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Great finds from your favorite craft marketplace. By Michelle Thomas

Surely we’re not the only ones who can easily spend hours wandering the vast sea of Etsy. The artisan marketplace is pretty much peerless for its selection of handcrafted goodies. The only problem? There are so many items it can be an arduous task to sift out the gems from the duds. Allow us: We’ve ID’d 20 of the most giftable handmade finds from your favorite shopping time-suck. Original art prints, modern-cool homewares, delish sweet treats? Head to the slideshow to see ’em all.

Posted at 05:29 PM/ET, 12/06/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Make a difference this holiday season by choosing a gift that supports a worthy cause. By Irina Grechko

’Tis the season of giving and receiving, and we love nothing more than a chic gift that’s also charitable. Ditch the traditional presents this year and make a difference by embracing ethical and socially conscious alternatives that help those in need. To indulge in guilt-free shopping, click through the slideshow for 15 foolproof holiday gifts that give back. Bonus: They’re all under $100. Now that’s money well-spent.

Posted at 11:53 AM/ET, 12/05/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Great ideas for any of the guys in your life. By Michelle Thomas

In the rankings of tough-to-buy-for people, your new beau sits pretty close the top of the list. When your relationship has had a short shelf life, the season of giving seems fraught with peril: Don’t spend too much or too little. Don’t get too personal, but definitely don’t resort to socks, either. You want a gift that’s simple yet well-designed, manly yet stylish, practical but maybe a bit playful, too. It’s a tall order. But we’re here to help: We’ve found 20 gifts that just about any guy will love—your new boyfriend, your brother, your dad, you name it. And nothing’s over $125, so you can mix and match to suit your comfort level. To the slideshow!

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Posted at 02:53 PM/ET, 12/04/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Fashion editor Kate Bennett picks her five favorite items for holiday gift-giving at this weekend’s retail pop-up. By Kate Bennett

There’s nothing like a new destination with fresh vendors and hand-selected designs to kick off the holiday shopping season. That’s why I’m thrilled that Thread, Union Market’s three-day pop-up of small-biz local and national retailers, is coming to town this weekend. I got to preview the offerings and came away with a wish list of covetable favorites.

1) Grid Shibori pillow in blue, $200 at Rebecca Atwood
Inspired by the textiles of Japan, Brooklyn-based artist Rebecca Atwood creates handmade items for the perfectly appointed home. The modest imperfections from the dyeing process make each of her items one-of-a-kind.

2) Mia wool camel coat, $255 at Anthom
This online boutique of modern fashion and accessories offers a great selection of carefully curated styles. I particularly love the edgy detail and deep V opening—it adds a little something extra to the closet staple.

3) Fingerless armwarmers, $42 at DeNada
I like Virgina Arrisueño’s DeNada line so much I would wrap myself in the soft Peruvian alpaca knits in the peak of summer. These fingerless armwarmers are a great layering accessory—and easy on your wallet, to boot.

4) Gold metallic printed python folded clutch, $575 at Emily Cho
It’s the holidays; sometimes you just have to splurge. This shimmery clutch, by New York designer Emily Cho, is ideal for holiday parties—I love the chic foldover detail.

5) Buggy Back L’Enfant blazer, $245 at Hugh & Crye
I started drinking the Hugh & Crye Kool-Aid a few years ago thanks to the brand’s semi-custom, perfectly fitted shirts—bonus that it got local men on board with the tailoring trend, too. Now the company has started offering blazers in lightweight, slim-fit styles, just like the shirts. Pick up one of these versatile, partially lined blazers for the man in your life.

For more information on the retailers, hours of operation, or the Walkmen concert happening in conjunction with the event on Saturday night, visit the website.

Posted at 09:30 AM/ET, 11/26/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
From the latest gadgets and fascinating books to luxe leather and delicious treats, here are perfect presents for anyone on your shopping list. Check back regularly for even more guides! By Michelle Thomas, Irina Grechko, Kate Bennett, Diana Elbasha, Sherri Dalphonse

Palisades Woman in Your Life

McLean Man in Your Life

Crystal City Coworker

Old Town Sophisticate

Gaithersburg Gadget Guy

14th Street Foodie

Bethesda Best Friend

Posted at 04:49 PM/ET, 11/25/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph by Kip Dawkins. Prop Styling by Marcie Dawkins. Hand lettering by Joel Holland.

