Time is running out and you still have one person left to shop for: the teen in your life. Few people, aside from your father (who has more ties than anyone could possibly wear in one lifetime), are as hard to find the right present for as your average teenager.
How do you find something that doesn’t break the bank but is something they’ll appreciate and enjoy? We consulted a few local teens to round up a few presents that they would be stoked to find in a stocking or under a tree. Following are their recommendations.
Girls are notoriously difficult to shop for. If you’re not working with a very specific wish list, or just want to surprise her, check out the following ideas:
Pom-pom beanies are cool again, and this is a particularly cute example of the species, with a chunky knit and old-fashioned pattern. But our panel agreed that pretty much anything from Free People is going to go over well.
A sporty girl can’t ever have enough headbands. This four-pack is a thoughtful little gift that will help keep the hair out of her eyes with a touch of style.
If she’s into yoga, she’ll love this mat. Fun, colorful, and functional: what more could you want?
The classic UGG boot may have fallen somewhat out of fashion, but that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t enjoy the snuggly warmth of sheepskin. The Dakota offers the same addictive feel in a cute moc design.
Teens go through headphones and earbuds like there’s no tomorrow. These will score points for the great colors they come in; girls might even also notice that these are “tuned for women’s sensitivity to higher listening frequencies.” Or maybe not.
Print tights are big, and these are among the first, and the best. Teekis come in a bunch of different patterns and colors, but this was a favorite.
This one is going out on a limb a bit, but if your teen lives in anywhere that gets a lot of rain, she might appreciate having a cute alternative for wet days. They’re not only practical, but the rain boot trend is still going strong enough that she’ll likely actually wear them, too.
Boys are generally easier to shop for, although it’s not always easy to give items they’ll actually use often. Following are some suggestions for gifts for male teens that can go the distance:
All things Adidas are cool, and this item kills two birds with one stone—their admiration of the brand, and your irrational preference that they not run around in subfreezing temperatures wearing nothing but a T-shirt. Soft, stretchy, and weather-resistant, it’s a win-win.
A shirt jacket, particularly one with a classic work jacket style, is another sneaky way of getting them to dress warmer. This lightly insulated jacket sports a relaxed fit and laid-back look that gained our panel’s stamp of approval.
Giving a belt can sound boring and practical, but you can give it a hip twist with an Arcade belt. Whether they’re casual or more formal, the ‘hybrid’ stretch design makes them insanely comfortable and very easy to wear. As a bonus, a good belt will help keep teen pants up over their butts.
If the boy in question is a hat wearer, a trucker hat can be a good bet. Picking one with the right log can be tricky, though. However, if he’s a skier, one bearing the Teton Gravity Research insignia could be the way to go.
Inexpensive and fun, these make a great stocking-stuffer. With styles ranging from the relatively straightforward Daily Shade sunglasses to the out-there ’80s-throwback Brodies (only good for those with a highly developed sense or irony or a unique personal style), these are a sure winner.
Hammocks are a popular item around here among older teens, who string them up in the park or in the woods when they’re getting away from adults and/or going “camping” overnight. The lightweight, highly portable design of camping hammocks makes them easy to throw in a pack. Eagles Nest Outfitters is a popular brand, but any others will do as well.
Whether the teen in question is hammocking (it’s a verb now, too), riding bikes, or just hanging out, this small but mighty Bluetooth speaker is easy to bring along. It’s not only reasonably priced but rugged enough to stand up to the inevitable abuse.