Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter Fashions that Make Great Holiday Gifts

Retailers generate anywhere from 20% to 40% of their annual revenues from winter holiday sales. The fact that some Americans go holiday shopping without a specific spending limit in mind is a major reason why billions are spent over three to four months. However, American consumers don't only remove the limits on how much they'll spend, they also spend larger amounts of money on certain products.

For instance, electronics, toys, jewelry and fashions like a soft cashmere dress, silk shirt and tweed hat, are among the top winter gifts shoppers buy for their colleagues, family and friends. Additionally, in 2010, just a few years after the great recession hit, Americans spent more than $21 billion on clothes or fashions, accounting for 20.6% of all holiday gift purchases, according to IBIS World. Surprisingly, gift cards was the second gift item Americans spent the most money on. Americans spent more than $17 billion on gift cards in 2010.

Among the winter fashions that make great gifts are boots, hats, cashmere dress outfits, designer jeans, sweaters and, of course, coats. These and other fashions are popular because not only are they practical, but they can also help women and men make a grand entrance at corporate and community events like company holiday parties and community winter festivals.

As the Huffington Post reports, "In our lovely diverse country, a variety of holidays are celebrated with very different foods and traditions." Furthermore, "But two things remain fairly consistent, regardless of religion or culture during this joyous time: Winter weather and the incentive to dress up in our best holiday fashions."

When it comes to spotting great winter fashions, celebrities continue to lead the way. Jennifer Lawrence impressed fans and the media while wearing a brocade dress at the 38th Annual Los Angeles, Film Critics Association Awards. Actress Molly Simms turned heads in a white dress that stopped just above her knees.

A white cashmere dress offers a similar classy look. Pink is also making waves, showing up at fashion shows. Thigh high boots, oversized coats and calf length cashmere dress sets are also en vogue. If choosing a dress as a winter gift, opt for a dress that has long sleeves. At a minimum, the sleeves should reach below the shoulders. For example, a cashmere dress that reaches to the wrists and that's made with 4-ply Scottish yarn offers the same level of warmth as a winter sweater.

As attractive as they may appear to be, winter dresses that have slits in them are considered a "no no" by some fashion experts. Shirts and blouses that expose the stomach might also be items to wait until spring breaks to buy as gifts. However, dresses that reach below the calves could be a hit with friends and colleagues.

If shorter dresses and skirts are purchased as gift items, consider including a pair of stylish stockings with the outfits. These fashions are great because they keep women warm. Add the right accessories and some of these warmer fashions also wear well during spring.

This was contributed by Miranda Hefner.

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