1. Design in Depth

Smithsonian’s Great Design, $30 at the Hirshhorn Museum

2. Well Framed

Shwood “Canby” sunglasses in zebrawood, $145 at DC’s Commonwealth

3. Scents Appeal

Original Vetiver cologne by Creed, $165 at Bluemercury

4. Buckle Up

“Logan” leather briefcase, $528 at Frye in DC

5. Make Him Tick

“Runwell” chronograph watch by Shinola, $750 at Barneys New York Co-op in DC

6. Felt Right

Gentleman’s Hardware felt dopp kit, $42 at Trohv

7. Soft Touch

The Art of Shaving’s Chelsea Collection, featuring a razor and a badger brush, $325

8. Case in Point

“Hampshire” leather credit-card holder, $95 at Rag & Bone in DC

9. Stubble Scent

Beardscent balm, $28 at

10. Local Liquor

Filibuster bourbon, based in DC, $45.99 at Modern Liquors

11. Modern Heritage

Pendleton jacquard wool scarf, $68 at Federal in DC

12. Bar Bible

The Gentleman’s Guide to Cocktails, $17.95 at Trohv

13. Special Occasion

Pucho cigars, $35 for a set of three at John B. Hayes Tobacconist in Fairfax

14. Fitting Gift

Leather wool-lined gloves, $89.50 at Massimo Dutti in DC

Posted at 03:27 PM/ET, 11/25/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph by Kip Dawkins. Prop Styling by Marcie Dawkins. Hand lettering by Joel Holland.

1. Cheese Please

Slate cheese board, $19.95 at Crate & Barrel, with cheeses from DC's Righteous Cheese

2. Mat Finish

Kitchen Papers disposable placemats, $20 for a pad of 25 at Salt & Sundry in DC

3. Go Graphic

Hen House Linens cotton tablecloth, $54 at the Nest Egg in Fairfax

4. East to West

Wooden "Coast to Coaster" sets, also in Gulf Coast, $36 for four at

5. Comfort Food

The Founding Farmers Cookbook, $40 at Founding Farmers

6. Local Pride

Catstudio Washington DC tea towel, $20 at Red Barn Mercantile

7. Golden Glam

Porcelain gold-glazed tray, $38, and dish, $24.95, at Coco Blanca in Old Town

8. Chocolate Fix

Artisanal chocolates, $14 to $42 a set at Range in DC

9. On a Roll

Cotton cocktail-napkin rolls, $28 at Salt & Sundry

10. Looking Sharp

Laguiole steak knives, $64 for a set of six at Le Village Marché

11. Herb Keeper

Prepara Herb Savor, $29.95 for a set of three at Sur la Table

12. Oh, Honey

Waxing Kara artisanal raw honey from the Eastern Shore, $18 at Red Barn Mercantile

13. Best Beans

DC-roasted Vigilante coffee, $11.99 and up at Smucker Farms

Posted at 03:14 PM/ET, 11/25/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph by Kip Dawkins. Prop Styling by Marcie Dawkins. Hand lettering by Joel Holland.

1. Caffeine Cool

Growl iced-coffee concentrate, $8.99 at Smucker Farms in DC

2. Beat Office Chill

Colorblock Oversized Eternity Scarf, $29 at Urban Outfitters

3. Greet the Morning

Carnaby Vertebrae mug, $18 at Jonathan Adler

4. Top Shelves

My Ideal Bookshelf, favorite reads from great minds, $18.29 at Amazon

5. New Rule

Izola “Follow the Rules” letter opener, $18 at Trohv

6. And So On

“And Another?” bottle opener, $12 at Paper Source

7. Old-School Cool

Padded Tyvek tablet case, $24 at the National Building Museum

8. Custom Cookies

“It’s All in a Day’s Work” cookie bundle, $35 from Kalorama Cookie Company

9. Monkey Business

Kikkerland tea infuser, $9.95 at Sur la Table

10. Tea Time

Bellocq Tea Atelier assorted fine teas, $35 at M29 Lifestyle in DC

11. Take Note

Blackbird Letterpress notebooks, $9 and $16 at Trohv

12. Whale Whimsy

Sweet Bella stapler, $25 at Trohv

13. Happy Hour

Mount Gay Black Barrel small-batch rum, $29.99 at Calvert Woodley Wines & Spirits in DC

