Need Last-Minute Gift Ideas? Here Are the 7 Best Things We Bought This Year.

Washingtonian staffers share their best purchases of the year.

From a pair of metallic western boots to one very cool coffee maker, here are the best things our staff bought this year.








Disco-Worthy Cowboy Boots

Dagget Western Boots by Jeffrey Campbell in “fuschia metallic,” $270 at

“The serotonin these give me is unmatched. I saw them in the window and it was a sign. If I were a shoe, I would be these boots. I normally have wild buyer’s remorse but I have not once regretted this purchase. I’m obsessed with them. I wore them recently to a Dolly Parton disco at the 9:30 Club, and it was their time to shine.” —Caroline Frentz, social media producer




A Makeshift Standing Desk

Mount-It! Laptop Bed Tray with Tilting Top and Pullout Storage Drawer, $35 on Amazon.

“I had been getting some pretty severe neck pain from working at my laptop for extended hours last spring. Stand-up desks were pricey, so I instead bought this adjustable laptop stand, along with a wireless keyboard and mouse, which helped tremendously. They’ve been great little investments.” —Jessica Ruf, assistant editor




Running Sunglasses

Bosley’s Basset Hound Dreams sunglasses, $25 at

“I bought these Goodr sunglasses for running this year because I wanted to protect my eyes and also avoid so much squinting on sunny days. I love that they stay on my face while I’m running, and I like them enough to wear out and about, too.” —Katie Kenny, editorial fellow




A Project Notebook

Fringe Studio Project Book, $19 on

“One amazing thing I bought this year is this project notebook. I got it from Barnes and Noble, but you can find it on Amazon too. I’m a gal that needs to write everything down and a regular planner/notebook was not doing it for me. Each page is a project tracker with tasks and objects and a brainstorming section, and the next page is grid paper for jotting notes. I got this in April, and I just got to the final page. I already ordered another one two months ago! You can’t just find project notebooks like these.” —Damare Baker, research editor




A Very Good Coffee Maker

Technivorm Moccamaster coffee maker, $349 at

“The Moccamaster makes a phenomenal cup of drip coffee, my favorite form of joe. I really do not like to admit that I spent this much money on a coffeemaker. But I was unfortunate enough to fall under the spell of the Moccamaster cult after my old brewer died, and now I’m an evangelist for these machines, which Dutch maniacs have calibrated to produce perfect brews for the rest of your life. Sorry, kids, we can’t afford to send you to college, but Mom and Dad are alert and aware of the problem.” —Andrew Beaujon, senior editor


A Clothing Subscription

Nuuly rental service, $88/month at

“The best thing I bought this year is a subscription to clothing rental service Nuuly. It’s like Rent the Runway’s more casual little sister, which fits better with my casual day-to-day life. I’ve been able to pare down my closet to the basics, and then bring in rental items depending on the season and whatever I have going on that month. It’s more sustainable than shopping fast fashion brands, and trying on a new haul is a great dopamine boost.” —Daniella Byck, lifestyle editor




A Sound Machine

The Lectrofan EVO, $60 on

“I have always loved sleeping with a fan on–the louder the better–and when my latest fan kicked the bucket this fall, I knew I needed to replace it—with another fan, or otherwise. The white noise machines my kids have always seemed too high pitched to me, so I decided to look into brown and pink noises. I bought this compact (yet plenty loud!) noise machine, and it has changed my (sleep) life.” —Amy Moeller, fashion and weddings editor


Amy Moeller
Fashion & Weddings Editor

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.