name that will make him chuckle—and its crisp woodsy scent will make him smell terrific. $220 at Barneys New York, barneys.com

 

 

A dip-dyed shirt by Comme des Garçons BLACK

A dip-dyed shirt by Comme des Garçons BLACK befits a dude who is ahead of the fashion pack. $280 at RSVP Gallery, rsvpgallery.com

 

 

An American-made bag

This American-made weekend bag will last generations—and will only look better with age. $640 at jwhulmeco.com

 

 

A men's wool vest

This sleek, made-in-America wool vest delivers three layers of insulation (all of the warmth, none of the puffy, marshmallow-man side effects). $225 at shop.outlier.cc

 

 

A handmade, Colorado-crafted backpack

Its long, slim design helps this handmade, Colorado-crafted backpack keep gear closer to the body (a definite plus on a packed CTA train). $98 at topodesigns.com

 

 

4Sight sunglasses

Sunglasses with a conscience: For every pair of shades purchased, 4Sight donates a pair of eyeglasses to a person in need. $49 at 4sightsunglasses.com

 

Photography: (shaving brush) Michael Boone; (all others) courtesy of vendors

 

KEY: [*] MADE IN CHICAGO  [¢] LESS THAN $50  [♥] GIVES BACK

For Kids
 

Embossed wooden blocks

Embossed wooden blocks make play time of presidential history (and are worth passing down). $98 for set of 45 at Hazel, hazelchicago.com

 

 

Neon leather satchels

Neon leather satchels are cool places for bright students to stow gear. From $170 each at RSVP Gallery, rsvpgallery.com

 

 

Pebble-shaped crayons made from all-natural materials

Here’s a stocking stuffer that rocks: pebble-shaped crayons made from all-natural materials. $6.50 for set of 16 at crayonrocks.net [¢]

 

 

CTA-inspired toy train car

This CTA-inspired toy train car runs on most wooden tracks—perfect for a young conductor. $28 for set of three (or $10 each) at ctagifts.com [¢]

 

 

Friendship bracelets by Laura Jastram

Local designer Laura Jastram’s chunky friendship bracelets are one of a kind. $50 each at etsy.com/people/latchcollection [*]

 

 

A plush giraffe from Lincoln Park Zoo

Adopt an animal for a year at Lincoln Park Zoo and this furry friend comes home for keeps. $46 at lpzoo.org/support [♥] [¢]

 

 

A playhouse

A playhouse parents will love as much as their kids do, thanks to its fun stepping-into-a-cartoon design. $306 at Orange Skin, orangeskin.com

 

 

'Chopsticks' by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Chicago author Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s latest kids’ book is the follow-up to her beloved Spoon. $12 for preorder at amazon.com [¢]

 

 

An airbrushed hoodie

Book a graffiti party—including custom shirt decorating and airbrushing—for kids who have style that’s all their own. From $25 per person at Frankie’s on the Park, frankiesonthepark.com.

 

 

A Lego model of Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House

Future architects can build a mini version of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House with this recently released Lego set. $199 at shopwright.org

 

 

A porcelain box from Tiffany & Co.

This Limoges porcelain box is a gift that will be treasured especially after a baby grows up. $215 at Tiffany & Co., tiffany.com

 

Photography: (crayons, blocks) Michael Boone; (all others) courtesy of vendors

 

KEY: [*] MADE IN CHICAGO  [¢] LESS THAN $50  [♥] GIVES BACK

For Homebodies
 

A wall sculpture

Lovers of midcentury modern are tough customers, but they’re sure to find this wall sculpture—a recent reissue of an iconic C. Jeré design—a showstopper. $1,200 at Jonathan Adler, jonathanadler.com

 

 

'Chicago Spaces: Inspiring Interiors' from Chicago Home + Garden

Chicago Home + Garden’s new book of stunning local abodes will delight domestic design hounds. $45 at chicagohomemag.com/chicagospaces [¢]

 

 

Lucite antlers

Give glam-tinged Lucite antlers to the recovering taxidermy addict. From $175 each at Jayson Home, jaysonhome.com

 

 

Jessica Murnane’s made-in-Chicago cards

Jessica Murnane’s made-in-Chicago cards are an elegant addition to the letter writer’s desk. $35 for set of 12 at suitorlife.com [*] [¢]

 

 

Fresh flowers

What do you get the friend who has it all? Fresh flowers, delivered weekly. From $29 a week for subscription at hbloom.com

 

 

A chalkboard gift tag

This chalkboard gift tag is an endlessly useful label even after the holidays. $10 at Tabula Tua, tabulatua.com [¢]

 

 

Winter blankets

Cozy up to an ideal gift for Americana enthusiasts: winter blankets made at Iowa’s oldest woolen mill. From $70 each at amanawoolenmill.com

 

 

Botanical scented candles

A new line of candles comes in three botanical scents—all with near-universal appeal. $65 each at Barneys New York, barneys.com

 

Photography: (book, antlers, cards, blankets) Michael Boone; (all others) courtesy of vendors; Styling: (blankets) Lorraine Rudin

 

KEY: [*] MADE IN CHICAGO  [¢] LESS THAN $50  [♥] GIVES BACK

For Gadget Lovers
 

A touchscreen watch

A clock, timer, and alarm in one, this touchscreen watch was made for modern multitaskers. $259 at the MCA Store, mcachicagostore.org

 

 

An iPhone dock

This clever iPhone dock evokes the analog age while covering up cords—and has an earthy vibe. $42 at Stitch, stitchchicago.com [¢]

 

 

The Optoma PKA31 Pico palm-size digital projector

The Optoma PKA31 Pico palm-size digital projector plugs into smartphones for impromptu slide shows or video screenings. $400 at store.apple.com

 

 

The Play Button MP3 player

Play Button is an MP3 player (for a single album) and lapel pin combined. $24 at playbutton.com [¢]

 

 

The Lytro camera

Brand-new, seriously cool technology for photo buffs: The Lytro camera makes it possible to play with a picture’s focus after it’s taken. From $400 for preorder at lytro.com

 

 

iCade

Gamers with Pac-Man fever will love iCade, a gizmo that turns an iPad into an arcade machine. $100 at ionaudio.com

 

 

A mash-up of vintage luggage and modern stereo speakers

Made in Pilsen, this mash-up of vintage luggage and modern stereo speakers would be at home in a Luddite’s living room. From $350 at Artpentry, artpentry.com [*]

 

Photography: (suitcase speaker) Michael Boone; (play button) Megan Lovejoy; (all others) courtesy of vendors

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