14. Fancy Flame

Sydney Hale Co. candle, hand-poured in Arlington, $26 at Redeem in DC

15. Personal Touch

Set of five personalized note pads, $35 at Paper Source



Posted at 02:54 PM/ET, 11/25/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph by Kip Dawkins. Prop Styling by Marcie Dawkins. Hand lettering by Joel Holland.

1. Loving Spoonfuls

Wooden utensils by Two's Company, $52 at Ginger in Bethesda

2. Sweeten the Pot

Cast-iron 1½-quart braiser, $175 at Le Creuset in Bethesda

3. Lush Brushes

"Robinson" makeup-brush set, $195 at Tory Burch

4. Timeless Gift

Frédérique Constant Ladies Art Deco watch with diamonds, $2,825 at Tiny Jewel Box in DC

5. Woodsy Scent

Estée Lauder's new Modern Muse eau de parfum, $78 at Nordstrom

6. Thought Jotter

Mr. Boddington's Studio daily journal, $16.95 at Le Village Marché in Shirlington

7. Feminine Frames

Tom Ford glasses in striped brown, $395 at Nordstrom

8. Wrapped in Love

White & Warren cashmere cardigan, $395 at Ginger

9. Propose a Toast

Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay Virginia sparkling wine, $29.99 at Arrowine in Arlington

10. Bath Beauties

Laura Mercier body-and-bath sets in crème brûlée, $48 (two pieces) to $80 (four) at Neiman Marcus

11. Teal Appeal

"Borough" bag in polished calfskin, $598 at Coach

12. Seeing a Pattern

Pender wrist wallet by Spartina 449, $42 at Le Village Marché

13. Little Luxuries

Diptyque votive set, $75 at Nordstrom

Posted at 02:13 PM/ET, 11/25/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph by Kip Dawkins. Prop Styling by Marcie Dawkins. Hand lettering by Joel Holland.

1. Call of the Wild

2014 desk diary in embossed leather, $97 at Dalton Brody in DC and

2. Turn It Up

"Frends With Benefits" headphones in tortoise, $250 at Nordstrom

3. Gunmetal Glam

Metallic peplum jacket, $150 at Banana Republic

4. Arabian Nights

Tom Ford's new Sahara Noir eau de parfum, $150 at Nordstrom

5. Glove Love

Hilts-Willard braided-leather gloves with fur trim, $185 at the Shoe Hive in Old Town

6. Swing Time

Oscar de la Renta "Cicilia" pumps, $865 at Sassanova in Bethesda

7. Dish It

Gold Carnaby porcelain zebra dish, $32 at Jonathan Adler in DC

8. All That Glitters

Diorific Jewel Manicure Duo with gold lacquer and crystal pearls, $39 at Bloomingdale's

9. Two-in-One Tint

Rosy lip and cheek stain, $38 at Tory Burch in DC

10. Updated Deco

CC Skye bangles, $150 each at Bishop Boutique in Old Town

11. Banded Together

"Trinity Pavé" ring with diamonds, $44,100 at Cartier in Chevy Chase

12. Party Pout

Shimmering lip glosses by Aerin, $30 each at Neiman Marcus

13. Well Read

Penguin Classics F. Scott Fitzgerald books, $25 each at Trohv in DC

14. Zip It

"Deb" slim satin clutch in amethyst, $150 at Henri Bendel in Pentagon City

15. Screen Siren

Lulu Frost for Bobbi Brown "Old Hollywood" compact with Swarovski crystals, $150 at Saks

Posted at 02:11 PM/ET, 11/25/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()